• Arbookshelfwide

    The Animated Review

Animation

Bookshelf: The guys at Animated Review pick their most inspirational books

Posted by Liv Siddall,

Sometimes animators are a mysterious little sector of the creative world, no one seems to really understand how they weave the magic that they do, and so it remains rather a wonderful mystery. The Animated Review are a bunch of animation-fiends who have set out to spread the word and curate the best animation from all over the world on their site and in a very nice little printed publication. Want to know which books inspire some moving image and cartoon fanatics? Onwards, dear reader…

  • Arkabinettdesjansvankmajer

    Das Kabinett Des Jan Švankmajer

Das Kabinett Des Jan Švankmajer

Despite his films being synonymous with stop motion, Jan Švankmajer wouldn’t consider himself an animator, but a film-maker and artist. This monograph, published by Verlag für Moderne Kunst to accompany an exhibition at Kunsthalle Wienin in 2011, is a comprehensive overview of Švankmajer’s entire body of work, covering his films, animation, drawings, collages, etchings, sculptures and even photography. The variety of inspirational work contained within these pages highlights the diverse skill and creativity of this internationally recognised and multi-talented individual, and reminds us that a true creative doesn’t limit themselves to one medium or style. Švankmajer isn’t just one of our favourite animators, he ranks highly as one our favourite artists.

  • Arjulianopieflipbook

    Julian Opie: Shahnoza Dancing In White Dress / Bra And Pants

Julian Opie: Shahnoza Dancing In White Dress / Bra And Pants

Optical toys like zoetropes, phenakistoscopes and flip-books embody the playful essence and the basic principles of animation. Published by Kit Grover in 2008, this gorgeous gilt-edged flip-book from artist Julian Opie captures his minimalistic graphic portraiture style in beautiful fluid motion.

  • Arjapanesemotiongraphics2013

    Japanese Motion Graphic Creators 2013

Japanese Motion Graphic Creators 2013

Independent Japanese animators always seem to be at the forefront of stylish contemporary animation. This annual retrospective, published by BNN, is a great showcase of current trends, emerging talents, and the best animation studios across Japan. The 2013 edition includes projects from more than 100 Japanese motion graphic designers with work ranging from hand-drawn to CGI, character narratives to abstract compositions, animated fragments to feature-length movie production, and everything in between. There is literally something for every animation enthusiast! Each volume also comes with a DVD including a selection of the films featured within the book, meaning you can enjoy the work as it’s meant to be seen on a screen rather than just as printed stills. We’re already looking forward to the 2014 edition!

  • Arpictoplasma

    Pictoplasma

Pictoplasma

Great design is essential in creating a memorable character-driven animated film. Pictoplasma have been at the cutting-edge of contemporary character design since 1999. In addition to hosting annual festivals, events, exhibitions and installations across the globe, they also infrequently publish compendiums of “character encyclopaedias.” These volumes are an invaluable and inspirational source of material for illustrators and animators alike. We’ve picked out the original Pictoplasma compilation, published in 2001 by Gestalten, but all their books are equally incredible!

  • Arhedgehoginthefog

    Yuri Norstein and Francesca Yarbusova: Hedgehog In The Fog

Yuri Norstein and Francesca Yarbusova: Hedgehog In The Fog

Hedgehog In The Fog is illustrated with Francesca Yarbusova’s original artwork and sketches created for the 1957 award-winning animated film of the same name, by Russian animator Yuri Norstein. Often cited as the best animated film of all time, the narrative translates beautifully as a lavishly illustrated children’s picture book. The story is about the adventures of the philosophical little Hedgehog on his way to meet with his friend Bear. Along the way the hedgehog enters into a mysterious fog in which he encounters a horse, a dog, an owl, and a fish. There are two other titles in the Norstein & Yarbusova Collection from Rovakada Publishing, The Fox and the Hare and Mishmash. They’re all stunningly produced publications, but Hedgehog in the Fog is by far the best!

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Animation View Archive

  1. Josephmann-int-1

    Remember that really racy animation about loads of people getting it on by the seaside? Well the guy behind it – 2009 It’s Nice That Graduate and now BlinkInk director Joseph Mann – is back with a fantastic new animation which is just as well-made, but maybe features less pubic hair. This time around, Joe has helped put together a music video for a band called Police Dog Hogan, featuring a crowd of ne’er do wells in a scummy old boozer, watching the band perform. In true Young Ones style, we are taken below the floorboards to where the rats live, and watch as they begin drinking the beer sloshed on the floor by the humans above. Fantastic animation by Joe, and a pretty high-quality, entertaining music video for a song that is essentially a love letter to the West Country.

  2. Davidgalasse-skate-int-main-

    Fun little short here from animator Antonio Vicentini with a little help from Brazilian designer David Galasse. Using a load of fluoro squiggles and some very good animating skills, the duo has put together an informative film about the history of skateboarding. A lot of people make projects about skating, but hardly anyone can pull off a five-minute-long animation about it without showing anyone actually skateboarding. That’s why this works so well: they went for the relaxed, rebellious vibe rather than just showing someone jump down some steps in a barren shopping mall, and it’s way more interesting for it. David actually designed a typeface especially, but the rest of the visuals were just stolen off the internet – which is just the icing on the cake. Great voiceover, too.

