Animation Archive

  1. Sophie-list

    Chances are if you’ve ever been a teenager, had a passing interest in indie and/or punk and have had even the most fleeting dealings with the creative industries you’ve owned a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. Well, exciting news is a-foot (see what we did there?), as the brand is about to launch the Chucks’ sassy new little brother, the Chuck II. We’re still not sure what they’ll be like yet, but in the run-up to their grand un-boxing the brand has commissioned a series of artists to create artworks based around the idea underpinning the new shoe, “obsession.”

  2. Jack-sacks-itsnicethat-list

    If you don’t already know of Jack Sachs’ name, now is the time to sit up and take note. The London-based illustrator, animator and brain behind that beautiful animation of a workshop that took us all by storm last year was picked out as one of our ones to watch a few months back, and he has since racked up a series of commissions that put his 3D renders and animation skills to the test. Between drawing up some unmissable feature pages for the SS15 issue of POP magazine, and beginning a new and ongoing project for NTS Radio which includes some psychedelic, hyperactive visuals to satisfy even the shortest of attention spans, he’s also whipped up CGI design for the most recent episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, and made a clothing design for a collection by Lazy Oaf. What did we tell you, eh?

  3. Agile-films-action-man-its-nice-that-list

    Sometimes the most disturbing, troubling but important things are best delivered with dark humour and a large dose of the unexpected. Such is the case in this powerful animation from Veterans for Peace, which sends up an advert for Action Man figures to drive home their campaign to end child recruitment into the British Armed Forces and raise the age people can join from 16 to 18.

  4. Nudinits-its-nice-that-list-

    In one of the more surreal email missives I have received, Sarah Simi informed me of her equally surreal labour of love: an entirely hand-knitted stop motion animation set in a charming little town called Woolly Bush. All of its quaint inhabitants are totally starkers, save the odd pearly king hat, vicar’s collar or socks and sandals combo. Named Nudinits and animated by Ed Hartwell, the detail is extraordinary: from tiny bubbles on beer and a little cat poop to some woolled-up bible passages, nothing has been missed.

  5. Animade-itsnicethat-list

    Tennis season is definitely in full swing now with the first game of Wimbledon kicking off (or whatever the tennis equivalent is) today. What better way to usher in the quintessentially British tournament than with some animation from our favourites Animade. Originally created for last month’s 2015 French Open as part of IBM’s interactive campaign for the tournament, eight animations and illustrations were displayed via large-scale advertisements around Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Roland-Garros tennis stadium.

  6. Coda-itsnicethat-list

    When an animation manages to clock up more than 20 international film awards and an Oscar shortlist nomination you can be fairly sure it’s going to warrant taking nine minutes out of your busy morning – nine minutes you might have spent making coffee, or smoking, or chatting to a babe in HR – to watch. Coda is a short film by Dublin-based animation studio And Maps And Plans, which follows one lost soul’s drunken stumble home from a nightclub in the early hours of the morning. What starts as a warmly depicted story about drunk antics quickly transforms into a quiet reflection on life and mortality that will stick with you all day. At the risk of ruining the surprise I’ll stop there, but if you have them to spare, this might be the most wisely spent nine minutes you use all day.

  7. Wong-ping-itsnicethat-list

    I’m finding more and more these days that when an email from Mr Wong Ping lands in my inbox, my day immediately becomes ten times more fun. This is partly due to Wong’s email manner, and partly due to his inimitable ability to pick up on subjects which have never before been covered in animation.

  8. Sean-pecknold-nicolas-godin-orca-its-nice-that-list

    “When I first heard this song, I was like: Whuuuuuuuuu…. this rules. Then I listened to it for a few days on repeat with my eyes closed,” says director Sean Pecknold of his brilliant new video for one-half-of-Air Nicolas Godin’s new release.

  9. Blur-ong-ong-video-its-nice-that-list

    Anyone who’s ever watched the Damien Hirst-directed video for Blur’s Country House will be aware of the band’s guitarists Graham Coxon’s exemplary ability to look very, very uncomfortable. Poor thing, all bespectacled and writing about in a big brash bath that might as well be frothing over with cocaine and New Labour arrogance as with Matey bubbles. So imagine how the poor guy must have reacted to being told he had to dress as a sort of overgrown fuzzy flea, while front man Damon prances about in a large ice-cream cone costume. These are just some of the very surreal capers we see in the brand new video for Ong Ong, directed by Tony Hung, with illustrations by Spencer Wilson and using animation by Amy Sutton, Pete Mellor and Layla Atkinson at Trunk Studio.

