3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts 4: Animation Strategies: related posts In Process Inspiration 3: PigTales, India Inspiration: 15 contemporary animators Inspiration: global animation cultures Visual Storytelling

Gottfried Mentor

Gottfried Mentor is known for his powerful tragi-comic social/political allegorical animations using CGI animals. These are very expressive in terms of visuals, dramatic narrative and sound effects/music and fully comprehensible without text. He works with the German animation studio Film Bilder.

How has Gottfried Mentor influenced my own animation?

His tragi-comic narrative style, and use of bright colours and anthropomorphic animals has influenced my animation in Pig Tales, India.
Oh Sheep! 2012. Two flocks of sheep are searching for companionship. But their shepherds, being at odds with each other, do everything to keep them separated. The final solution that satisfies them through making them look different leads all the sheep to all fight and kill each other.

!! This is the most interesting. Do detailed narrative analysis of why this is so funny and serous at the same time. Use of dramatic timing, sound, framing, similarities and differences – and lots of blood.

Head Up 2013. Story of an old goat who tries to teach a very young one to behave ‘properly’. But when they get to a big crevasse, it is the young goats who takes risks and takes a creative approach who can get across. The old goat learns that he does not know everything and needs to be flexible to learn also from younger kids.
Lambs (2013). The lamb’s parents are shocked, because their little lamb doesn’t sound like the other sheep: It’s making „moo” instead of „baa” and insists on having coloured pom-poms instead of plain white fleece. But they finally see that all the other young lambs are defying convention with new fashion.

More about Filmbilder animations. See also Andreas Hykade.

3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration: global animation cultures

Global inspiration: Russia

3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration 4: The Airplane, Pakistan Inspiration: global animation cultures

Global Inspiration: Pakistan

Pakistani feminist animation and film

Hamida Khatri: Stop Motion

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness is a 2015 documentary film directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy about honor killings in Pakistan. 

Haroon: Burka Avenger

Other Pakistani animation styles and experiences

SharoomkiSketchbook: Flash animation

Flash 2D animation in a limited palette South Park style.

An example of a successful independent You Tube animator with over 323,000 subscribers and funded from commercial sponsorship and advertising.The credits at the end state that each 8-10 minute video takes 2 weeks of hard work to produce. Though this may be reduced with recent advances in Adobe lipsync software. Funded from advertising and corporate sponsorship.

Urdu cartoons on You Tube by SharoomkiSketchbook. I understand Urdu and can follow most of what is said. I took some time looking at these animations for insights into Pakistani male youth humour. A

The interest in these animations is mainly in the spoken text and amusing satirical storylines about everyday experience of life in Pakistan, particularly for young men students. But the animation is not accessible to non-urdu speaking audiences.

Apart from lip-syncing the dialogue, the animation itself is not very developed. The main visual interest is in the drawing of caricature characters with stereotypical appearance and attitudes. Together with stylised backdrops including blank rooms, countryside, train toilets etc.

A cartoon In Urdu by about the importance of having passion for one’s work. Has a lot of different character styles and ways of abstracting the figure.
Train Journey. A humorous account of the experiences and annoyances of train travel from dubious fellow passengers, sounds of people clearing their throats and spitting, dangers of dropping a mobile phone through the toilet hole and accidentally lifting the curtain on the wrong family compartment and seeing things one shouldn’t.
Biker Boiz. Asking mother for money to buy a motorbike like friends. Mother worried about accident. ‘no keys needed’ and lots of things problem.
University Hostel. Difference between laid back richer students and excited students from poorer families far away from the city who are naively generous but get laughed at and exploited. One floor serves as common washroom’ and problems of group study with disturbance of mobile phones etc.
Cold/winter vibes Follow up by one of the dubious fellow travellers met on the train. About winter cold season, coughs and colds, lack of hygiene etiquette and heating appliances. Hot abd cold showers that cant be controlled. Need to pile about 10 layers if clothes. Handshakes with very cold hands.

Usman Riaz: Hand-drawn anime

SiBboy: 3D/CGI

Similar genre and humour. Simple 3D animation, maybe using Blender free 3D software? But less successful with only 218 subscribers at time of linking.

