10 YouTube Videos Every Animator Should See For Inspiration

By Megan O'Neill Comment

Animators are expected to be creative, original and innovative all the time and, let’s face it, sometimes coming up with new, exciting ideas can be difficult. If you are stuck in a rut, with a bout of creative “writers block”, here are ten great animations to inspire you to create your best animation yet!

There is a never-ending stream of amazing animations on YouTube and narrowing it down to ten was not easy. Hopefully our final selection will inspire you to make something great, whether you are a 3D, 2D, stop motion, claymation, experimental or any other type of animator.

Journey Through A Melting Brain – A Stratacut Collection

David Daniels’ Stratecuts are some of the most amazing animations I have ever seen in my life. I remember them from my childhood on Pee Wee’s Playhouse and in the early days of MTV and they never fail to inspire me. Have you ever tried Stratacut animation? Feel free to share your links with us in the comments!

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU

BLU’s short animated films are awesome. Made in Buenos Aires, this clip is a stop motion piece painted on a brick wall. I love seeing animation in unusual places. Looking for a new idea for a project? Can you think of a place that you could bring to life with animation?

Her Morning Elegance / Oren Lavie

Who says you have to draw or build your animation from paint, clay, paper or other materials? In this amazing stop motion piece for Oren Lavie’s song ‘Her Morning Elegance’, Oren Lavie, ?yuval & Merav Nathan and Eyal Landesman create animated art using people and objects found around the house. Look in your attic or pantry and try to find objects that you can create an animated story with.

“Bottle” by Kirsten Lepore (Official video)

Kristen Lepore also creates an animated masterpiece using nature in this amazingly hopeful and sad animated piece called ‘Bottle’. Bottle recently won the award for Best Student Film at Anim’est 2010. Congratulations, Kirsten!

Kseniya Simonova – Sand Animation

I am always inspired when I see new and unique types of animation. This live sand animation performance from Ukraine’s Got Talent is absolutely beautiful.

Pixar Short – For The Birds

When it comes to 3D animation, no one is more inspiring than Pixar. Pixar’s ‘For The Birds’ short is one of my favorite 3D animation pieces of all time. The story is great, the animation is superb and it certainly makes me wish I knew a thing or two about 3D animation.

Frank Zappa / Amazing Mr. Bickford “Dupree’s Paradise”

Bruce Bickford, AKA The Amazing Mr. Bickford is one of my personal role models in the animation world. Bickford worked with Frank Zappa on the following video. What really inspires me about Bickford is his amazing attention to detail. He leaves nothing out of the miniature clay worlds he creates and I love it.

Western Spaghetti by PES

And of course, no inspirational collection of animations is complete without a work from Adam Pesapane, AKA PES (especially if you are a stop motion animator). PES creates amazing stop motion animations using all sorts of interesting objects. Here’s his most popular piece, Western Spaghetti.

I Met the Walrus

I really like the idea of creating animations from pre-recorded conversations. ‘I Met the Walrus’ is an animation set to an interview that a 14-year-old Beatles fanatic did with John Lennon back in 1969. The animation is nothing short of amazing. Do you have an old recording lying around that you could animate?

A Family Portrait

Joseph Pierce’s animated short called ‘A Family Portrait’ is one of the best examples of rotoscoping I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, the entire piece isn’t available on YouTube, but this trailer should be enough to give you a taste for Pierce’s style and maybe inspire you to do some rotoscoping of your own.