Animation is incredibly hard. There’s a reason animated movies from large production companies like Pixar and Dreamworks take years and years to make: animation is laborious, complex, and just really hard. That’s why I’m always pleasantly surprised when I see good animation on the Internet made by someone other than a large animation company. The Internet doesn’t reward creators that make small amounts of high-quality content, so it’s great so see them rise to the top every so often. One such case is Alan Becker, an incredibly talented animator that has been putting up amazing content since 2007. With more than 160 million views and two million subscribers, it’s no exaggeration to say he has risen to the top, most of that 160 coming from his hit series, titled “Animation vs. Animator“.
Alan specializes in animating stick figures, which sounds cheap and easy, but trust me, it isn’t. Just watch one of his videos in the 5 part series, including Animation vs. Animator, Animation vs. Animator II, III, IV, and the video above, Animation vs. Minecraft. The premise of the series is that, being an animator, Alan decides to animate a stick figure for a project. Somehow, that stick figure comes to life, wreaking havoc in every installment. Not only does the animation get better and better with every installment, but the plotlines have become complex, interesting, even poignant and heartwarming. It’s quite amazing what Alan can do with stick figures, no dialogue, and a desktop.
The video above is Animation vs. Minecraft, which is set after the events of the Animation vs. Animator series. The main character, an orange stick figure, and his friends, a group of other colored stick figures, stumble upon a newly downloaded game on Alan’s desktop: Minecraft. As you might know, in Minecraft, you can build things block by block, using a plethora of premade blocks, weapons, items, and more. The orange stick figure finds out how to harness this power to make structures using the blocks right on the desktop, and shows his friends. What happens from there, you have to find out yourself, but I can tell you it involves action, discovery, betrayal, and more.
While Animation vs. Animator is a highly successful and ongoing series, Alan’s channel has more than just those videos. Over time, he has made a bunch of other videos experimenting in other types of animation and animating styles, stop motion, skits, and more. For those of you who watch his videos and immediately want to learn how to animate, which is most likely a large chunk of you, Alan even created a whole second channel for animation tutorials called AlanBeckerTutorials. Altogether, Alan Becker’s eponymous channel is home to a lot of high-quality content, from one-off animation videos to his tutorial videos on his other channel AlanBeckerTutorials to his very successful series Animation vs. Animator.