100 Years of Animation in Australia

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This year marks a landmark 100 years of animation in Australia and things have come a long way since 1915.

While we at Jumbla are usually looking to seek out the latest in the world of animation and motion graphics, sometime it pays to look back. Here’s a brief overview of some of the major landmarks in Australia’s century of animation. 

1910s – 1920s

The first animation to come out of Australia can be attributed to Harry Julius who’s simple cut-out cartoon silent short films were used as an accessible form of wartime propaganda and social commentary. 

Eric Porter 1915 animation 1

Eric Porter 1915 animation 2

Also popular during this period of silent animations was the loveable Felix the Cat. While an American creation, Felix was produced by Australian Pat Sullivan.

1940s – 1970s

Audio was introduced to animations in the following years, Disney and Warner Bros soon came to rule the world of animation. Despite this however, Australian animator Eric Porter managed to find his own voice and became the hero of Australian animation for the next several decades. He created the iconic Bertie the Aeroplane character used in the timeless Aeroplane Jelly ads in 1942 and also produced the first Australian feature-length animated film ‘Marco Polo Junior versus the Red Dragon’ (1972).

Bertie the Aeroplane

Marco Polo Junior


Fast-forward a few years and Australia has become a major player on the world stage when it comes to animated films. George Miller’s ‘Happy Feet’ (2006) became the first Australian co-produced digitally animated film to gain international acclaim and showcased the wealth of animation talent Australia has to offer. 

Happy Feet screen shot


More recently there has been a boom of startups and independent animation houses (like us!) producing high quality works across everything from advertisements to computer games, short films and more. 

Jumbla Showreel – 2015 from Jumbla on Vimeo.

We’re very proud to be a part of such an exciting, fast-paced industry that continues to push the boundaries of what is has been traditionally possible. Happy 100 years of animation Australia!

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