Load shedding – the issue of frequent power cuts in extreme heat and mosquitoes. Juxtaposed with music from advertisements about electric fans, strip lights and other appliances that look good in TV but useless if there is no power. When the light finally cones in again everyone just wants to go to sleep.

Flash Animation

Urdu cartoons on You Tube by SharoomkiSketchbook. I understand Urdu and can follow most of what is said. I took some time looking at these animations for insights into Pakistani male youth humour. A

The interest in these animations is mainly in the spoken text and amusing satirical storylines about everyday experience of life in Pakistan, particularly for young men students. But the animation is not accessible to non-urdu speaking audiences.

Apart from lip-syncing the dialogue, the animation itself is not very developed. The main visual interest is in the drawing of caricature characters with stereotypical appearance and attitudes. Together with stylised backdrops including blank rooms, countryside, train toilets etc.

0: Zemni Animation: related posts 3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration 3: PigTales, India Inspiration: global animation cultures

Global Inspiration: Japan

Pretty naf subject matter. But very selective movement, and real focus on the dynamism of end rest positions.

Studio Ghibli

Isao Takahata

To feel the reality within the drawings rather that think the drawings themselves are real.

Grave of the Fireflies: distancing mechnisms

Hayao Miyazaki

Yoshifumo Kondo



You Tube

Post on manga styles. Importance of drama and perspective – eg cropping of photo cartoons

2: Creative Translation - related posts 3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration: global animation cultures

Global Inspiration: India

Animation in Hindi about the behefits of womem gettingva loan to buy a cow. Hanna Barbara productions.nwholecseries of Meena stories. Meena’s oarehts are un debt and her father says she will havevto be taken outbif school. They gobtobthe jarket to get a loan from a shopkeeper. Meena notices thaf thecshopkeeoer has put the loan for 18 years and not 8 years – cheating her father outbif a lot of money. Hecsays he wants her to carrybon a5 school. Her teachers suggesr they get a loan and buy a cow. And everything ends happily. Meena gets a bike.
An8mation witg English text about eatly marriage,
Animatuon in English about benefits of wonen getting loans and tra8n’bg gor handicrafts.
3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration: global animation cultures

Global inspiration: Western Europe and North America

Rough collection of animations from You Tube and recommendations I found interesting for my work on wordless animation. Unfortunately some are no longer at their 2020 URL.

· – for animation inspiration (eastern)

· – for animation inspiration (western)

Oona Grimes, murd : pagina quattro, 2020, Courtesy of the artist and Danielle Arnaud gallery, London. 2.28 mins
Fellini’s La Strada [1954] mis-remembered and re-invented… Rapid fire images and action notations create unplanned collisions… Flashes of accidental animation. Gelsomina is a naif from the margins who has fallen through the cracks. She retains her innocence despite being sold to the brutal travelling performer, Zampano. Her drum playing gives her a job and a voice, a starring role loved by children and therefore a means of survival in the ruins of post-war Italy.
Edwina Ashton, Mr Panz at Lake Leman, 2010, Courtesy the artist and Tintype, London, and with thanks to Animate Projects and to Drawing Room, London. 6 mins
Edwina Ashton’s hand-drawn, animated films hinge on the mismatch between our intentions and reality, offering narratives that draw on painful observations of everyday behaviour and individual foibles. The film follows the daily habits and explores the memories of Mr Panz, a removed, particular gentleman elephant living in a hotel on Lake Geneva. His diffidence is matched by the sensitive, almost hesitant style of Ashton’s animated drawings, which include a remarkably economical differentiation of an elephant and a mole.
Markus Vater, Worlds Don’t Come Easy, 2020, Courtesy of the artist. 10 minutes
A tear finds happiness in the first of these short film vignettes packed into ten minutes: a mountain top rescue has an unexpected outcome; a chameleon gets confused matching its own reflection; God loses an eye; dandelion fairies commit mass suicide; a gun barrel proves a sub-optimal choice of home… There’s a dark twist to many of these tales, belied by the jaunty and diverse range of accompanying music, candy colour combinations and absurd humour. Markus Vater recently gave a talk entitled ‘Things that are there because they are not there, like a shadow, or death…’

Documentary narrative

Jonathan Hodgson

Commentary on life and narratives about mental illness, sexuality, cruelty and politics. Some of the animations are driven by voice-over narrative. But his very simple evocative style is carefully adapted to subject matter and uses drawing styles and animation techniques that I could experiment with in my own work.

