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:

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-18I arrived in New York today right in the middle of the NYC Marathon.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-17I’ve done it before, but I did it again and went up the Empire State Building.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-16I ripped my old ones so bought new jeans, after trying on every single pair in the shop.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-15Gym day + burger day. Keeping it balanced.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-14Hungover laundry.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-13After 9 days with almost nothing but sun, I walked across Brooklyn Bridge in nothing but rain.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-12This is not an animation about watching Shia LaBeouf movies with Shia LaBeouf. I am not an animator anymore.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-11Guggenheim doughnuts.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-10Liberté.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-9Giant rats on the subway.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-1A Day at the Races

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-8Giant squirrels in the park.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-7Cloudy with a chance of Meatball Shop

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-6Little Italy

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-5Medieval Egypt at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-4Stacks on stacks.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC-3Pollock and Picasso at MoMA.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYC -2Inflation day for the Thanksgiving parade.

NYC Gifathon-James Curran-Animator-Video-NYCThanksgiving Day Parade.


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