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Animation Celebrates Its Centenary

The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive is celebrating 100th Birthday animation, which began with J. Stuart Blackton's film, HUMOROUS PHASES OF FUNNY FACES, first released on April 6, 1906.

The director of ASIFA-Hollywood's Animation Archive, Stephen Worth explains, "Although there were many early films that experimented with stop motion and other techniques related to animation, Blackton was the first to create 'drawings that live'... sequential drawings of characters acting and reacting to each other. The word 'animate' literally means 'to give life to'. Blackton gave life to a whole new artform with his pioneering efforts."

ASIFA-Hollywood is building a museum, library and digital archive devoted to the art of animation in Burbank, California. It is the only facility of its kind in the world. A database of images, biographic and filmographic information, movie files and photos is being assembled for the use of researchers, students, artists and the general public. Although the Archive project was just launched late last year, it has already garnered international attention via its blog,

On April 6, 2006, ASIFA-Hollywood is planning an Open House at its archive facility in Burbank to celebrate Animation's 100th birthday; and on its website, ASIFA is linking to a downloadable movie file of Blackton's landmark film.

ASIFA-Hollywood: The International Animated Film Society is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of animation. It hosts numerous screenings and events throughout the year, including the award ceremony considered to be animation's highest honor, the Annie Awards. For more information, visit

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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