Researching Action Sequences

I decided to do some research into some action sequences to help me get a better understanding of how characters move in animations and to help me in creating movement in my own character which is appropriate for her character and personality. First, I thought about some potential action sequences, both basic ones and ones that are relevant to my character of a witch:

Then, as the character that I intend to animate is a witch, I decided to research into how other animators have animated witch characters. This will hopefully help me in gaining some ideas of possible ways I could animate my character, it also will help me to see how these characters move and to recognise certain traits and movement characteristics they may have. 

Kiki’s Delivery Service

This is one of my favourite anime films by Studio Ghibli, I decided to re-watch the trailer so I could analyse some of the action sequences within it, and focused on the three above. First, I looked at the most obvious action sequence for a witch would be flying on a broomstick, from looking at this I realised that her hair seemed to move more like one large ‘chunk’ of hair, instead of being really flown which I thought it would be, this may be to save time on the actual animation or it might also be because her hair is quite short. I also noticed that the animation also included quite a lot of the 12 principles of animation, including appeal, anticipation, staging, arcs and secondary action. 

Little Witch Academia


Little Witch Academia is an anime series. Again, here, I decided to analyse the trailer for it. As with the previous example, it shows the characters flying on a broomstick, with their hair and dresses flowing with the motion. This animation seemed to have more motion shown with the movements in the characters clothes and hair which helps create realistic looking movement, compared to Kiki’s Delivery Service, I think this may be because it is a more recent anime and so  the animators probably had access to better technology. Again, it featured quite a lot of the 12 principles of animation including arcs, anticipation and staging. 


I decided to also analyse a 3D animation, especially since as my character and animation will be 3D. Here, I found a short film again centred around some witch characters. Watching it really helped me to get a better understanding of how my character may end up moving when it comes to animating her. I noticed that the hair didn’t always seem to move as much in this one compared to the other two 2D animations, instead of flowing like natural hair would, the hair moved a little bit on the ends and was created in much thicker strands, which is very similar to how my characters hair is. Again, this animation featured many of the 12 principles of animation, including staging, appeal, exaggeration, slow in slow out and anticipation. 

Overall, by analysing the action sequences within these animations it has helped me gain inspiration for some possible action sequences to do for my character. I’ll try to include some aspects from them into my animation, I particularly like the idea of having my character fly on a broomstick. I also noticed how the hair seemed to move and flow in different ways in all of the animations, and as my character has hair, I will need to decided upon how to add motion to mine and see what could work as my characters hair has quite a stylised appearance and is almost quite ‘blocky’ I imagine I will take inspiration from the ‘Unsurpassed’ animation for this. 

References :

Madman Anime (2014) Kiki’s Delivery Service – Official Trailer [Video]. Available online: [Accessed 19/03/21].

Convincing Anime Trailers (2017) Little Witch Academia Trailer [Video]. Available online: [Accessed 19/03/21].

CGMeetup (2019) CGI Animated Short Film: “Unsurpassed” by Unsurpassed Team | CGMeetup [Video]. Available online: [Accessed 19/03/21].