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Animation vs. Cartoon: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Animation is the technique of photographing successive drawings or positions of models to create an illusion of movement. Cartoon is a simple drawing showing the features of its subjects in a humorously exaggerated way, often animated.
Animation vs. Cartoon

Key Differences

Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images, used in various media formats like films, videos, and video games. Cartoons, however, are typically a genre within animation that are characterized by stylized, exaggerated characters and often comedic content.
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Nov 28, 2023
Animations can be created using a range of techniques, from traditional hand-drawn methods to computer-generated imagery. In contrast, cartoons are often associated with a simpler, more linear style of drawing and are primarily associated with humor or satire.
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Animation encompasses a broad spectrum of styles and genres, from realistic 3D animations to abstract visual arts. Conversely, cartoons are often defined by their comedic, satirical, and sometimes child-friendly content, though they can appeal to all ages.
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Shumaila Saeed
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The term "animation" can refer to both short and full-length features, covering a wide range of themes and audiences. Cartoons, on the other hand, are often short and primarily aimed at humor, although they can also tackle serious themes in a light-hearted manner.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
Animation is used in various industries including entertainment, education, and advertising, showcasing a diverse range of storytelling techniques. Cartoons, while also used in these fields, often have a distinctive style and tone, focusing on caricature and humor.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Technique of creating moving images from drawings or models.
Stylized, exaggerated drawings, often animated for humor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Techniques

Includes hand-drawn, CGI, stop-motion, etc.
Typically simpler, linear drawing style.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Genres and Styles

Broad spectrum, from realistic to abstract.
Often comedic, satirical, and child-friendly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Length and Format

Both short and full-length features.
Often short and focused on humor.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Use

In entertainment, education, advertising, etc.
Primarily in humor and caricature, also in various media.
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Animation and Cartoon Definitions

Animation

Animation is the process of creating motion and shape change illusions using sequential images.
The animation in that movie was incredibly lifelike.
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Nov 23, 2023

Cartoon

Cartoons often use caricature to depict public figures or social situations.
The artist's cartoons cleverly exaggerate politicians' features.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Animation

Animations can be 2D, 3D, hand-drawn, or computer-generated.
3D animation has revolutionized film and gaming industries.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Cartoon

Cartoons are typically characterized by their comedic and satirical tone.
Saturday morning cartoons were a big part of my childhood.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Animation

Animation involves sequencing individual frames to create the illusion of movement.
Traditional animation required thousands of hand-drawn frames.
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Nov 23, 2023
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Cartoon

A cartoon can be a single-panel image or a series of animated shorts.
The cartoon strip in the daily paper always brings a smile to my face.
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Nov 23, 2023

Animation

Animation is used for storytelling in movies, television, and online media.
The animation series on the streaming platform has gained a huge following.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Cartoon

Cartoons are used in media for entertainment, satire, and social commentary.
That cartoon show cleverly blends humor with social commentary.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Animation

Animation can be used in educational content to simplify complex concepts.
The biology animation helped students understand cellular processes.
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Nov 23, 2023

Cartoon

A drawing depicting a humorous situation, often accompanied by a caption.
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Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The act, process, or result of imparting life, interest, spirit, motion, or activity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A drawing representing current public figures or issues symbolically and often satirically
A political cartoon.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The quality or condition of being alive, active, spirited, or vigorous.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A preliminary sketch similar in size to the work, such as a fresco, that is to be copied from it.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The art or process of making movies with drawings, computer graphics, or photographs of static objects, including all techniques other than the continuous filming of live-action images.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A usually short, animated movie or television program.
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Oct 19, 2023

Animation

Images or special effects created through animation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

An animated character in a movie or television program.
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Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The act of animating, or giving life or spirit.
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Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A comic strip.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The technique of making inanimate objects or drawings appear to move in motion pictures or computer graphics; the object (film, computer game, etc.) so produced
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Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A ridiculously oversimplified or stereotypical representation
Criticized the actor's portrayal of Jefferson as a historically inaccurate cartoon.
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Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The state of being lively, brisk, or full of spirit and vigor; vivacity; spiritedness
He recited the story with great animation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

