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Western Animation / The Creation

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"The Creation" is an animated short film (8 minutes) from 1981, directed by Will Vinton.

It is the story of the creation of the world as described in the Book of Genesis—sort of. Actually, it's an adaptation of James Weldon Johnson's poem "The Creation", which is the story of Genesis rendered as an African-American folk singer. The animated effects were created by using paint on glass. Johnson's poem is read by none other than James Earl Jones.


  • Animated Adaptation: A cartoon imitation of James Weldon Johnson's poem.
  • Art Imitates Art: When God creates man, the man is briefly posed in a manner similar to Michaelangelo Buonarroti's Creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Adam is pretty smooth down there when he's briefly dancing around at the end of the cartoon.
  • Born as an Adult: As is Genesis, Adam is born as an adult human.
  • Creation Myth: A poetic representation of the Genesis myth, adapted into an animated short. Interestingly, in Johnson's poem, and thus in the cartoon, the rainbow appears as God smiles when he sees the rivers flowing to the sea. In Genesis, the rainbow comes later, as a sign from God after the Great Flood.
  • God Is Good: God was lonely, so he made a world, and it was good.
  • "Just So" Story: Where God walks, his footprints make the valleys and the displaced earth makes the mountains. God blinks his eyes, and makes lightning.
  • Large Ham: James Earl Jones is very intense in his narration.
    "He clapped his hands, and the thunders ROLLED."
  • Narrator: James Earl Jones reads Johnson's poem.
  • Stop Motion: Done not with Will Vinton's usual "claymation" style, but with paint on glass.