Paper Chicken Animation

I used to do this all the time when I was a kid, but forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago when drawing with Jack and Tess.  It’s a great trick, and you can do all kinds of animations.  We did a chicken first.  If you want to try something like this, here are a couple of tips.

Draw your design on the bottom first, so you can trace over it while making the top drawing.
Leave at least an inch of blank paper at the bottom of your drawing, that way the curled paper won’t slide off of your pencil as you’re moving it up and down.


  1. chelseybell.
    February 11, 2010 at 12:59 am

    I like her shirt :).

  2. Maggie
    February 11, 2010 at 2:12 am

    that's so cool. I love your blog btw.

  3. Susan Petersen
    February 11, 2010 at 4:43 am


  4. lili scratchy
    February 11, 2010 at 7:45 am

    we are trying tonight after school with my children!!
    thank you!!
    if you've some time have a look on my
    children's blog:

  5. Kitty Kilian
    February 11, 2010 at 8:57 am

    So neat.. of course the book trick is next (new drawing on each page, making a movie together). You have a fabulous blog - I love your pictures and your clear and slightly 1970-ish style! You also have the best artist statement on your website I have ever read, coupled with a great design. The only thing I wondered about was HOW do you make your paintings connect with your viewers? By doing something actively or just by making likeable art?

  6. My Love is.....
    February 11, 2010 at 10:02 am

    this is so awesome.. thanx :)

  7. Anonymous
    February 11, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I met you blog yesterday, and i'm completly in love...


  8. Abbey
    February 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    love. thanks for a great blog. my new favorite.

  9. kristiina
    February 12, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Thank you for your blog, you have great ideas! :)

    We use to made these animations on math books, one picture on every page. :)

  10. flou
    February 12, 2010 at 8:20 am


  11. NoeKs blogt...
    February 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Wow, what a great idea, and so simple actually! My kids have a week off from school, so that we can try for sure, thanks!
    And I love the video ;)

  12. Aline
    February 12, 2010 at 7:11 pm


  13. Snejana Mihailova
    February 13, 2010 at 11:50 am

    It's great! My son is your true fan.We'll try this with him.

  14. chiara
    February 14, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    That's great!!
    i love your blog.

  15. Lucille
    February 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I love the way one toe moves too.

  16. at Hanna
    February 14, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Simple and fascinating!

  17. lilla a
    February 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I love your style!

  18. SaRaH
    February 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I found this on Flickr!

  19. Joel Henriques
    February 20, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Ooh, those look like they would be great animations! Nice find SaRaH! I've got to try some more!

  20. mct36
    June 27, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Hi -
    I teach a summer animation class at Cornell which starts tomorrow. We usually make Thaumatropes the first day, but after seeing your animated chicken and the great Flickr posts above, I think we'll make these instead. I tried it out with my own children and we made some good ones.

    I really like your blog. I bet you could make some great Thaumatropes!

    One question -- what do you think these two frame animations should be named? Have you seen it called anything specific? We always look at Zoetropes, Phenakistiscopes, and Flipbooks, and I wish I knew what to call this two-frame animation flip toy!

  21. Joel Henriques
    June 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    mct36 - Yes, I remember seeing that cool Thaumatrope on Sleepy Hollow. (The Tim Burton movie.) It would be really fun to try and make one. I'll have to try that. I bet the kids would be pretty amazed at the illusion. And yeah, I'm not sure what the two frame animation would be called. We used to make them as kids, and I've never seen them since. I didn't invent it though, that's for sure. Let me know how your class went!

  22. ilda
    July 1, 2011 at 10:08 am

    you make me smile... thank you. Your blog is wonderful!!

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