Sometimes it takes a non-New Yorker to capture the whimsy that can be New York City. London-based animator James Curran came to New York City for a month in November, and created one gif a day which he uploaded to his Tumblr. It wasn’t his first visit, but he deliberately made it enough time to “feel like I’d lived there,” he tells Motionographer.
Curran himself is the main character of the gifs, throughout the 30 days, portrayed as a bearded and very flexible cartoon that clearly enjoys eating and enjoying what the city has to offer. Although the character doesn’t miss the major landmarks, like cavorting atop the Empire State Building like a touristic King Kong, its the mashup between the ordinary day-to-day life of the New Yorker and the iconic images of the city that enable the whimsical feel.
While he was visiting New York, the attacks on Paris took place which is reflected in a touching moment of the Statue of Liberty waving the French flag. Curran also hits up the medieval hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Shia LaBeouf’s personal movie marathon at the Angelika Theater, the Thanksgiving Day Parade and balloon inflation the day before, the horse races at Aqueduct Racetrack (or maybe Belmont Park), the Brooklyn Bridge, Little Italy, Museum of Modern Art, and has some run ins with large rats, squirrels and more.
After his visit, Curran had the gifs converted into a video, titled NYC Gifathon, with music by David Kamp.
Here are some sample gifs that we particularly loved, with Curran’s captions below:
I arrived in New York today right in the middle of the NYC Marathon.
I’ve done it before, but I did it again and went up the Empire State Building.
I ripped my old ones so bought new jeans, after trying on every single pair in the shop.
Gym day + burger day. Keeping it balanced.
After 9 days with almost nothing but sun, I walked across Brooklyn Bridge in nothing but rain.
This is not an animation about watching Shia LaBeouf movies with Shia LaBeouf. I am not an animator anymore.
Giant rats on the subway.
A Day at the Races
Giant squirrels in the park.
Cloudy with a chance of Meatball Shop
Medieval Egypt at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Stacks on stacks.
Pollock and Picasso at MoMA.
Inflation day for the Thanksgiving parade.
Thanksgiving Day Parade.