Animation Archive

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    Hey remember PES? Sure you do, he’s the guy who does mind-bending stuff with stop motion animation (like this and this), combining incredible technical skill with charm and wit. So when KesselsKramer wanted a film as part of their campaign launching the new citizenM hotel in New York’s Times Square, they knew who to call. OK so they might have emailed, but the point is PES was exactly the person who could take the campaign’s cliche-busting message to dizzy new heights.

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    A well-shot film is judged by its ability to be paused and resemble a beautiful photograph. Similarly, in animation, each time the film is paused it should really resemble a very well-drawn, wall-worthy illustration. This film by the After Effects wizard that is Nexus’ Johnny Kelly and writer Scott Burnett does just that, and simultaneously promotes young people designing stuff at the same time.

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    I have a reputation here in the It’s Nice That studio for being somewhat conservative so excuse me if this is a little awkward. The Jullien brothers aka Jean and Nicolas have produced a new video for The Cowards’ new single Statues and I’m not going to lie to you, it’s pretty smutty. But you know what? These guys can make even the most filth-tastic act seem kind of charming, such is their animation prowess. So sit back and submit to the naughtiness and let’s never talk of this again.

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    Illustration and animation are often typecast as mediums for kids, and while usually we take enormous pleasure in digging up evidence to prove this isn’t the case, occasionally it is true. Especially when it comes to finding a way to take boring, patronising adult advice and making it fun and engaging for younger generations. Cottoning on swiftly to this home truth, the UK’s very dully-named Internet Advertising Bureau commissioned illustrator Dominic Owen and animator Will Samuel to make a short illustration educating kids about internet ads.

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    The rules are you can’t wear a denim jacket with metal patches on unless you are GENUINELY into it. The heavy metal rule book does not state, however, that you can’t make a ludicrously ambitious animation inspired by the patches that have forever been sewn directly on to its very heart. Nice, creative young men Tom Bunker and Nicos Livesy have decided to drop what they’re doing and embark on this very mission, and are in the process of raising money to complete the most intricate, time consuming, metal-inspired, embroidered animation for Nicos’ band, Throne. Is there anything more metal than pouring your blood sweat and tears into something absolutely shitting awesome? Didn’t think so. Get your mind blown even more (particularly in the “process section”) over here on their Kickstarter.

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    Travel back, dear reader, to the day you were struggling with an enormous black portfolio on the way to a town you’d never heard of to blow the trumpet of your questionable artistic merit. If only Andy Baker and Thomas Slater had been in the carriage you eagerly perched in to give you some sage advice on how to go about your art school career. This short animation is a must-see for anyone about to embark, or even midway through a creative degree – full of tongue-in-cheek reminders of token university jargon such as collaboration, self expression and thinking outside the box. Thank you Thomas and Andy! Not just for a really, really enjoyable and informative animation, but also for that little naked alien penis at 1:42.

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    Short films can often fall into the trap of a jarring sentimentality, but Alice Dunseath perfectly treads the line between quiet grief and witty observations about those around her in this beautiful animated short. Hunting for Hockney documents the journey she and a friend made to find David Hockney’s Yorkshire home in the midst of the grief of losing a loved one, and the frustrating difficulties of organising a funeral. Sad and funny in equal parts, she succeeds brilliantly in capturing the otherworldly pastel colours of English landscape with fragile snaking lines, intertwining the soft Yorkshire accents of people they happen to meet and elevating Hockney to an lamppost mystical figure in the process.

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    We’ve all been there, sitting on a plane awaiting take-off and the in-flight safety video comes on. For most of us the reaction is apathy and boredom, perhaps even tinged with annoyance – one of air travel’s grating rituals. So when Art&Graft won the commission to re-do Virgin Atlantic’s pre-flight offering, they embraced the truism that passengers tend to endure rather than enjoy these films.

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    You know that weird limbo that occurs halfway between sleep and wakefulness where you can see hundreds of tiny images flickering over the insides of your eyelids in very quick succession but you don’t know quite how to describe it? Imagine that sensation enhanced 100-fold by a strong dose of sleep hormone melatonin, and then imagine trying to recreate the vision with animation. Tricky, no? This is exactly what Emanuele Kabu does with It’s Called “Moon”.

