Optical Poems by Oskar Fischinger, the Avant-Garde Animator Hated by Hitler, Dissed by Disney

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At a time when much of animation was consumed with little anthropomorphized animals sporting white gloves, Oskar Fischinger went in a completely different direction. His work is all about dancing geometric shapes and abstract forms spinning around a flat featureless background.


Why We Love Repetition in Music: Explained in a New TED-Ed Animation

≡ Category: Animation, Music |4 Comments

Our favorite pop songs have a repeating chorus. You can pretty much bank on that. But, as it turns out, repetition isn’t just a phenomenon in Western music. You’ll find it in many forms of music across the globe.


David Bowie & Brian Eno’s Collaboration on “Warszawa” Reimagined in Comic Animation

≡ Category: Animation, Comedy, Music |2 Comments

If you want to talk about David Bowie, you’ll sooner or later have to talk about Brian Eno.


Dripped: An Animated Tribute to Jackson Pollock’s Signature Painting Technique

≡ Category: Animation, Art |Leave a Comment

To make an exciting movie, do you really need much more than an art thief and his capers? With Dripped, animator Léo Verrier sees that can’t-miss premise and raises it in an exploration of art history.


Watch Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, the First Animated Movie (1906)

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August and Louis Lumière might have made the first film – a simple, static shot of workers leaving their factory for the day – but George Méliès invented the art form of cinema. Through his experiments, Méliès discovered that magic happened when he turned the camera off and on. People suddenly disappeared into thin air.


How Languages Evolve: Explained in a Winning TED-Ed Animation

≡ Category: Animation, Science, TED Talks, Video - Politics/Society |1 Comment

Language. It’s as adaptable as Darwin’s finches.
It’d be interesting to know how the Internet changes the game. Seems like it would go a long way toward democratizing the process by which lingo gets mingled.


Kafka’s Parable “Before the Law” Narrated by Orson Welles & Illustrated with Great Pinscreen Art

≡ Category: Animation, Film, Literature |1 Comment

On Friday, we featured Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose,” adapted in 1963 through the work-intensive but aesthetically stunning means of “pinscreen animation” by Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker.


Nikolai Gogol’s Classic Story, “The Nose,” Animated With the Astonishing Pinscreen Technique (1963)

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A mild-looking barber slices into his morning loaf of bread to find a human nose embedded within. You might imagine this image opening the next David Lynch movie, but it actually sets up a more lighthearted, much older, and much more Russian story: Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose.


Help Kickstart Baba Brinkman’s Animated Rap Guide to Religion

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If you’ve been frequenting Open Culture long enough, you’ll know all about the Canadian “geek rapper” Baba Brinkman and his epic raps. The subjects of Brinkman’s raps have included evolution, artificial selection, The Canterbury Tales, and British versus Canadian English.


Before The Simpsons: Homer Groening Directs a 1969 Short Film, The Story, Starring His Kids Maggie, Lisa & Matt

≡ Category: Animation, Film |1 Comment

The Story (1969) is a cute short film about two kids, Matt and Lisa, telling their younger sister Maggie a bedtime story about meeting some animals, and an alien, in the woods. You can watch it above. The Matt in this film is none other than Matt Groening, who would go on to create The Simpsons. Their dad, Homer, made the movie.


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