Wednesday, April 15, 2009


One of the interesting things about the web is that you can track which sites visitors to your site have come from. The majority of visitors here either come from animation sites that I'm familiar with or from Google searches of various types. Occasionally, I discover an animation site that is new to me.

Txesco is a Spanish animator who worked on the animation and direction of Pocoyo, a pre-school cgi series that is probably my favorite cgi ever done for television. I didn't know his involvement when I visited Txesco's site, but having seen his work, it makes total sense.

What I first saw was this piece of musical animation. There's no word to describe it except charming. In many ways, it is dead simple. The design is spare but elegant. The music is public domain and the musical arrangement is anything but fancy. The movement is not overly complex, but it does everything that good animation is supposed to do. The shapes change. That's one of the most basic things required in animation, but it's regularly forgotten. There is beautiful contrast in the timing; slow movements are placed against faster movements. Most of all, it is playful; the character's attitudes, poses and motions are fun to watch. The movement itself is entertaining.

Here's some other animation by Txesco that is also fun.

What I love about this work, and Pocoyo, is the back-to-basics approach. It is well designed, but the design doesn't overwhelm the motion as happens in so much TV work. The lack of dialogue prevents speech from being used as a crutch. This work relies on motion to entertain, and that is the heart of animation.

So much animation, especially on TV, is dull and literal. It truly is what Chuck Jones labeled it decades ago: illustrated radio. It doesn't have to be that way and artists like Txesco prove it by showing us a better way to do things.

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