The work of Johnny Kelly / The critical nuances of animation and communication

I deliberately avoid keeping tabs on what animator Johnny Kelly is up to with hope of stumbling across a new piece of two of his work. This week I struck gold.

Firstly is his work for Coke. An entertaining and delightful romp across a landscape of lives, with a jumping theme. What it has to do with Coke only Don Draper knows. I just know it’s lovely.

Secondly though are these three spots for the Salvation Army which have blown me away:

Just 15 seconds each. I must have watched them 4 times over. The concept alone is great: the idea of a tiny contribution being a tipping point to something actually happening is such a nice detail and way of expressing that every contribution counts.

But the execution in my opinion is flawless. It verges on being funny, but doesn’t disrespect. It’s clever but not obstructing the message. It’s on trend but feels timeless. I genuinely feel so exited when I see work of this caliber. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.  It makes me want to create.

That said, it also makes me feel so jealous it kind of hurts! How does he do it so well? How can so little be so effective. Deconstructing it and watching it in slow motion can start to give clues the care and attention required, but that’s not a guide on how to replicate.

The craft of saying or showing just enough but not too little, with confidence but not arrogance, while being passionate but not too intense. It’s detail. Expert care of attention to detail.

Others that have the same magical animation skill and that I try to avoid with hope of discovering a backlog to indulge on are Mikey Please and Animade. Some of the finest animation in my opinion is coming out of the UK these days. Johnny, apologies if you’re not quite from the UK…

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