Liverpool in Animation
We all love cartoons. Cute little drawings come to life, a creative expression of place or person, a moving picture that tells a million words…
In honour of DreamWorks Lights coming to Liverpool this Christmas, we thought we’d take a look back at Liverpool’s animated history. Starring in Beatles music videos or Cilla Black’s very own cartoon, Liverpool looks almost as good when drawn as it does in real life form.
Virtual Hope Street
Having called Hope Street their home since 2011, it made perfect sense to the technology company Draw & Code to blend two of their favourite things; their hometown and their love of experimenting with new gadgets. The “Greatest street in Britain” (don’t take our word for it, take the word of the Academy of Urbanisation) was turned into a virtual walkway for an architectural augmented reality project. One of the aims was to give architects, planners and developers the tools to explore and improve their designs using this kind of immersive technology. Modelling from the Anglican to the Metropolitan Cathedral it creates a virtual reality of the street, letting people see it’s scale and the impact of developments around it.
If you hop on a Merseytravel train right now you might spot animated versions of the Fab Four emblazoned on the sides of some trains. The Beatles spent plenty of time in cartoon form from the Yellow Submarine to The Beatles Rockband, but if you really want to get your cult on, make sure to watch the original ABC animated series, The Beatles. Created by Al Brodax and screened at first between 1965 to ‘67, each episode was named after a Beatles song so the story was based on its lyrics. The first TV show to feature animated versions of real living people you can find episodes online here. Cult TV at its finest.
The Singh Twins – Art Matters: The Pool of Life
Amrit and Rabindra Singh, known as the Singh Twins, create vibrant, active and deeply intricate art. One of their most famous is Art Matters: The Pool of Life, commissioned to celebrate Liverpool receiving the title of European Capital of Culture in 2008. Using their Past Modern style, using elements of Indian miniature with western aesthetic, the painting took a year to complete. Celebrating Liverpool as a multicultural city, as “centre of the creative universe”, the painting shows the city rising from the River Mersey.
The Liverpool Cityscape, Ben Johnson
Another artwork commissioned for 2008 was this stunning cityscape created by artist Ben Johnson. He started the painting in 2005, working with 11 assistants and took over 3,000 photographs of the city and was finally completed during a public residency at the Walker Art Gallery in early 2008.The finished work measures 244 by 488 cm and now hangs in the Skylight gallery, on the second floor of the Museum of Liverpool.
Milky Tea: Lloyds TSB to Coffin Dodgers
Liverpool’s Milky Tea, an animation studio based in the Baltic Triangle, created some of the most famous advert animated characters of the past decade. The agency created over 1500 illustrations as part of the seven-year campaign with Lloyds TSB and featured eye catching, individual artwork, showcasing their unique talent for storytelling through animation and illustration. Having worked with clients from Sony, the BBC and Bose, Milky Tea are now probably best known for Coffin Dodgers, their gleefully riotous game for Steam, PS4 and XBox One that sees seven quirky old characters battle the Grim Reaper in a race for their soul. Colourful, creative and full of character it shows Milky tea’s signature style.
So it’s official – here in Liverpool, we’re all for making life as colourful and animated as can be. For your chance to be a part of one of the biggest animation experiences in the UK (yes, really), book your tickets to DreamWorks Lights here.