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    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!

Ls-300

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

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    Nothing helps the brain learn better than a good old visual aid, so what better way to tackle Harvard’s online neuroscience course than to watch these clever animations.

  2. Listtttt

    Lumiere Studios’ experiments in RealFlow software seamlessly flow out of the territory of tech and funnel into something rather lovely. The London-based animation design and production studio has uploaded a number of its tinkerings that showcase the software’s Hybrido system, taking the viewer through an impressive behind-the-scenes look at how it builds up simulations of gushing water. Stripped of their drama, the animations have a quiet pathos about them. As the building-blocks of the final effects, the vivid blues of the Truck Street video seem all the more arresting, silently flooding the streets and washing away their contents. In the museum animation, different volumes of fluid are contrasted against the eerie steps, elevating the experiment into something quite dazzling in its own right.

  3. Ffff

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    If, like me, you spent many an hour in your teenage years gazing absentmindedly at Larry Carlson’s experimental website Medijate, you’ll no doubt be similarly transfixed by The Landfill from the very talented Santtu Mustonen. Stitching together a “collection of unused sketches, leftover drawings and rejected ideas from forgotten projects” to a mesmerising soundtrack by Tuomas Alatalo, Santtu created a hypnotic animation that’s a work of art in its own right.

  5. List

    Spanish DJ duo The Zombie Kids are bringing some colour and mischief to the world with their track BOOM ft. Snoop Dogg, by enlisting the creative talents of Sawe under the direction of Tomás Peña to create a genius animated video. With hip beats and Snoop Dogg’s badass tones, the narrative sees a cheeky hoodlum, an old floppily-jowled man and a rotund police officer battling against each other, driven by their desire to be graffiti artists.

  6. List

    Animator and director Tom Jobbins has just been signed to Pulse Films where his first assignment was a video for Tune-Yards’ latest single Real Thing. Never one for subtlety in her promotional films, Tune-Yards’ Merril Garbus already has a roster of punchy, colour-saturated films to her name, so Tom was tasked with creating something that stood up to its predecessors in vibrance and impact, as well as keeping things fresh to move things on for the new album.

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    A few years back illustrator Rob Hunter produced his debut graphic novel The New Ghost, a story about a novice spirit befriending a troubled astronomer. It was a simple, ethereal tale that left no doubt in our minds that Rob was a burgeoning talent in the comics scene. It obviously made an impact on electronic musician Jon Hopkins too, as he’s just commissioned Rob to lend his illustration skills – and his lonely ghost – to his latest EP Asleep Versions. The two make a fitting pair with Jon’s ambient compositions mixing seamlessly with Rob’s subtle, other-wordly imagery. To top it all off they’ve just released this snappy teaser too, in which animator Sean Weston has brought the ghost to life – a truly breathtaking achievement.

  8. Main

    I wonder how many projects have been inspired by the treacherous, but often successful world of online dating. Matchmaking is no new thing – for years lonely hearts columns have been providing people with hilarious stories to recount to their pals, and even actual mates who they can breed with. Saying that, I haven’t seen a project that sums up the sheer oddness of the modern world of online dating as fantastic as David Luepschen’s Chit Chat Roulette. His perfect stop-motion animation sees a cast of unsightly but sometimes kinda cute creatures competing to find a lover through a Chat Roulette-esque platform. Funny, engaging, weird and with some very talented voiceovers, this is the only kind of animation I ever really want to watch. You can check out some excellent behind-the-scenes making-of shots over on his site.

  9. List

    It’s a truism now that graphic design students often end up doing something quite different, and Eoin Duffy is a good example of someone who pursued another kind of creative path. But few have enjoyed the same success as the Irish-born, Vancouver-based animator, whose latest work The Missing Scarf was feted by almost every film organisation worth its salt. It was even nominated for an Oscar, and now the full version has just been released online you can see for yourself what all the fuss was about.

  10. Main1

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  12. Main

    A few weeks back we posted about a music video for a band called Plurabelle which was directed by Mattis Dovier. Curious as to how he had created the pixel effect, we ventured into his online portfolio which was like an Aladdin’s Cave of excellent, juicy GIFs. What is it about GIFS? Why the appeal? There is something inexplicably wonderful about seeing or hearing something on a loop, it seems naughty – something you shouldn’t waste your time doing, like throwing a ball against a wall or spitting over a bridge. I think we can all agree that the best GIFS out there show people (or dogs) hurting themselves or being clumsy in some way, which is why Mattis’ violent and very well-crafted selection went down so well with us. Our favourite? The running sumo or the motorbike spin, hands down.

  13. Main

    Collage is definitely up there amongst the plasticines and the papier machés on my list of top ten media, and this short animation by Amy Lockhart and Marc Bell only makes me like it even more. It was made a grand total of five years ago which is basically a lifetime in the online world, and though Amy is still busily animating, painting and drawing like nobody’s business this is still the film in her portfolio that I love the most.