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Posted on Oct 13, 2008 in Stuff We Like

History Animated – An Interview with Its Founder

By Jim H. Moreno

ACG: What was the spark that fired your creation and development of HistoryAnimated?

JC: I have read so many books on military history and have been always frustrated by the static nature of the maps. I had seen some basic animations on the web and decided that someone, maybe me, could do better. I am very visually oriented and find that creating the animations helps me understand what happened better than anything else I could do.

ACG: Do you have a specific target audience you created HistoryAnimated for?

JC: I get many requests from students to help with projects, or from military instructors asking for special downloads. Got one from a kid working on his Eagle Scout badge a couple days ago. The Pacific War site is part of a number of teaching schedules including the Singapore Military Academy and the largest Naval Maintenance Unit in the US military.


ACG: HistoryAnimated currently has two main subjects, the Pacific War and the Civil War. Why were those chosen to be the first to the website?

JC: I just love those two subjects. The great naval battles of World War II seemed to be perfect for animation. Take a look at Midway or Leyte Gulf. You could read several books and never get the same comprehension of the overall battles as with these animations.

ACG: What has been your favorite animation to create so far, and why?

JC: My favorites are Midway and The Overland Campaign – perhaps not the most professional, but they both tell incredibly complex stories in a simple manner. The scale of the Battle of Midway was enormous, as was Grant’s Overland Campaign.

I think I was proudest when the author of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of Midway highlighted me on his site after reviewing the Midway animation – which was only my second animation. It really affirmed that I was getting things right.

ACG: What is the next war to be added to HistoryAnimated?

JC: I am just about done with the Civil War and have been pondering that question. I believe that the Revolutionary War is next – coming late this year with "The Battle of Bunker Hill." I already have a real graphics designer working with me to improve the professionalism of the animations.

I am just in the exploratory stage for the Revolution War and am really developing better navigation methods, sound controls, and map techniques. I am just reading some introductory books to give me ideas.

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1 Comment

  1. I get an error message when I try to open the web site for
    It was a great site to learn history. I got hooked on the Midway animation. Any news of what became of Mr Cagney’s web site?


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