British animation legend Bob Godfrey (1921-2013) answers the question “What Is Animation?” in this short film directed by Martin Pickles. Pickles was inspired to become a full-time animator and to study Animation at the Royal College of Art after meeting Godfrey at Animafest Zagreb in 2004. He recorded the interview with Godfrey in 2006 at Bob’s Acme Studio in South East London.

Says Godfrey:

“Well animation is not live action, I think that says it. Anything that is not live action which is actuality but is drawn is animation. And the thing about animation is that there are absolutely no rules. I mean these schools that are springing up all over the place ‘How to Walk, ‘How to Run,’ based on live action. How a live action man runs, how a live action person walks, you know, people in animation don’t have to walk, I mean they don’t even have to have legs, they can go up in the air.

“In animation you can do absolutely everything and I said I think that the only two restrictions are your bank balance and your mind. And, well, your imagination that you can grow, you know, providing the budget will allow you to. And when people are confronted with this absolute freedom they tend to freak out, they tend to say ‘We want limitations, we want gravity.’ Basically, there is no gravity in animation, animation is free, it can fly, it can go anywhere. And I don’t think enough people realize this, they’re too earth bound. It’s not earth bound, it’s fantasy.”

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Film by Martin Pickles
Voice: Bob Godfrey
Transcript: Jules Shevlin
Script editor: Anna Minton
Music: Tanera Dawkins
Sound design: Tom Lowe

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