Skip to main content

YouTube, Vine, Instagram, and the 2014 Animation Tide-Change

Quick!  Name all of the names of the animation endorsing channels on TV! -Let's see, Fox, Comedy Central, Hub, Cartoon Network/[adult swim], Disney Channel, uhhh...drawing a blank here guys.  If you think about it for just a second of two, you'll realize what a rare comedy it is to find actually good animated entertainment.  Whether it's today, or 20 years ago when all animation was broadcast Saturday mornings and Sunday nights, today, mostly crap television, then, mostly crap television.  My point is NOTING has changed!  Right?  Wrong!  I'm sure at this point you are intimintly familiar with YouTube, Vine, and the overwhelming amount of video-sharing social networks.  Well, within the past 2 years, animation, and should I add actually good animation, has started to have a tide-change, thanks to these social networking platforms.
Cartoon Network's Steven Universe, which premiered last year



Just a few months ago, Starburns Industries/[adult swim] released a full episode of their recently premiered show, Rick and Morty, through Instagram video.  This was done through putting out over 100 15-second clips that, when marathon watched one after another, strings together a 22-minute (a full half-hour show in TV time), big budget episode of the show


In mid-January of last year, twitter and Instagram released a very similar video sharing service, Twitter, a 6-second looping video network, which could be taken by using their app for smartphones.  Instagram, a 15-second looping video network, that can also be taken via iPhone and Android devices.  Though unlike Twitter, you can upload a video to your phone, so it doesn't have to be taken with just your phone camera.




Since then, I have seen countless Stop Motion and 2d animations made possible through these platforms.  Their traction has on the internet has, and will keep doubling, and doubling, and doubling.

I have seen Vine grow a considerable amount faster than Instagram video, though.  But who's to say suddenly Instagram video won't suddenly grow a mile high traction wise tomorrow?

The channel that can take the most credit for the tide-change on YouTube, and let's not remember YouTube is the one who has really caused these other networks to work, is Cartoon Hangover.  Cartoon Hangover, was started by Fred Seibert, also founder of Frederator Studios.  His company can take responsibility/credit for shows such as the Pop cutler phenomenon, Adventure Time, as well as The Fairly OddParents, and Bravest Warriors.
Created by Pendleton Ward, Bravest Warriors remains the most successful cartoon on Cartoon Hangover to date

Launched mid-2012, CH has continued to produce TV quality shows for free!  Where they make money is their merchandising, a huge money maker business to get into when creating a cult show.  If you don't know the name Cartoon Hangover, chances are that you've probably seen one of their videos (Bravest Warriors, Rocket Dog, Bee and PuppyCat).
Bee and PuppyCat, accumulated over $850,000 in their 30-day Kickstarer campaign

A couple weeks ago, Frederator purchased Simon's Cat.  A flash animation made strictly for YouTube.  Simon's Cat was created by a British animator named Simon Tofield.  The show?  Think Garfield minus the talking.  SC has expanded past YouTube into merchandise and multi-laungage book.  The channel currently has almost 3,000,000 subscribers since it's launch in 2009.
Simon's Cat, and his owner

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.  I'll keep this concise for time's sake, The Cyanide & Happiness Show crowd funded $770,309 through Kickstarter.  And now, it has hundreds of millions of views.  Another Kickstarter success story, Baman Piderman just raised almost $80,000!  Remember, it's not a production house, it's 2 people sitting in front of computers!  All of these, some monthly, some even weekly, YouTube shows!
Baman Piderman raised over $80,000 last month on Kickstarter for 5 episodes to be shown as a YouTube show

To bring my point home on this tide-change fact, big Hollywood companies are starting to cash into this YouTube business too.  DreamWorks Animation (Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Madagascar) just launched their own YouTube only channel, DreamWorksTV.  Where they'll start posting seasons of shows strictly for YouTube.  Some originals, some featuring characters that we already know and love like Shrek.  This is actually happening!


These are my thoughts on this subject, but if you do some Googling, you'll find others who have similar feelings as I.  I'm going to leave with one statement 'YouTube, the next television.'

Popular posts from this blog

"Robot Jox"

With the upcoming RoboCop remake I though it only necessary to discuss the 1989 action flick Robot Jox. Robot Jox was the first massive project for David Allen Productions, and to watch the movie shows you that with $10,000,000 and a devoted and passionate crew, you can accomplish a magnificent final product.