  10. Marc-and-emma-bts-itsnicethat-list

    Clicking onto Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels’ portfolio site is something like tentatively stepping into a fantasy world inhabited by felt miniatures. Having previously concocted this magical short about woollen wrestling puppets, the Ghent-based filmmaking duo is now back with a new and equally enchanting puppet creation, and this time it’s a sweet, tiny green gorilla.

  11. Universaleverything-sydneyoperahouse-itsnicethat-list

    It may be my former life as a hack but there’s something about the word “biggest” that always piques my interest. That said, ambition only gets you so far and you can’t sacrifice skill or style in a headlong rush for scale. With Universal Everything though, you needn’t worry. On Friday the studio created its largest projection to date, lighting up the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House with hand-drawn animations from 22 of the world’s best creatives. Every year the landmark commissions an artist to work on its curves and Matt Pyke and his team jumped at the chance to take on an opportunity that “epitomises everything we strive for.”

  12. Brian-wilson-california-inspires-me-its-nice-that-list-

    We didn’t really need an animation to tell us how much California has inspired The Beach Boys. But nonetheless, when a sweet, pencil-drawn Brian Wilson is telling us exactly why through a beautifully crafted animation by James Blagden, we’re certainly not complaining. Aside from obvious cues like songs called California Girls and the less well-received California Saga: California; the band is synonymous with surfing and the US West Coast, though as many a pub bore has been swift to point out, only one member of the band, Dennis, actually surfed. However, throughout the animation’s two-and-a-half minutes we do learn a lot. “I was listening to Rubber Soul one night and I was so blown away I went straight to my piano to start writing Pet Sounds. I was like outta my mind. And it took us an hour – only about an hour to write God Only Knows.”

  13. Lie

    In Chinese animator Lei Lei’s newest piece of work the words Missing One Player hint at something devastating – a world in which an incomplete group of Mahjong players, are waiting to find the missing person needed to play their tile-based board game as the earth hurtles towards an unnamed planet.

  14. Treat-studios-adultswim-idents-its-nice-that-list

    As anyone who’s seen pretty much anything to emerge from the Adult Swim network will testify, its output is pretty darned weird. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a help-I-feel-sick way, but perhaps that’s because I never have been and never will be a teenage boy. For its no-holds-barred bonkersness and gross-out mentality, it must surely be a dream for many animators to work for the brand. So Treat Studios, which has created the latest Adult Swim trailers, were understandably chuffed to be commissioned for the project “completely out of the blue.”

  15. Unnamed-1

    GIFs are just a part of life now, like shoes or the BBC. In a world overrun with these oddly satisfying little snippets of expression, the general vibe of GIFs so far has been leaning much more on the quantity level than the quality. When you find yourself scrolling cross-eyed through the internet and you come across GIFs with such delicate majesty such as these by Rebecca Mock, it hits you like a pixelated smack in the face. Rebecca is an illustrator from New York who creates exquisite digital illustrations for the likes of The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Medium among others. Her illustrations are subtle and somewhat tender moments represented in GIF form, un-showy and delicate. Sometimes the only thing moving in the whole image is a flashing light on a laptop, or the endless sideways scroll of an iPad. How refreshing to see someone leaping on this medium, and using it to illustrate the strange new digital world we’re in.

  16. Artandgraft-thewalk-itsnicethat-list

    I sometimes feel like animators have things pretty tough. There they are, working slavishly away until the wee hours of the morning making still imagery appear to move naturally and by the end of the day what do they have to show for it? About five seconds worth of footage. Gruelling stuff!

  17. Schooloflife-love-itsnicethat-list

    The School of Life’s raison d’etre is to develop emotional intelligence in its audience, meaning they’re experienced in being confrontational with philosophical thought. But their latest short film is even more challenging than we’ve come to expect. In it we’re told repeatedly that love is an illusion and we’re all painfully and unavoidably alone. Then just as the weight of this message sinks in we’re asked to forget about the whole thing and get on with our lives as we were. Emotional rollercoaster!