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    We’ve been huge fans of Stefan Glerum’s work since we came across him way back in 2010. His distinctive ligne-claire style is fused with a colour palette that borrows from Toulouse Lautrec and vintage sci-fi posters with extraordinary results. He’s also got a penchant for the weird that we can’t get enough of. That said, we weren’t expecting him ever to venture into animation, or to be as delighted with the results when he did. But his debut piece of film for Dutch electro band RipTide is as stunning a piece of animation as we’ve laid eyes on in ages, drawing on the very best of his illustrative style and elevating it with cinematic storytelling and slick production from crooked line.

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    There are many ways you can go about telling the world how great a table is. You can use technical specifications, photogenic models or testimonials from design world heavyweights. But this is the best way to do it as far as we’re concerned; get illustrator and animation director Celyn to produce a lovely 2D film showing how the Barber and Osgerby designed Vitra Map Table can play an integral role in the creative world. Individualy many of the aspects seem simple – including the storyline of a young woman developing her own studio and the visual elements themselves – but taken as a whole it all comes together to create seething both charming and communicative. Lovely stuff.

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    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…

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    In honour of the relaunch of Carl Burgess’ More Soon site (the home of his team’s phenomenal work) I’ve gone through and watched every single piece of film and 3D animation to choose the “best bit” to post today. I’ve seen in-store visuals for Prada, a stunning collaboration with Jonathan Zawada, Thomas Traum, Tom Darracott and Pharell Williams, re-watched his video for Ratatat’s Drugs and enjoyed some lovely fashion films for Kenzo.

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    To announce the results of the 2014 Wallpaper* Design Awards, Christian Borstlap and his team at Part Of A Bigger Plan have produced this beautifully simple film that takes us through the roster of judges and winners one by one. But why should you watch this video when you could just read the names from a list? Well, the guys at Part Of A Bigger Plan are particularly adept at crafting terrifically slick animations and this one is no exception to that rule, showing off the winning fashion, architectural and interior collections with geometric precision and style. Enjoy!

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    We’re not ones for gushing, sweeping statements (cough) BUT this is the best film we’ve ever seen. Remember Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared? The video that managed to sum up the perils of creativity in both a hilarious and utterly terrifying way? Well, if you don’t then go and rectify that immediately. Once you’re done, have a look at Becky and Joe’s latest creation – a magnificent, hysterical, gruesome, surprising, spectacular sequel, aptly named Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 2 which deals with the rather broad, universal theme of time.

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    Berlin-based sound designer David Kamp has worked for all the best animators around. You name them, he’s collaborated with them, from cult directors like David O’Reilly and Johnny Kelly, experimental studios like Quayola and Sagmeister & Walsh to MTV and Google. Why do they all go to him for him music and sound effects? Because he’s really, really good at making sensational sounds that add depth and emotion to already beautiful moving image pieces.

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    This animation is described as “a film for everyone who has ever been on a shit night out,” and is a super-fun tribute to those evenings in dingy clubs where the music is too loud, the drinks are too pricey and the clientele is too dickhead-y. Compiled by Kristian Antonelli, James Duveen, Wesley Louis, Tim McCourt, Jonathan Djob Nkondo, Sam Taylor and Bjorn-Erik Aschim (who also directs), there’s a great deal to identify with alongside some more off-the-wall characters. Also keep your eyes peeled for a little Keith Haring cameo about half way through.

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    Ryan Todd is back with his tremendous Christmas GIFs project and once again he’s secured a host of top illustrator talents to provide short visual meditations on the festive season. So from Malika Favre to Jack Hudson, Supermundane to Animade, these weird and wonderful Christmas treats range from the fun and silly to the poignant and lonely (here’s looking at you Ross Phillips). An excellently creative way to kickstart the Yuletide madness.

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    Few things get us as excited in the studio as the prospect of a new animated film of Michel Gondry in conversation with legendary activist Noam Chomsky, not to mention the fact that it has been animated by Michel himself – so you can imagine the way coffee cups flew across the room when we came across his “making of” Is the Man Who is Tall Happy. Fortunately for us Michel talks to himself almost incessantly while working, so this short film gives an unbelievable insight into his painstaking animation process, plus the measures he went to to connect with Noam even writing words down when they found themselves lost in translation.

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    When it comes to thinking up a way for the New York Times to show off their holiday books review, I’ll be damned if there’s anything better than an animated clip by Johnny Kelly of tiny little books dancing along to a plinky-plonk tune. It does get better, though, because as the all seeing camera slowly zooms out your realise that each little dancing book is a part of the next one’s cover! Meta-madness!

