Saturday, September 30, 2017

Inspired by Animated Life: Sweet Fern Productions

Animated Life: Coelacanth by Sweet Fern Productions
I love to be inspired, as an artist and a human being. Then I like to share what I find so inspiring...so here we go.

For the last few years my work has been focused on animating science. My current project Anim8Nature is the result of that interest. I am always looking for great examples of that kind of work, especially those appropriate for kids. In my research I found the SciArtCenter and Labocine. That was the path I followed to find Sweet Fern Productions.

Sweet Fern Productions created a 5-part series of animations for the New York Times OpDocs.These short animations "celebrate pioneers in science and pivotal moments of discovery, using paper-puppets. They were produced in collaboration with Howard Hughes Medical Institutes’s BioInteractive."

Animated Life: Seeing The Invisible (1 minute teaser) from Sweet Fern Productions on Vimeo.

Seeing the Invisible was the first short I watched and I was fascinated by both the content and the animation production. We are reminded that we see only a small part of "life"and that most of it is invisible and performing very valuable tasks. Dutch lensmaker Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek played a major role in our ability to see these invisible creatures. He is commonly known as "the Father of Microbiology". Using his handcrafted microscopes, in 1638 Leeuwenhoek was the first to observe and describe microorganisms, which he originally referred to as animalcules (from Latin animalculum = "tiny animal").(Wikipedia)

Links to each animation below.


The animation style is entertaining and humorous. Cut paper is manipulated with wires, all visible and really part of what makes it so intriguing. We are sucked into a fascinating story with child-like enthusiasm because of the quality of the art. The cut paper art/puppets are bright and imaginative, incredible fabrications that are both beautiful and informative. These films are obviously very thoughtfully produced.


Coelacanth  A living fossil documented by Courtney Latimer
Please take advantage of these delightful and incredibly informative animations. You won't be sorry. They have a very child-friendly look to them, but they are definitely for a very wide range of ages.  Enjoy.

Animated Life: Coelacanth

Animated Life: Mary Leakey

Animated Life: Pangaea

Animated Life of A. R. Wallace

Learn more about Anim8Nature here and subscribe to this blog to keep up with our news and other fantastic finds along the way.

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