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Animation merit badge


Animation merit badge is an introduction to the art of animation. In this merit badge you’ll learn how to create animations; the ways in which animation is used and experienced not only in cartoons and movies, but also in everyday life; and the fun and exciting career opportunities in animation.


1. General knowledge. Do the following:

a. In your own words, describe to your counselor what animation is.

b. Discuss with your counselor a brief history of animation.

2. Principles of animation. Choose five of the following 12 principles of animation, and discuss how each one makes an animation appear more believable: squash and stretch, anticipation, staging, straight-ahead action and pose to pose, follow through and overlapping action, slow in and slow out, arcs, secondary action, timing, exaggeration, solid drawing, appeal.

3. Projects. With your counselor’s approval, choose two animation techniques and do the following for each:

a. Plan your animation using thumbnail sketches and/or layout drawings either on paper or using an animation software program.

b. Create the animation.

c. Share your animations with your counselor. Explain how you created each one, and discuss any improvements that could be made.

4. Animation in our world. Do the following:

a. Tour an animation studio or a business where animation is used, either in person, via video, or via the Internet. Share what you have learned with your counselor.

b. Discuss with your counselor how animation might be used in the future to make your life more enjoyable and productive.

5. Careers. Learn about three career opportunities in animation. Pick one and find out about the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss your findings with your counselor. Explain why this profession might interest you.


The Animation merit badge pamphlet is filled with resources to help you learn about animation. Here is a sample of what you can find in that pamphlet:

Introduction: Making an Animated Short Film

Principles of Animation: Exaggeration
This video can help you get started with requirement 2.

Principles of Animation: Squash and Stretch
This video can help you get started with requirement 2.

Stop-Motion Animation with Post It Notes

Augmented Reality


Create your own flipbook to see animation in action. Here’s how:


1. Click here to download the PDF template and print it out.

2. Cut out all the images following the dotted lines. Stack the images in numerical order, and line up the right edges.

3. Staple the images along the left edge to make a miniature book.

4. Flip through the pages to see the animated character in action!

Now turn the book over and create your own flip. Or use a few blank sheets of paper and follow the same process. This is a great way to create your own animation for requirement 3b.


Meet some of the professionals who helped create the Animation merit badge. These videos can help you get started with requirement 5.

Rick Folea

Chris Folea

Tony Stanley

Ty Coyle

Special thanks to Automation Direct, Theory Animation and the Savannah College of Art and Design for their support with the development of this merit badge.