Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ed's Hand Added to National Film Registry

Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney, is surely very proud right now.

The computer animated hand (which is actually titled A Computer Animated Hand) that he created at the University of Utah nearly 40 years ago has been welcomed into the National Film Registry. Each year, the NFR selects 25 films that should be carefully preserved forever, for future generations to enjoy. Disney's Bambi was also added to the list this year.

Many people think that computer animation started with Toy Story in 1995, but it was actually beginning to take shape over 20 years before Woody and Buzz first hit the big screen. With some of his colleagues in 1972, Ed Catmull created A Computer Animated Hand, which at the time was astounding to people, even though now it looks almost ancient, since technology has soared over the last four decades.

The short animation starring a seemingly simple animated hand is, today, one of the ancestors and pioneers of computer animation. Watch it here, along with some footage showing the making of the film.

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