When I first started in advertising, I had the pleasure of shooting a live-action commercial with director Mike Patterson. The series was for a very mundane household product but was very successful. Mike is best known as an animator, and he was at visual effects house Rhythm & Hues at the time. The spots had a lot of in-camera effects that turned out great.
At the time Mike was already legendary for creating the famous a-ha video for ”Take On Me,” one of the greatest music videos of all time. That work was based on an animation project he did while at Cal Arts titled “Commuter.” I had seen “Commuter” before, and I was looking for it the other day. I was delighted to find it online with a treasure trove of other great projects from 20 years of experimental animation at Cal Arts.
If you want to see some amazing experimental animation from pre-computer days, before motion-capture, before digital rotoscoping, check out the curated collection on the Cal Arts site:
Besides Commuters, I recommend (in no order) Luma Nocturna, Travellers Palm, Phases, Pink Triangle, Te Utu, and The Trap.
They also have showcases of recent work.