YouTube has become the new home for original content creators, with many forging exciting new careers for themselves by making videos which are watched by millions of people. In the same way that reality television has managed to find stars lurking among the masses, YouTube (as well as its various alternatives) has offered an opportunity for talented people to find an online audience.
One genre that demonstrates this trend extremely well is animation. Animators who would previously have struggled to ever have their creations seen by anyone now have a platform on which to show off their wares. The range of styles on offer is immense, with satirical stick drawings sitting alongside computer-generated cultural critiques.
What follows are 10 of the best YouTube channels for original animation. All of which are worth watching and subscribing to for regular bursts of free funnies.
Simon’s Cat is an episodic comic featuring the titular Simon’s Cat. Simon’s Cat is literally Simon’s cat, the animator being Simon Tofield and the animated adventures being based on the exploits of his own cat(s). This channel will appeal to anyone who has cats, loves cats, or has that strange obsession with cats half the Web currently seems to have.
Oney’s Video Hole features videos made by Chris O’Neill. Not all of the videos are animations, but even the live-action clips are worth watching. The animated clips are a little on the strange side, with popular culture references such as Harry Potter and Dragon Ball Z mocked. This channel will appeal to anyone with a sense of humor.
RageNineteen is the pseudonym of Jamie Spicer-Lewis, who creates videos of both the animated and live-action variety. As with many of these channels the animation is rather offbeat, with short clips often telling a single protracted joke. This channel will appeal to anyone who sees how Mario being ground into a million pieces is comedy gold.
Lee Hardcastle is a video producer who creates “claymations that are not for children.” That is a very accurate description of the content, with music videos and film spoofs made with clay figures. This channel will appeal to those who like claymation as a style of animation couple with clever pop culture jokes.
Custard Productions is a YouTube channel dedicated to mostly animations created using Lego. There is some live-action content too, but the Lego videos are what you’ll stick around for. They’re immaculately made and the humor is very well observed. This channel will appeal to lovers of Lego who also like a laugh. Which is everybody, isn’t it?
Weebl’s Stuff is the YouTube channel of Weebl AKA Jonti Picking. It’s the video accompaniment to the Weebl’s Stuff website, with all the animations posted to both. There are character-driven cartoons and one-off skits, the latter including the video embedded above. This channel will appeal to anyone with a penchant for the slightly bizarre.
HISHE is an acronym for How It Should Have Ended. This channel is therefore dedicated to one thing and one thing alone: re-imagining the endings to movies, with usually hilarious results. HISHE manages to show Hollywood up for its ridiculousness time and time again. This channel will appeal to movie buffs with a compunction to scream in the cinema.
Cyriak is the YouTube channel of Cyriak Harris, a freelance animator from the U.K. who has made a name for himself with a particular style not easily mimicked. If you watch the video above you’ll know immediately whether this style is to your tastes or not. This channel will appeal to those who like their animation to resemble an LSD trip.
TomSka is one of the more famous YouTube celebrities on this list, with a channel dedicated to all sorts of content, only some of which are animations. Thomas Ridgewell is the brains behind the operation, but he also has help from others. This channel will appeal to those with a quirky sense of humor who haven’t got very long attention spans.
Mondo Media is responsible for some of the finest for-adults-only animations on the Web. Happy Tree Friends is its most famous creation, and if you have yet to sample that series you have hours of mindless cutesy violence ahead of you. This channel will appeal to just about anyone and everyone, assuming they haven’t undergone a sense of humor bypass.
The 10 channels listed above represent the best verticals on YouTube for animated shorts, but there are lots more lurking somewhere waiting to be discovered. Some animators don’t produce regular content but are responsible for some truly strange, dark, and creepy one-off animations.
As always we’d love you to chime in with your thoughts on the subject matter. What do you think of this list? Are there any YouTube channels packed full of animations that didn’t make the cut but that you wish had been included? Which of those which did make it is your favorite? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Jurgen Appelo