  18. Montypython-itsnicethat-main

    I had forgotten the majesty of The Galaxy Song until this morning when Stephen Hawking decided to cover it in honour of Monty Python’s stage show. The rascal has recorded his version of the beautifully written song which is accompanied by an endearingly shit little video featuring him on his wheelchair whizzing off into the cosmos as he sings.

  19. Beach-bums-itsnicethat-list

    Beach Bums by The Great Nordic Sword Fights is the kind of animation that should come with some kind of a warning – and not because it contains any illicit materials, just because it feels something like Spongebob Squarepants on acid. Created by director duo Ricky Jonsson Jr and Kristel Brinshot for an episode of American cable network Adult Swim’s Off the Air, it features a motley crew of hairy psychedelic creatures surfing wildly through a tropical ocean to a digital soundtrack by Groundislava, interrupted only by the pursuit of what might be a giant poo floating through the ocean.

  20. Hands-int-7-list

    Nicolas Herenstein’s Hands animation studio specialises in bright, bold vector animations, typically used for advertising and informing. Need to tell the world to get on social media for the duration of the Tour de France? Hands’ll do it. Want to encourage people to vote in the next election? Call Hands. Or maybe you’ve got a museum dedicated to the Olympics that you’d appreciate some visitors for. Not a problem; Hands has got it covered, and they’ll probably make your customers chuckle a bit too!

  21. Animade-propz-int-list

    “Ball sack!” reads the intro to this great new video for Animade, though it’s so gorgeous it didn’t even need something that puerile to lure us in. The film showcases the results of the studio’s Propz project, which sees it create an animation based around a prop suggested by the public. As such, the topics range from the pedestrian (fridges, shoelaces) to the surreal and phallic (wizard wand) and the rude – our aforementioned Ball Sack. All ten of the Propz pieces in one animation makes for a superb piece of work; charming, baffling, hilarious and utterly compelling. Our heart goes out to the sticky-taped cats at the end. We’re sure they’ll be just fine…

  22. Beakus-philippa-perry-int-list

    It’s been an impressive fortnight at Beakus HQ with great animations coming thick and fast from their team of directors. Last week we lapped up their exploration of the origins of the Magna Carta for the British Museum, in which Gergely Wootsch’s drawings were expertly combined with Terry Jones’ distinctive voice.

  23. Beakus-bl-14-int

    With a voiceover from Monty Python’s Terry Jones, Beakus’ animation commemorating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta takes us back to mediaeval England and Bad King John. Commissioned by the British Library for their exhibition Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy, the animation was inspired by the colours and motifs in mediaeval ornaments and tells the story of our origins of liberty through jiggly paper and characters with bulbous bodies and tiny heads.

  24. Dischi-list-2

    The idea of an archive conjures up images of dusty shelves and forgotten artefacts, but in the case of Emilio Pucci, nothing could be further from the truth. The Italian fashion brand is renowned for its vibrant geometric prints and now three of them are being given a new lease of life thanks to an eye-catching collaboration with Orlebar Brown.

  25. Californiasunday-markmothersbaugh-int-main

    When you hear the words “branded content” you probably don’t get that excited, right? Well, times are changing. No longer do brands want to settle for something that isn’t going to whet the imagination of an audience, and so they’re recruiting fantastic creatives and partnering with cool platforms to make it actually worth everyone’s time. With this in mind, check out this pretty breathtaking animation created by Google Play in collaboration with Creative Sunday.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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…

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. Main

    Just as I was wondering nervously if Laura Marling had gone and got lost in the wilderness of Joshua Tree for good, she’s gone and announced a new album – hoorah! Just like Beyonce, Laura has accompanied the sudden announcement of her new songs with a video: a truly beautiful little animation from London studio Art & Graft. Featuring a few drops of ink transforming slowly into a wild, headstrong horse galloping through a desert to a world unknown, this powerful little piece of film is enough to remind us of Laura’s own majesty. The rather moving essay on her brand new website backs this up perfectly. Welcome back Laura, you’ve been missed.

  40. Main1

    I think I’m safe in saying that fans of Panda Bear, the pseudonym of Noah Lennox of Animal Collective, are probably pretty into video games. I’m also sure that those who are into video games (myself included) are also fans of the good vs. evil storyline prevalent in most games and a lot of films that resemble games, Studio Ghibli etc. There is pure beauty in the little guy overcoming the big baddie, or the idea of friends working together to solve a puzzle, or to override some kind of evil power.