I like animation. Be it cell, stop-go, computer generated, flicker-book, whatever, if it’s good then I like it. Finding good animation isn’t easy but I’ve found a source, and it’s YouTube. I’ve spent many, many hours watching animations there, and hit my download limit for the month with my ISP and had to pay per-gigabyte charges just to carry on. Some of them are *so* good.
If you want to see all of the videos (animation and otherwise) that I’ve book-marked on YouTube click this link, I’m sure you’ll not be disappointed.
On the other hand, if you’d like to see some great animation, and would rather not spend the same number of hours trawling YouTube that I have, then please read on.
My favourite animation
It’s not shiny, it’s not technically brilliant, but it’s got something very special. This particular animation sums up, for me, the art form. It *is* simplistic, but that doesn’t matter, what does matter is the story being told. That’s something so many animations (and films) fail to remember. Instead of excelling in technical brilliance, big explosions, and dramatic camera angles, they should focus on the story. A good animation can tell you something brilliant in under a minute; just because the latest Hollywood smash is 90 minutes won’t mean it’s twice as good, let alone 90 times. So, here it is, Jumping by Osamu Tezuka:
Osamu_Tezuka, as you may have guessed from his name, was Japanese, and this animation won him the 1984 Grand Prize at the Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films. According to Wikipedia he is credited as the “Father of Anime”, a particular type of Japanese animation, and is often considered to be the Japanese equivalent of Walt Disney. From what I have seen of his work, I can see why. Unfortunately he died in 1989.
Animations: The next-best things
I don’t mean to denigrate these, because these are all also very good, they’re also very different from the above. As I said, “Jumping” is, for me, the definitive animation, and, therefore, these cannot be best… but that doesn’t stop them all being very, *very* good. See what you think.
Balance by Wolfgang and Christoph Lauenstein
This one is very stylised, the premise is evident within 30 seconds, but the outcome keeps you watching to the end. What makes this so engaging is the suspense that quickly builds as the characters start to make their own demands and the “compromises” the others have to make. But what is the outcome? You’ll just have to watch.
The Switch by Zack Mathew
This is another in similar vain. The world is entirely contrived, it’s entirely self contained, there is no need of anything external to what you see. What matters, as it did in Balance, is the way people are; there are traits we all exhibit, and if you put us in one of these environments the traits still exist, but maybe it would be better if they didn’t in these particular environments.
This film came out of Vancouver Film School, an establishment which, if you follow the Google links, has helped produce many fine animated films. If you liked this one I advise checking out their site for more, there are quite a few there. However, don’t go just yet, make a note to do it later, I’ve got a **real** corker for you next.
This animation, if you look at the credits, has almost as many people behind it as any Hollywood film. Despite what I said earlier, this isn’t always a bad thing. In this animation we see classic anthropomorphism, this time of a gopher, and it’s not a bad thing. The anthropomorphism is just a supporting part to this wonderfully shot, colourful romp. The action is shown from some wonderful angles, and there is delightful use of slow-motion in selective parts. Of my list, this is the first that is funny, so if you’ve been disappointed so far, or were expecting something else, this one is for you.
That’s all folks!
I have more that I will share with you, but will save them for another page. I hope you have enjoyed these. If you have any particular animated favourites you have found on the web, and would like to share them with me, please feel free, I’d very much like to see them.