The (Animated) Presidential Campaign

Earlier this month, I linked to illustrator Steve Brodner’s podcast series “The Naked Campaign” which offers his views on various Presidential candidates. This got me to thinking about whether there are other people who are creating animated pieces in hopes of influencing the outcome of this year’s Presidential elections.

A bit of searching on YouTube uncovered a number of independently produced animated pieces, though none of them appear to be making a huge splash at the moment. But it’s only January and with ten months still to go, I expect we’ll be seeing an unprecedented use of animation during the 2008 elections. The most viewed animated piece supporting an individual candidate that I found on YouTube is the following Ron Paul Brickfilm short, which has garnered over 60k views since debuting ten days ago.

Andrew Arnold has created an impressive CG political animated series called Heada’State which features strong condemnations of candidates Rudy Giuliani and Thompson (below).

Ray Noland (director) and Rebecca Berdel (animator) have posted a piece called Revolt in support of Barack Obama.

Democratic longshot Mike Gravel is promoted in this puppet and stop-motion piece titled The Word: Mike Gravel.

And this live-action spot by candidate Mike Huckabee has inspired two different animated parodies, both of which are posted below:

If you know of other pieces, please post links to them in the comments. This is not an attempt to catalog animated pieces that express a political viewpoint because there are plenty of those. Rather I’m curious to find out how animation is specifically being used to effect this year’s Presidential elections through pieces that are either for or against individual candidates.

(PS: A friendly reminder to keep any discussion in the comments focused on the use of animation in the campaign, and not to express any personal political views.)


  • http://brainrow.com/ Michael Burton

    It will be interesting to see whether animation can inform or motivate voters. Right now, it looks most effective as a tool for ridicule.

  • Chuck R.

    I love this. There’s a concurrent thread on this site that started with plush elephants and ended with “everyone-who-buys-toys-has-blood-on-his hands-and-it’s-W’s-fault”. So now we have 6 links to mostly sub-par animation whose sole purpose is to smear political opponents and cheapen debate in an election year. And we’re not supposed to get into politics?

    I agree that the political bitching is getting old, (and yes, I’m guilty) but when you take the political content out of these, what’s left to discuss?

  • amid

    Chuck R. – If you look at the films, some of them make no attempts to smear political opponents. The Ron Paul piece espouses his financial theories, the Obama piece is meant to encourage people to get to the caucuses despite the wintery weather. As I noted above, we’re already seeing a lot more independently produced candidate cartoons than ever before and that’s a trend worth noting. There are thousands of blogs to discuss politics; Cartoon Brew is only interested in documenting the use of animation in this year’s elections, regardless of candidate or political ideology.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    I agree with Amid. For Gods sake lets keep the conversation OFF the politics and ON the animation about politics, before this comment thread escalates into a clone of every other idiot ‘political’ thread on the internet.

    I’ll start by saying that I don’t much rightly know or care who Ron Paul even is, and I probably don’t agree with the politics if I cared to look into it – but all the same, that was one of the better brickfilms I’ve ever seen.

  • compn

    can you also dig up some of the previous animated political videos? maybe a “best of” list?

    like eminem’s mosh
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOLMVQa0KD8
    downloadable here: http://www.archive.org/details/Mosh
    or the jibjab videos…