Started with a cartoon and grew in to short films in 2 short years. France will claim the technology as Charles-Emile Reynaud was a French science teacher and created a Praxinoscope, and projected the first animation in public at the Musee Grevin in Paris.
(No examples survived)
Fast forward to 1906 Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is a silent cartoon by J. Stuart Blackton released. It features a cartoonist drawing faces on a chalkboard, and the faces coming to life. It is generally regarded by film historians as the first animated film.
Mickey Mouse debuted in 1928, in the short film Steamboat Willie and was the feature character in over 130 films and became the first cartoon character to have a start on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 1937 brought the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the first feature length animated film since it was fully hand-drawn.
Along comes the Computer and animation changes the face of the industry. With the release of Toy Story in 1995 and still 2 decades later CGI animations still make it look incredible. With every year, advances in technology take it to extremes. It will be fun to watch what the film students of today will astound us with tomorrow.
See you at the Movies!!