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    Whether we admit or not, jealousy plays a not insignificant role in the creative industries. In fact D&AD is honest enough to address this head on; when it comes to choosing pencil-winning work judges are asked to consider whether the entry stokes their creative envy and make them wish they’d done that piece.

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    The lyric video is a bit of a new phenomenon, but has given creatives confident with typography the opportunity to really strut their stuff. U2’s latest is beautifully penned and filmed by New York based creatives Oliver Jeffers (yes you probably recognise his handwriting) and filmmaker Mac Premo. Aptly shot, seductive type and some handy location scouting make this a beauty. Check it out here on Facebook.

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    Grace Helmer, Jake Evans and Luiz Stockler are all illustrators and animators that we’ve featured on the site before, either as part of our 2012 Graduates or in our Introducing feature. This is the first time we’ve seen there names listed together on the credits of creative project through, as they’ve all collaborated on the animation for Powster’s director’s cut of Bombay Bicycle Club’s latest track Carry Me. The original video was an interactive number that you could manipulate on screen, but that’s no good on YouTube, so Grace and co were enlisted to add some animated punch to a beautifully-shot project under the guidance of expert animator Anna Ginsburg.

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    Former Student of the Month and RCA animator extraordinaire Nicolas Ménard has just delivered his magnum opus, a 7-minute animation about a lost spaceman and a beautiful twelve-page risographed booklet about a couple of alien beings falling madly in love in the wilderness. I’m not really sure that I can do justice to Nicolas’ extraordinary efforts without ruining the magic of seeing this animation with fresh eyes; suffice to say it’s been one of the best seven minutes I’ve spent this week and I’m buying the zine later today. This guy kicks ass!

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    Love it or hate it, it’s been nigh on impossible to escape John Lewis’s new Christmas ad over the past few days. The pressure was on Adam&Eve/DDB to follow up their much-talked-about offerings from the past couple of years, and early indications suggest that whatever the cynics may say, the public have been charmed anew. But regardless of whether The Bear & The Hare makes you feel nicely festive or a bit nauseous, this “making of” is really interesting. Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn of Blinkink/Hornet were the duo charged with bringing the ideas to life and you get a nice sense of the painstaking stop-motion process they went through over a period of several months. The song will be stuck in your head all day though.

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    Drawer of drawings, singer of songs, deziner of zines and doodler of doodles Joey Fourr has never gotten over that frantic childhood habit of drawing in the margins, letting the pure unbridled thoughts of a dreamer’s mind spill out onto pages of paper. His big, messy, psychedelic images take us back to a simpler time when all we wanted to do was carve elaborate cartoons into our desks and sack off learning maths.

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    Animation, when it’s done right, is such a thing to behold. Somehow the absence of reality allows you to become completely absorbed into the world you’re presented with to the point where monsters, aliens and the end of the world all seeming like plausible outcomes.

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    I’m going to level with you dear readers, I don’t really know what’s going on here; I just know that I like it. Murat Sayginer is a Czech-born, Istanbul-based artist whose work spans photography, graphics and digital animations such as this one. Ratio is weird, unsettling and dramatic with a level of technical finesse that is pretty astounding. There really isn’t much else we can suggest here apart from give it a proper watch, and try not to have nightmares…

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    Did you know that Elton pronounced backwards is “piano?” Well, now you did thanks to the guys over at Manchester animation studio Young. They’ve just released a charming and informative video teaching us all we need to know about lilac-spectacled ivory-tinkler Sir Elton John which we’ve been chuckling about to ourselves for the whole weekend. Why? Because this short animation is probably funnier than everything Elton John has ever done in his life. Mmmm, perhaps barring the time when he wore novelty piano-shaped glasses to sing heartfelt ballad Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word (not the Blue version). We cannot wait to see what this studio full of talented funny-men are going to come up with next in episode two of I Didn’t Know That.

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    Personally, the idea of a novelty CV or résumé kind of makes me want to turn around and hurl into the nearest bin. But when the novelty CV is a colourful pastiche, nay homage to Super Mario, I’m prepared to swallow the vomit and get playing immediately. Animator and designer Robby Leonardi has clocked on to a few things in making this interactive CV, predominantly that people like to complete small games therefore will probably read the entire CV in order to do so. His animation skills are clear, his personality comes straight through and you can even get a pretty good idea of what he looks like. Robby, you’re hired.

