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7 Inspiring Examples of Stylish 2D Animation


Stoke your creative fires with this collection of fantastically cool 2D animation.

If you’re looking for some motion graphics inspiration, this collection of clips will do the trick. These oh-so-stylish videos of 2D animation feature some of the very best creations from around the world.

1. Travel Portland

Why It’s Awesome: The gritty animation blends beautiful hand-drawn style and real-world objects.

This video created for Travel Portland is a great example of a video that combines different animation disciplines into a singular vision. The video, which was clearly made in After Effects, showcases stop motion, hand-drawn animation, and classic animation principles.

2. Down the Rabbit Hole

Created By: Agent Pekka

Why It’s Awesome: A beautiful case study in shape organization and experimental design.

Without careful pre-planning and organization, an animator’s timeline can get pretty messy. This video is an insane example of shape layer keyframing and a multidisciplinary approach to 2D design. Can you imagine keyframing all of the elements in this video?!

3. Veterans Day


Why It’s Awesome: It’s an interesting approach to a gritty-style liquid animated video.

This video created for NBC and Syfy is fantastic example of liquid animation mixed with a gritty design. The video likely used a 2D rendering simulator technique like ‘toon shading’ in Cinema 4D.

4. Min Stora Dag

Created By: BRIKK

Why It’s Awesome: This video beautifully showcases squash and stretch mixed with motivated actions.

There are twelve basic principles of animation that you should always follow to make your animations more interesting. The following video is a great example of a piece that incorporates many of those twelve principles to create something exceptionally fun. If you want to learn more about the twelve principles of animation, our friends at PremiumBeat have created a fun post that covers the subject. 

5. Paper

Created By: PESfilm

Why It’s Awesome: This video expertly blends physical and digital elements to craft an impressive 2D design.

You’re probably used to creating most of your work on a computer. However, you might find it fun to experiment with integrating real-world elements into your next animation project. It might take a little more pre-production than you’re used to, but the results can be amazing. This awesome clip from PES is a beautiful blend of paper cutouts and expert compositing.


Created By: Ronda

Why It’s Awesome: CMYK shows us that even minimal movement can add a lot of personality to 2D characters.

The goal of any character animator is to showcase what your character is thinking. Animators achieve this in different ways, but one important thing to remember is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of hours on a project in order to make characters with emotions. This great animation proves that you can give life to your otherwise stiff characters with just the most minimal of movement.

7. Tako Faito!

Created By: Giant Ant

Why It’s Awesome: This video is a fun blend of Japanese style animation and vectorized 3D elements.

Giving a project a hand-drawn look is the goal of most animators. However, achieving a good hand-drawn look without physically drawing your characters on a computer is pretty difficult. This cool video from Giant Ant showcases how you can simulate a hand-drawn video with ‘easy-to-make’ 3D elements.