11. MFFA Animator



Cohl, Emile


On animator festival in years:

2010 2008
Emile Cohl (1857–1938) joined the cinema since the very establishment of the Tenth Muse and is considered as the first professional creator of animated films. In 1907, he started cooperating with Gaumont. Later, he also worked for the Pathé film company and several other film companies in France and the USA. In most cases, however, Cohl created outside film companies: he drawn, made and developed his films by himself. He produced over 300 short animated films, of which 80% are considered lost. Cohl created the first animated character – Fantoche aka The Puppet. He made the first colour animation, the first animated commercial, the first animated film based on a satirical script of his own authorship.
The most interesting fact in the Cohl’s production is that while working on the famous Fantasmagorie he elevated animation to the rank of art and gave it a poetic meaning by creating a unique combination of cinema, drawing and image. Taking advantage of the intellectual and artistic experience of his youth (work as caricaturist, cooperation with famous artistic movements in Paris: Hydropathes and Incoherents), Cohl had made films which were later assessed by critics as cubic and precursory compared to Dadaism and surrealism. He combined different techniques in one film: animated objects with real characters and “self-drawing pictures”. His achievements constituted the source of inspiration for Walt Disney and Norman McLaren, among others, and greatly influenced the world animation development.