See more on vimeo:

Dogs (1981) A man takes his dog for a walk in the park where they encounter other dogs and their owners. The film explores the relationship between a man and his dog highlighting their contrasting approaches to life. Worldess animation, originally 6mm film.
Menagerie (1984) is a wordless animation about the experience of the animals in living in captivity in London Zoo. The film was used by the charity Zoocheck to help promote their campaign for the protection of wild animals. The film was animated with pencil on paper and frosted cel and shot on 16mm film.
An example of his psychological narratives. The animation is driven by the voice narrative. But the evocative painterly style is something I could experiment with. A gang of kids find a strange house with an overgrown garden where they play. Only once do they meet the man who lives there, a dead-beat alcoholic with a free and easy spirit who welcomes them. The children see him as a romantic character in stark contrast to their neurotically house proud parents.
End of the Death Penalty 2012 spearheading Amnesty International’s campaign. Simple monochrome style with voiceover narrative about one Iranian lawyer’s fight to save juveniles from execution. Uses a combination of still backgrounds and moving figures, ending in photographs of actual people and events.

Surreal narrative

Peter Millard

See movies on:

Produces short surreal animations in a child-like style with simple line and crayon/wash. Many of his animations depend on use of sound effects and have no words.

David Shrigley

British illustrator who has some of his comic narratives converted into animation. Although he relies a lot on voice narrative, his very direct and simplified cartoon style could be replicated in iPad animation.

Steve Cutts

Humorous animation about the history of ‘Man’ in the world. Complex Flash animation.

Amusing animation about tyranny and conformity. Quite complex Flash animation.

3D animation but basic idea could be translated into simple 2D style.


Baker Mark
Ross Bollinger

Pencilmation simple humorous Flash animation.

See You Tube channel:


From Google search on 2D and/or Flash animation

Visual abstraction

Oskar Fishinger

Oskar Wilhelm Fischinger (22 June 1900 – 31 January 1967) was a German-American abstract animator, filmmaker, and painter, notable for creating abstract musical animation many decades before the appearance of computer graphics and music videos. He created special effects for Fritz Lang’s 1929 Woman in the Moon, one of the first sci-fi rocket movies, and influenced Disney’s Fantasia. He made over 50 short films and painted around 800 canvases, many of which are in museums, galleries, and collections worldwide. Among his film works is Motion Painting No. 1 (1947).

Ian Gouldstone

Experimental conceptual animations using a range of techniques.

Two forms, a red ball and a yellow stick, rest in the silent darkness, then hover and morph with sound effects. Can I replicate this through a blended foreground in procreate to give atmosphere? Certainly later in Adobe Animate.
Use of front mask to contain and emphasise the motion. This could be done as a foreground in Procreate or added later in Adobe Animate.
Experimental film


See also scratch video
  • Death Valley Days: Secret Love by Gorilla Tapes 1984
  • Absence of Satan, George Barber, 1985 Comply, Emergency Broadcast Network, 1993 UygGnN0
  • Martin Arnold Passage à l’acte (1993) kill_a_mockingbird
  • A diary/travelogue film shot on super 16mm with differing frame rate transfers overlaid upon one another. –
Parada, Jerzy Kucia, 1986

A very evocative Polish black and white film animation about Harvest.

Uses variations in abstract framing, focus and timing to evoke memories and reflections.

Film grain, light and shadow plays evokes the time that has passed. Subtle monochrome colour shifts and selective colouring eg shirts of harvesters as the main things remembered.

Dreamlike reflections are produced through eg drawn/overlaid animation of birds.

Music and sound effects re-inforce the feelings of dreamy nostalgia, noise or threat.

