Animation and Cartoons Wiki

Dumbo Prancing GIF file

Traditional Animation (aka Cel-Animation, Classical Animation, or Hand-Drawn Animation) is an animation technique in which each frame is drawn by hand. In the 1990s it was believed that this animation style would no longer be the dominent animation style with the advent of CGI animation, however, various animation studios who experimented with CGI animation eventually returned to Traditional Animation in the 2000s. This effect may be acredited to the feel of Traditional Animation, in comparison to the feel of CGI.



Flip Book GIF

Traditional Animation has it's origin in Flip Books, a Flip Book is a series of drawings put together in sequenced, and flipped to create motion. An idea presented it's self with the advent of the Camera. It was soon found that one could record a flipbook in front of a camera, thus the earliest of Traditional Animation came to be, and has been developing ever since that time.



Traditionally-animated productions, just like other forms of animation, usually begin life as a storyboard, which is a script of sorts written with images as well as words, similar to a giant comic strip. The images allow the animation team to plan the flow of the plot and the composition of the imagery. The storyboard artists will have regular meetings with the director, and may have to redraw or "re-board" a sequence many times before it meets final approval.

Preliminary Soundtrack/Voice Recording[]

Before true animation begins, a preliminary soundtrack or "scratch track" is recorded, so that the animation may be more precisely synchronized to the soundtrack. Given the slow, methodical manner in which traditional animation is produced, it is almost always easier to synchronize animation to a pre-existing soundtrack than it is to synchronize a soundtrack to pre-existing animation. A completed cartoon soundtrack will feature music, sound effects, and dialogue performed by voice actors. However, the scratch track used during animation typically contains only the voices, any vocal songs to which characters must sing along, and temporary musical score tracks; the final score and sound effects are added during post-production.


Often, an animatic or story reel is made after the soundtrack is created, but before full animation begins. An animatic typically consists of pictures of the storyboard synchronized with the soundtrack. This allows the animators and directors to work out any script and timing issues that may exist with the current storyboard. The storyboard and soundtrack are amended if necessary, and a new animatic may be created and reviewed with the director until the storyboard is perfected. Editing the film at the animatic stage prevents the animation of scenes that would be edited out of the film; as traditional animation is a very expensive and time-consuming process, creating scenes that will eventually be edited out of the completed cartoon is strictly avoided.

Design, and Timing[]



Pencil Test[]

Traditional Ink, and Paint, Camera[]

Digital Ink, and Paint[]

Computers, and Digital Video Cameras[]