Ask the Listeners: What do you recommend?

This is the first of the ‘Ask the Listeners’ posts, inspired by Ikumi’s comment in Show 15. She loves Manga and says that there’s much more inspiration out there than mainstream art.

So I’d like to pose this question to you, the listeners:
What is something that everyone should see, but probably haven’t?

It can be an artist, a comic book, a film, a short film – anything that you think is great that doesn’t get enough exposure. For example, I’d like to know that if I was to read only one Manga in my life, which one should it be? Or which European short film will knock my socks off? Or what is an awesome Anime film?

Let’s see what inspires you…

77 Comments on “Ask the Listeners: What do you recommend?

  1. Some stuff to look up- to give a taste of my perspective I have been on a research binge so do forgive me if I I seem a bit out of touch with the current vouge.

    Although I enjoy his draftsmanship more then his painted work, Leda Atomica by Dali, if you can find a decent scan or photograph is ^%$#@ awsome.

    Arthur Rackham’s version of the Chesire Cat. It kills me how nice the cat seems in almost every other version, Rackham delivers a far more menacing(maybe drug induced paranoia)inky scratch. Hell just about anything the dude did past his newspaper work is about as fun as you can get. The sense of volume kicks my ass.

    And since I’m on a Polish kick look up Jan Matejko, if you can find his sketch-work, not to mention his paintings have great light.

  2. Well it certainly isn’t the best animation you will ever see, but for sheer freakiness, go and see Salad Fingers at

    There are several episodes, each slightly more disturbing than the last. It’s a hoot!

  3. Hope I’m not to late to contribute!

    One of my favourite short animations by Russian animator, Yuri Norstein, is called the Battle of Kerjenets (released in 1971). Norstein’s work was largely inspired by Russian fairy tales but in this animation he breathes life into appropriated medieval imagery to animate a fierce battle.

    Tale of Tales (released in 1979) is probably his best known and most critically acclaimed animated piece and is also highly recommended.

    I saw these films at the Melbourne International Animation Festival (in Australia) a couple of years ago so I’m not sure where they would be available in the US however, a quick google search should come up with something.


    might be a good place to start!

    Great work everyone! Keep up the good work Clay!

  4. I’ll put in my $.02 just in case anyone is still following this:

    I’ll probably always stand by the Ghost in the Shell work. There’re definitely some things that could be done to take it further outside of adolescence (the Major’s costumes for instance). I think the thing that makes this whole franchise so great, is that while it has many sci-fi/cyberpunk qualities, I think we’ll actually see ourselves in that type of world some day–which grounds it and makes it more ‘real’. The philosophies of the movies are incredible, too. Even though I’ve seen the first movie a dozen times or more, I still pick up something new every time. Of course, we can’t ignore the influence it’s had on American cinema, either. The Wachowski bro.’s have admitted to using bits of it in their Matrix movies.

    Some other places of inspiration include the National Film Board of Canada, the Jak and Daxter videogames (VERY good character animation), and of course the SIGGRAPH animation theater (Video Review). If you haven’t yet, check out this short student animation by some students from Gobelins in France (along with the other work coming out of that school). I also thoroughly enjoy the some of the stuff coming out of Supinfocom as well.


  5. What about a lovely chat with Sylvain Chomet? He’s the guy who wrote, directed and designed The Triplets of Belleville, which was flappin’ incredible. Also, sort of as an aside, I’m wondering if you had any stories about taking really harsh criticism and how you dealt with it.


    PS How weird does the word “dealt” look?

  6. I can’t believe how great the comments have been here! Again, I’ll keep chipping away at all this stuff you guys are recommending.

    Thanks for keeping the thread alive Geoffrey!

    Any criticism I’ve had has always been welcomed by me, so it’s hard to categorize any of it as harsh, but I definitely have felt the sting of it. I’ve been fortunate to work with many perfectionists who only had good intentions, so every time I get feedback that was hard to swallow, I knew that it was to make my work better. Seems like an overly optimistic view, but that’s the best way to look at it.

    The worst sting of all is when you watch something that you did and you find something about it that could be better, and it’s too late to fix. Seriously – the worst. So as long as criticism is pushing you in the right direction, it’s always good, even if it’s hard to hear.


    Hey folks,

    I don’t need to tell you this but….I’m tellin’ ya anyway! Of course YouTube is a AWESOME resource for finding old documentaries, obscure media clips for just about anything on animation. I just wanted to list some of the clips that really grabbed my attention:

    I stumbled across this BCC documentary on Disney called “Secret Lives” It paints not the most flattering picture of Walt Disney, but I think it’s certainly worth watching to gain a greater perspective of the conditions of the studios back in the old days and to contrast it with how much things have changed since then.

    You can find the first clip at

    Another one is a GREAT interview with Shamus Culhane
    (simply one of the best animators of all time)

    You can find the first clip at:

    I am sure I am preaching to the choir, but if you simply type in:

    Disney Family Album, you’ll find tons of stuff about the Nine Old Men

    Richard Williams, lots of documentary clips

    Or Glen Keane, ooodles of media clips to keep you drooling for days.


  8. Hi

    This film makes me go animate straight away afterwards. can’t be beaten.

    Tekon kinkur?Æto (Tekkonkinkreet)

    scan the previous entries quickly could see this film mentioned, apologies if it has.

    a wonderful 2D animated anime, loose lines and fluid motion matched with truly great characterisation and an excellent story.

    is available on most on-line stores (amazon etc)

  9. Well, i really like Will Eisner´s `New York´ and `To the Heart of the Storm,´ because Eisner is a great master of gesture poses.
    He studied under George Bridgman (the famous life drawing professor) for a year at the Art Students League of New York.

