Animated Video Production

Animation “Appeal”: Why You Love Romantic Cartoons

Shawn Forno 02.17.2017

I love animation, and not just because it’s fun to watch. I love it on a chemical level—or at least my brain does.

Animation is both a technical marvel and the simplest thing in the world. It’s just one still picture replacing another replacing another, yet our brains take these separate images and stitches them together into a beautiful, moving…thing that we relate to and interact with, and even cherish. That’s incredible if you think about it for a second, and explains why your brain can’t get enough of these little dopamine hits every time the picture changes.


Brains love a good jigsaw puzzle, and animation is a never-ending puzzle full of familiar pieces. The best part? When you stitch the pieces together you get tales of fantastic characters and incredible themes.

I don’t even care that animated movies hacks my brain’s concept of motion and time. Like I said, I love it. So to wave goodbye to Valentine’s Day and celebrate my love for craft and content, here’s a look at a few animated videos that tackle love itself, because why not?

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The Importance of Character Design: Love & Animation

Animation is storytelling. From explainer videos and RSA style whiteboard videos to feature films, the characters are what make animated stories so compelling—even if those characters are just squiggles and boxes.

12 principles of animation

The 12 Principles of Animation

In a recent piece we highlighted each of Disney’s 12 Principles of Animation using simple GIFs from animator, Cento Lodigiani. In each gif, Lodigiani uses simple lines and boxes to convey movement, and each movement tells a story. It’s actually kind of amazing to realize that you as the viewer are participating in each action—assigning meaning to the movements.

Try not to tell a story to yourself as you watch it. I dare you.

Appeal: The 12th Principle of Animation

While each of the 12 principles of animation are essential, perhaps the most difficult to explain and describe, but possibly the most impactful principle is the final one—appeal. How do you create “appeal” with just lines and shapes? How do you draw a viewer in with just a drawing? (see what I did there?)

Appeal is the secret to imitating life with still images, and nowhere is that more obvious than a love story. When two characters fall in love on screen—and the audience believes it—you know that the other 11 principles are in tact. Maybe that’s why Disney saved appeal for last. It’s the litmus test, the final stamp, to ensure that all the other techniques are done right.

12 principles of animation

So here are a few animated movies featuring romance done right. Pay attention to the techniques and style of the animators. Each scene is so smooth and flawless, that you forget they’re not real, which is the whole point. Enjoy!

Lady and the Tramp — Trailer (1955)


Up — Opening Scene (2009)

Beauty and the Beast — Dance Scene (1991)

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The trailer alone is enough to get you hyped for what’s coming to the GLAS Animation Festival in Berkeley, CA next month, but here’s a deeper dive into some of the better programs waiting for animation enthusiasts. GLAS is one of the premiere animation festivals, and a strong way to kick start your festival calendar. Get pumped.

Time to Vote: Animation at the Oscars

In just one week, animation comes to the red carpet, and it’s time to vote for your favorite (if you’re one of those lucky academy members).

2016 was a huge year for animation in cinema, so we’re looking forward to a big night full of accolades for Zootopia, Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings, and many more.

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The future of animated video production is a constantly moving target. Stay tuned for more animation news, culture, and video marketing tips every week!

Shawn Forno

Shawn Forno is a massive Studio Ghibli fan who does content marketing. In that order. Find his other writing and extensive travel blogging here.

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