Every culture has its mythical figures, from the Wendigo to La Llorona to the Easter Bunny. But despite ever-increasing globalization, most of us don’t really know about the myths from other cultures. Unless you were being tucked in at night by someone who knows the story of the tikbalang, you probably aren’t familiar with it.
Luckily, you can catch up on legends from around the world in under three minutes with this collection of Greg Gunn’s Mythical Mondays animations. Every week for a year, the animator, designer, and director animated a new illustration depicting a creature from folklore. Featuring music and sound by Adam Sanborne, the animations are a whimsical celebration of legendary figures from a variety of different nations. "Mythology always fascinated me," Gunn tells The Creators Project. "I remember visiting the school library as a kid every week and trying to find a new book about Greek mythology to dig into. Then came Monster in My Pocket which were these rad, little toy figures of various mythical creatures. So cool!"
Gunn tracked down ideas for monsters to animate on Wikipedia and urban legends websites. "I aimed to strike a balance between beasts that were well known (e.g. Loch Ness Monster) and relatively obscure (e.g. Dalgyal Gwishin)," he writes. Though creatures from a variety of different cultures are represented, there are many legends from Japan among Gunn's Mythical Monday offerings. "I stumbled upon the Wikipedia entry for Yōkai. There were so many interesting and unusual creatures I’d never heard of or read about—my mind was blown. Myths like Kasa-Obake and Rokurokubi immediately inspired fun animation ideas. The breadth of Japanese folklore is incredible."
Check out the video for yourself, and see how many of the myths you recognize. And if watching the video leaves you inspired to make your own animations, read Gunn's helpful how-to blog post about creating Mythical Mondays here.
For more information about Greg Gunn’s work, click here.