When saying “Sinhala Cartoon”, our minds are running back to our childhood, aren’t you? Cartoon is the most favourite thing of kids and it’s not only limited to kids. As Sri Lankans, when saying Sinhala Cartoon, there are significant cartoon programs are coming to our minds. Among them, “Soora Pappa”, “Pissu Pusa” and “Tin Tin” are popular Sinhala Cartoon programs. And also, “Galivar”, “Dosthara Hoda Hitha”, “Dagaya” and “Ha Ha Hari Haawaa” Sinhala cartoon programs stay in our minds ever. “Sonic”, “Garfield”, “Scooby Doo” can be mentioned as the most popular Sinhala cartoon programs on present days. Majority of these cartoons are made in English and they are dubbed into Sinhala and presented as Sinhala cartoon. The pioneer of dubbing these cartoons in Sri Lanka is Taitus Thotawaththa.
More about Sinhala Cartoon
Let’s look back into the origin of these cartoons. It is said that the cartoon art form began through comic pictures. The great Italian masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Annibale Carracci and Gian Lorenzo Benini, all drew comic strips. William Hogarth, a English artist created a new form of picture-story, ‘comic history-painting’ full of ‘characters’, not ‘caricatura’, copies of nature, not exaggerations, who challenged to so-called Italian masters. Around 1830, a number of humorous magazine were launched in Britain. Among them, in 1841 the journalist Henry Mayhew launched a cartoon magazine called “Punch”. It was to be a weekly comic paper ‘without grossness, partisanship, profanity, indelicacy, or malice’. During the First World War, cartoonists supported to the patriotic cause describing an encounter between the national symbols and personifications also.
The art of animated cartoon also has a long history. In 1603, the Magic Lantern is an image projector using pictures on sheets of glass, was used to do the first projected animation. In 1824, the thaumatrope was used for this task. It housed a rotating mechanism with a different picture on each side. In 1831, the phenakitoscope featured spinning disks was used for animated cartoon projects. It reflected in mirrors that made it seem like the pictures were moving. After that, in 1834, the zoetrope was used for that. It was a hollow drum that housed images on long interchangeable strips that spin and made the images appear to move. In 1868, the flip-book was introduced. As turning a new page of cartoon creation, in 1877 the praxinoscope was introduced. This is considered as the first prototypes of the animated cartoon. In 1928, featuring Mickey Mouse—becomes the first cartoon with the sound printed on the film. After that, “Merrie Melodies”cartoon, which is popular as “Ha Ha Hari Haawaa” Sinhala cartoon in Sri Lanka, was founded in 1930. Another popular Sinhala cartoon “Giripura Aththo”, the English version named as “The Flintstones” was made in 1960 and it is considered as the first animated series on prime-time television. In 1995, the first fully computer-animated feature film was released and it was “Top Story”.
With such a big evolution and experiments, art of cartoon has become as a successful industry today and it has spread among many languages. And most of Sinhala cartoon programs are made from other countries and they are playing with dubbing Sinhala.