The very first form of animation came in the form of a flip book in which drawings on pages could be rapidly flipped through to show the appearance of movement. Animated films first came into existence around the turn of the 20th century with George Melies as one of the first ever animated filmmakers and one of the most popular in the early years.
J. Stuart Blackton was one of the first Americans to use stop motion animation in film in the early 20th century. During the 1910s the animated film business gained traction and popularity and were coined cartoons and began to be shown before movies in the theaters as an extra dash of entertainment for moviegoers. It’s been an uphill trajectory since then with the animated film genre accounting for some of the most successful films of all time.