How do the pictures in a cartoon move?
  • A cartoon is actually made up of lots of pictures called frames.
  • Each picture is slightly different from the ones before and after it.
  • When the pictures are shown quickly one after another we seem to see a moving picture.
  • When we look at an image our eyes send a message to our brain about that image.
  • Our brains hold on to the image for a fraction of a second longer than your eyes see it.
  • If a number of images which are slightly different from each other are shown quickly one after the other then the brain blends all those pictures together to give the illusion of a moving picture.
  Did You Know?
  • The reason we see cartoon pictures move is something called persistence of vision.
  • For many years cartoons where drawn picture by picture (frame-by- frame) by hand and there could be thousands of pictures (frames) in a cartoon!
  • These days computers help to draw the images and speed up the work but the idea is still the same: lots of pictures slightly different from each other shown quickly one after the other
Make your own flip toy

What you need:
2 pieces of card 8 cm by 8 cm
feltpens/crayons or coloured pencils
A pencil/straw or stick

What you do:
Draw a picture on one of the pieces of card. Then draw the same image but with something changed on it. We drew a bird with its wings down on one card and the bird with its wings up on the other card.
Tape the cards together and onto the pencil/straw or stick. Tape it well so it won’t slide around or fall off.
Hold the pencil/straw or stick between the palms of your hand with one of the pictures facing you. Rub your hands together so the pencil/straw or stick twirls. Watch your flip toy image change.
Video tape your favourite cartoon one afternoon then play it back. If your recorder has a frame-by-frame option you’ll be able to see how each frame is different from the one before or the one after. If you recorder doesn’t have a frame-by-frame option put the tape on pause and you’ll see what was drawn in one frame.
Why did the cartoon character go to jail?
He was framed

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