Watch Me Move: The Animation Show, October 8 to December 24

About the Exhibition

Watch Me Move: The Animation Show is the most extensive exhibition ever mounted that presents the full range of animated imagery produced in the last 150 years - from Snow White and Mickey Mouse to Gollum in The Lord of the Rings.

Through over 111 works, from iconic clips to lesser-known masterpieces, Watch Me Move offers timely insight into animation as a cultural phenomenon. For the first time the work of cut-out, collage, puppet, clay and stop-motion animators auteur filmmakers and contemporary artists is presented alongside the creative output of commercial studios, from Walt Disney to Fleischer, from Hanna-Barbera to Aardman and from Studio Ghibli to Pixar.

This expansive exhibition begins with a new artwork by critically acclaimed French artist Christian Boltanski (an installation by Boltanski, Chance, was featured in the French Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale). Boltanski's Shadow Cinema (2011) is not animation in the conventional sense, but evokes the quivering essence of the animated figure.

Watch Me Move's exploration into the limitless possibilities of animation continues through five galleries and two floors. Along the way you'll encounter early scientific experiments with photography (works by French scientist and chronophotographer Étienne-Jules Marey); see some of the most memorable characters created for the screen animated or otherwise, (Jessica Rabbit and Fred Flintstone); and witness the transformation of seemingly ordinary humans into superhumans (Popeye in Blow Me Down and the Parr family in The Incredibles).

Animation as an art form has a unique ability to interpret fables and fairytales (The Story of Rapunzel animated by Ray Harryhausen and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli). Animation also allows for fresh iterations of shared legends or for entirely new narratives (Jan Svankmajer's Dimensions of Dialogue and Harun Farocki's Serious Games III: Immersion).

The magic of animation lies in its ability to transform inert physical material into the illusion of life. Many animators experiment with the techniques of their art form for the sheer pleasure of witnessing the results (Len Lye's A Colour Box his first experiment with painting directly on to celluloid or Zbigniew Rybczyński's Tango, a study of the ways in which animation can be used to alter the flow of time).

Since the late twentieth century, animation has extended into entire virtual worlds. In 1982, Tron expanded the aesthetics and systems of the video game industry into a whole world vision. In contrast London-based artists igloo have created SwanQuake: House - a virtual world that could have provided fertile ground for battles victories and losses, but now stands silent.

Don't miss this exclusive Canadian presentation of this international touring exhibition. As you walk through galleries filled with distinctive personalities and portraits, stop to engage with some old animated friends and fables and encounter new animated works that will expand your view of animation.


Watch Me Move: The Animation Show exhibition guideWe've created an exhibition guide for Watch Me Move so you can get the most out of the exhibition. Download it here before you come!
Watch Me Move: Exhibition Guide PDF [1.3 KB]


Watch Me Move: The Animation Show – cinema schedule



Glenbow Shop

In the decades since the pioneers of film first began to explore the possibilities of the moving image, animation has evolved into one of the most popular and prevalent visual art forms. Featuring an extensive selection of animated imagery created over the past 150 years, essays by animation experts and biographies of the leading studios and animators, this catalogue is an indispensible guide to the dynamic world of animation and its significance in contemporary global culture.

Watch Me Move: The Animation Show CatalogueGlenbow Feature Exhibition:
Watch Me Move: The Animation Show

This 224-page, soft-cover catalogue
is available in the Glenbow Museum
Shop for $43.95.



"Unexpected pairings that promise to make the exhibition as entertaining as it is enlightening and bring into new focus the curious longevity and evolution of animation."
Zena Alkayat, Metro (13 Jun 2011)

“An extraordinary body of work which will have you entertained and engaged for hours.”
BBC London news (14 Jun 2011)

"An awesome compilation of animated films, shorts and good, old fashioned cartoons..."
Time Out Blog (15 Jun 2011)

"Part art show, part spectacle, part viewing library, ‘Watch Me Move', the new Barbican Gallery show tackles the complex, surreal and visually bountiful history of animation with the clear-eyed confidence of Buzz Lightyear setting out into space."
Eye Blog (15 Jun 2011)

"A family friendly show, with films here for all tastes, child or adult. For the more hardcore animation fan, Watch Me Move offers the chance to rediscover classics of the genre, while for others it simply provides an excellent opportunity to while away a few pleasant hours watching cartoons."
Creative Review (15 Jun 2011)

"An enormously entertaining exhibition [...]. The beauty of this show is that the smaller, independent works prove as affecting as their big-budget counterparts."
Culture24 (15 Jun 2011)

"Amazing, absorbing and unmissable, it puts animation in its central position in the development of world art and indeed philosophy."
The Cultural Exposé (15 Jun 2011)

"We came to this exhibition as semi-fans of animation, but left totally seduced. [...]  Kids will eat it up with a spoon!
A Little Bird (16 Jun 2011)

Barbican Art Gallery, London City of London Axia  
Exhibition curated by: Barbican Art Gallery, London   Exhibition supported by: Axia NetMedia Corporation Exhibition supported by: FFWD Weekly
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Calgary, AB T2G 0P3

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 8pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 12pm - 5pm


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