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    When I was a kid there was a huge encyclopaedia in the school library that had a great selection of different eye tests in it, designed to screen for colourblindness, highlight blind spots and just generally demonstrate the quirks of the human visual system. That book was INcredible and I used to kill a lot of lunch breaks staring at the pictures inside of it.

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    There’s a nice juxtaposition which occurs when you bring craft-intensive stop-motion together with big, significant themes and this latest work from east London-based Andersen M studio is a case in point. For a new show on the Discovery Channel documenting Ernest Shackleton’s perilous Antarctic rescue mission of 1914, they developed this stunning promo animation made solely from antique navigation maps of the South Pole region. This is a really beautiful and powerful piece of stop-motion excellence and manages to create a terrifyingly tense ambience: – Andersen M at their very very best.

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    Guillermo del Toro wakes up in his luxurious yet tasteful ocean-side condo. It is 2am. He pads down his hallway to his study where mementos of his various films are kept alongside his awards and an old printer he never got round to throwing out. His eyes scan the posters, the props and the ephemera; Pan’s Labyrinth, HellBoy, Pacific Rim, And yet Guillermo feels sad; kind of empty.

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    Back in January we reflected on the absolute marvel that is Jack Cunningham whose hilarious animations and bloody brilliant illustrations melted the coldness of that bitter, bitter month. So we kept him close; his animations of punching ducks, robotic space men and smoothly boiling kettles reassuring us with all their wonderful weirdness on those darker days. So obviously we were ridiculously excited when we saw his blog updates announcing his new website covered in new work. And it’s all changed, his style refined but stronger than ever. Stripping back to finer lines and some brilliant black and white animations, this simplifying somehow just adds to their hilarity, articulating the giant conks and their flared nostril sneezing, the chair that walks to catch its owner at the end of the day or the businessman dreaming of water skiing. Peruse at your leisure.

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    If you thought that Johnny Depp made for a charming drug lord playing George Jung in Blow, please allow yourself to be swept away by the papier mâché realness being brought to you directly from the very skilled hands of William Child. For his final project the freelance illustrator, animator and designer made a brilliant short film about the bloody work of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, complete with hand-built sets, bags of powder stuffed into gutted fish, scuba divers and a jacuzzi. I know. I have no idea how he did it either.

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    Normally when I get really excited about things my ability to speak eloquently goes out the window, my verbal communication reduced to a short series of expletives. Sadly, writing for a website means that I have to curb that tendency and find other ways of getting my excitement across. SOMETIMES BY BEING REALLY SHOUTY and sometimes by trying to fit as many words into a really long but snappy, slightly confusing but communicative nevertheless sentence that wordily expresses that I’ve crossed over the threshold to a whole new level of frantic hysteria.

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    Desmondo Ray, aged 33 years and 3/4, enjoys peeing in the rain, altering offensive graffiti, collecting memorabilia, listening to sad music while having happy thoughts and watching old family footage, while his dislikes include the smell of burnt hair and magicians. Sound like somebody you want to know? If so that works out well, as he is (cue said voice) “Lonely, with love to give.”

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    Kids these days are spoilt. Not content with their televisions, laser tag, Subbuteo and Tomy products they’ve now got iPads, iPhones, miniature projectors, virtual reality headsets and each newborn child is surgically equipped with its own telescopic micro-scooter that folds out of the left leg for seamless travel to and from school. Those grinning little blighters have it all, except that last one – I made that up. Now they’ve got their grubby little hands on the very best animators around too with Cartoon Network recently commissioning some of the world’s best young talent to produce a spot for them.

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    “Keep well away from animation, it’s dangerous, nasty stuff, could be catching and most definitely will leave some very nasty scars, especially on those knee caps of yours.” Terry Gillam, flowing locks in tow, cardboard ventriloquist doll on his lap, speaks out from the screen of Bob Godfrey’s 1974 DIY Animation Show. The voice throwing alone was enough to win us over.

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    There’s nothing like a brilliantly illustrated short to get you thinking about somebody you see every day in new and perhaps unexpected ways. And I can assure you that the Anete Melece’s delightful short The Kiosk will evoke in you a newfound sympathy for the nice chap in the corner shop who sells your your Sunday paper, and who never judges you when you pick up the occasional lottery ticket.