Colin's bear is a short animation, somewhat famous in the world of computer graphics and digital animation.
It depicts a bear performing various shoddily animated actions such as walking toward the camera, dancing and waving.
The animation lasts for 15 seconds and is set to the music Funky Monkey Dance from Mother 3.
The animation was created by Colin, a third year Game Development Student at UOIT. It was his final animation for an animation arts class and is known to have received an A grade. A friend of Colin thought it would be appreciated by a wider audience and he put a version onto YouTube with a changed caption to close:
"Thanks for Nothing".
Colin's bear has become a kind of figurehead in the animation world for terrible, offbeat, but ultimately enjoyable animation. To understand the appeal of Colin's bear is more complicated than first appears. As well as being simply fun to laugh at, it is not boring or annoying. In this way Colin's bear, at first, appears to be one of these things which are so bad they're good. But I'm not sure this is exactly it. There isn't really any satire in Colin's bear.
From a different approach, it's nice to realize that even though the animator clearly lacked technical talent, the final product is still in some way appealing. This is a kind of basic artistic instinct. It appeals to the child inside us, knowing that just because one lacks technical skill, doesn't mean they can't come up with something great. In fact there are lots of positive things about the animation. The music matches up, it's funny, the cut out at the end - just in the middle of the music - leaves you begging for more. Unlike almost all content on the internet, the more times you see Colin's bear, the better it becomes.
The other appeal is obviously in the fact that for many game development or animation students, they can relate fully to the experience of having paid for a mediocre teaching experience. It really highlights the ridiculous degrees to which education in these areas has slipped; often taught by people with less experience than the students. The making of Colin's bear might have been some form of achievement in a learning sense, but is worth nothing to anyone paying for digital animation.
Finally, there is a kind of post-ironic appeal that appears even more strongly with videos such as they're taking the hobbits to isengard and some other internet memes. For some people it's gone past finding it funny ironically; there isn't any message, any statement, left in the piece. The fact that such things can have over a million views, is so dire, so meaningless that you realize all your worries, all your theories on life, just don't matter. Once again the internet shows us that sometimes the weirdest experiences can be the most grounding.