Many will have no doubt seen on the web rounds Simon Robson’s motion graphic take on US politics and then the more recent, and indeed highly similar, short on Google paranoia by Ozan Halici & Jürgen Mayer. Aside from the messages being transmitted in these shorts, it is noteworthy to slip a comparison in terms of effect with an older work I recently came across by animator Ward Kimball. Effect meaning to what extent the message takes its form.

The graphic manipulation in both the above contemporary works is very slick. They move between graphic and typographical elements with poignant ease, both have an appealing simplistic style and both are very good examples of contemporary motion graphics as a means to communicate the message. Indeed, motion graphics does lend itself nicely to the subject matter in terms of efficiently getting across the point at hand. The works though were perhaps a little too slick, too clean, too controlled, and well, just too narrative. A narrative which came across as political banter (more so in the Master Plan movie), based on very few hard facts. The message then is being directed, it has become almost dogmatic and manipulative rather than suggestive and informative.

In comparison and perhaps also as a subtle political statement on my behalf I thought a view of Ward Kimball’s 1968 Escalation would serve my point.