Colin's Bear Animation

Remember Colin’s Bear Animation, the disgruntled demo reel I linked to a few weeks ago? First, watch it again. (It’s only 15 seconds long.)

In the spirit of investigating things nobody cares about but me, I decided to track down and interview Colin Sanders to find out the story behind the demo reel.


Can you tell me a little about the class and why you created the video?

The course is called Animation Arts. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to assume that this course would then be about the art of animating; I was wrong. The professor spent most of our time talking about modelling and it wasn’t until the last four weeks that he even mentioned animation. Did he even know what course he was supposed to be teaching? Animation Arts is a mandatory third year course at my school (University of Ontario Institute of Technology) for all those in my program, Game Development and Entrepreneurship.

Unfortunately for the 55 of us in the class, our professor did not have an understanding (or at least he didn’t demonstrate an understanding) greater than an above average student. He seemed to be learning it along side of us. This video is actually my final assignment.

Did you actually turn it in with the “Thanks for nothing” ending?

The version I handed in listed my student number as well as the professor’s name instead of “UOIT” and “Thanks for nothing” respectively. One of my friends wanted to post the video on YouTube because he thought a lot of people would enjoy it, so I made the “director’s cut” to show my displeasure for having spent a considerable amount of money for what was actually very little.

Did you get any response from your professor? What grade did you get for the project and class?

I believe I met all of the requirements of the assignment: to make a 10 – 15 second animation that included a walk cycle, though because I haven’t received my mark I couldn’t say for sure. (Editor’s note: After our interview, he got his score: an A grade.)

A couple of my professors from other courses either approached me or sent me an email about the video — and they seemed to enjoy it. They mainly were interested in how it made its way to game development studios. My dean even saw it, and she congratulated me. All that being said, I have no idea if the professor who the Bear Dance is about saw it. I would assume that he has, but when we presented the animations to the class, he played mine first and then after all of them, he said, “Let’s watch the first one again.” It most certainly wouldn’t have been the first time he completely missed the point.

Have you been surprised by the popularity of the video and the remixes?

The response took me completely by surprise. Often friends find a way of being kinder to us than we deserve, but a lot of people did seem to enjoy it. I’m very grateful for having been given the opportunity to share this video with many others. And who knows, perhaps all the support it has been given will mean better things for the animation side of things at UOIT — it made it to my dean after all. If that is the case, then I have a lot of people to send my thanks to.

The remixes are icing on the cake, I’ve laughed at all of them! But I wonder, could there be anything more psychotic than the BEAROLL 9 minute rendition?

Thanks, Colin!

On a personal note, I took some time off after leaving Yahoo! in mid-November, relocated to Portland and moved everything to a much nicer web server. Starting today, I’m going to be posting something new here daily. More on that later. Hugs and kisses.

February 7 Update: Colin emailed to let me know that his inadequate former professor no longer works at the school. “They’ve hired a new professor this semester and he actually works at Alias,” he wrote. “In only two weeks it has become very clear that we now have someone worth our parents’ hard-earned cash.”

Also, by request, I found a full-length copy of the song from the video. Here’s an MP3 of Funky Monkey Dance from the Mother 3 soundtrack. (The good part starts at 1:20.)

37 thoughts on “Colin's Bear Animation

  1. I’m suprised that Colin’s Bear animation hasn’t become another star wars kid. Perhaps it’s because you need to see it a few times for it to kick in. When I show this video to people, they don’t really know what to think at first, they give a kind of half-hearted chuckle and then move on. But after I insist they watch it again and think about the premise, they enter into sustained fits of laughter, and we end up watching the video many more times.

    It really is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

  2. Get to see if you back. If you ever make it over to this side of the mountains (Bend), pop me an email as I’m sure I owe you a beer for all the time of mine you’ve wasted.

  3. The videos gets a whole new layer of funny after hearing the backstory. Well worth the investigative journalism.

  4. Dammit, I wish the “bear” riff in the music clip was longer. Most of the clip is just this ghey cartoon accordion thing and then WHAM!!!! super sugar bear energy music.

    This coulda been the next club sensation if only it were more than 40 seconds long.

  5. Me and my friends at uni found this video so funny, we played it and talked about it for ages after I first showed them it. I randomly mentioned it in my 3D animation class, me and my mates watched it so many times and it seemed to get funnier and funnier! Weird that we all found it funny, some people probably just wouldn’t get it.

    One of my mates was getting strange looks when he was doing the dance in the high street in Cardiff 😀

  6. Oh wow, that was hilarious. Great interview!

    I just finished an animation course that was thoroughly awful, but at least I learned to rig a character and do some basic animation.

  7. pfft, lol. Colin Sanders is just around famous in the world of our industry. Although, we don’t really think of him as someone that did it as a joke. For a long time, we honestly thought this kid thought he did something good, so we were laughing meanly.

  8. The Bearoll 9′ version has been removed, I’m curous to see it, please find another link.

    Colin’s bear is inspiration to us all, and an AV anthem to all disgruntled students.

  9. Now if you could tell me why Dragonfore is the hardest metal known the man, I would know evertything I’d ever wanted to.

  10. I just read the interview with Colin, and I am professor that replaced the old one at UOIT.. I am glad to see the update that states “In only two weeks it has become very clear that we now have someone worth our parents’ hard-earned cash.”… Thanks Colin.. that made me 🙂 and a million plus views.. not bad at all…

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  12. I watched it for many times last year, then I watched it again today still found it funny. :))

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