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Why Animation?

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Why Animation?

I was just wondering what is it that drew people to medium of animation? For the animators, why did you get into animation? Was it a certain movie, character, or something else?

For those here who are fans but not artists of animation, what is it that you love about animation?

the Ape

Animated Ape's picture

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

Would you believe, "Fantasia"? "The Night on Bald Mountain", that mesmerized me when I first saw it. The bat-winged, Bela Lugosi demon, to my young mind, it was both haunting and, "hey..wait a minute, how did they do that, that's not real?"

And my "Peter Pan" complex. I refused to grow up. Couldn't fit in the grown-up corporate world.

And I love to draw. Started out drawing small, stick figures in the corner of a thick book, meticulously drawing each one on every page and then "flipping" the pages to see my handiwork.


while in my junior year in high school (1977) my friend showed me how to do pixillation. i tried some simple animations on paper cells, having made my own light table, which i shot onto super 8mm. i was facsinated & hooked. i saw a mclaren film from canada in senior year & that did it. i applied to NYU film school. seemed like a good idea.

Like Uncle Phill here, I was also lucky enough to have the opportunity to make simple animation when I was a kid*. I started out making flip-books on school books (for my mom's and teacher's dismay).

Then my grandfather bought an MSX computer, and he had a software that made 6 frame long animations, with 8x8 black-and-white graphics. It was amazing!!

After that I got an old 286 that came with a software where you could make keyframe animation with morphing vector graphics. I've spent several months making stickmen fight against each other.

Finally, at the age of 18, I dropped out of architecture school and joined the only animation grad course in Brazil. And here I am now.

As for movies that influenced me, before joining school... I'd say "Fantasia" ("Bald Mountain", of course!!), "The Dot and the Line", "The Pink Panther" series, and several Hanna-Barbera series, from "Tom & Jerry" to"Space Ghost".

And, of course, the best of them all: "Peanuts".

* I wonder how many kids have this opportunity today. I'll post a sepparated thread to discuss that.

We almost did animation in 1st grade, but ran out of time before everyone got a chance.

I got to tour HB studios in the fourth grade.

I thought everything was animated, including live action TV - it was just drawn a whole lot better. Hence the need for "writers" ("writers" = "drawers" to a kid).

By the way, I hated Scooby Doo, and still do to this day. Of course, that was the cartoon they showed us at the HB tour. But I loved Speed Buggy. Figure that one out. It's the same damn show, without the Harlem Globetrotters.

Also, I'm a writer. Not a drawer.

Chuck jones

i used to love looney tunes especially the cartoons chuck made.When i was like 8 i wanted to be an animator.It was a dream for me though as i had no knowledge of what i needed to make it and i knew it would be expensive.Then about 6 months ago i found out that you could animate with a computer.After i found this out a jumped at the chance to make a cartoon. :D

The funny thing is I never thought I would be an animator. Ten years I worked as an architect and interior designer until that fateful day when I saw an ad in the newspaper posted by an animation studio asking, "Do you know how to draw?" I tried my luck, made the cut and thereafter gave up my T-squares, triangles and technical pens and switched to animation disks, light box and pencils!


I am not sure but I think my first exposure to cartoons was on "Howdy Dowdy". From then on I have been on the watch for anything that was animated. As for learning the craft, I have ideaes and I think animation is an excellent way of publishing them.

Just for me..

To me it was not only seeing all the bugs bunny, disney, Tex avery and many others but honestly the first time I saw Wizards to me was put it bluntly "spiritual" as strange as that sounds.
It was my birthday at this major entertainment facilty called "Love Inc." Or something strange like that and it was close to Love Field (a local airport)in Dallas.The place had ice skating, roller skating, go carts, games and a movie theatre among other things.
I walked in and watched Wizards and I remember the rest of the day was secondary, I was blown away..I think that moment was when I "GOT" the possibilities of the artform.

From that day on I have honestly been changed.

It was my 13th Bday.

I fell down some stairs and smacked my head when I was a kid. I think that has a lot to do with it.

Thinking back, I guess I always wanted to be an animator. I watched cartoons, I studied cartoons, and had a true fascination for them. but in a weird way, I was kind of scared of persuing it. I ended up majoring in Illustration.
During senior year, I got to take a traditional animation course. I loved it, but didn't have the resources to continue after school.
When I graduated, I thought I would be happy getting ANY job, just as long as it had some relation to art. Man, was I wrong. After two years of misery, I quit, and turned freelancer. My mind was free of the corporate world to concentrate on other things.
A few months ago I took up Flash, and am truly happy with where I'm going.
I guess my unhappiness with what I was doing made me really think about what I actually wanted to do. :)

ive always loved cartoons. As a kid i watched cartoons and only cartoons. In school and at home i would make flip books. Mine were always better than the other kids.

Then came High School. I took a 3d computer animation class, mainly because i thought it would be somethin fun to do. I really didnt start to think about actually GETTING into animation until after this class. We started out in flash and the teacher said i had a pretty good grasp of movement. Then we got into the 3d stuff (what i really want to get into) and i loved it. Unlike anything else in highschool, in this i actually felt like i was doing something worth while. Something real.

My favorite part is to be able to tell a story and entertain the audience.

