I just love animation of all kinds, so doing little scribbles and watching animated films takes up a lot of my free time. I’d estimate that there are a lot of enthusiasts like me out there, as animations of all kinds are on the rise, from cinemas to online.
So this got me thinking about who people’s all-time favourite animators are?!
I definitely have my top favourites, which I’ll share here. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to watch some awesome old animations, or even to share your own favourites.
- Firstly, I have a major soft spot for Nick Park, as I think Wallace and Gromit is just
brilliant. It’s funny, silly, great fun to watch, and the time he’s taken to make those masterpieces shows incredible passion for his work. Although stop-motion is a traditional technique, he took it far and beyond his predecessors. With Aardman studio, he also made Chicken Run. Remember that one? Aaah, it brings back fantastic memories of my school days!
- Next, I think Hayao Miyazaki deserves a strong mention for his contribution to anime. At first, his manga characters didn’t shout out at me, so I wasn’t convinced I’d like his animations, but after watching My Neighbor Totoro, I was hooked. He is so innovative and has some seriously trippy storylines! So different to most animations you get out there, despite still using traditional techniques. I can really see why his cartoons have become part of Japanese modern culture.
- Another one of my top animators is Matt Groening, best known as the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama. Let’s face it, tonnes of people like The Simpsons, even if they’re not particularly into animations in general. It has such as wide appeal, due to its humour and its inclusion of celebrity guest characters that add a little twist. I guess loads of animations bring back feelings of nostalgia, and this is another one for me. Just hearing the theme tune puts a big grin on my face.
- One of my favourite cartoons is The Flintstones, so I couldn’t possibly fail to mention William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, who collaborated at MGM. Of course, they also directed Tom & Jerry, an absolute classic. The Jetsons, one of their more recent creations, is my favourite futuristic animation. It’s so imaginative and silly, yet it has some seriously cool, practical ideas at the same time, which I really hope will become a reality one day!
- Now back to the early days of animation, and a tip of the cap to Walt Disney. He’s not only the widest known of animation producers, but he’s also been the most influential throughout the world. Almost everybody has happy childhood memories of watching one of his cartoons. He was a pioneer in producing high-quality drawn animations, which included Mickey Mouse, my favourite cartoon as a young toddler.
- Last but not least, there’s Max Fleischer, the iconic animator who patented the procedure for capturing life-like motion in animation. I find this so intriguing, as it shows such ingenuity and the process was clearly so painstakingly long, involving copying what he saw on live-action footage, and drawing this one frame at a time. My favourite of his animations is Popeye the Sailor, which was probably responsible for children worldwide eating their greens.
Of course providing your favourite animators is not a simple thing to do, as there are so many greats out there, but I reckon these folk have offered a lot to the industry and have set it up for what it is today.
I’m always keen to hear other people’s opinions and to learn about new animators out there. In fact, there are lots of independent producers that rival the better known studios in my opinion. There are also some great studios making marketing and explainer videos like Spiel.
No doubt that we’re going to see some outstanding animators in the near future, who will surpass current levels of innovation and creativity. I can’t wait!