Before you binge-watch House of Cards later this month, take some time and watch the other great documentaries animators can learn from on Netflix. Netflix and other streaming media like YouTube and Vimeo have tons of tutorials and insight on how a film is made, who helps make that film, and other cool nuggets animators should know.
Binge watch and absorb all of the goodness!
– The Animation Mentor
Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan
Who influenced who? Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, John Lasseter, Peter Jackson, and many more influential directors of big blockbuster films pay homage to one person:
Ray Harryhausen is the grandfather of stop motion animation and special effects from King Kong to Jason and the Argonauts. Without his work in the golden age of cinema we wouldn’t have a Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or a Jurassic Park. He truly is one of the most influential artist of our industry.
I Know that Voice
Produced by Tommy Reid and John DiMaggio, the voice of famous cartoon characters like Futurama’s Bender, and Adventure Time’s Jake, this documentary takes a look inside of the other half. Animators animate to voice recordings, but have they ever met the person who is performing that voice? This gem is an in-depth look of the world of voice actors in animation. From Batman to Bart Simpson, meet the people who come up with the performances through voice acting. This documentary will surely inspire you when you are animating that difficult dialogue shot…
ILM: Creating the Impossible
Peer through the looking glass with this one hour documentary that gives you an awesome insight into the home of the Star Wars Franchise, Industrial Light & Magic. Known as the right brain of LucasFilm Ltd. (now Disney), ILM has created and innovated amazing visual effects for almost 4 decades. Featuring influential directors like George Lucas (of course), Steven Spielberg, John Lasseter, and Ron Howard, you are taken through the process, the thousands of man hours, the countless digital effects artists, and their love of movie magic.
PS. The ILM Visual FX channel is abundant with breakdown shots of blockbuster films they’ve worked on. Be sure to check it out and your jaw WILL drop!
Pixar Studio Stories
This series was created a while ago but it’s brilliant! This video series is comprised of small 2D drawn vignettes of priceless stories about the people who work at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville. One of our favorite stories was about how they lost the entire movie of Toy Story 2 and how they got it back.
Disney Insider Channel
This channel has plenty of amazing, short, behind-the-scenes videos of artists who work on your favorite Disney films. From legendary animator Glen Keane to Walt Disney himself, you’ll love these inspiring videos. Some gems include a vignette of Glen Keane drawing Rapunzel and how his daughter inspired the character, and how Character Designer, Jin Kim, draws and talks through his process of designing the Big Hero 6 Characters.
The Animation Roundtables
During award season, big media press houses like the L.A. Times, Hollywood Reporter, and the Oscars have one hour talks with the animation directors who are nominated or have been recognized for their work that year. This year, get an inside look of how animation directors pitch their movies, work with voice actors, animators, and various departments to get the studio to make their film. From Dean DeBlois, Director for How to Animate Your Dragon 2 to Chris Miller, Co-Director for The Lego Movie, these roundtables are a must-see for any aspiring animation directors.
The Illusion of Life
Being a great animator is like any art form – you have to master the basics. This short video beautifully illustrates the 12 principles of animation mastered by the legendary 9 Old Men from the golden age of Disney Animation. Based on the book The Illusion of Life, this is a great reference to refer to no matter what skill level you are as an animator.
Sound off below if you have a video you would like to share that will inspire animators to be better!
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