The zoetrope consists of a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. On the inner surface of the cylinder is a band with images from a set of sequenced pictures. As the cylinder spins, the user looks through the slits at the pictures across. The scanning of the slits keeps the pictures from simply blurring together, and the user sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of motion.
In 3D versions, a precisely-timed flashing light replaces the slits, creating the illusion of movement between the different figures.
The Toy Story-themed Pixar Zoetrope was on display at Disneyland California Adventure until it went on an international tour. Here’s another look: