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Desktop Animation That Took Over the World

Here’s an extraordinary story of an ordinary high-school kid who loved to draw and explore new formats of animation. Faced with an unexpected success, he almost sold the exclusive rights to his animation to a company for $75 but fortunately changed his mind at the last minute. Now, he has more than 7.6 million followers on YouTube and continues to make distinguished pieces of art, full of comedy and bright ideas.

You probably saw this hilarious video when it became viral back in 2006. Now, including its sequels, it has over 970 million views. Aptly named Animator vs. Animation, this video series has been featured on major TV channels and newspaper articles, 10 international film festivals, and has been included in a few art books. What’s even more surprising is that the creator, Alan Becker, was only 17 when he posted his first video. Later, he has completed the Animator vs. Animation trilogy during his college years and, at first, the talented animator had no intention to continue his work on the series. After making a career as a self-sufficient freelance animator, heeding the advice of his animation teacher, Alan decided to go back to his roots and created the fourth part, thanks to a massive support on Kickstarter. And it’s a true gem.

Animator vs. Animation depicts the struggle between an animated stick figure and its creator that takes place entirely on a computer desktop screen. These brilliant and funny short films kick around the idea of what would happen if a stick figure came to life and tried to damage your computer. Subversive activity involves messing up with different types of software, hacking into the creator’s Facebook account, getting into his iPhone via its USB cord and generally causing havoc and mayhem. In his works, Becker explores the endless possibilities for gags and ingenious narrative solutions in the computer world. And, since we’ve already got ourselves pretty settled in the age of tablets and iPhones, the spectrum of possibilities is becoming even wider now.

However, the young artist has not rested his laurels. In recent years, he also released several spin-offs, such as ‘Animation vs. YouTube’ and ‘Animation vs. Minecraft’ (AVM); the latter has reached more than 130 million views on YouTube. Let’s hope we see more masterpieces from Alan, while his story becomes an inspiration for many young indie animators.

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