Whether you’re streaming online or sitting in the cinema, the impact of a good ident can’t be overstated, nor can the difficulty of pulling off a memorable one. 10-15 seconds is all the time an animator gets for an introduction, to communicate a brand or idea concisely and creatively. On top of that, time runs differently in the world of animation, where seconds stretch into hours of work. It’s a challenge 11 animators have recently risen to in a new selection of idents for streaming service Hulu, pooling an excitingly diverse range of animation styles and industry perspectives.
The Hulu IDs kick off with a felt stop-motion contribution from Andrea Love titled Fuzz Machine that zooms in on beaker bottles to capture a quick science experiment. The work “is amazingly tactile,” Naveen Singh, Hulu’s GreenHouse video producer, tells It’s Nice That, “you can almost touch it right through your screen”. Speaking about some of the other animators on the lineup, Naveen introduces Robertino Zambrano’s Be The Flame, a condensed 80s training montage starring a robot – and one of our personal favourites among the IDs. Naveen adds: “If you look closely, the image has this faded quality to it, as if you’re watching a VHS bootleg of a bootleg. It’s a terrific detail.”
Elsewhere, Shota Shimizu’s Ponpokko-Ponnchi sees energy brought to the project in the extreme: “When we discovered Shota’s work through a deep dive internet search, we were immediately taken with the expressive density of his animations,” says Naveen. “Each frame is filled with a vivacious, electric energy… the viewer wouldn’t know this, but Shota is quite soft-spoken, so to see the juxtaposition between his demeanour and his work is totally unexpected.” The work of Motion Mami also features with Con Sabor, an animation showcasing three different dance styles and deft music genre shifts. Other IDs take us through 2D depictions of festivities full of cats and dogs, house parties, abstract art installation-inspired pieces and TV channel surfing.
The full roster of animators on the project includes Studio Showoff, Motion Mami, Ihsu Yoon, Matt Taylor, Ari Grabb, Robertino Zambrano, Rachel Reid, Simón Wilches Castro, Shota Shimizu and Golden Wolf.
Reid Thompson, VP and head of creative at Hulu’s GreenHouse, concludes: “The first wave of IDs is currently being showcased on our social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, but we feel there’s tremendous potential with this project and there’s no telling where the IDs might end up next! Hulu has such a wide variety of wonderful content, and every viewer’s TV experience is different, so we are excited by the opportunity to meet our fans where they are to give them something fun and delightful.”
Hulu: Hulu IDs (Copyright © Hulu, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.