Everything You’ve Learned in Animation School (In Song Form)

This song gives a pretty good description of everything you’ll know (or think you know) when you graduate from animation school:

“I am the Very Model of an Animation Graduate” was written by Rosa Hughes and sung by Mark Tweedale, with backing by the Queensland College of Art’s 2005 graduating animation class.

Sing along:

I am the very model of an animation graduate
My timing and my silhouettes and movement is immaculate
My keys and all my inbetweens and clean-up are impeccable
My characters have weight, anticipation – all exceptional

My pencil line it moves with absolute precise refinery
The form you can’t deny is yet prolific with such subtlety
And I can paint both sweeping plains and jagged mountain rockeries
The detail of my layouts make you weep in anguish pitifully

(The detail of his layouts make you weep in anguish pitifully
The detail of his layouts make you weep in anguish pitifully
The detail of his layouts make you weep in anguish oh-so-pitifully)

And you could pick three creatures – I’d take parts of their anatomy
And make them move and think and feel with utmost reasonibility
In short in all I’ve said of late, I really must expostulate
I am the very model of an animation graduate

(In short in all he’s said of late, we really must expostulate
he is the very model of an animation graduate)

My stories are engaging and they’re filled with creativity
I don’t rely on pity or explosions for prolifery
My plots are entertaining and they’re round-the-world relatable
My jokes are gelogenic for an audience insatiable

My characters have journeys with identity and histories
With constantly self-changing and evolving personalities
They’ll sweep you off your feet and make you pine in utter empathy
Their dialogue is witty and will make you laugh dementedly

(His dialogue is witty and will make you laugh dementedly
His dialogue is witty and will make you laugh dementedly
His dialogue is witty and will make you laugh duh-duh-dementedly)

Although it was insipid I have done the art theoretical
I deconstruct the image even though it’s unintentional
In short in all I’ve said of late, I really must expostulate
I am the very model of an animation graduate

(In short in all I’ve said of late, I really must expostulate
I am the very model of an animation graduate)

In retrospect I must confess I have been half a fabulist
For though my talent’s grand I have a pretty price to pay for this
For I suspect its from all this that I get over-worked and stressed
And sometimes I get maddened by a hacky sack that’s thrown in jest

And so I have the answer; I don’t want your job so tedious!
I’ll open my own studio with my direction genius
I’ll make a film unrivalled in its splendour, wit and poetry
And I will be the one to revolutionize the industry

(And he will be the one to revolutionize the industry
And he will be the one to revolutionize the industry
And he will be the one to revolutionize this lucky industry)

For I could draw in any style but mine is just the best you see
You’ve never seen such perfect drawings move with such fluidity
In short I am the God of drawing, bow before me, supplicate,
I am the very best of all you animation graduates.

(In short he is the God of drawing, bow before him, supplicate,
He is the very best of all you animation graduates.)

(via Mayerson on Animation)


  • sashatemp

    The song was great, but the ending made it perfect.

  • Brittany

    What? Who on earth feels like this? Who on earth will ever feel like this? If you learn anything it’s that you’ve got a lot to learn, for the rest of your life.

    • Chrs

      I think you’re missing that the piece is sarcastic. Please give the artists a little credit…

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com ElliotCowan

    And like so many animation graduates he worked long and hard on a clever idea but didn’t really do any animation.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Yeah it would’ve been nice to see something on screen. This piece alone could’ve worked as an excellent classroom jam session of sorts with each student animating a line or two of the song in sequence.

    • moog

      well i think this was only ever intended as a song, and only presented as a video so you don’t miss any of the words. It would have been cool to see if any of what he’s saying is true though.

    • enochrox

      Even if he was wrong, its still clever…

  • Ken

    I doubt there any real animators that think this, I’m sure they think something like ” I can always learn something new, from any other artist, and must constantly improve.” If not I must be too optimistic if people aren’t like this.

    • http://pickledperfection.blogspot.com/ Andrea K Haid

      It’s a joke. It’s based on what the student is taught to believe in animation school.

  • Kelly

    Just as I suspected. Anyone who’s THAT confident in their abilities as an animator is not an animator at all.

  • sidney

    Wonderful! Loved it, but I agree, a bit of animation would have sold it a bit better, particularly if it was done as a counterpoint to the lyrics.

  • animador

    love it

  • Taco

    Australia & QCA Represent! Cool! Most likely done by the graduating class for performance at their end of year Shin-Dig held with screenings & festivities. From memory there have been one or two other great songs created
    over the years as part of a loose tradition incorporated into some of
    the graduate screenings. Someone at Griffith should dig through the
    archives & compile ‘em all.

    • Mark Tweedale

      Yeah, it’s great to do an end of year song :)

  • cartoonkirk

    The question to be answered is … where are they now ?

    • Mark Tweedale

      Surprisingly, my singing career never took off.

    • QCA Graduate 2005

      Im from this graduate class. I work on a Nelvana series and have made a pilot for the cartoon network and illustrate children’s books…ive worked in the industry one way or another as a designer and animator since graduating. Does that work for you? :D

    • Adele K. Thomas

      Some of us are in the industry one way or another and doing quite well.

  • timmyelliot

    This feels more like the attitude of many animation professors.

  • Mark Tweedale

    How on Earth did anyone find this?

    • Adele K. Thomas

      I know right, it’s so weird to see it all these years later.

  • Rosa Hughes

    LOL wow, I can’t believe this got featured, so cool. I had a lot of fun writing it and it would’ve been fantastic to have it animated but honestly it was written 2 weeks before our end of year screening and was really just supposed to be an audience singalong.
    Oh, and it really was supposed to be a fun piece, please don’t think me or Mark are actual pompous asses :P

    • AmidAmidi

      Thanks for sharing this, Rosa. I think most readers understand the spirit in which it was made—something to simply let off some steam during crunchtime—and viewed from that lens, it’s a fun and entertaining piece.

    • Sparky

      I am pretty sure there was some animated imagery that went along with this – not the whole song, but at least half of it… it was really fun and funny and cheeky and totally cool.
      And your clever spoof on the Pirates of Penzance (have i got my musicals wrong??) was spot ON!

  • Adele K. Thomas

    oh gawd! I can hear my voice in there, Mark! How is this up on Cartoon Brew almost ten years later? hahaha.

    Yeah, this was a last minute thing for our graduate screening, which showcased all our films we had worked on for a year. We all liked karaoke and some played hacky sack a lot in the studios (the ball is a hacky sack) so it was a very in-in joke. If you get anything out of this as a stranger, its the words and their meaning.

    Luckily a bunch of us from the graduating class have carved out a good career in Australia in Animation or design one way or another after graduating. But none of us have gone onto brilliant singing careers…that is just for the karaoke rooms. :D

  • Rosa Hughes

    ಠ_ರೃ how dare you

  • Hans Jo-jo-man

    I am not a cowardly girly man.

    I’m just cowardly.

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com ElliotCowan

    Mark. Of course.
    The internet brings out the worst in all of us.
    I have no doubt you were busy making amazing things while you threw this funny thing together.

  • Marcus

    I think I’ll just go into accounting.