Animation A Day

Pikachu Vs Team Rocket

I LOVE THIS video.

It is by a family who participated in one of our animation workshops. The youngest was 6 and the oldest of 11. The dad was there to help them create this amazing mixed media animation of Pokemon.

During my workshops, I am normally against students using characters from other artists’ work. I made an exception because the kids were so excited about it.

You try saying “no” to a 6-year-old eager to animate her favorite characters.

Mixed Media

I am always a sucker for mixed media animation.

Paper Pokemon with clay team rocket characters gives the video an interesting variety. The minimalist clay characters fit in with their two-colored, cut-out Pokemon.

The main character (Pikachu) is the most detailed, which helps him stand out and be more recognizable.

Final Thoughts

I am still blown away that four kids under 12 (with the help of their dad) created this video… Amazing! They were able to capture an easy to understand battle sequence in the 25 seconds of the video.

After the workshop, I hope the family went home and created more battle scenes. Maybe animate details of this encounter and further the story.

I would love to see it.


Above is a great claymation video made by four 17-year-olds during a workshop last summer. It is one of my favorites because of its great design.

Design Balance

They did a fantastic job balancing the styles of the background and characters.. The colors have a good contrast. And The three-dimensional clay looks good against the two-dimensional background.


All the characters have a simple structure due to the time restraint of the workshop and the fact we did not have any armature (skeletal reinforcements) for the clay to sit on.

The lack of armature means limited motion. They got around this by keeping the video short and having the photos be from the back/side. This angle limited the number of things that needed to move.

Eyes, mouth, tongue, both arms, etc. These body parts didn’t have to show motion because we don’t see them on screen.


The use of the “crude” drawing as the cityscape is excellent. It gives the viewer an understanding of where this event takes place while not distracting from the main character.

If they had colored the background, it would detract from the action.

Possible Changes

The only thing I would have changed is the green notebook cover used as the ground. I like that it is a notebook and we can see the spirals, but the color was a bad choice. Green on green makes the action feel a little uneasy.

This may have been the artists’ intention. Which would make the choice not wrong, but a stylistic decision that is part of the creators’ vision.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
-Scott Adams

Cat Lazer Eyes

Today’s Animation A Day video was made using cut out construction paper.

Three 12-year old girls created this during one of our workshops. My favorite part is the strangeness of a cat having laser eyes. With the sound effects, it makes me smile every time.

You will notice while the camera stays stationary, the background sheet of construction paper moves a lot. That’s why it is important to limit the amount of objects moved by accident while animating. Small movements show up exaggerated in the final video.

Also, I would have liked the video be a little longer. With the limitation of time during the workshop, I understand only being able to take 20 – 30 photos.

Other than the background movement and shortness, the video is fantastic!