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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

  1. Kenzhero3

    There’s nothing fishy about Thomas Traum’s films. Apart from all the fish. These five animations made for KENZO’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection are oozing cool. Taking ten patterns from this season and riffing on its Pacific coast theme, the German designer has reminded us why we once called films “motion pictures.” The way these prints are made to move and the manner in which he has magicked up a story from a pattern is exactly what is interesting about the films. His animated illustrations whirl you along with the waves and through the water, past palm fronds swaying in the breeze, flocks of wiggling fish and almost imperceptible little surfboards. It’s simple, yet mesmerising.

  2. List

    If the sole intention of animation was to create visuals nothing short of magical then Parabella would get my vote as the very best in the game every single time. The “young but experienced Bafta award-winning animation studio” (their words) co-founded by Mikey Please and Daniel Ojari has made truly astounding work from the off, gathering up awards alike they were marbles hard-won in the playground. Hard-won being the operative term here; the six minute-long stop-motion film was a year in the making, and features, as Parabella explain, “the voice of comedy wiz Josie Long, one zillion hand-carved tiny things, literally tens of carved foam puppets, two eyefuls of in-camera, long-exposure light trickery and a pair of tiny dolphins, smooching.” Safe to say, the efforts paid off; the final short is a masterpiece of patience and enchanting filmmaking.

  3. List

    Ever since it was announced earlier this year that FOX was working on a Simpsons and Family Guy crossover hour-long special, fans of one or both shows have been interested to see how it would work. And yesterday they got their first glimpse when a five-minute excerpt was screened at Comic_Con which gives us a taste how these two cartoon competitors will be joined in creative matrimony. So it seems we can expect beer, bonding, brawls and bitchiness when the Griffins wind up in Springfield; consider our appetites well and truly whetted.

  4. Main

    Simple story, this one. A man gets a new next door neighbour and watches her through a hole in the wall (don’t try this at home, folks) and one day when she returns from a jog he gives her an ice lolly. Wanting to see her eat the lolly he looks through the hole but sees her instead dabbing it on her sweaty armpits. Enraged, he breaks into her house every day for the next few weeks when she’s out and wrings out her clothes into a bottle to make sweat ice lollies from there-on out. You know someone’s a consistently entertaining animator if the top comment on their Vimeo is: “Wow! you finally made something that is safe for work.” Bravo Wong Ping, bravo!

  5. List

    To tell the truth, when I heard that Morph’s creator was bringing him back around again for another go, I wanted to hate it. Being a true child of the 90s I feel like our little orange plasticine friend belongs solely to that era, and to attempt to bring him back for the soiled, desensitised, X-Box-obsessed youth of today is akin to animating Rosie & Jim and plonking them on a speedboat with a robot where the duck should be.

  6. List

    Self-initiated projects are the best, aren’t they? I think of them as an excuse to peel the dollar signs off your eyeballs and replace them with love-hearts for a while, and more often than not it’s a transaction that pays off a hundredfold in the long run.

  7. Main

    There’s nothing quite like when someone takes something you associate with your innocent childhood and uses it to slap you across the face with a controversial, dark statement. That’s what Greenpeace tend to do to get their point across, and boy does it work. Their most recent plea is directed at LEGO, urging them to discontinue the production of kits for children that are emblazoned with the Shell logo. I’ve seen a lot of LEGO parodies in my time here at It’s Nice That, but none have made me feel dark to my very core like this one did – nothing says wake up and address this horrible issue more than smiling children’s toys drowning in a sea of black oil. Bravo Greenpeace.

  8. Main

    Anyone that played (and now misses) Monument Valley will love this new animation from Fabrice Le Nezet. It was a bit weird to get an email from Fabrice with this animation, as last time we checked up on him he was making enormous sculptures of metal and stone. People change I guess. Anyway, what he’s doing now with the help of Benjamin Mousquet and Raphael Azel Martinez is totally fine by us, as it’s one of the most spectacular and unique animations we’ve seen in a very long while. Watch as teeny little men manoeuvre their way around a monochromatic, cubist landscape and get chased by enormous marbles and climb the infinite stairs of winding minarets. It isn’t as weird as it sounds, but it is seriously impressive, enjoy.

  9. List

    There’s no shortage of comics, books, films and radio programmes that deal with the subject of dystopian futures. If you believe the predictions of our greatest sci-fi auteurs, the distant future will be one in which governmental control is complete and our civil liberties and basic human rights lie in tatters; emotion, procreation and relaxation banned in favour of order and efficiency.

  10. List

    One of my favourite columns in the New York Times, apart from all of the important news bits of course, is Modern Love. While I’ve only been able to read the ones they publish online, it’s still a fascinating glimmer into the absolute highs and desperate lows of love. The stories and the honesty within them are what make them so compelling and because love is so universal you can somehow connect with each author.

  11. List

    Whenever Tom Darracott and Carl Burgess join forces the results are spectacular. The two directors and digital specialists are experts at creating polished 3D-generated worlds that feel part computer game, part hyper-real dream – every element a slightly altered version of a recognisable, real-world object. Even when they’re advertising clothes the pair produce unconventional results that delight and disorientate your eyes with their effortless surrealism. Their latest campaign for Loft is no exception, showing the brand’s brightly coloured collection folding itself into a state of geometric order.

  12. List

    Of all of the areas of art and design that I write about on a daily basis, animation is probably the one that falls furthest from my realm of understanding. No matter how many behind-the-scenes pictures I stare open-mouthed at, or how many conversations I have about the hours that went into constructing one perfect shot, I’m absolutely torn between disbelief that anybody has the patience for such a meticulous process and relief that somebody has the right composure for it.

  13. List

    If you haven’t yet found yourself clicking waywardly through to Patatap only to while away several hours idly composing beautiful melodies and weirdly syncopated rhythms when you were meant to be working towards that deadline, then frankly I don’t know what you’ve been doing. We found the website a little while back, but little did we know at the time that it was created by the spectacular mind of Jono Brandel who was also responsible for Anitype, or that it would swiftly be used to create some incredibly elaborate pieces which spread like wildfire online.