November 20, 2012
"If you have zillions of dollars and all the time in the world, I don’t think you’re going to produce great art. And you certainly won’t feel like sticking it to the man who’s giving you those zillions. It’s funny, isn’t it? In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have the types of pressures that can lead to great art."

How the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine gave rise to modern animation is a beautiful homage to the legendary 1968 animation film. Written by Simpsons writer and Futurama producer, Josh Weinstein, the piece gives great insight into the paradox of the artistic process. He includes an important lesson on “how brilliant things get produced,” which he describes simply: “it’s called trusting in artists and letting them do their stuff.” For control freaky executives used to calling every shot, this is the hardest lesson to learn of all.

June 14, 2012

I’m not one for wanton violence, and my overly sensitive heart lurched at a few scenes in this stop-motion promo for Delta Heavy (what can anyone have against Hungry Hippos, for heaven’s sakes?!) But it’s a fun tour through some classic boardgames of yesteryear, and the end of the video makes it clear that it’s not really over for the games; they’ve merely gone to serve a better purpose. [Read more over at Colossal. Video via Noah Raford.]

May 31, 2012

"Just because it’s your fault doesn’t mean others can’t suffer for you." Who says finance can’t be funny? This animation by political cartoonist Mark Fiore was apparently released some time ago, but it works perfectly as a parody of both the ongoing insanity of the financial industry—and the wincingly twee aphorisms of so much modern advertising. As Marketplace’s Heidi Moore, who flagged the video earlier today wrote: We suspect the cartoon will continue to be funny as long as Europe struggles with another chronic STD — short-term delusions.” Ouch.

May 21, 2012

I’m completely biased, as the animator who made the film above is a friend of mine, but I love this submission for The International Douglas Adams Animation Competition, which challenges creative types to produce an animation to accompany a lovely audio recording of sci fi writer and Hitchhiker’s Guide creator, the late Douglas Adams, talking in 1993 about the evolution of the book from rock to silicone. Judges include the imperious Stephen Fry; winners are announced on Friday.

February 9, 2012

How amazing is this? Greek multimedia artist, Petros Vrellis converts Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” into a swirl of animation and interactivity. The music and the movement are perfectly matched to the spirit of the original painting. As Local Projects principal Jake Barton wrote of the project, it’s “a startling flow of lines, color, sound and interactivity.” Wonderful.

January 20, 2012

End of the week treat… A charming homage to the wonder of the book. Enjoy!

[Video via Andrew Blau.]

September 28, 2011

Shared mainly in the name of celebrating animated creativity (I co-authored a book about experimental animation once, and it’s still a topic that’s dear to my heart) and in the name of celebrating old friends, here’s the latest video from British electronic musicians, Plaid. This video, for track At Last, was created by Set in Sand of Abandonbuilding Pictures, with illustrations by Thedreambox.

September 15, 2011

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

"Big Bang Big Boom" is "a short unscientific story about evolution and his consequences" by the Italian street artist, Blu. It’s also the most incredible thing I’ve seen in an age. Breathtaking. Holy wow.

(Video via Sean Rocha.)

August 31, 2011

Overlooking the fact that even if we could go back to the start, we probably wouldn’t really want to (it’s not modernity that’s the problem, it’s how we’ve chosen to use it) this is a beautiful piece of animation by Johnny Kelly, and an amazing cover of a Coldplay song by country legend, Willie Nelson. And, yes, it’s also a check in the sustainable cred (ad) box for fast food restaurant, Chipotle.

(Video via Scott Crawford.)

July 12, 2011

You can see the more polished trailer for upcoming animation feature Henry Waltz, along with its faked approval green screen. (“The Limeligt Motion Picture Assosiation?” I don’t think so.) But even more than the finished thing, I loved this behind-the-scenes look at how the animation is being made. The creator, Emil Goodman, who’s based in Hungary, describes: “In this footage I captured my body-motions with a really cheap home-made motion capture system, and that’s how I move the flying vehicle’s wings. The green-screen footage was captured with a little compact camera in 720p. I have a beauty-dish on my head :) That’s my hat :)” The results are testament to what’s possible when you combine commonly available technology and tools with a large helping of creativity and imagination.

(Video via Geoff Manaugh.)

June 26, 2011

A joyful celebration of creativity and the wonders of post-production in this glorious music video for the track Be Africa, by Bibi Tanga and the Selenites, where the singer is both a lifesize Bunraku puppet and the visuals form an extravagant homage to tribal African masks. Directed by French animation duo, Soandsau.

(Video via Mara Carlyle.)