Terry Gilliam in The Do-It-Yourself Animation Show

Terry Gilliam began his career as an animator and strip cartoonist. One of his early photographic strips for Help! magazine featured future Python cast member John Cleese. When Help! folded, Gilliam went to Europe, jokingly announcing in the very last issue that he was “being transferred to the European branch” of the magazine, which, of course, did not exist. Moving to England, he animated sequences for the children’s series Do Not Adjust Your Set, which also featured Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.

Gilliam was a part of Monty Python’s Flying Circus from its outset, credited at first as an animator (his name was listed separately after the other five in the closing credits) and later as a full member. His cartoons linked the show’s sketches together and defined the group’s visual language in other media (such as LP and book covers and the title sequences of their films). His animations mix his own art, characterised by soft gradients and odd, bulbous shapes, with backgrounds and moving cutouts from antique photographs, mostly from the Victorian era.

In the videos below, he teaches YOU how YOU can use animations just like him.