Colors in the World of Animations

micky mouse figure on the piano

How much are you interested in animation?

When I was younger, my brother and I had a lot of fun watching animations.

Sometimes we would watch an animation several times and get immersed in the world of characters.  We were surrounded by signs of animation.  From the costumes of each character to their dolls.

But, what feature in the animations made them so special to me and my brother?

The magic of colors

Colors are the common point between all animations to convey special emotions and messages.

Let’s dive into the world of animation again!

The magic of color in animations

The element of color in animation is such an important factor that if there is no color in the animation, that animation has no soul.  The colors in the animations convey emotions to the audience.

Of course, there are also colorless animations.  Among the animations of Tim Burton, who is the leader of such animations.

For example, in the animation of the bride of the dead, the predominant color is black and blue, and rarely red or other warm colors have been used, thus creating a cold, dead, insensitive and soulless atmosphere.  And in this way it has created an atmosphere.

the bride of the dead animation cover

If the colors are used correctly in the animation, the story can be defined or the positive feeling can be turned into negative and vice versa.  Also, the color element is to guide the eye to a part of the image or character.

For example, in this sequence from the coraline animation, the background contact contains almost neutral colors.  Except for the raincoat and hair color of the coraline character, which is yellow and blue.  The use of these two colors attracts the viewer’s eyes.  The yellow color of her dress conveys the impression that she is happier and more optimistic than the other characters.

coraline and her mom in their kitchen in coraline animation

In another sequence, when coraline is passing through the valve, we see the walls of the valve blue and purple.  The blue color shows us the coldness and falsity of the world on the other side of the valve, and the purple color shows it to be enigmatic and mysterious.

coraline in the valve of their house

What is the basis for choosing animation colors?


For each sequence, different hues are selected depending on the emotion to be conveyed.  Cool colors to create a cold, sad and soulless atmosphere and warm colors to create a warm, happy and energetic atmosphere.


In addition to choosing the type of hue, choosing saturation, which is the same as the intensity of each color, is also important.  As the saturation rate increases, the colors look purer and more realistic.  And as the saturation decreases, the colors appear washed out or faded.


Another significant factor in choosing colors is value, which is the brightness or darkness of each color. 

It is true that increasing saturation draws attention to the target area, but increasing it too much makes the eye tired.

To prevent this from happening, fine-tuning of value is essential.Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between saturation and value.

In the UP animation, in the following sequence, we see that the saturation of the colors is high and the value of the colors is also bright.  And it inspires the happiness of the characters.

Two Main Characters UP Animation in the pic nic

But in the following scene of the same animation, in the sequence where we see the death of one of the characters, the saturation of the colors goes down and the value of the colors goes to darkness.  This transmits a sense of sadness and unhappiness to us.

Two Main Characters UP Animation in the hospital

Use color combinations in animations:

The use of a variety of color combinations, monochrome, analogous and complementary…in the animations also creates extraordinary scenes.

Monochrome colors in animations:

In Mary And Max stop-motion animation, we see two different worlds of Mary and Max.

Max’s world is a world sleeping in the dark.  All the colors used in his sequences are a monochrome combination of black and white.  This shows the audience the depression and sadness that is in his life.

Max in his kitchen in mary and max animation

After all, Marry is lonely and sad in her world, but unlike Max, her world is not completely dark and black because she is a little more hopeful about improving her living conditions.  So we see his world in color and in sequences as monochrome sepia.

Mary is writing letters in her room in mary and max animation

After the two get to know each other, we see that every sign of Marry that reaches Max adds color to his world.  And it shows that happiness finds its way into his life.

max is reading mary's letter

Analogous colors in animations:

In a sequence from the Finding Nemo animation, we see that the background colors and the colors of both fish are in a special relationship with each other and together they create a suitable color combination that makes the audience pay more attention.  Purple, blue, and red are analogous to each other in the color wheel.

Dora and Nemo's father in animation

Complementary colors in animations:

In my favorite animation, The little mermaid, complementary colors of green and red are used to highlight the main character.  And in this way, they have given a special and prominent effect to the main character.

the little mermaid animation


The world of animation is very large, but the world of colors is bigger than that.

By using the right color, you can create a masterpiece and put the right message in each animation and show it to the audience.

Maybe this is the feature of animations, which makes its audience not only children!

Tell me, what animation have you seen several times?  Or do you still see?

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