Con Leche, Jordan Wolson, 2009

Animated cartoon of Diet Coke bottles filled up with milk. Shot on video in Detroit Michigan, the characters walk through the desolate streets in real video sometimes in groups and sometimes alone. The image wobbles, flips and turns inside of the video frame. 

A commercial voice over actress speaks from texts collected from the internet referencing identity, technology, memory and mortality most of which are personal accounts spoken in first person. Every few minutes Jordan Wolfson interrupts her giving basic formal instructions and adjustments distorting her tone, volume, and “sex”.

Wimshurst selection
Confusion Through Sand
Kairos Trailer by Studio La Cache
Film de Cube – Ecole la Poudrière
Good Books Metamorphosis
Delta Sleep – Afterimage music Video
Wednesday with Goddard
ROXY x Masanobu
Zed: Death Mark by Ryan Woodward

Snowman wordless.


Google images

Pig of Happiness

Love Monkey

The Lady and the Chocolate

Work with the Samaritans

Cloud of Loveliness

Beautiful thoughts

The Coffee of Joy

Let Us Be Lovely

Sheep of Destiny

See also Lucas Ragazoni

3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration: global animation cultures

Global Inspiration: Eastern Europe


Czech animators are considered pioneers in film animation. Czech animation began in 1920s. Most early animation was commercial and some children’s animation. , but there were some experimental films such as Myšlenka hledající světlo (Thought looking for light).

The “Golden Era” dates between 1950s and 1980s. The roots of Czech puppet animation began in the mid-1940s when puppet theater operators, Eduard Hofman and Jiří Trnka founded the Poetic animation school, Bratři v triku. Czech animators include Jiří TrnkaKarel ZemanBřetislav Pojar,  or Jiří Barta. Czech animators have employed Cutout animationPuppet animation and Clay animation. Animated films were funded by the State during Communism but were censored and many projects couldn’t be realised as a result.

3D animation is seldom used due to lack of finances and trained 3D animators. This led to downturn in the years after 1989.

Film industry was privatised after 1989 which resulted in lack of finances for animated films and limitation of films produced by Czech animators. On the other hand, there are still successful films made. Jan Švankmajer made films such as Faust. Other successful animators include Aurel KlimtPavel Koutský or Michaela Pavlátová.

Jiří Trnka

Jiří Trnka was a part of Puppet Films Studio. He made 3 full-length and some short animated films in the end of 1940s and was one of the most productive animators in the world. His films in the 1950s such as Prince BayayaOld Czech Legends or A Midsummer Night’s Dream earned him nickname “the Walt Disney of Eastern Europe”. His final film The Hand was declared the 5th best animated picture in history.

Jan Svankmajer
Břetislav Pojar

His debut film One Glass Too Much was successful worldwide.

(1981) A giant statue of the letter “E” arrives in the park. One man sees it as “B”; they are preparing to cart him off to the looney bin when a doctor arrives and determines the man needs glasses. Then the king arrives; he also sees “B”. He tries on the glasses, sees “E”, and pins a medal on the doctor then has his goon squad come and bash on everyone’s head until they too see “B”.

Karel Zeman

Zeman’s films mixed animation with live-action actors. His films drew inspiration from novels Jules Verne.[10] His The Fabulous World of Jules Verne is considered the most successful Czech film ever made

Second animation studio was based in Zlín. Karel Zeman and Hermína Týrlová are considered the main figures of Zlín animators. Týrlová earned fame for her children’s films. Her most famous film is The Revolt of Toys. .


Estonian animation tradition dates back to the 1930s when the first experimental films were made. The only surviving short film from the era is Kutsu-Juku seiklusi (Adventures of Juku the dog) (1931). After the Great DepressionWorld War II, and Soviet Occupation interrupted its development, Estonian animation was reborn in 1958. Elbert Tuganov founded a puppet film division Nukufilm in Tallinnfilm Studio. The first film was titled Peetrikese unenägu based on a Danish writer Jens Sigsgaard’s children story Palle alene i verdenJoonisfilm a traditional cell animation division of Tallinnfilm was founded by Rein Raamat in 1971. Films like Põld (1978), nominee for Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival in 1979; Lend (1973), the winner of Special Jury Award at the Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films; the Suur Tõll (1980), 2nd place at Ottawa International Animation Festival in 1982 and Põrgu (Hell) (1983), the winner of FIPRESCI Prize and Special Jury Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival made Raamat the first internationally recognized Estonian animation director.

