Billy Collins Reads Animated Poetry for TED and NPR

Proud to have been Poet Laureate, America’s most accessible poet, Billy Collins, reads poems from his Nine Horses collection in this animated talk for TED – Every Day Moments Caught in Time. Using five of the twelve animated poems New York agency JWT commissioned for their client, Sundance Channel, as his backdrop, Mr. Collins strides the stage in his usual comfortable down home way and charms the crowd to their feet with his wry suggestive tone.

When you get a poem [in a public place], it happens to you so suddenly that you don’t have time to deploy your anti-poetry deflector shields that were installed in high school.

~ Billy Collins: Everyday Moments, Caught in Time.

If you are even an occasional listener to NPR his is a voice you will recognize immediately and if you are not do yourself a favor and watch and listen to these poems – and you will see why Billy Collins has been credited with the accolade of bringing poetry to the masses.

TODAY, was one of the twelve Billy Collins poems chosen by JWT to be animated. Unharnessed from the usual client restraint the agency gave full unfettered creative freedom to their appointed animation studios. We count ourselves fortunate to be amongst them. In many ways the project was a watershed moment for us at Little Fluffy Clouds – it gave us the chance to do things differently – see for yourself.

You can see the entertaining Mr. Collins’ TED talk here: and see all the animated poems in the line-up here: Billy Collins Action Poetry. Listen to NPR’s TED Radio Hour here: A treat for the ears, a feast for the eyes.


Chicago Public Radio features TODAY on Mission Amy KR’s blog

At Little Fluffy Clouds we’re always thrilled when one of our more cerebral projects is plucked from the archives, dusted off and given some national attention. So, we were more than pleased when our animated, Billy Collins poem, TODAY, was featured by Chicago Public Radio as part of their poetry awareness month. The former poet laureate was interviewed and read some of his favorite poems from the collection, Nine Horses.

This tiny nugget of literary appreciation came courtesy of Chicago blogger and WBEZ radio host, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Her program and associated blog, Mission Amy KR, is brought to you from the same folks that bring you, This American Life. Here’s what Amy had to say:

Just when I thought Billy Collins’ poetry couldn’t possibly get any better, this comes along. I’d rather not taint your experience with unnecessary intros and blabbing. So here, just enjoy: Billy Collins Action Poetry (And let me know if you were able to stop at one, or if you simply had to watch them all.)

So, thanks Amy for the mention – we’re in some stellar company there! You can read her blog, see all the animated poems and support the station right here: Go ahead fund the arts but first watch this!


LFC’s TODAY twinkles under the stars at the Coyote Film Festival

The Coyote Film Festival is Lake County, California’s “only voice for independent film”. This small festival-that-could, shows main features, short films, and animations, one weekend a month from June through September.

Enjoy a unique cultural experience under the stars at the beautiful Langtry Estate and Vineyards, once the home of the renowned Guenoc Winery. Lake County is approximately 2 hours north east of San Francisco, home of the Mayacama mountain range, abundant natural hot springs, bountiful wineries and rocking music festivals.

TODAY, a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with JWT NYC as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series, was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds‘ creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animated poem. It is taken from the, Nine Horses, collection written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Mr.Collins narrates his poem. It screens in rotation nightly throughout the festival.


LFC given kudos for TODAY in Animation Magazines Anicomm Awards

In a year of “brilliant and creative animated commercials…” Little Fluffy Clouds was awarded kudos by being chosen for one of Animation Magazine’s Anicomm Awards, “magnificent seven”. Woo Hoo!


“We couldn’t take our eyes off the screen when this eye-popping and effective Sundance Channel interstitial premiered last May. Part of the network’s, Billy Collins Action Poetry series, the piece is an animated recreation of the U.S. Poet Laureate’s poem, which describes a perfect spring day. Animated in Illustrator, After Effects and Maya, along with hand-drawn illustrations, the short features dancing butterflies and flowery fields. Yet, it’s definitely not your typical saccharine carpe-diem package. It works its magic on you effortlessly.

TODAY is a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with JWT/NYC. It is part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series and was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animated poem originally written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, for his Nine Horses collection. Mr. Collins narrates the piece.


LFC’s TODAY Chosen for Holland Animation Film Festival

Happily for us, HAFF, included TODAY among its list of luminary animated films. We can only say, dank u wel!   Showcasing the very best of animation worldwide the Holland Animation Film Festival is a premiere European animation event that takes place bi-annually in the famous dutch town of Utrecht.

TODAY, a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with JWT/NYC as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series, was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds‘ creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animation of a poem written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, who narrates the piece.

Billy Collins’ TODAY created by LFC for Sundance Channel

A multi award winning short, commissioned by Sundance Channel for their Billy Collins Action Poet, series.

TODAY describes a spring day so perfect – depicted in the film via dancing butterflies, floating dandelion wishes and capricious reveries all set in a flowery field outside a half-timbered cottage – that its beauty inspires an exuberance that threatens to cross over into violence.

The psychological landscape of TODAY is an otherworldly experience. It’s close to reality, contains iconic motifs and real objects but something takes it to another place. The sky, the water and the landscape blend together. The sun is too yellow. The earth too scorched, the flowers too bright. Lilies float innocently on a stream, Dandelion wishes float in the air and birds fly by – but there’s a feeling of menace trapped just beneath the surface.

As the piece progresses a darker interior emerges and we’re left wondering if it’s a random moment of madness or just a stray thought because today is just that kind of day.

The network’s, Billy Collins Action Poet series, won a slew of awards including a Cannes Palme D’Or.  The poem was taken from the collection, Nine Horses (2002). Mr. Collins narrates the film which was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The poem was animated in Adobe Illustrator, AFX and Autodesk Maya along with hand drawn illustrations.

See: billy collins action poetry series.