"The Blue Claymation" "The Blue Claymation"

Tiktok isn’t just about viral dances, ASMR, and kids pranking their parents. Scratch the surface — or rather, harness the algorithm — and you’ll find a wealth of playful, creative art.

The video-sharing platform, which hosts user-generated clips of up to 60 seconds, is incubating its very own animation scene. Highlights from the platform are showcased in an article by Submarine Channel.

The article leads with a fantastic video by animators at Laika (Coraline, Missing Link). Riffing on the Fight Challenge trend, which sees users stage mock fights remotely through smart editing, the minute-long film features an epic stop-motion brawl between animated characters (some of which will be familiar to the studio’s fans). Watch it below:

@laikastudios

No one ever said animating was safe. ##fightlaikaanimator ##fightchallenge ##animation ##stopmotion ##laikastudios ##laikansathome ##fyp ##foryou

♬ original sound – laikastudios

Laika was an early adopter of Tiktok: it regularly uploads fun segments of animation and behind-the-scenes snippets to its channel. Adult Swim is another major player on the platform.

But the bulk of animation accounts come from independent artists, many of whom are finding fame on Tiktok. Submarine Channel’s article points to some of the best, including Tooty McNooty, an illustrator and animator with 4.1 million followers, and Trent Shy, who specializes in macabre clay animation pieces:

@trentshyclaymations

The Blue Claymation. A stop motion tribute to my favorite blue characters! ##stopmotion ##animation ##satisfying

♬ original sound – trentshyclaymations

While Tiktok has been growing fast for years, lockdowns have sent usage into the stratosphere. The company’s ambitions are growing, too: last month, it hired Kevin Mayer, the chief architect of Disney+, as its new CEO, sending a clear signal about its intentions to become a mainstream streaming platform.

Another of Mayer’s tasks will be to manage Tiktok’s reputational issues. The platform, which is widely used by minors, has been accused of violating child privacy laws in the U.S., and has come under fire for failing to remove toxic content. It is also the subject of perennial privacy and security fears, due to its Chinese ownership.

(Image at top: “The Blue Claymation” by Trent Shy.)

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