Many of us are mesmerized by animated cartoons, probably since we were able to crawl close enough to the television. From early childhood, we have been dazzled by Disney, loco for Looney Tunes, and wild for Warner Bros. From afterschool to Saturday mornings, our thoughts were permeated with our favorite cartoon characters. As we grow older, our tastes may mature and sometimes the opposite is true. However, you can be sure that our love for animation has not waned. We can firmly say, “Hey! We’re never too old to be kids!”
For Eric and I, our mutual affinity for the animated art form, specifically Japanese anime, sparked our desire to start our own puzzle company. There’s a tremendous amount of fantastic animation art available, but so much of it is overlooked by the puzzle industry. Therefore, we took up the challenge of doing it ourselves.
Here are our top four reasons why we feel animation art compliments puzzles so perfectly:
Animation is a storybook in motion, bringing fictional tales to life. For one, animals and inanimate objects can talk. Characters possessing superhuman powers, magic, or supernatural phenomena become the norm. An animation artist has the ability to create new worlds that defy the laws of our own physical reality. Whether it’s science fiction, adventure, or fantasy, animation art gives life to amazing worlds rich with surprises and mystery, and are as vast as the imagination can conjure.
A magnificent quality of cartoons-and this especially holds true for anime-is the splendid detail of the background settings. For us, this is a key point when choosing puzzle art. Background art is everything; like stepping through a window into another world.
In choosing Aymeric Kevin’s Spring in Sakuragaoka, we see a background setting full of life and energy: A sakura tree swaying in the breeze; aloof school children walking in a methodical manner; and two gaping faces filled with fascination. Aymeric chose a very interesting perspective for this illustration, with you the viewer peering out of a kitchen window at two children looking in. Aymeric’s ability to capture a moment in time with such a distinctive, colorful background brimming with energy and excitement made this a no-brainer for a perfect puzzle selection.
A magical characteristic of animation is its ability to transform moments of daily life into something dramatic, captivating, and extraordinary. Altar in the Forest conveys this beautifully. In this scene, a Japanese shrine maiden makes an offering of flowers. Add a touch of enchantment to this scene-a lush, rainbow bouquet overflowing at the base of an altar, while illuminated talismans float overhead to ward off evil spirits, as ethereal butterflies float with mystical energy, flittering about the sacred grounds-and suddenly, an otherwise ordinary event in the real world becomes something fantastic and wondrous.
Animation creates the illusion of movement by showing a sequence of drawings or illustrations in fast succession. Taking a single frame from the succession, time has stopped, showcasing a split second of the action. Looking at the single image, we don’t actually see what’s taking place outside of the frame.
We cannot know what the artist had in mind when creating the scene. What happened before? What takes place after? We only see the present moment, and that is when we step into the picture and it immediately ignites our imagination. At that point, we become co-creators; we can decide what happened in the past and what awaits us in the future. That is the magic of animation art.
Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory sums it up best:
What do you think so far of our posts? Any particular topic you would like us to write about? Thoughts or comments you would like to share?
Written by Eric Andersen “the puncher”
Written by Lara Andersen “the proofer”