When one speaks about the stars of cinema, one always thinks of actors and actresses which - for a century - have filled the screens; which have turned into heroes and heroines of thousands of stories in which we have suffered, loved, laughed and cried with them. They have become a fundamental part of our audiovisual culture. Every genre has had its own glamorous stars - stars we envy for their physical appearance, for their grace and sometimes for their haughty way of acting.
The animation cinema also has had its stars - even though we look at them with less envy than at those of the 'real' screen. Mickey, Betty Boop, Popeye, Donald, Bugs Bunny, Lucas and a lot of other animated actors and actresses have tried to convert animation into cinema, even though for some people it may still be hard to acknowledge that.
This text intends to unite the two worlds one can encounter in the shots of a film - the "real" world of the actors and actresses (the mythic ones as well as the secondary ones) and the unreal world of the animated films. That is what we mean by animated stars - finding examples in which real artists of flesh and blood have been represented in animation films as drawings, dolls or whatever else the animators came up with. They may be caricatures or realistic reproductions. Yet, they are always seen on the other side of the mirror - identifiable by their features (even though these are animated shot by shot.) The review that we are planning to undertake here encompasses silent films as well as recent works. But we are not claiming to be exhaustive. Apart from being pedantic, it would also be absurd to search for the smallest appearance in the most remote film. We wanted to offer - in the most entertaining way possible - a series of films that cover this extraordinary history of cinema. A history in which one talks about animation and the real image, of animated drawings and of other techniques, of actors of flesh and ink, of actresses of blood and paper, of artists working with plasticine and wood that have ventured to go one step further within their alternating careers.