To draw a humorous or satirical representation of; caricature.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The condition of being animate or alive.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

To make humorous or satirical drawings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

(linguistics) conversion from the inanimate to animate grammatical category
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

(comics) A humorous drawing, often with a caption, or a strip of such drawings.
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Oct 19, 2023

Animation

Activities offered by a holiday resort encompassing activities that include movement, joy, leisure and spectacle, such as games, sports, shows, events, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

(comics) A drawing satirising current public figures.
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Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The act of animating, or giving life or spirit; the state of being animate or alive.
The animation of the same soul quickening the whole frame.
Perhaps an inanimate thing supplies me, while I am speaking, with whatever I possess of animation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

(arts) An artist's preliminary sketch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The state of being lively, brisk, or full of spirit and vigor; vivacity; spiritedness; as, he recited the story with great animation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

(arts) A full-sized drawing that serves as the template for a fresco, a tapestry, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The condition of living or the state of being alive;
While there's life there's hope
Life depends on many chemical and physical processes
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

(animation) An animated piece of film which is often but not exclusively humorous.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The property of being able to survive and grow;
The vitality of a seed
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Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A diagram in a scientific concept.
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Oct 19, 2023

Animation

Quality of being active or spirited or alive and vigorous
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

To draw a cartoon, a humorous drawing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The activity of giving vitality and vigour to something
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

(arts) To make a preliminary sketch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

The making of animated cartoons
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A design or study drawn of the full size, to serve as a model for transferring or copying; - used in the making of mosaics, tapestries, fresco pantings and the like; as, the cartoons of Raphael.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Animation

General activity and motion
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A large pictorial sketch, as in a journal or magazine; esp. a pictorial caricature; as, the cartoons of "Puck."
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

Same as comic strip.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A motion picture consisting of a series of frames, each being a photograph of a drawing rather than a frame produced by filming a scene of true action, and in which the objects are displaced slightly in succeeding frames so as to give the appearance of motion when projected as a motion picture on the screen. The types of characters portrayed in such films are often similar or identical to those in a comic strip.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A humorous or satirical drawing published in a newspaper or magazine
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A film made by photographing a series of cartoon drawings to give the illusion of movement when projected in rapid sequence
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

Draw cartoons of
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Cartoon

A cartoon is a simplified, exaggerated drawing or animation, often humorous.
The political cartoon in the newspaper cleverly satirized current events.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 23, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is animation?

The process of creating moving images from sequential still images.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What are the types of animation?

2D, 3D, traditional, stop-motion, and computer-generated.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is animation only for children?

No, animation appeals to all age groups and can cover a range of themes.
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Nov 28, 2023

How is animation used in education?

To simplify complex concepts and make learning more engaging.
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Nov 28, 2023

What defines a cartoon?

Simplified, often exaggerated drawings or animations, typically humorous.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can cartoons be for adults?

Yes, many cartoons are aimed at adults with sophisticated humor and satire.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Are cartoons always animated?

No, they can be single-panel drawings or animated series.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What is the purpose of political cartoons?

To comment on and satirize political and social issues.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

How long does it take to create an animation?

It varies widely, from weeks to years, depending on complexity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can animation be realistic?

Yes, especially with advanced CGI and 3D techniques.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Do cartoons only appear in newspapers?

No, they're also in magazines, online, and on television.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What's the difference between anime and cartoons?

Anime is a style of animation originating from Japan, often with distinct themes and visuals.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Do animations require a script?

Yes, most animations start with a script or storyboard.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What skills are needed for animation?

Artistic ability, technical skills, and storytelling.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

How do cartoons influence society?

By providing commentary and critique on societal issues.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Are cartoons easy to create?

Basic cartoons can be simple, but professional cartoons require skill.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is animation expensive to produce?

It can be, especially with high-quality CGI or 3D animation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Are cartoons considered art?

Yes, they are a form of artistic expression.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can animation be interactive?

Yes, especially in video games and online media.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can cartoons be educational?

Yes, they can be used to educate in a fun and engaging way.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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