Terry Gilliam’s paper cut-out animation

Let’s not forget the hand-made. In the olden days, back then before computers…. people made animation by hand.

Terry Gilliam describes how he achieved the raw dynamism and anarchic humour of his paper cut-out animations for Monty Python. From Bob Godfrey’s brilliant ‘Do It Yourself Animation Show‘, 1974.

Here’s some of Gilliam’s work in action for Monty Python:

Questions to ponder: does our work actually benefit from technical perfection? Or is there something that gets lost – some form of energy or dynamism – when we spend too much time getting it just right?

Seeing Gilliam’s use of real hands in combination with paper cut-outs reminds me of this fantastic car commercial that uses many, many hands. The initial simplicity of ‘What Hands Can Do‘ reminds us of the hand-made and takes us back to what the very first images projected through shadows may have looked like and then it builds to an extraordinary complexity. This commercial is a perfect example of a post-digital aesthetic – seamlessly combining the hand-made with the digital, using the best of both worlds.

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Terry Gilliam’s paper cut-out animation

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