French caricature artist Émile Cohl created what is considered to be the world’s first animated cartoon in 1908. His black-and-white short film, Fantasmagorie, is composed of 700 drawings that Cohl illuminated on a glass plate. He photographed black lines on white paper and then reversed the negative to make it look like chalk on a blackboard. Each drawing is only slightly different than the one before it. Timing in advance was key (and laborious), but Cohl’s process allowed some spontaneity with the images — which is why Fantasmagorie has such a stream of consciousness style. Click through to enjoy the minute-long animation.
[Spotted via Laughing Squid]