Top Three Animated Films on YouTube and Vimeo

Hadn’t checked in a while and was curious to see what the most viewed pieces of animation on YouTube and Vimeo currently are. The results are, erm, fascinating and quite reflective of the audiences who use each site. It should be pointed out that Muto, the most viewed piece of animation on Vimeo (3.5 million views) has significantly more views (8.8 million) on YouTube. In other words, good animation does get recognized on YouTube as well, but you have to wade through a lot of trash to get to it.

From a user standpoint, I no longer find it possible to discover new animators or films on YouTube unless someone sends a direct link. Vimeo’s community features are easier to use, and the number of users is still small enough to encourage browsing and discovery. I hope they find ways to maintain the sense of intimacy and community as they scale upward.

Top Animation on YouTube
1. Tootin’ Bathtub Baby Cousins – 151.1 million views

2. Intro La casa de Mickey Mouse – 123 million views

3. The Gummy Bear Song – 115.2 million views

Top Animation on Vimeo

1. Muto – 3.5 million views

2. The Third & The Seventh – 3.2 million views

3. The Crisis of Credit Visualized – 2.5 million


  • JG

    Subtle difference…

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/drexelboi1991 Joey Tedesco

    I think i’m partly responsible for getting the gummy bear song in the number 3 spot, I use a clip of it in my opening credits. Who am I kidding, it’s a catchy theme! While the animation isn’t grade A, it’s still entrancing to see that fat little green thing shake his crack and sing!

    You’re definitely right about discovering new animators on youtube through direct linking. I found a couple of animators through the friends/subscribing system. I haven’t tried vimeo, but it does seem to find a specific audience in serious film-making.

  • http://stuartbury.blogspot.com stuart

    I had given up on Youtube a while ago. It is good for you different “memes”, but when I try to find new animation or film, I always go to vimeo.

    • Pavlovich74

      It all depends on what you are searching for. I know both sites well and there are people that will post on either site, or both.
      There are many things on YT that don’t make it onto Vimeo, and of course the same applies in the other direction…

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron B.

    I only watch animation on YouTube through studio subscriptions… either that or only if I’m searching for something incredibly specific, like the trailer of an old film.

    Way too much to wade through…

  • DonaldC

    No big surprise here.
    YouTube has always been a casual viewer site while Vimeo’s community is heavily art focused.

    • D

      I totally agree. Also youtube is much more mainstream whereas vimeo is more underground. Thats why the animated clips of preference on youtube are so varied and mediocre its because they have a much wider more general viewing audience

    • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

      Yeah, and Vimeo always has a more “classier” feel than YouTube, which I believe has been around longer too to get more of a following and…erm…variety. Vimeo seems to draw a more professional crowd, not to mention non-headache inducing video comments…

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    When I read The Gummy Bear song I was thinking about this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRTSZZgCUik

    I actually watch this intro in youtube a lot. I haven’t rewatched any episode of the series in a while and I’m not very interested in doing it, but I still love that opening song.

    The images in the intro look quite exciting, too. From my memories the show itself wasn’t terrible but never lived up to that intro.

  • Iritscen

    Wow, those results are… interesting. Interesting because the top three videos from YouTube make the site’s primary demographic look like it’s made up of bored moms and five year olds. However, YouTube’s Audience stats says its audience is mostly 18-34 year old males. The only explanation I can think of is that *animated* videos are skewing towards moms and kids, while teens and twenty-somethings are generally looking at live-action entertainment instead.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/floydbishop FloydBishop

    How does Vimeo make money for content providers? On YouTube, I made $118.41 in the last seven days. I am in the partnership program, and have ads on the cartoons via Google Adsense. While this may not matter from a site user’s standpoint, it allows me to put more money into my cartoons and make them better.

    I don’t believe Vimeo has anything like that.

    As you mentioned, YouTube also has a much larger, varied viewing audience. I’ve had several freelance projects as a result of people seeing some of my cartoons on YouTube.

    While none of this may matter to someone who is wanting to find new animation easily, it should matter to people who enjoy new animation. Getting some money back into the pockets of the creators is always a good thing.

    Maybe YouTube just needs a better way to search?

