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Short Film Illustrates 12 Principles of Animation

Short animation created by New York City-based Italian motion graphics artist Cento Lodigiani uses the simple cube to illustrate the 12 principles as developed by Walt Disney’s ‘nine old men.’

Here is a charming short film outlining the 12 basic principles of animation, as codified in the 1930s by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two of the Walt Disney Studios’ legendary “nine old men.”

First published in 1981 as “The Illusion of Life,” these 12 principles embody the development of what was then a new art form that sought to use animation to express character and personality.

Created by New York City-based Italian motion graphics artist Cento Lodigiani, this short animation uses the simple cube to illustrate these 12 principles: “Squashing and stretching” can give the illusion of weight and volume to a character as it moves, while the principle of “follow through and overlap” dictates that a character’s body parts continue to move after they come to a stop, much like Wile E. Coyote’s neck stretches out like a rubber band whenever he screeches to a halt.

Want more? Lodigiani also has a Tumblr page, and there’s an animated GIF gallery located at

(via Motionographer)

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.