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

little mermaid

I started drawing almost before than talking :)

hehe, well, I draw since I was a baby, and I grow up watching cartoons of every genre..from japan to USA.

The little mermaid.. yes.. it was the true big love!

Yeah, I used to love Saturday Mornings as a kid. I'd just sit down in front of our TV and eat half a box of Fruit Loops mesmorized by the cartoons on TV. Every thing from Loony Tunes and Scooby Doo to The Smurfs and the Snorks.

My mom would take us to see all the Disney movies when they came out in the thearters esspecially when they would re-release the clasic movies. We'd sit through them twice. This is before the ushers would chase you out of the theater when the movie finished.

It wasn't untill my freshman year in highschool, I think, when Disney's "The Little Mermaid" came out that it hit me. I saw that movie and was hit by how believeable the characters were. They had feelings, and emotions and could pass those emotions on to the audience. Thats when I knew I wanted to do that for a living. I think that's also when it finally dawned on me that animated features weren't animated by Disney, but by individuals. Thats when I learned about animators like Glen Keane, Andreas Deja, Ruben A. Aquino, and later, Eric Goldberg, Nik Ranieri, and James Baxter. I knew I wanted to do that they did... breath life into these characters. Thats what I still want to do, and am still to learning to do.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

I got into it because I'm anti-social and wanted to make movies and realized the only way I can make movies without people is with computers... Then I found out that you need more people to make computer movies than regular ones. Drat!

I always wanted to be an animator... but, you can definately blame it on one person who's name won't have any meaning to you!
How to explain this... Before 1974, all the animation that was shown on Portuguese television was sacarine due to to the fact that the dictatorship censored anything or anyone that had half a brain. When the country was finally liberated in 1974, there was a great influx of animation shorts and features from all over the world, and the name of the person incharge of showing us what was out there is Vasco Granja. I just loved his show as a kid all of the great were there form the NFB to the Russians, sure I missed some years of his show... well... I'm only 28! But, you can blame him and my mother for always encouraging me in the pursuit of my dreams!

"check it out, you know it makes sense!"

came for the money, stayed for the friends

watched them all shows like all kids. watched less as time goes by.
but it wasn't that.

entered animation near 22 years ago for the adventure,
then found out it paid good. then found out that the friends i had
were more precious than the money i made.

then they made me director. didn't want to though i loved to teach.
the thing i valued more howevr was giving animators jobs.
handing out scenes felt like putting food on their plate.

then friends went away. studios closed.
only left is my wish to do a feature.

then i met a kind producer.

for a guy in animation for all the wrong reasons
i'm pretty blessed.

Don't worry.  All shall be well.

Mostly because I grew with animation. My dad was a Disney animator (and still IS and animator, just not for Disney).
I have always liked watching cartoons. Just something about them kept me in front of the TV for hours. I never REALLY got started actually sitting down and animating until a year ago. The stuff that inspires me to do my stuff is the Disney and Pixar movies. I also like Looney Tunes and Spongebob Squarpants.
I love animation. I love making my creations come to life!

Rugged individualist...

I love film making. I love telling stories and listenting to an audience laugh. I got tired of relying on others on a crew and actors to tell my stories so I thought I could be an indy animator. The real irony of it all is that now instead of working with a crew of 10-15 my past few jobs have been with crews of several hundred!

In any event, now I'm less limited by budget and reality, and only limited by my artistic skills and imagination, and I still get to tell my stories and jokes. And it's much easier to be an individual animator than it is to be an individual live action film maker.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.

Now with more doodling!

Cartoons has been a staple in my home since I could reach the channel dial on the TV, and learning to draw and the enjoyment of it certainly has alot to do with my love for animation.
But over and above that, the reason why I love to animate is that when I shot my first pencil test, and saw the characters that I drew come to life on the screen, I got hooked.
One of the best pieces of advice that any professional animator will give you is: don't fall in love with your work. Why? Because they know that is exactly what happens the first time you see your first animated creation. The only emotion that I can relate it to is like a parental bonding with a child, although I have to admit I love my wife and kids more than I do animating. But I think you get my meaning.

Like a lot of people I fell in love with Saturday morning Warner Brothers cartoons (with "Duck Amuck" in particular). Then a grade school teacher allowed me to do a filmstrip for class - I dissolved the printing off of an old filmstrip and drew new pictures on the erased strip with Sharpies. While I was doing this I had a revelation that if I drew 2 similar pictures and flipped them fast enough, it looked like motion. Of course the quality was poor. But something clicked. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to develop further until Flash appeared some countless years later. Now I'm a still-learning Flash animator hobbyist. And I still watch animation more than any other medium.

My parents only recently understand my love of video games and cartoons. They always used to think it a waste of time. Of course, now that I'm earning a living at it now, they understand a little better. I still love Saturday mornings more than any other part of the week though.

In kindergarten I caught the teacher off guard when we were going over the days of the week. Everything was going fine until Saturday, when asked, I told her quite matter of factly that it was "Cartoon Day." She got a chuckle out of that.

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.

Now with more doodling!

For me, it was the fantastic element.
I loved that there was a sort of Wonderland that I could consciously fashion, the way that my subconscious fashioned my dreams.

I suppose animation (movies and video games) is one of the purest forms of a fabricated, personal utopia: a do-it-yourself, on-the-job vacation.