Disney’s 12 Timeless Principles of Animation Demonstrated in 12 Animated Primers

Last year, we fea­tured Dis­ney’s twelve time­less prin­ci­ples of ani­ma­tion, which Dis­ney ani­ma­tors Frank Thomas and Ollie John­ston first laid out in their 1981 book The Illu­sion of Life: Dis­ney Ani­ma­tion. Even if you’ve nev­er heard of the prin­ci­ples of “squash and stretch,” “fol­low-through,” and “sol­id draw­ing” before, you’ll sure­ly rec­og­nize their appli­ca­tion — in Dis­ney car­toons and most oth­ers besides — as soon as you read their expla­na­tions in that post. Not for noth­ing has Thomas and John­son’s book attained near-Bib­li­cal sta­tus among ani­ma­tors.

These 12 prin­ci­ples give ani­ma­tion the clar­i­ty of com­po­si­tion and rich­ness of motion Dis­ney’s stan­dards have us expect­ing. But how to actu­al­ly exe­cute these 12 prin­ci­ples in your own work? Alan Beck­er Tuto­ri­als breaks it down in a series of 12 videos focused on each prin­ci­ple, clear­ly illus­trat­ing how each looks in prac­tice and suc­cinct­ly explain­ing what it takes to do it right — and show­ing what hap­pens when you don’t.

Because most of us grew up watch­ing car­toons, and more than a few of us have tak­en the inter­est with us into adult­hood, we know good ani­ma­tion when we see it. After watch­ing these brief tuto­ri­als, even if you have no pro­fes­sion­al inter­est in bring­ing draw­ings to life, you’ll find out how much qual­i­ty ani­ma­tion has to do with adher­ence to the 12 prin­ci­ples. You can learn about all of them on the series’ Youtube playlist, a view­ing expe­ri­ence that will enrich your mem­o­ries of the best car­toons you watched in child­hood with an under­stand­ing of what made them the best — and an under­stand­ing of what made all the oth­ers seem so cheap. I’m look­ing at you, Grape Ape.

via Devour

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Disney’s 12 Time­less Prin­ci­ples of Ani­ma­tion

How Walt Dis­ney Car­toons Are Made

The Best Ani­mat­ed Films of All Time, Accord­ing to Ter­ry Gilliam

Free Ani­mat­ed Films: From Clas­sic to Mod­ern

Col­in Mar­shall writes on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, and the video series The City in Cin­e­maFol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.