Dennis De Groot: Bare Essentials

'Bare Essentials' is a series of illustrations by Dennis De Groot reducing pop culture icons to just their essential shapes and colors. A selection of 50 illustrations was published in September 2011 by Lebowski Publishers under their Achievers imprint in collaboration with Nalden. You can purchase a copy via Amazon or visit the Facebook page for more information.

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Simian Mobile Disco & ISO Studio

Back in March London based studio ISO released a music video for Simian Mobile Disco track 'Cerulean' directed by Jack Featherstone and Will Samuel. A second video from the studio for new track 'Put Your Hands Together' has now been released, this time directed and animated by Hans Lo. We've posted both videos below...

Animation Inspired Nail Polish

We recently stumbled upon the ‘Polish Art Addiction’ blog where the author regularly posts about her obsession with all things nail polish. As part of an ongoing project followers can suggest cartoon characters for Leslie to paint on her nails. At the time of this post she had completed 148 animation themed manicures. We thought we’d share some of our favourites here...

Disney’s Paperman Teaser Poster

'Paperman' is the short that will precede 'Wreck-It Ralph' upon its release later this year. 'Paperman' has been generating a lot of interest for its distinctive blend of CG and hand drawn animation. It also marks the directorial debut of John Kahrs (Disney animator on 'Toy Story 2', 'Tangled', 'Monsters Inc', 'Bolt' and 'The Incredibles.') ‘Paperman’ will debut at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in June.


"Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting… with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him."

Oliver Jeffers Kinder Chocolate Advert

A few days after we posted about the Kinder Chocolate advert, with beautiful illustration from the fantastic Oliver Jeffers and directed by Russell Brooke, Passion Pictures posted it on their Vimeo channel. We can now share the spot with our followers.

Sean Soong: Subwars

Sean Soong of Communication University of China delivers this action-infused short that uses Star Wars-esque imagery to draw attention to improper subway etiquette.

Raoul Olou: Moment

Raoul Olou aka Mr Fogg animated this beautiful short. In a breath life goes on...

Matt Mendez - Square

An excellent papercraft stop motion music video for DJ Matt Mendez track 'Square.' Animated by Louis Tardivier (also the director), Marion Bouychou, Alexis Facca (aka Paper Donut) & Laurent Lasserre the video features a pink tape cassette rocketing through space.

Hommage To Tim Burton

We posted David Maingault's animated Tim Burton inspired short a few days ago. The short was created for a Tim Burton retrospective at La Cinémathèque française in Paris. EMCA Angoulême has now posted a collection of 8 Tim Burton inspired shorts from their students including David’s. Students involved in the project include: Clelia Nguyen, David Maingault, Thomas Champion, Tristan Domenjus, Anais Poilpre, Jeremy Corbeaux, Thomas Fournier, Adrien Fromenteil, Xavier Sailliol & Antoine Legendre

Gavin Strange Aardman Prints

In a similar vain to the minimalistic Wonchan Lee Pixar Prints we posted in March, Gavin Strange aka Jam Factory (Senior Designer for the digital department of illustrious Aardman Animations) has created these minimalistic illustrations of his favourite Aardman characters. Do you recognise all ten?

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Retchy: Scottish Dance Theatre

Graeme Hawkins aka Retchy is an animator, VJ and sound designer based in Dundee, Scotland. Graeme recently got in touch with the Animated Review to tell us about his latest project, a collaboration with choreographers Janet Smith and Sally Owen at the Scottish Dance Theatre.

Rethcy created a series of back drop projections for the theatre's first show aimed at children, a dance piece about sleep, dreams and the planet Earth called 'What On Earth?' Below we've posted a video compilation of the performance.

We've posted some of Graeme's work in the past when mentioning Phonotropes, but this is a different kind of piece and an all together new challenge for the animator himself. Having never had to precisely time his animation to coincide with the movements of a live performance before, Graeme himself admits he had to slightly fumble his way through the project. Rather interestingly Graeme documented his progress on his blog including details about the animation techniques, storyboards, shot breakdowns etc, as well as the various false starts and technical issues that arose throughout the project.

Yoshimichi Tamura: Réflexion

'Réflexion' revolves around a young woman and her quirky reflection, created with a mix of 2D and 3D animation in a beautiful painterly style. The animated short is from Yoshimichi Tamura (who in the past has worked for Disney, Dreamworks and more recently on feature film 'Zarafa') and the talented team of the French collective Planktoon.

Krow For Kinder Chocolate

The advert isn't up online for us to post on the Animated Review yet, but we thought it was worth a quick mention because of the involvement of the excellent Oliver Jeffers.

Kinder Chocolate is running its first stand-alone advertising campaign in the UK, having started last week. The £4.1m campaign, from Krow, will include TV and print. The TV advert will include animated characters from artist and illustrator Oliver Jeffers, and will feature the strapline ‘Invented for kids. Approved by Mums’. The campaign is set to run for 7 weeks so hopefully the advert will then get posted online for us to share.

