The Zoetrope Village

‘An interactive and visually captivating exhibition of mind-boggling illusions and animation…’

What is it? What does a Zoetrope do?

A Zoetrope is a device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid succession of static images. It gives an impression of motion in pictures and was among the first experience of such an effect when development was most active in the 1830s.
What it is.

It originally consisted of a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. Beneath the slits on the inner surface of the cylinder is a band, which has individual frames of images from a set of sequenced drawings or photographs. As the cylinder spins the user looks through the slits at the pictures on the opposite side of the cylinders’ interior. This mechanism produces an illusion of action.

About ‘The Zoetrope Village.’

The installation comprises the following interactive Floor Display items: –

• The main Giant Zoetrope (stroboscope) is 2 Meters diameter X 2.4 meters high, requiring a 3-4 meter diameter space to allow up to 20 viewers to move around it at any one time.

• The Giant 3D Praxinoscope (mirrors) is physically 1.2 meters in diameter but with viewing distance optimum, allow 2 meters.

• 3 windmills are on ‘topple-proof’ floor mats and each requires 1 sq meter floor space, viewing is best from a couple of meters away.

• A ‘Rainwater Tank’, houses an animated 3D scene of Steve Irwin with a Koala, Kangaroo, Crocodile and Humming Bird. It is physically 1.2 meters in diameter but again is best viewed from 3 meters. The windmills are best grouped in proximity with this.

• There is a bicycle Thraumoscope that currently houses a parrot sitting on a branch.

• A ‘bench top’ supports 4 ‘hand crank’ operated original slotted style Zoetropes.

To accompany ‘The Zoetrope Village’, there are optional Zoetrope making workshops. Please contact us for more information.


There are many and varied Zoetrope’s currently existing, but this combination of ‘Australiana’ Zoetrope’s including the windmills is the only example of its kind worldwide.


With the exception of the Giant 3D praxinoscope, all the displays are activated by the viewer via push-buttons, hand crank or pedal power.

All the display items are colour schemed to coordinate them as a whole integrated collection.

Where it’s been.

‘The Zoetrope Village’ was custom made for ‘Floriade’ in Canberra in 2008 with images supporting the theme – ‘A history of Australian Cinema’.

It was later adapted in 2009, for Warrnambool Fun4 Kids (a key Victorian tourism event). The adaptation was to substitute the images from Australian cinema, to various sports, designed to appeal to a younger audience.

Its appearance at both events attracted standout feedback with striking testimonials.

‘The Zoetrope Village’ can be tailored to suit specific themes and we invite your enquiries via the contact email or phone.

Technical Specs.

• The complete collection occupies 38 sq meters and would well suit space of approximately 60 sq meters allowing for ample pedestrian access.

• Secure, Weatherproof, flat level floor.

• Power 240 V for 12 outlets capability.

• The collection should be maned by an attendant when open to the public.

• Custom-made safety barriers included.

• The display requires 1 day load in and out.

• Minimum exhibition period is 3 days, which translates as a 5 day engagement allowing for load days.