History of the Dog in Animation


Dr vétérinaire, interne animaux de compagnie à l’École Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort
7 Avenue du Général de Gaulle, 94700 Maisons-Alfort

While the horse stood out as the choice model for illustrations in the 19th-century optical toys, small mammals, whose features were simpler to portray in animated cartoons, became popular with the birth of the motion picture. However, throughout the silent-film era, the dog struggled to gain ground, competing with feline stars which dominated the market. The moment of revenge arrived during the transition to sound and colour. Initially a hero’s likeable stooge, then becoming the main star in cartoons or full-length movies of its own, the dog character in all its forms – from the most realistic to the most anthropomorphic ones – embarked on a flourishing career which was to culminate in the computergenerated technological achievements of the modern era.


Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 183-192