Hokusai: An Animated Sketchbook

Tony White has just posted onto YouTube his classic animated short Hokusai: An Animated Sketchbook. He offers some background about the film:

“This was my first ever… and still my favorite… short animated film! I created it in my spare time while I was still a director/animator at the Richard Williams Studio in London during the late 1970′s. I actually started the film after we had completed ‘A Christmas Carol’, when I was Richard Williams’ own personal assistant at the time. ‘Carol’ went on to win the first of Dick’s three Oscars. When my own ‘Hokusai’ film won a British Academy Award I moved on to set-up the ‘Animus Productions’ animation studio… a creative entity I led for a further 20 award-winning years. The film itself was inspired by the wonderful sketchbooks of Hokusai. When I saw them I realized that this artist was indeed a true animator at heart… he just didn’t have the knowledge or the technology to be one in his lifetime. I therefore sought to bring his drawings to life for him, as homage to his genius.”

Check it out:


  • http://hbthingy.blogspot.com Ellen Yu

    My eyes are just excited to see these drawings come to life. Thank you for posting this!

  • http://www.electricminstrel.com Brett McCoy

    Tony put up a bunch of his other works on YouTube today also, including his ‘Endangered Species’ mockumentary on the history of animation.

  • http://enricocasarosa.com/wordpress.1 Enrico Casarosa

    Wonderful! I had never seen this!! Thanks !!!

  • http://paperless-animation.blogspot.com david nethery

    Thanks for posting the link to this marvelous film “Hokusai : An Animated Sketchbook”. Hokusai’s work and philosophy on life is so inspirational. It is important to remember that Hokusai had a long career, but he produced most of his important work after age 60. He didn’t give up by saying : “well, my best work is behind me in my 20′s – 50′s , now I’m starting to think about retiring ” , rather he never stopped learning and striving to get better at drawing.

    I would also recommend checking out Tony White’s introductory statement to his film “Endangered Species” —

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIzhf7dffnQ

    He speaks with great passion about the importance of preserving the hand-drawn animation tradition as well as developing it further with the new tools available in this “digital age”. (the video is not great quality , but Tony’s words and message shine through) .

  • http://www.kwanzoo.com Matthew Boyd

    I love the use of negative space in many of the shots. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_(negative_space)

  • Chuck R.

    Excellent! (I wish I could see it with better picture quality.)
    I need to hold on to the fantasy that I’ll get better with age!
    Thanks, Amid and Tony!

  • BigHorse

    A beautiful and inspiring piece of work that does justice to Hokusai’s vast, wonderful works.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

  • http://andynortonuk.spaces.live.com/ Andy

    This is an interesting animated documentary, especially when another animated documentary is getting acclaim at Cannes recently.
    So, looking at this proves that animated documentaries have not been a recent ‘trend’.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tim Drage

    Great stuff!

  • http://jamessuhr.blogspot.com/ james suhr

    really badass! thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.thesunnyway.com/ Rich

    Wonderful :) I remember seeing this on TV when I was a kid, it was the first time I’d seen Hokusai’s work. Thanks for posting this!

  • subhadipp dali

    wonderful wonderful film! thanks for sharing , yes it is this films thats sum times become so inspirational, they take us to the next day of hard work with the creative juices and the philosophy saves us from self satisfied.thanks again.