Charles-Émile Reynaud

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Charles-Émile Reynaud
Born (1844-12-08)8 December 1844
Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis, France
Died 9 January 1918(1918-01-09) (aged 73)
Ivry-sur-Seine, Seine (now Val-de-Marne), France
Occupation Science teacher, inventor

Charles-Émile Reynaud (8 December 1844 – 9 January 1918) was a French inventor, responsible for the first projected animated cartoons. Reynaud created the Praxinoscope in 1877 and the Théâtre Optique in December 1888, and on 28 October 1892 he projected the first animated film in public, Pauvre Pierrot, at the Musée Grévin in Paris. This is also notable as the first known instance of film perforations being used.

Reynaud's late years were tragic after 1910 when, his creations outmoded by the Cinematograph, dejected and penniless, he threw the greater part of his irreplaceable work and unique equipment into the Seine. The public had forgotten his "Théâtre Optique" shows, which had been a celebrated attraction at the Musée Grevin between 1892 and 1900. He died in a hospice on the banks of the Seine where he had been cared for since 29 March 1917.

Reynaud and his Théâtre Optique in 1892


Year Film
1892 Un bon bock
Pauvre Pierrot
Le Clown et ses chiens
1894 Rêve au coin du feu
Autour d'une cabine

Some of his first creations (1877–1879)[edit]

A work by Reynaud

Series 1[edit]

  • L'Aquarium
  • Le Jongleur
  • L'Équilibriste
  • Le Repas des Poulets
  • Les Bulles de Savon
  • Le Rotisseur
  • La Danse sur la Corde
  • Les Chiens Savants
  • Le Jeu de Corde
  • Zim, Boum, Boum
Poster for the Théâtre Optique

Series 2[edit]

  • Les Scieurs de Long
  • Le Jeu du Volant
  • Le Moulin à Eau
  • Le Déjeuner de Bébé
  • La Rosace Magique
  • Les Papillons
  • Le Trapèze
  • La Nageuse
  • Le Singe Musicien
    A basic projecting praxinoscope, 1882, superimposing an animated figure on a separately projected background scene
  • La Glissade

Series 3[edit]

  • La Charmeuse
  • La Balançoire
  • L'Hercule
  • Les Deux Espiègles
  • Le Fumeur
  • Le Jeu de grâces
  • L'Amazone
  • Le Steeple-chase
  • Les Petits valseurs
  • Les Clowns

The film frames were not photographed, but painted directly onto the transparent strip. In 1900, more than 500,000 people saw his shows.

Stereoscopic praxinoscope, 1908

His inventions[edit]

Books and references[edit]

External links[edit]