Computer animation in films began in the 1970s when filmmakers used it to place simple objects in their movies, with the hopes of eventually creating short computer-generated films. The experiment failed, a combination of poor animation technology and an uninterested audience. The immortal George Lucas utilized about 30 minutes of animation in his second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back. Given the record-breaking amount of money computer animated films generate today, it's easy to conclude that better technology has captured moviegoers young and old.
Below are some links to help you learn more about the companies and people behind these films.
The computer animation geniuses at Pixar have been around since 1984, but only struck fame in recent years with the release of Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Monsters, Inc. From their home page you can watch movie trailers, short films and learn more about how animation works.
Disney teamed up with Pixar to create films, and hosts this official site for Monsters, Inc. Watch the trailer and explore related Monsters, Inc. information here.
Pixar's main competitor is the Steven Speilberg-backed Dreamworks. Their biggest computer animated hit is last summer's ogre smash Shrek. The official Shrek site can be found here.
The Animated Films Web Ring
This web ring brings together various independent sites dedicated to animated films and characters from these films.
Star Wars Episode II
Learn more about Episode II, due in the theaters this May, and view the trailer. Episode II will rely more on computer-generated animation than the previous films in the series.
Recon3 is a short Internet film done entirely by computer animation. While not affiliated with the Star Wars films, Recon3 is set in the Star Wars universe, and the film's creator takes liberties with the setting while paying homage to the films that inspired it. This site allows you to read about the production behind the short film, as well as watch it on your home computer.
Register for free and make your own animated Web film. It may not look like Toy Story, but it's still your creation.