Animation highlights

1914: Winsor McCay creates Gertie the Dinosaur, first animated screen character that could interact with a human performer on stage.

1924: The landmark sound cartoon Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie, starring Mickey Mouse, debuts at New York's Colony Theater.

1937: Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

1939: William Hanna and Joseph Barbera create Tom and Jerry.

1940: Bugs Bunny makes his debut in the Warner Bros. cartoon, A Wild Hare.

1969: Scooby-Doo debuts on TV. Hanna-Barbera is the undisputed king of television animation.

1986: Disney's The Great Mouse Detective marks the first time that the studio blends computer and hand-drawn animation.

1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? revives interest in classic animation.

1991: Nickelodeon, hoping to cash in on resurgence in animation, backs John Kricfalusi's Ren and Stimpy.

1992: Disney's Beauty and the Beast is nominated for 'Best Picture' at the Oscars.

1992: Cartoon Network is launched, providing an outlet for new cartoons.

1994: Disney's The Lion King breaks box-office records for an animated feature, making over $771 million worldwide.

1995: Pixar releases Toy Story, the first feature-length computer animated film.

1999: Disney's Tarzan uses a computer-generated technique called "deep canvas" to give the look of three-dimensional depth to backgrounds.

2001: DreamWorks Shrek becomes the first American animated film to compete in competition at the Cannes International Film festival since Peter Pan in 1953.

2001: Columbia Pictures Final Fantasy creates the closest digital replication of a human actor.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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