A Brief History of Video Games

An abridged history of video games in under three minutes. Made using only sounds, music, and video from the games themselves.

Brotherhood of Man or: How I Learned to Get Blacklisted and Thrown in Jail

Based upon the pamphlet Races Of Mankind by Ruth Benedict and Gene Weltfish, Brotherhood of Man is a controversial 10-minute cartoon from 1945 which explores the inherent equality of all peoples, and promotes the tolerance of other cultures. It was sponsored by the UAW (United Auto Workers) union and produced by UPA (United Productions of America).

Ring Lardner Jr., one of the UPA writers of this adaptation, soon came under the scrutiny of the Joseph McCarthy Red Scare and was blacklisted along with nine other Hollywood writers and directors in 1947. Known as the Hollywood Ten, they were investigated by the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) and refused to answer any questions during appeals, claiming their rights from the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution. The HUAC and courts disagreed and all were found guilty of contempt of Congress. Lardner was sentenced to 1 year in Danbury Prison and fined $1,000.

Though blacklisted by the Hollywood studios, Lardner returned triumphantly in Robert Altman’s MASH, for which he won an Academy Award (Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay).

Directed by Robert Cannon, animated by John Hubley, featuring music by Paul Smith.



1st Animated Story

Fantasmagorie (1908) – Emile Cohl

Fantasmagorie, by Émile Cohl, is considered to be the first animated story in film. Though “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces” by J. Stuart Blackton pre-dates “Fantasmagorie” by 2 years, it did not serve as a narrative other than simply showing various facial expressions via the technique of hand-drawn animation.


1st Animated Opening Title

Diving Lucy (1904) – Director, Unkown

Diving Lucy contains the 1st known instance of an Animated Opening Title Sequence (in this case, via Stop-Motion Animation). Though the Director is unknown, Diving Lucy was produced by James Kenyon and Sagar Mitchell.


1st Drawn Animation

Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) – J. Stuart Blackton

The 1st animated film: Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is a silent cartoon by J. Stuart Blackton released in 1906. It features a cartoonist drawing faces on a chalkboard with the faces coming to life.

Music performed by Billy Duncan for Change Before Going Productions.


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