Modern technology has opened up limitless opportunities in the field of animation and storytelling. In the past, major studios and companies were the first to create, produce, and distribute animated films. Nowadays, online platforms like Youtube or Vimeo allow anyone to post animated videos regardless of age, location, skill or ethnicity. YouTube, in particular, is a major platform for many freelance animators, with many individuals finding success as full-time YouTubers. With movie theaters closed due to the coronavirus, this article hopes to showcase ten great animators on YouTube and give readers something else to watch when they’ve already exhausted everything on Netflix and Disney+.
Before continuing, I would like to emphasize that there are many talented YouTube animators that I hope to be included in this article. This list is not exhaustive and neither is the “Top Ten YouTube Animators” list. Instead, I want to highlight animators that range from the very popular to the lesser-known and engaging readers interested in exploring the content brought up by the YouTube animation community.
Note: Some of the YouTubers in this article create content, explore adult topics, or use language that may not be suitable for younger viewers, so viewers are advised to be discreet.
Chipflake discusses related topics such as weird teachers and getting out of the house cool and funny. Originally from Britain, Shipflick lives in Germany and often explores the cultural differences between the two countries. One of the fun aspects of Chipflake videos is trying out the art patterns. Many animators usually find their art style after a while and stick with it, but Chipflake goes through many iterations for both avatars and animators.
The channel’s About for Domics page pretty much sums it up: “A large number of story animations relating to the many life problems I have had, both fortunately and unfortunately.” (And I think that description fits many YouTubers in the animation community.) Domics’ informal voiceover complements his life experiences and humor.
Eroldstory describes itself as “a story told by idiot and artist Hypman” on his social media and mainly features stories from his life, including his experiences with friends and teachers. His videos appear in numerous references to manga and anime, and his fun animation style is reminiscent of shooting. Located on the borderline of comedy and professionalism, Eroldstory strikes a fine balance.
How should it end
A staple on YouTube with over 9 million subscribers, How It Should End, also known as HISHE, has grown in popularity for regularly giving viewers alternate scenes and endings when the real thing fails to satisfy or make sense. Not only does HISHE parody individual films, he’s also created his own world where lovable superheroes have fun at Hero’s Café and defeat defeated villains at Villains’ Tavern, often to hilarious effect.
illymation has a vibrant, soft art style that fits well with her fun stories about her love of animal crossing and learning to drive. Some serious videos on tough topics like abuse and mental illness are balancing kindness. Her desire to be publicly vulnerable about overcoming these challenges in hopes of spreading awareness and helping others is inspiring.
Jaiden Animations explores a variety of topics, from her experiences traveling abroad to personal stories about sports, childhood, and school. Told in conversational style, Jaiden Animations’ videos are incredibly relatable and casual and often feature collaborations with fellow YouTuber TheOdd1sOut. She also has a pet bird called Ari.
Let me explain the studios
In a personal style similar to TheOdd1sOut, artist and singer Rebecca Barham tells personal stories on her channel Let Me Explain Studios. Her videos explore, among other topics, her experience with fans and YouTubers at conferences. While it’s not a repetitive poster (which is understandable given that the animation takes time), the Let Me Explain Studios videos are full of fun.
It takes skill and creativity to convey a story and characters without dialogue. With over 5 million subscribers and built by animator Simon Tofield, Simon Cat is a great example of a successful blend of no-dialogue animation. While most of the videos on this channel are under five minutes, you can’t help but be fascinated by the two main characters: a rude and inquisitive cat and an ordinary, unlucky human being. The stories are simple yet funny and documentable – especially for cat owners. Viewers of all ages will enjoy the sweet humor and fun that this channel has to offer.
With over 1 million subscribers on YouTube, Tabbes has a distinct artistic style. Not one to use many colours, Tabbes primarily sticks to a palette of black and white, which creates a stark, gritty feel to its characters and backgrounds. The subject of the video is often personal stories, with the character of Tabbes wearing a tiara and her stoic delivery being dry, sarcastic, and funny.
You may have seen some of TheOdd1sOut videos on the popular YouTube page. TheOdd1sOut, also known as James Ralison, draws inspiration mainly from childhood, college, and the old jobs of web programs and animated videos. His personal stories contain a certain innocence and charm, complimented by humor and delightful poly-poly characters. Besides success on YouTube, TheOdd1sOut has recently published two books: The Odd1sOut: How to Be Kind and Other Things I’ve Definitely Learned Growing Up And The Odd1sOut: The first sequel.
Again, this list hardly scratches the surface of the YouTube animation community. I highly recommend falling face first down the rabbit hole of indie animation whether it’s on YouTube or another video platform. You just never know who you’ll run into and fall in love with!