Peter Chung is a 51 year old Korean-American Animator. He is best known for his unique style of animation, as the creator and director of Aeon Flux, which ran as shorts on MTV’s Liquid Television before launching as its own half-hour television series. He has also been the artist for many films and programs such as The Transformers (the 1984 TV series and 1986 Film), the 1987 TV series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Rugrats (the 1991 TV series and the 1998 film) and the 1994 TV series Phantom 2040. Chung’s animation, particularly Aeon Flux, tends to feel more artistic and experimental, and is therefore an early example of “progressive animation”, and it is clear to see that Peter Chung’s main influences are and were a mix of European expressionism and Japanese animation. Without Chung, programs such as South Park and The Simpsons wouldn’t exist, as his style set what we now know of Animation and Cartoons.

Quotes from Peter Chung, taken from the lecture and the Wikipedia page (

“For me, a degree of ambiguity, or mystery, is the key ingredient of any artistic statement.”

“I often remind myself that animation is the creation of the illusion of spontaneity. Because nothing is in fact less spontaneous than the process of animating.”

“The task of the animator, to breathe life into his characters, requires concentration akin to that of an actor whose performance has been entirely scripted down.”

These quotes really show how Peter Chung made the image (or animation, the characters, the design) the participatory. All artist should invite the viewer to participate and involve themselves in the design, and Peter Chung did this perfectly. His animations wouldn’t always start from the beginning. Many clips we saw, the action started immediately  there were no build ups; we had no clue what was going on, or the real story behind the animation. This makes us make our own story – and makes us get more involved in the story we are seeing to find any background information, clues or hints to what has happened. He uses the animation and pure drawing to tell the story – in many series of Aeon Flux there was no speech; only background music and action sounds. Only until the final episodes did he involve a voice for characters and then, there wasn’t much dialogue; it was more meaningful statements and ‘one liners’.

Pictured below are some of Peter Chung’s drawings, ready for Animation. I think this is the best way I can show you what Chung did without showing Video footage.