Why are movie closing credits usually animated by scrolling them from the bottom to the top of the screen? Is this because in old times there was no computer animation and the credits text template was scrolled-up mechanically by a man/device? Nowadays there must be thousands of possible ways for credit frame transitions, but still the old one is preferred.

  • @Tetsujin Do not lock yourself only into scrolling. Text can be shown in a lot of ways. Question is why scrolling is preferred at all instead of other ways of animation. Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 11:09
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    Many movies - often cartoons - have a myriad interesting ways of getting you to watch the headliner credits... but then they get into the other 1000 people it takes to make a movie & all creativity goes out the window.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 11:11
  • For whatever it's worth, in a lot of old movies the credits didn't scroll from the bottom to the top of the screen, there was some intro animation showing people's names on slides. Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


Because this is the most natural and comfortable way of reading a vertical list of credits.

While the major credited actors/film crew can enjoy fancy transforms on their listings, it would become exhausting to see the names of rest of the bazillion film crew members to be similarly displayed.

Horizontal scrolling won't really work because someone's name/role will invariably scroll off one side before you have a chance to read it (especially when there's a full screen-full of names).

Generally, producers want you to see the full list as quickly as reasonably possible (especially as all of these people worked hard for you to enjoy that movie).

  • It can also be expensive and add up quickly if they display blocks of names in fancy themed fonts vs the standard white font that you normally see. On top of that, it can potentially take less time to continuously scroll vs putting a block up at a time. Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 16:36

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