    • Pavlovich74

      The “much larger audience” is sometimes more important, you have to weigh the quantity against the quality I guess.

    • Charles

      personally, as someone who puts their animation on the web, Vimeo’s less “make money money” ads everywhere approach is part of the appeal. Don’t get me wrong, i understand what you’re saying. money going to creators is indeed a good thing. As silly as it seems to some people, I’d sooner pay for vimeo plus than put adsence on my youtube videos.

    • A.C.

      How Floyd? I’m just curious because I’ve made 22 dollars in a total of three months on YT. Then again I’ve only one adsense vid up and haven’t made new ones yet (nor applied for the partner program).

      I might get more into it, it’s nice to have fun animating whatever I want for a little income, but more than 0.02 cents a day :-/ Any tips?

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/floydbishop FloydBishop

        @A.C. It started out VERY slow. You also don’t get sent a check until you break $100, which took several months at first.

        I had one early successful video that got a lot of views on Halloween. I then started to make quick little greeting card type videos. I tried to do one for each major holiday.

        I’ve also done longer videos, but those haven’t done as well. I’ve done some training videos, those don;t do well for me, either.

        I’ve found that shorter, more punchy videos do better. Something around the length of a TV commercial seems to work the best for me as far as production time and viewer interest.

    • The Gee

      What you wrote, Floyd, reads as if you wanted to say it for a while. Post more often about other things once in a while.

      Vimeo is great not for building an audience exactly but definitely for showcasing it to other professionals, regardless of where they are at in production.

      But, that is just from just one perspective, mine and others. A lot of people I know prefer Vimeo for their reels and to put up work for clients

      Obviously, there’s little holding content producers back from utilizing both and directing (no pun intended) potential viewers to Vimeo over YouTube and pimping the YouTube version to any Tom, Dick or Henrietta who might get a kick out of it.

      Bottom line: currently there’s a more defined, refined audience to Vimeo than YouTube’s greater one. Yet they both co-exist.

      What bums me out is how needed any of those types of hosts/sites are for success. No one can just roll their own or host their own video and expect it to be found or seen. It has to be embedded via those sites/hosted by others. While they pick up the bandwidth costs (yay!) you become dependent upon them too much.

  • chipper

    You can sometimes find some nice stuff. Here’s a very sweet one that many of you may have already seen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qCbiCxBd2M

    Youtube is better for cat videos, though. Not that I can object, because cats are adorable.

  • http://dangerusscartoons.blogspot.com/ DANGERUSS

    Muto blew my mind. Totally amazing. Great idea, great execution, excellent sounds. My favorite of these videos.

  • http://thisisonlya.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I don’t understand what made the Mickey Mouse clip compelling enough to get so many views. And the voice track is missing.

    Can anyone explain?

    • Chris Sobeniak

      I wish I knew. I often seen the vid on the sidebar but never think to going there since I figured I knew what it was anyway. It’s obviously the internet version of a tourist trap!

  • http://www.jinhienlau.com jinnaboy

    That “Out of Sight” video is the most effective and amazing animated short I’ve seen this year, I cant believe the brew never mentioned it

  • Clint

    I liked that “Muto” video a lot. Haven’t seen the other two Vimeo videos yet.

    As for the Youtube videos, I just scratch my head. The Gummy Bear thing was OK, thanks to it’s catchy song. I don’t get the Mickey Mouse one. That baby one is just crap. That looks like it was obviously made for stay-at-home moms who’ll find anything fun on Youtube. Luckily, the only animated stuff on Youtube is the stuff that makes more sense and the more obscure.

  • Alberto

    Put them together, cause i smell a sitcom!

  • The Gee

    There was a Gummi Bears cartoon?

    I had no idea.

  • http://www.doctorwhom.com gavin mouldey

    I didn’t realise Gummi Bears the show had anything to do with the candy, but according to wiki, Eisner concocted it after his son asked for some. There doesn’t seem to be any commonalities in the story or design.

    But then, we call the candy Jelly babies outside North America, so there’s no reason i’d be aware of a connection.

    • http://www.sneezemeaway.com/ RYan G

      In Australia, we call them Gummi Bears.