Animutation Mailing List

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The Animutation Mailing List is the life force, the mother brain, the land inside Jay Jay's mouth, the animuniferous æther. It's where all the magic happens. Its volume goes through cycles, but in its heyday, it has an average of around 10 messages per day. It has a good amount of regular posters, but likely numerous lurkers who either don't feel like posting or don't know how. One can subscribe at Animutation Central.

This page will attempt to outline some important aspects of the list, as well as some weird inside jokes, but ...

"One cannot be told what the list is. You must discover it for yourself." -- Peter Rybchenkov

Guide for new and prospective members

If you're new to the mailing list, it is strongly recommended that you "lurk" for a while without posting so you can get a feel for how things work. Unfortunately, many a well-meaning newbie will subscribe and, misunderstanding the purpose of the list, immediately post numerous topicless or nonsensical messages and replies. The Animutation Mailing List is not a place to be random and silly (though funny is fine, of course) -- that's more for animutations themselves. So instead of wasting everybody's time with such messages (which may earn you a preemptive Elephanting), "buy" a copy of Flash and get going. If you do want to participate on the list, the best thing to do is observe and learn, but just to summarize:

  • If you don't have anything to say, don't say it. But if you truly do have something to say, don't hesitate. Animutations are not the only things we discuss; it's a common topic, but it is often a place of general social discussion amongst people simply bound together by a common interest.
  • People are usually annoyed by short (e.g. one-sentence) replies. Not always, but in general, more than one sentence is necessary to get a point across.
  • There are occasional flamewars over topics such as top-posting vs. bottom-posting, or Linux vs. Windows vs. Mac, or Gmail vs. POP/IMAP email vs. other webmail providers. If you are caught in the middle of such a thing early on, don't take it personally. People feel very strongly about other people's personal opinions and personal preferences, for some reason.
  • Long-time members are often quick to judge new members, so don't give them reasons to assume that you're a n00b (bad) rather than a newbie (good).
  • The list is a place to announce new animutations and other Flash works. Even if it's your first, and you don't think it's that good, post it anyway -- long-time members are usually very encouraging and supportive of people trying to get into the genre.
  • You are not required to worship Neil, or to reply to everything he says with "YES MASTER, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY CONCUR." That's not to say you can't -- he has a good share of internet stalkers, so I'm sure he's used to it by now. Just know that on the Animutation Mailing list, everyone is equal. Some people are just more equal than others.


Unsubscribing, the Elephant, etc.

Even though the List is beautiful and perfect, a source of creativity and knowledge, some people "don't get it" and they want to unsubscribe. This is the exact same type of person as the type who doesn't notice that at the bottom of every message sent out, the list server appends the message:

If you want to unsubscribe from the Animutation Discussion List, go to then login, and unsubscribe from there.

Inevitably, people either send a blank message with "unsubscribe" as the subject, thinking that the list is powered by one of those Majordomo-type programs that accept email-based commands, or they just send a message asking to be unsubscribed. This always results in a barrage of sarcastic replies, mentioning the instructions at the bottom of every message.

This has led to an odd meme: commonly the Dead Elephant, or simply the Elephant. In January 2004, Adam Atlas posted a message recommending that people sending "unsubscribe" messages be:

  1. Subscribed to the official Republican Party (USA) newsletter
  2. Entered in a raffle to win a dead elephant.

Luckily for him, the elephant idea stuck, and whenever someone posts an "unsubscribe" message, someone is almost certain to mention "the Elephant" (as in, "Sigh... I'll get the Elephant..."). Others have proposed different creatures to use, such as mammoths or endangered gorillas, but those ideas didn't go over well with the animunvironmentalists.

What's the song from "Wizard Power"?

One of the most common reasons people subscribe to the list is to ask for the name of the song in Neil Cicierega's hyperactive Animutation Wizard Power. Often, when a new person subscribes to the list and makes their presence known, even if they don't ask, one of the old elitists will look down their virtual nose, take their virtual pipe or cigar out of their virtual mouth, and say, "The song in 'Wizard Power' is New Wave Jacket."

For a while, this meme involved wording like "The song in 'Wizard Power' is New Wave Jacket and nobody knows the lyrics." However, lyrics and an English translation have since surfaced.


Over time, many words are coined on the list, and a good number of them make their way into common usage amongst the list members. A more complete list will be available at Animutation glossary, but some popular words include:

  • Animutational, of or relating to animutation, or containing typical elements of animutation
  • Animutationist, a person who creates animutations, also see Animutator, Animuter, Animutationalist and Animonkey
  • Country- or language-based animutation words, such as Germanimutation or Russianimutation or Japanimutation.
  • Mondegreen, An obscure dictionary word used to describe a misheard or misinterpreted lyric. Also used in place of the more specific Animondegreen
  • Animondegreen, An intentionally re-interpreted lyric created for the purposes of animutation
  • The Shroud of Colin, a homemade t-shirt featuring Colin Mochrie's character from Colin Vs Jesus: FINALE!, signed by Colin himself, as well a host of other Whose Line is it Anyway regulars. The only real-world evidence that Colin actually watches animutations. Currently owned by Random Ferret.


An archive of the list messages since April 2006 can be found at

The New Animutation Mailing List

Early in the year 2007, the List had fallen into disuse because of technical difficulties. Then on September 29, 2007, through this thread on the Lemon Demon Forums, Adam Atlas set up a new Animutation Mailing List on GoogleGroups. By the end of the week, it had eleven members and twenty-four posts.