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this day in history 1906

First animated movie recorded

There Was Almost Certainly A Dog Playing A BanjoIf

I know you (and I think I do) you have just stopped, or are about to start, watching many cartoons. But who do you have to thank for your beloved Animaniacs boxset, which you have told me on many occasions is your most prized possession worth more to you than your children or car? In part you can thank J. Stuart Blackton and his film Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, which was released on this day in 1906.

This snappily titled, three minute, black and white, silent cartoon is considered the first ever animated movie recorded on standard film. And, like all black and white silent cartoons from that era, it is really really weird. Not to impinge a great big spoiler alert on you, but the film involves drawings magically springing to life on a blackboard. And that’s about it. We might think it’s a load of pants now, but back in sepia days, audiences were amazed and entertained in roughly equal measure. But luckily for them, the creation of TOWIE was only 104 years away.