A new study suggests that 30,000 year old Stone Age cave paintings found in multiple sites throughout Europe implement animated effects.
The paintings superimpose multiple drawings on top of each other so that horses appear to gallop, buffalo flick their tails, and birds flap their wings. The effect is most noticeable when viewed with flickering torch light.
The researchers also believe that people of this period created early thaumatropes, or discs with a picture on each side that, when spun with a string, create what appears to be animated movement. The researchers mentioned
a bone disc found in 1868 in the Dordogne. On one side, the disc features a standing doe or a chamois. On the other side, the animal is lying down. Azéma and Rivère discovered if a string was threaded through the central hole and then stretched tight to make the disc rotate about its lateral axis, the result was a superimposition of the two pictures on the retina.
Researchers are claiming that these tools were the far distant beginnings of cinema.
How about a 30,000 year old retrospective Oscar for our ancestors that made the movies that we love imaginable?