Able Joseph shares his favourite animators of all time

Able Joseph

Sydney singer/songwriter Able Joseph has recently released the tender and intimate track, “Lonely LA”. It’s a heartfelt song that tells the story of a couple who are treating their journey through life as one that is navigated by them as a team, and all that entails. It follows on from his previous single, “SOLO” which was released earlier in the year.

About the song, Able writes: “There’s a beautiful side to two people having to adjust to life’s curveballs and facing change as a team — be that changing dreams, homes, realities… this isn’t a love song, it’s a relationship song.”

‘This song is a homage to songwriting. We wanted to keep the structure as simple as possible but still weave in different moments and transitions that take you somewhere unexpected. The outro is a deeply honest conversation between two people and the production reflects that; it’s closer to the mic, more intimate and raw. I’m really proud of the story we tell.’

In the past, Able has worked with a who’s who of local artists, including Jaguar Jonze, Hauskey, Bec Sandridge, Jordie Ireland, Third Party, Yorke, Xavier Dunn, Cyrus, Eliott and Woodes. Recently he was the tour support for Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird.

As a lover of animation and storytelling, Able engaged animators LA-based award-winning Trevor Conrad and Edinburgh-based Karina Budnariu to work with him on the visuals.

Anyway, check out the video for “Lonely LA”. It’s a beautiful song, and the animation is next-level.

Able has put together a list of some of his favourite animators, from the US to Japan. Read on and be inspired.

Able Joseph’s favourite animators of all time

I grew up on a strict diet of anime, cartoons and fiction (thanks bro). We were dweebs but we were ahead of our time (je ne regrette rien). Animation continues to be a daily inspiration for me, there’s countless hours and limitless imagination poured into the creative process – just like music. So, without further ado, here are five of my faves. Enjoy xo

Jenova Chen | Journey | Thatgamecompany, Santa Monica Studio

Is it cheating to start with a videogame… maybe. But Journey is a spectacular piece of art, music and play. This is a game that makes you feel, and let me tell you, not many games accomplish that.

The art design is wondrous, with lighting the stand out, as if in a perpetual state of ‘golden hour’. Our silent hero is guided by the wind, its scarf billows and beckons us on our journey… If you don’t like video games, this one’s for you.

Jenova Chen

Masaaki Yuasa | Ping-pong the animation, Devil Man Crybaby, Inu-Oh | Science SARU

The human body rarely follows the laws of gravity if you’re watching a Masaaki Yuasa animation. Faces contort, limbs flay and bodies lean into the most compromising of shapes. The style is insane and most of the time the stories he tells are even stranger. But hey, there’s no one else like it.

Masaaki Yuasa

Hayao Miyazaki | Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbour Totoro | Studio Ghibli 

Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are part of my childhood. These films are masterclasses in storytelling, environments, nature and humanity. They’ve been my escapes on tough days and the fuel behind many ideas. What’s more, they’re so often led by strong female characters kicking ass and teaching men all the things they don’t know.


Christian Linke, Alex Yee, Pascal Charrue, Arnaud Delord | Arcane | Riot Games & Fortiche Production

The art direction in Arcane is MADNESS. Every scene feels like a troubled-teen oil-painting (in the best possible way). This is colour blocking, characterisation and world-building at its absolute best. Bring on season 2.

Christian Linke

Katsuhiro Otomo | AKIRA

AKIRA is 33 years old…33!? And it still looks remarkable. The palette, the hues, the lens flares…the explosions, the motorbikes, the completely psychotic teenager. Hollywood keeps trying to remake AKIRA, but they’ll never beat the OG. The first five minutes remain five of my favourite minutes in all of cinema. 

Katsuhiro Otomo


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Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker