The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Malcolm Cook

The Lightning Cartoon: Animation from Music Hall to Cinema

This presentation will explore the relationship between early animation and the lightning cartoon, an act known to have been performed by a number of key figures in the early history of animation, including J. Stuart Blackton in the US, George Méliès in France and Walter Booth in the UK. Concentrating on Britain it will examine the music hall act as an example of pre-cinematic animation, the earliest examples of the use drawn material in film in 1895, the importance of this performance to World War 1 animated cartoons and its continued influence in the 1920s.

Biographical statement:
Malcolm Cook is a Doctoral candidate at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is researching early British animated cartoons prior to the advent of sound cinema, with a particular focus on the relationship between the moving image and the graphic arts and other pre-cinematic entertainments, as well as the neurological processes involved in the perception of these forms. He holds a BA in Film and Literature from the University of Warwick and an MA in History of Art, Film and Visual Media from Birkbeck College.