Categories
2: Mary's Story, Uganda In Process

African animation styles

Puppetlike stylised 2D animation. Some beautiful colourful, flat cut-out illustration, with characteristically African use of angular tapered line and geometric shapes and shading. Very little realistic character movement apart, mostly stiff limb movements and head turns. Much of the animation is produced by camera zooming and panning on still illustrations, sometimes multicamera, that may have some minor looped movement like hair or breathing. Some Strong gender stereotyped differentiation between women and men. Heavily dependent on crudely lip-synced dialogue. Seems to be done in Flash?

Cartoons for childrens education

African heritage and history

Storytelling through pages of a book from Guinea. These illusrations are beautiful though.
Kwame. Kenyan animation of Beauty and the Beast style animation. Bright brilliant colours. Most of the animation is like 2D puppet cutouts. Angular sex-stereotyped figures – big angular brawny men and small coy curvy women that flutter their eyelids and flirt. Uses light colour angular taper brush line art on dark skin shapes. A lot of camera moves. Comments from You Tube Kenya men and women viewers are very positive as authentically Kenyan.
Cosmic Xo from Ghana. Very short really funny – if it did not have a lot of truth – satire on the education system. Very simple direct animation style that is very dynamic, expressive and effective with just outline and shapes with sound effects and dialogue.
Ajebo toons from Nigeria. Cartoons for children. Has really stylised amusing characters – including girls and women who are strong and non-stereotyped.
By Home Team History an (unnamed) group of US? animators working on African history. The story of the woman founder of Burkina Faso. Disney style with stiff cut-out flat animation and US voiceover. Big hunky men and over-sexualised female heroine. A lot of camera work and still images. But many positive comments about African cartoon better than Disney and African women’s empowerment before colonialism.
By Home Team History. Similar Disney style, with huge chunky soldiers but less sexualised Queen.
A much too long drawn out story with sexist stereotyped characters. The animation is very crude and unconvincing dialogue – even the walk cycles look like figures sliding across the screen. But the childlike figure cutouts and stiltedness has a certain charm, and points to what can be achieved with very flat scenes, lots of looped animation and camera panning moves. Looks like it was done in Flash.
August House US. animation of traditional folk tales. Very colourful black line illustrations with interesting framing and square format. Character movement is used sparingly but quite fluid.
Raymond Okai, Nigerian animator.
Raymond Okai animation of Anansi story. Mostly a series of well composed, coloured stills with limited figure animation.
Martyna Majewska, a Polish animator.

William Kentridge