  10. I honestly can’t recommend the Studio Ghibli movie, “My Neighbors the Yamadas” enough! I just got to see this wonderful movie and it has such a simple comic strip style combined with the most amazing animation. If you get a chance to see it, do! The storyline is very simple, but I think that’s what makes the animation and characters stand out so much.

  11. Hi there !

    As a french cinema amateur, I can only recommend those classic directors :

    Fran?ßois Truffaut
    Jean-Luc Godard
    Robert Bresson
    Jean Cocteau
    Jean Renoir
    Luis Bunuel

    Also have a look to the films of those :

    Ingmar Bergman
    Takeshi Kitano

    And check out “The holy mountain” of Alejandro Jodorowsky.

    In mess, you can also be interested in FlEsh Gordon, and also in the original Flash Gordon movie, that are both fun to watch and full of memories.

    In animation movies you can check several of these ones :

    Frederick Back
    Andreas Hykade
    Aleksandr Petrov
    Bruno Bozzeto
    Dudok de wit
    Georges Melies
    Emile Cohl
    Konstantin Bronzit
    Pjotr Dumala
    Priit Parn
    Raoul Servais
    Ryan Larkin
    Windsor McCay
    Norman Mc Laren

    Be sure to see some of the works of Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier ( those two work together ), Ren?© Laloux, Georges Schwizgebel, and Paul Grimault. (All europeans )

    Chinese animation also exists and some are greats, so be sure to look for :

    Te Wei
    Ah Da
    Zhou Keqin
    Hou Jinqing

    As for comics, you could find some interested things looking for “Tintin” and “Gaston Lagaffe”, from Herg?© ( I think Glen Kean spoke about it). he also did Marsupilami.

    Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis”

    Quino is a spanish author and does some great comics such as “Mafalda”.

    Gotlib and Alexis’s “Fluide Glacial” is great too.

    I can’t think of anything else right now…

    Hope you’ll enjoy it !

  12. I know that this is kind of cheating as it isn’t an animation but watching anything with the muppets in is fantastic!

    The life and movement that is produced from them is amazing.
    I understand that a lot of this has to do with the voice but youd be suprised how easy it is to always understand whats going on in a scene even withour sound!

    The muppets really helped me when i started lip syncing.
    Getting to understand those first beats and where the important ephasis is in words really helps your work!

    Hope that helps someone out there 🙂

  13. Hi friends …

    i think of animation as an art … but on a very different level …
    I am animation student .. and the first and most important thing that inspired me most was stories , as a kid , i used to made up and tell stories .. and people loved it and appreciated it …
    as i’m growing now i have realized that its emotions and life that inspires the passion for Animation .

    I mean , i wanna see all the new emotions i see and feel around me , like if something is going on in my life , or friends , or someone i’v heard of , that different emotions i wanna see in the animation …

    I think we dont wanna replicate the incidence but the experience ..

    When i see an animation , i am looking for experience , and i think we all are …

    When i read the Disney Illusion of life .. there were sometimes when i was in tears … seeing the passion of all ..

    I think we all wanna look around and feel the emotions that should be bring in our art ..

    I love to write too … and more i feel the emotions in my life and surroundings that permeates through my writing ..

    i really want to see all these emotions in animation…
    and its the life that surrounding us that inspires animation …

    i just wanna suggest … if the life inspires us so will be the animation … and its life and emotions that will be in our art …

    thanks 🙂

    Hope it helps some one …

  14. What a fabulous blog! I love reading your entries…you are such a fantastic writer. Keep it coming…You are amazing!

  15. Hey Animation Enthusiasts

    I am sure many of you may know of the French operated Art of Disney blog.

    Despite being in French only, hands down it’s one the BEST resources online for information about Disney’s art, artists and films.

    Sorry correction it WAS the best resource online. Please read further.

    This site was chock full of art development sheets, model sheets from Plane Crazy all the way to Rapunzel—oops sorry “Tangled”. Not to mention it was a wealth of information on many of the noteworthy the artists who have worked at Disney, past and present.

    Apparently the legal dept. at The Walt Disney Company caught wind of this awesome blog and has demanded it to be taken down.

    As artists, animators or just plain animation enthusiasts, we all know how hard it can be to find good art of Disney material for our own references, inspiration or appreciation. The Art of Disney blog certainly when it was up was a great oasis.

    The legal dept. at Disney has demanded it be taken down on the basis of “unfair competition”. I don’t see how that works considering 1) the blog is free and 2) it’s free viral marketing for Disney. Anyway my opinion is irrelevant.

    What is relevant that this site should be rescued.

    Please go to the website and click on the petition to save this blog. Yes, it’s it French, but I am sure you can navigate through it! If you have visited the Art of Disney blog in the past, then I shouldn’t have to sell you on how great the blog was….for people who have missed out, please join in and petition for the blog and hopefully someday you will see how “worth it” it was to so petition for the Art of Disney blog.

  16. Seems I missed this amazing resource… and maybe I’m half asleep, but I cant’ find the petition. Any chance of a direct link? 🙂

  17. If your into listening to podcasts about animation and you don’t already know about these…well, then that’s great…check em’ out!!!

    Raul Aguirre jr. does one about animation, as well as comics and other artistic endeavors! It’s called Man VS Art…and you’ll see why.

    GhettoMation This one has Raul as well along with Jim Lujan and Kevin Cross and its all about DIY animation!

    If 3D animation is your bag, go take a listen to Paul Caggegi’s The Process Diary!

    and finally check out Chris Oatley’s Art cast goes in deep into animation, pitching, tools, and much more.

    All of them can be downloaded on itunes, hope you enjoy, Peter.

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