What follows are two very different approaches for using animation to teach history. Both films successfully condense long periods of time and information into digestible length. While neither of these animated projects should be viewed as substitutes for actual historical study, they go a long way toward making history appear exciting and accessible.
An Animated History of Poland is an eight-minute CGI history of the country. The film’s nationalist bombast is obvious but understandable considering that the government commissioned it for the Polish Pavilion at Shanghai’s 2010 Expo. It was directed by Tomasz BagiÅ„ski at Poland’s Platige Image.
A more curious project is “A Complete History of the Soviet Union…Arranged to the Melody of Tetris”, which is a music video for Pig with the Face of a Boy. Director and animator Chris Lince uses a mixture of live-action and animation, but it is the latter animated elements which make this a memorable and effective piece of storytelling.