Kingdom Of Heaven - And Come

We posted an animated music video from Japanese studio Onionskin last October. Now they're back with an excellent new video this time for Kingdom Of Heaven track 'And Come' on Take A Shower Records.

David Maingault: Harold

David Maingault animated this Tim Burton inspired short in just 3 days for a Tim Burton exhibition and film retrospective at La Cinémathèque française in Paris. The Tim Burton event at La Cinémathèque française is not only a wonderful opportunity to see all of his films but also the major exhibition designed by the New York MoMA in 2009 and a film programme of personal favourites selected by Tim Burton.

Burcu Sankur: Nurapaten

'Nurapaten' was made by Burcu Sankur during his second year of study at Supinfocom.

Ineke Goes: Seesaw

Dutch animator and illustrator Ineke Goes has created a rude parody of childhood favourite Barbapapa. For those readers who don't know Barbapapa is a shape shifting pink blob and star of numerous children's books written in the 1970s by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor. In 'Seesaw' we see a man and woman with Barbapapa genitals that morph into a seesaw... bizarre!

For more animation and illustration from Ineke Goes you can visit her website here.

Aardman For Reggae Reggae Sauce

Keith Valentine Graham better known as, British-Jamaican reggae musician/television personality/celebrity chef, Levi Roots comes to life as an Aardman character in his new TV ad for Reggae Reggae Sauce.

Barber Filth Pink Panther Paintings

Last March the Animated Review posted some of the animation inspired prints by Rob Barber aka Barber Filth. Rob has recently been updating his blog with some older pieces and we'd thought we'd share a couple of his Pink Panther paintings...

The Shins - The Rifle's Spiral

Jamie Caliri directed this magical music video for Portland-based indie rock band The Shins. Sketching the short’s narrative from any lyrics that grabbed his attention, Caliri had free rein to let his imagination run wild, resulting in this surreal stop-motion animation. “I have always loved Edward Gorey’s illustration work and his influence is apparent throughout the video,” says Caliri. “Also, seeing Martin Scorsese’s Hugo three times subconsciously veered my thoughts onto the magic theme.”

Bird Box: Chop Chop

The latest short from the hilarious team at Bird Box is titled 'Chop Chop.'

56th Studio Character Chairs

Product design studio 56th Studio make graphical, quirky and decorative objects. One of their latest projects are 'Caricature Chairs,' a creative hijacking project that pulls popular culture icons, reduces them to a sum of their fundamental features and turns them into a functional and communicative objects.

The Simpsons set of 4 chairs pictured above would set you back around £1500.00

Grant Orchard: Yeah Just There

We're not too sure if Luciano Folgila's 'Geometric Porn' and this piece by Studio AKA's Grant Orchard are in any way related but they bare an uncanny similarity!

Both pieces are abstract representations of sexual activity, both created for App's, both rejected by Apple and both currently re-submitted for reconsideration. It'd be interesting to find out more about these two projects.

Update: Grant has informed us that the two pieces are unrelated saying...

"I saw Luciano's app two weeks ago and thought it was great, but also gutted because it shared similarities with this. At that point our app had been rejected by Apple as well - but a week later was accepted."

The App, commissioned to celebrate onedotzero's 15th birthday. is one of several wallpaper making Granimator™ packs. Grant has developed a kit of suggestively sexy parts, entertaining for the jejune and the outright dirty. Looks like a lot of fun!

Seed Animation: The Magic Seeds

London based Seed Animation commissioned illustrator & artist Yuki Nishimura to decorate their studio space with a surreal and intricate mural based on the James Reeves’s poem ‘The Magic Seeds.’ The mural took Yuki 2.5 months to paint, the incredible amount of detail and bizarre characters lead the studio to create an animated adaptation of the piece which we've posted below.

“Whilst the mural is an extremely detailed and visual marvel (and one that inspires us every day) we felt the back story of the characters needed to be told. So as soon as the final paintbrush was wiped down, we commissioned Yuki to animate and voice an ident that lives out the poem."

(Thanks to Charlotte at Seed Animation)

Bill Plympton's Simpsons Couch Gag

This is now the third Simpsons couch gag commissioned from an outside artist. Following in the footsteps of Banksy and John Kricfalusi, quintessential New York indie animator Bill Plympton animated the opening sequence for the latest episode 'Beware My Cheating Bart.'

Not To Scale For Red Cross Mexico

PUNGA/Not To Scale created organ-devouring worms for Red Cross Mexico, a brilliantly creative and funny way to get people to sign up for organ donation.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch

'Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch' is a RPG created by the Japanese development team at LEVEL-5 with animation by the legendary Studio Ghibli.

Following its Japanese release back in 2011 for PlayStation3, the game is finally coming to European fans in early 2013 with Japanese and English voiceover and text localised in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Ni No Kuni - Wrath Of The White Witch will initially only be available on PS3 hopefully other platforms will follow.

