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Past Exhibitions

Watch Me Move: The Animation Show

Installation view of Watch Me Move

This extensive exhibition demonstrated the centrality of animation in contemporary global culture. It explored the full range of animated imagery produced in the last 150 years.

In 1911, American cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay prefaced his short film Little Nemo with the invitation to ‘Watch Me Move’. A century later, we used these same words to bring together the creative output of industry pioneers in visual effects, independent film-making, and contemporary art, to explore the place of animation in global culture. 

Presenting animation as a highly influential force in the development of global visual culture, Watch Me Move explored the relationship between animation and film and offered a timely insight into the genre as a cultural phenomenon. The show featured over 170 works, from iconic clips to lesser-known masterpieces and explored the process of filmmaking by displaying puppets, stage sets, storyboard drawings, wire-frame visualisations, cel and background images.


‘A splendid new show at the Barbican Art Gallery in which animation is given the serious cultural attention it has long deserved‘
Financial Times
‘An extraordinary body of work which will have you entertained and engaged for hours‘
BBC News
‘Watch Me Move offers the chance to rediscover classics of the genre, while for others it simply provides an excellent opportunity to while away a few pleasant hours watching cartoons‘
Creative Review


Alexandre Alexeieff, Francis Alys, Martin Arnold, Ralph Bakshi, Joseph Barbera, Jiri Barta, Brad Bird, J. Stuart Blackton, Patrick Bokanowski, Christian Boltanski, Walerian Borowczyk, Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, Tim Burton, Emile Cohl, Jill Culton, Segundo de Chaumon, Walt Disney, Natalie Djurberg, Viking Eggeling, Jules Engel, Harun Farocki, Cao Fei, Oskar Fischinger, Dave Fleischer, Max Fleischer, Ari Folman, Forrester & Nichol & John Dunn, Terry Gilliam, Matt Groening, Halas & Batchelor, Handspring Puppet Co, William Hanna, Ray Harryhausen, Cecil M. Hepworth, W.R. Hill, Igloo, Ub Iwerks, Peter Jackson, Chuck Jones, Kenji Kamiyama, Ken Keeler, William Kentridge, John Lasseter, Caroline Leaf, Ang Lee, Fernand Leger, Ruth Lingford, Steven Lisberger, Bud Luckey, Lumiere Brothers, Len Lye, Toshio Maeda, Etienne- Jules Marey, Kenzo Masaoka, Winsor McCay, Norman McLaren, Georges Melies, Otto Mesmer, Millikin & Lawley, Hayao Miyazaki, Frank Mouris, Eadweard Muybridge, Newton & Company, Yuri Norstein, Willis O'Brien, Noburo Ofuji, Julian Opie, Katsuhiro Otomo, Park Nick/ Aardman, Parker and Stone, Bob Pauley, Pixar, Stephen and Timothy Quay, Jerome Ranft, Jim Reardon, Lotte Reiniger, Emile Reynaud, Riley Brothers of Bradford, Zbigniew Rybczynski, Bob Sabiston, Marjane Satrapi, Semiconductor, Harry Smith, Percy Smith, Steven Spielberg, Ladislas Starewicz, Studio Ghibli, Pat Sullivan, Jan Svankmajer, Hideki Takayama, Naoko Takeuchi, Paul Terry, Osamu Tezuka, Franciszka & Stefan Themerson, Jim Trainor, Ryan Trecartin, Jiri Trnka, Stan Vanderbeek, Kara Walker, Walt Disney Studios, Wan brothers, Tim Webb, Richard Williams, Run Wrake, Zhou Xiaohu


Moscow, Russia
17 Nov 2015-14 Feb 2016

Madrid, Spain
20 May-23 Aug 2015

Monterrey, Mexico 
20 Nov 2014-1 March 2015

Nashville, Tennessee, USA
6 Jun-1 Sep 2014
Detroit, Michigan, USA
6 Oct 2013-5 Jan 2014

Brasilia, Brazil
27 Apr–7 Jul 2013

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
5 Feb–7 Apr 2013

Kaohsiung, Taiwan
23 May–22 Sep 2012

Taipei, Taiwan
19 Jan–6 May 2012

Calgary, Canada
8 Oct–24 Dec 2011

London, UK
15 Jun–11 Sep 2011