Robot Jox, full film: http://youtu.be/jZXWHswqCQo



According to Ray Harryhausen, the gigantic Stop Motion puppets were, "The robot puppets for Robot Jox were so heavy that they often needed to be supported by tungsten wire sliding along overhead rails while walking."


Even though the critics were none to pleased by this film, many new and unseen things were accomplished in this film.  It is worth a look or two.




I hope after reading this post and watching the film you will agree with me, even though it's not Shakespeare, this is a innovative, and interesting masterpiece of film.

Interview with Mark Smith, Director and Writer of Stop Motion Short Film, "Two Balloons"

As I sit, listening to Peter Broderick’s moving composition for piano More Of A Composition, I close my eyes and envisage an enormous funnel cloud skimming across the crystalline face of an ocean – the skies are murky and unusually dark, lightning crackles, spider-webbing across the darkened skies before then vanishing, and still, after its gone, an electricity continues to hum in the air and I simply know that it’s going to soon strike again. And as the scene presents itself to me, I suddenly feel something similar to what director Mark C. Smith felt when he saw the same image as he sailed to a small island called Grenada along with his wife in a timeworn sailboat. For him, in that moment inspiration struck, and the idea suddenly came to him for his heartfelt stop motion film, Two Balloons. For me, I open my eyes and feel as I did the instant Two Balloons faded to black – as if I’ve just woken from a stunning and beautiful dream, one I immediately mourn not being able to see again f…

Aardman Co-Founder David Sproxton's Tips for Success in the Animation Industry, Part 1 (of 3): 3 Pre-Production Tips

“It all started at a kitchen table,” says co-founder of Aardman Animations, David Sproxton, about the beginning of his career in animation, “Pete [Peter Lord] and I met as schoolkids….Pete and I got to be great mates and we started playing and thinking up stories. I was always interested in photography and kind of, I guess, the process thing about films….One day we got out the Bolex, stuck it up on a stand and actually just cut images out of color supplements. We’d obviously watched programs like Vision On, which obviously used a plethora of styles. Cut out is the easiest thing to do. We didn’t really understand cel animation or actually how you drew stuff. We just moved stuff around and did stuff with chalk drawings.”

Earlier this year, Aardman, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their studio, released a conversation with David Sproxton that follows-up an earlier interview with Watershed’s Mark Cosgrove that was released in 2010. These mini-documentaries – cheekily dubbed “Aa…

Interview with Joseph Wallace, Director of Spark's "Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)" Official Music Video

Neon feathers fly and a midnight chase ensues in a 1930s’ Paris imagined by BAFTA Cymru nominated director Joseph Wallace, traversing through streets, cafés, and across rooftops sporting tilted chimneys and scaly shingles in the music video for legendary American pop-alternative band Sparks’ latest hit, “Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me),” praised by the band as, “Perhaps Sparks’ best video ever.”


The video is a gorgeous and somewhat psychedelic romp through the stylized 1930s’ Paris cityscape – “Piaf’s Paris,” as dubbed by Wallace – through which we follow stop motion versions of the Mael brothers, Ron and Russell, whom together comprise Sparks, as they follow a large, neon-colored bird – a sight that provides a stark contrast to the otherwise moody, muddy color palette of Wallace’s Paris, composing a beautiful and exciting ambiance of 3-and-a-half-plus minutes of pure cinematic bliss.

The world of the film was built primarily using cardboard, the backgrounds were painted panorama…

Interview with Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Director, Writer, and Animator of Stop Motion Short Film "Bath House"

In art as in life, when in the thick of something – a chain of, at times, loosely connected actions and consequences – it can be easy to miss “the point.” It’s often only in retrospect – the moment when one can contemplate, assessing and reassessing an event, whether mundane or abnormal – when one can discover meaning and a “point” to events in life as in art. When in the thick of something, things often feel commonplace, moments of actual weight sporadic, chaotic, and adrift, lost in the moment.

Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s Bath House – a 15-minutes-long short film – perfectly captures these feelings of disorder and inconsequential consequence in the midst of the mundane and seemingly aimless. This mood is further accentuated in the film by a disquieting lack of a soundtrack, using dialogue only sparingly which perfectly accompanies Bahr’s incredibly lifelike puppets and animation, together harmonizing and bringing to life moments and an atmosphere that are rarely (if ever) captured on …

Interview with Kangmin Kim, Director of Stop Motion Short Film, "Deer Flower"

The experience of childhood is something like existing within a waking dream. In childhood, as in particularly vibrant dreams, the distinct and unique experience presents itself to simply exist in each moment without explanation or reflection – to become fully and wholly enveloped in each and every moment, the option of operating outside of which is somehow nonexistent. In that special time in one’s life, moments simply are. And yet, childhood, like dreams, is a fragile and temporary reality. It’s not until one “wakes” from childhood, by entering adulthood, that one can reflect upon and appreciate the past and, in retrospect, realize just how odd and unusual certain experiences might have actually been. Korean filmmaker and animator Kangmin Kim captures this feeling beautifully in his outstanding short film Deer Flower.