BFI Jiří Trnka Retrospective

Revered by Jean Cocteau and the Quay Brothers, and influential to this day, the Czech puppet animation pioneer Jiří Trnka was one of the cinema's great originals. The BFI present a centenary retrospective of his work starting tonight with a screening of the wonderful 'The Emperor's Nightingale' in which a lonely convalescent boy dreams up a fantastical world based entirely on the toys and objects surrounding him. The retrospective concludes on the 27th of April with a collection of 'Trnka Shorts for Adults'. Also included in the programme: 'The Good Soldier Svejk (Eps I, II, III)', 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Old Czech Legends' & 'Prince Bayaya.'

The BFI have in the past released DVD retrospective collections of Jan Svankmajers, The Quay Brothers and Lotte Reinigers works, it would be fantastic to see a similar release of Trnkas films in the near future.

Herself Magazine Issue 2

When the Animated Review posted about the launch issue of the fully illustrated magazine ‘Herself’ last October, which featured a 'fashion shoot' with Disney Princesses, we assumed this would be a one-off.

The second issue of 'Herself' has just been released and has Kristen Stewart and Snow White on the cover and an article entitled 'Cinderella The Capri Girl' inside.

We wonder if the next issue will feature Disney Princesses too?

Tigercats - Full Moon Reggae Party

Fantastic animated music video for 'Full Moon Reggae Party', the first single from East London’s indiepop band Tigercats' debut album 'Isle Of Dogs.' The bands singer & guitarist, Duncan, spent many days locked away drawing and animating the video... obviously a very talented man!

'Full Moon Reggae Party' is a digital single released 2nd of April. Available here: Fika Recordings

Buck For iHop Restaurants

This spot for iHop Restaurants, one of America's favourite restaurant chains, was created by Buck. The iHop chain pride themselves in having strong ethical values, this new spot highlights their latest scheme to plant 3 million trees!

Fantastic Adam's Fantastic Monkey!

Created by LA based animator and illustrator FantasticAdam just because animation, and monkeys, are fun!

Pictoplasma Festival 2012 Opener

Pictoplasma, the world’s leading and largest Festival of contemporary character culture is back in Berlin, with a dense program of inspiring artist presentations, conference lectures, animation festival, workshops, installations, numerous character walk exhibitions, performances and of course, loads of character!

The official opener of the 2012 Pictoplasma Festival Berlin (Doomsday Edition) was animated by the brilliant Sehsucht.

Geoffrey Godet: Papaye

Geoffrey Godet's 'Papaye' short animated movie was made over a period of 6 months in his 4th year at Supinfocom. It's a great little short with an unexpected ending...

Frozen Bird - Bastards

Łukasz Rusinek has played guitar in a band called Paprika Korps since 1995. During this time he created all their music videos and now other bands are seeking him out for their MV's too. This is Łukasz's latest creation for Frozen Bird's track 'Bastards.'

Yoskay Yamamoto Sculpture

Yoskay Yamamoto's new exhibition, 'Joke's On Me', will feature a series of sculptures based on iconic childhood characters, including the Stay-Puff man, Bart Simpson, Hello Kitty and a full collection of other sculptures. The work will be on display at LeBasse Projects Chinatown in LA until April 21, 2012.

"In his new body of work, Yamamoto will feature a series of sculptures based on iconic childhood characters. Three years in the making, ‘Jokes On Me’ is a conceptual project that explores current social issues through humor. Like a Sunday comic strip, Yamamoto’s sculptures are charming and nostalgic until after further inspection have a darker underlying message. This will be the artist’s first all sculpture exhibition, working in a range of mediums from plastic, resin, vinyl, and hand sculpted wood."

Buck For MTV

Following on from our last post 'Sehsucht For MTV' comes an animated MTV spot by Buck.

"Today's average male teenager is juggling school and sports, playing with every gadget he can get his grubby hands on, socializing across multiple cyber platforms, consuming media and targeted marketing at every turn. All the while, his body transforms, hormones rage, pubes sprout, and puss-filled blemishes explode on every inch of his skin until he finally pulls himself out of the teenage wasteland only to have to get a job and spend the rest of his days staring at a screen in a cubicle. In collaboration with MTV International, we crafted this action-packed look into the plight of the modern teen."

Sehsucht For MTV

Blobs cuddling in a group hug, colouring the grey scenery more and more in pastels and neon with each tender touch, welcome the viewer to a brand new series of international MTV idents from Berlin based Sehsucht.

This animated spot follows Sehsucht's first station ident for MTV, 'Close & Caring', which we featured on the Animated Review back in July last year.

The Horrors - Changing The Rain

Illustrator Pete Fowler directed this kaleidoscopic music video for The Horrors new single 'Changing The Rain.'

Ted Trailer

Seth MacFarlane’s ('Family Guy' & 'American Dad') first full-length feature stars Mark Wahlberg as John Bennett, “a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish…and has refused to leave his side ever since”. Universal will release 'Ted' in the USA on July 13th.

Foosball Teaser Trailer

'Foosball' an Argentine-Spanish co-production is being directed by Oscar-winner Juan José Campanella (The Secret in their Eyes) and Disney veteran Sergio Pablos is an animation supervisor on the film.

The Animated Review posted about 'Foosball' back in May 2011 when Juan took the project proposal to Cannes. You can read a synopsis of the film in that post.