Since Estonia regained independence in 1991 Nukufilm and Joonisfilm continued to operate as private companies owned by the filmmakers. During the era internationally most successful Estonian animation director has been Priit Pärn[1] the winner of Grand Prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in 1998 for Porgandite öö (Night of the Carrots). Crocodile by Kaspar Jancis was selected to be the Best European Anima film at Cartoon d’or 2010. The other film of Jancis “Villa Antropoff” was awarded with the Special Mention on Scancroma Festival[

The country’s animation industry got under way in the 1950s, under the aegis of the state film studio. The first directors were amateurs: trained biologists or wannabe architects who learned to animate by improvising in the studio. Steady funding from above gave them the leeway to experiment. On the other hand, scripts had to be approved by Moscow mandarins, who tended to ban films they didn’t like and take credit for those they did. Censorship fostered a flair for coded satire among many Estonian filmmakers. The country’s location on the fringes of the USSR let them get away with more than artists closer to Moscow, while also putting them in touch with western culture through such media as Finnish television.

Tuganov1959. Atmospheric hero and ring fairy tle in puppet animation.

Pars Nails animation political satire scenes of seduction and violent confrontation are acted out by two pliable nails. The risqué subject matter troubled Moscow, but it was the virtuosic manipulation of the props that caught my eye. You wouldn’t guess that the nails are made of rubber.

Rein Ramaat

Avo paistik

Priit Parn

Commercially and creatively, however, it has been eclipsed by cel animation. This is mostly due to the output of one man: Priit Pärn. Starting out as a caricaturist, Pärn flourished as an animator in the dying days of the USSR, by which time his art was stretching the censorship laws to breaking point. The characters in Triangle (1982) and Breakfast on the Grass (1988) are ugly and poor, and dream of being elsewhere. The films enliven their dreary routines with garish colours and a fiendish comic timing. Social realism this ain’t.

After the USSR crumbled, Pärn turned his sharp sights on everything from capitalism to movies themselves. His masterpiece 1895 (1995) marked the centenary of cinema by skewering it, arguing that it has warped and falsified our historical memory. A grim, absurd humour permeates all his films, saving them from mere political didacticism. The retrospective of his works in Hiroshima was enhanced by the presence of the man himself, who came in a Je Suis Pärn T-shirt and spent the week casually flouting the decorum of our Japanese hosts.

Pärn’s films are hugely charismatic, his crude visuals easy enough to imitate, and almost every major Estonian animator in his wake bears his influence. This was very apparent at the festival, where I watched his shorts and those of his acolytes Ülo Pikkov and Priit Tender in quick succession. In their positions as teachers at Estonia’s sole animation school, Pärn and his wife Olga continue to train the country’s youngest artists – including foreigners who have moved there to learn from them. The Pärn style has gone global, impressing itself on everything from Rugrats to a whole generation of Japanese filmmakers (just watch Nihei Sarina’s Small People with Hats, 2015).

Priit Parn 1984. Surreal Daliesque animation on nonsensical but often funny transformations about absurdities of life.
Ja Teeb Trikke 1978
animation is like poetry. No favourite technique. The story comes first. Then see what style fits. But sometimes you find a technique you like and then the story comes.
3: Contemporary Animation Inspiration - related posts In Process Inspiration: global animation cultures

Global Inspiration: Africa

!! Rough Notes. To be further developed and updated. Fast evolving industry.

Ng’endo Mukii

You Tube animation 2020

Main topics:

  • Cartoons for childrens’ education
  • African heritage and history
  • Development issues

Features of You Tube animations 2020

  • Puppetlike stylised 2D animation. Seems to be done in Flash?
  • 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.

Key Sources

Africa Angles To Be Animation’s Next Global Hotspot, Rob Salkowitz, Forbes Magazine, Jun 26, 2020

Why Africa’s animation scene is booming Vivienne Nunis & Sarah Treanor BBC News, 14 October 2020

African Animation Network

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