  3. Wongping-doggylove-int

    You know what it’s like when you’re of that age, when even the sight of certain pieces of fruit and veg can turn you on faster than you can say “wet dream.” Cantonese animator Wong Ping decided to take all of the cosmic lust he felt as a teenage boy, and channel it all into one seriously hot animation made exclusively for NOWNESS. Watch as a teenage boy becomes intensely obsessed with a girl in his class whose bosom is on her back, until he can take it no longer and starts placing objects in-between and and top of them without her noticing. Things get racy, then racier, but because it’s produced in Wong’s happy, colourful style, seeing people have sex and jerk off in the toilet isn’t even that weird. You know what is weird, though? Wong Ping’s interview over on NOWNESS, in which he says the first time he had a crush on a classmate he “sniffed inside her school bag and tried to lick her books. I was ashamed of myself and have suppressed my emotions ever since.” Okay…

  4. Joebichard-petportrait-8-int

    Joe Bichard has made a live-action tale of a failing relationship for Pet Portrait’s new release Holy Hologram, just in time for Valentine’s Day! The video is populated by expression-free wooden puppets, dancing, slapping bass and having very passive aggressive conversations. The puppeteer band’s gestures are spot on, the dancing suitably lazy and the bathroom scene ties it all together with watery aplomb. The video is accompanied by subtitles narrating the demise of yellow puppet and blue puppet’s relationship. Somehow the tone of the conversation translates through their faces that exclusively feature pointy noses, and you kind of empathise with the characters as they jiggle away from each other into the night.

  5. Field-resonate-identity-int-list

    As a rule conference identities err on the side of blandness, encapsulating complex ideas and disciplines with typographic treatments that do nothing to capture the imagination of their attendees. In fact even the word conference fails to get the creative juices flowing. Which is why Field’s work for the 2015 edition of Serbian tech festival Resonate is such an unusual and exciting addition to the visual language of talks-based events.

  6. David-oreilly-adult-swim-list

    David OReilly has always been a genius; a rare breed of provocative animator able to make us feel an extraordinary range and depth of emotion as we watch his crudely-rendered geometric characters live their lives on screen. His batshit crazy early animation Octocat Adventures won us over years ago as soon as that sad little eight-legged feline started screaming at the top of a hill. Since then he’s released two breathtakingly beautiful short films – Please Say Something and The External World – consulted on feature films like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Her and even directed and episode of Adventure Time.

  7. Mothcollective-ani-7-int_copy

    Locked-up boys making friends with forest spiders, factually incorrect celebrity biographies and the climate security agenda are just a few strings to Moth Collective’s bow. The London-based collective graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2010, and its most recent project is Planet Under Pressure an animation produced for Global Canopy Programme, a think tank working to demonstrate the importance of safeguarding tropical forests.

  8. Christian-borstlap-de-bijenkorf-int-list

    I always get excited when Christian Borstlap gets in touch. The director of creative agency Part Of A Bigger Plan has never sent me anything I didn’t want to feature, whether that’s slick animations of Wallpaper*’s design awards sculpture tessellating and metamorphosing with geometric precision or some paper-cut dragons swimming down the Yangtze – he always does things well.

  9. Reffmercy-old-english-int-list

    The past twelve months have been busy for Bristolian animator Ruffmercy as he’s knocked out video after video for the likes of Lily Allen, Run The Jewels, Danny Brown and Wiley, enticing them with his unique concoction of live action and hand-drawn animation. The latest addition to his stable of excellent videos is for Young Thug track Old English which sees him dispense with the live action altogether, going hell-for-leather on the animation in a disorientingly fast-paced spot. It’s a lyric video but not as we know it, with scraps of slang flying up on screen in a brightly-coloured, childlike scrawl. And while I don’t actually have a clue what “slimes,” “boolin’” or “Mollies” are, I get the impression – and you will too – that the subject of the song is drug-related. Chop that chicken down!

  10. Adam_wells_breaching_the_seawall_1

    Modern Love, as with any love, can be a painful, difficult thing; but also one that can save us from loneliness, and make us feel safe when the world feels like a frightening place. It can make us see a new city in bright colours where before it was grey, and it can also crush us. These vacillations between fear and warmth, joy and pain, and a heart swelling and being later torn apart into nuts and bolts is explored beautifully in this animation by Adam Wells, which brings to life a story in The New York Times’ Modern Love series by Laurel Fantauzzo entitled Breaching the Seawall.

  11. Doug-hindson-disconnect-int8

    Maybe it’s because it’s January and yesterday was officially the most suicidal day of the year, but something about this animation really threw me. It was something to do with the throbbing pain in my thumbs from playing too much Candy Crush Soda Saga (in bed, on the train, in the bath) and that numb-eyed sensation that comes from scrolling through Twitter like a dead person, and refreshing Facebook without even knowing I’m doing it. Technology, as much affection we have for it, is a barrage of information that we don’t know how to handle – and the amount of time we engage with it is spiralling out of control.

  12. Menard-list

    We seem to be following Nicolas Ménard’s progress like a sort of online This is Your Life – and as I was studying with him until last summer, were we to take that idea to its conclusion, there’s an opportunity to bring out friends and family for some song-and-dance nostalgia.

  13. List

    A lot can happen in a day. And when a lot of things happen, you get a lot of pictures, as shown to rather mind-blowing effect in Parag K. Mital and Evan Boehm’s video collage Untitled No. 1 – a piece composed entirely of images collected from the previous 24 hour news cycle. The day in question was 10 December last year, though the pair is now releasing the video with some superbly searing, brutal new music by Rob Hart.