Deer Flower tells the semi-autobiographical of auteur Kangmin Kim’s childhood experience of dealing with persistent illness and of taking one of the remedies his paren…

Aardman Co-Founder David Sproxton's Tips for Success in the Animation Industry, Part 2 (of 3): 4 Production Tips

Over the course of Aardman co-founder David Sproxton’s two in-depth interviews with Watershed’s Mark Cosgrove, it becomes blatantly obvious that his easy-to-listen-to, soft-spoken words offer an invaluable resource to animators and filmmakers alike in the way becoming successful in the business of animation.

In keeping with the theme of last-week’s article, this week signifies the second post in Stop Motion Geek’s series of articles on advice for animators and filmmakers accrued from Sproxton’s interviews with Cosgrove about the history of Aardman, wittily titled “Aardocs.” Last week, the elements of Sproxton’s advice that I chose to write about primarily pertained to pre-production, whereas this week I’ve chosen advice of his that pertain primarily to the process of production. His advice – posted below – span everything from importance of knowing your limitations to an excellent way to to build your skill-set as an animator or filmmaker to the value of creative and technical constr…

"Welcome To My Daydream" Documentary About Stop Motion Filmmaker Will Vinton Now on Kickstarter

With four days left to go on Kickstarter, the documentary about the Oscar-winning filmmaker and Claymation filmmaker, Will Vinton, Welcome To My Daydream, climbs steadily towards its goal of $35,000 with 10k left to raise.

Will Vinton, one of the stop motion industry’s most undervalued pioneers – who, in 1978, coined and trademarked the term “Claymation” – was the founder of Will Vinton studios, under which he contributed to creating iconic Claymation characters such as the California Raisins, ‘80s Domino’s mascot Noid, the non-Claymation Red and Yellow M&M’s, as well as having spearheaded Claymation films such as The Adventures of Mark Twain and A Claymation Christmas Celebration, as well as dozens of other feature-length and short films.

Welcome To My Daydream tells the little-known saga of Will Vinton’s career and the and rise and fall of Will Vinton Studios, a stop motion production company founded with high hopes only to eventually fizzle out in the early 2000s, bereft of fund…

Behind the Scenes of "Robocop 2" at Tippett Studios and how "Jurassic Park" Changed Special Effects Forever

A depressingly large percentage of Hollywood movies boast a gratuitous amount of potential and possibility and yet, for one reason or another, often fall far, far too short to live up to the films they seem to have the potential of being. Although it’s a shame that many of these films have a stupendous level of production value and talent but are often often overlooked, as production value and talent are seen as secondary and supplementary to a quality story – the special effects work done on such second-rate films sadly go unrecognized the most often. An immutable fact stands strong – mediocre films, no matter the level of talent and amount of time poured into producing their special effects, are seen and remembered as nothing but wasted potential…or worse. Yet few box office bombs have had special practical effects work as groundbreaking, especially in the stop motion realm, and yet unfortunately remains unrecognized in every respect than the 1990 film Robocop 2, both an irrefutabl…

Interview with Sean Ohlenkamp, Co-Creator of "Oh My Gourd - A Halloween Stop Motion Pumpkin Carving Experiment"

Just in time for Halloween, stop motion animator Sean Ohlenkamp and photographer Robert Popkin have teamed up to bring us their spellbinding stop motion pumpkin carving experiment, Oh My Gourd, a special treat of a short film, many years in the making.

Two astonishingly talented animators, one stage – a wooden box with “character,” one black curtain, one all-pumpkin-themed soundtrack, several candles, and “dozens upon dozens upon dozens of pumpkins,” says Ohlenkamp, “cut, gutted, rotated, scraped, poked, slapped, and banged” were what it took “to make this stop-motion animation and the music that brings it to life.”

The film, a 2-minute romp through beautiful and extravagant pumpkin-themed stop motion effects, was made using several techniques that are not unknown to stop motion, effects that allow the medium to flourish and step out to be as creative and inventive as only stop motion can be. Casting aside the atypical Halloween iconography, Ohlenkamp and Popkin dive deeper, playing a…