One of the first animated films is The Cameraman's revenge
, an incredible, bizarre, and funny film made in 1912 by Wladyslaw Starewicz, using actual insects.
He later went on to make a stop-motion masterpiece, The Mascot
, which has an incredible sequence that clearly influenced such contemporary animators as Tim Burton. (My own short, Paper Stairs, which you can see on my portfolio website
was inspired by the tiny little scrap of paper characters you see here and there in this sequence).