Dante Zaballa: Tall Juan

Work / Animation

Dante Zaballa’s smile-cracking animation for Tall Juan

Argentina-born, Berlin-based animator Dante Zaballa brings to life his hand-drawn drawings frame by frame. Created from a toolkit of crayons, acrylics and colour markers, Dante’s drawings and animations are made distinctive through their joyful, unpretentious use of colour and texture.

His latest offering is for his cousin Tall Juan. The music video uses Dante’s favoured palette of near-primary colours to tell the story of a street musician embroiled in a somewhat psychedelic daydream. The effect is mesmerising and smile-enduring, an ever-moving, ever-morphing animation which wears the hand of it’s creator in every frame.

“The idea to make a video of this song came out one year ago, when Tall Juan invited me to go on tour with him to play some stand-up drums on his show, and I agreed even though I am not a drummer at all,” Dante explains. “It was the first time we saw each other after a long time, so it was some sort of family trip to catch up after all that time. We immediately thought about doing an animated videoclip, and we both liked Cuidacoches as it is a cover of Loquero a band we used to see when we were kids. So I filmed him in Paris walking towards the camera with the idea of turning him into an abstract character and paint all over him.”

“My cousin has so much energy when he plays, he started to scream and jump all over the place. It was hard to decide not to show the original footage, but I tried to translate all that crazy burst of energy into the video. I worked on it in my spare time. It took me around four months to finish it. At some point I asked Osian Efnisien if he could make some extra doodles for the backgrounds of some scenes while I was painting so I could save some time. That helped me me a lot!”

The process has since seeped into dante’s daily life and creative process. “After making this video I started filming things from my daily life and drawing over it. It’s a nice exercise to turn daily situations into crazy abstracts scenes. I keep making those every day since then.”


Dante Zaballa: Tall Juan


Dante Zaballa: Tall Juan


Dante Zaballa: Tall Juan