Nice hand-drawn animation on Norwegian TV

Animator/Director Hans Jørgen Sandnes, via his studio Sandnes Media, is producing a new mini-series of children’s animated music videos for NRK:

“They’re based on the songs of famed Norwegian singer/songwriter Alf Prøysen (1914 – 1970). The series is hand-drawn, made in-house by me and my five collegues. The episodes are short “music-videos” following Prøysens original recordings. We’re very passionate about our work, trying to master the medium of traditional 2D animation.”

That passion really shows. The first episode (of four) premieres tonight. Here’s a sample of the series:


  • http://popyea.deviantart.com/ nick

    my friend draws and animates just like this.
    it’s like it’s been animated by a man-child.
    I feel really bad for saying this, but i feel it’s so genuinely innocent that it lacks intelligence.

    granted, these animators are animating for young target audience, while my friend draws like this all the time.

    still, very cute if just a tad bland.

    • The Gee

      Are you saying your friend draws like he is stupid?

      That’s a heckuva way to describe something that ain’t your cuppa tea.

      Sorry to come across as harsh, but, you did toss your hat on the first post with that comment.

  • the obsessive alien

    I thought the animation looks very fresh, and indeed the passion shows.

  • Liam

    I miss the days where I can turn on the tv and see animated cartoons in that style… feels so wholesome and pleasant…

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I miss that everyday! This is more my speed.

    • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.com allari

      yay! No flat drawings. At least the humans aren’t in theTinyToons-Animaniacs level kind of boring.

  • Bart West

    The pendulum has swung so far toward snark and ugly that this kind of lame stuff now appears fresh. The past is doomed to repeat itself with slight twists as the props change. But it won’t come back as a 2D revolution unless everyone magically forgot all about computers and that snake is well out of its trousers.

    • the obsessive alien

      Oh so that’s what it is! You are right. Definitelly it’s not at all fresh in terms of the design, or ideas or new techniques, it just appears as if the animators were in love with the movement, as opposed to loud and snappy in your face kinda thing that is so in fashion now.

  • Abby

    I agree that this cutsie-poo style is refreshing after all the Spumco influenced aggressive humor these days (ironic, since this cute Disney-esque style is the kind of stuff John K. himself hates, but it’s become rare in TV cartoons).

    It’s too cute in my opinion. I’m getting cavities from watching it. It’s also bland. However, I’ll admit that it is pleasant to look at.

    • TempleDog

      BUNNY!!! Seriously, is it just me, or was everyone else here waiting for a punchline? I saw the bunny rolling around in the grass and my head filled in a Happy Tree Friends coup de grace…my filthy, filthy head.

      Nicely executed and animated, but I agree with Abby, mebbe a bit generic. Younger kids should eat it up, though, and again it is nice to see some goofy cutesy fun without getting all Harvey Birdman post-ironic.

  • http://hand-drawn-animation.blogspot.com David Nethery

    Oh, please … some of you are making way too much over a trifle. You’re reacting against the style of the piece — cute, somewhat generic children’s book illustrations come to life — ( which you should realize is probably exactly what the network asked for) but you’re missing the point that this sort of thing isn’t made for you. You don’t like the cutesy style ? Then don’t worry about it , because it’s not made for you. Don’t get all twisted up over it. There’s nothing wrong with simply making earnest, sincere , well-drawn animation for children . At least this work shows some care for solid craftsmanship and an attempt to make something that is appealing and not purposely LOUD and UGLY like a lot of children’s programming.

    Also, I think a lot of people need to get over this mentality of acting like every new hand-drawn movie that comes along is intended to “save 2D animation” or be a “2D revolution to make everyone forget all about computers” . Too much burden is placed on a simple little film like this when you view it in those terms. I doubt the makers of this film set out to push the envelope of 2D animation design. it’s not that kind of project.

    What is kind of interesting about this project technique-wise is that while the look of it is very “retro” traditional animation , the project was animated paperlessly with Wacom tablets, animated directly into a program called TVP Animation . (see the link)

    • The Gee

      I think it also shows how much can those who are taken aback by the look of this trust their own appreciation of The Possible.

      The style has appeal.

      Considering some of what passes and is accepted as “good looking” is so separated from certain styles of cartoons, I’m kind of taken aback that anyone would be shocked by seeing that clip. Maybe posters are being facetious… I dunno.

      And if they are not joshing around then what have they seen before that makes this seem so new or so different?

      • http://hand-drawn-animation.blogspot.com David Nethery

        Yes, actually as I’ve looked at the trailer a few more times and looked at the work on the Sandes Media blog and website I think their style is very appealing and it’s not only “cutesy animals” style . (which personally I have a soft spot for so it’s ok by me) There’s some funny, cartoony stuff there too. (for example , in the trailer starting around 0:47 – to – 1:02) .

        As I said before , there’s nothing wrong with simply making a sincere , well-drawn animated series for children that is based on a gentle, folk-song type of humor . Not all contemporary animation for kids’ TV series has to be LOUD with ugly/edgy character designs.

        They have some nice shots of their work process and studio here:

        http://barnas-ark.blogspot.com/2010/08/hos-oss.html

  • eeteed

    wow!
    there’s a place where people still enjoy this type of music and this style of animation?
    i need to move there!

  • Mister Twister

    Nice.

  • D

    I liked the quality of the animation.The fluidity and attention to detail are superb but much like a few other commenters have noticed the character designs and overall tone it conveys are extremely sugary and childish to the point where I’m getting a tummy ache by the trailers end.

  • Tony C

    Dunno… some motions were fun. For the most part there was no feeling in it. The bunny was pretty solid, I’d say you don’t have to be scared of having something ‘not’ smile, the checking it’s reflection was the only weak part.

    The rest was just bad acting. Like all the characters were held at gun point and forced to smile and pretend to be doing happy things. It didn’t work and I got the distinct impression something bad was going to happen.

    Special mention to the horrible dentist thing and the birds flying in reverse formation for being hilariously wrong. But good work on the bunny again and the skip at the beginning was spot on.

  • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.com allari

    I can watch simple innoncent cutesy cartoons without snickering can’t i get the image of the swedish chef out of my mind when i hear the songs.