A series of innovative animated educational cartoons created by a local Donegal teacher have racked up over three million views on YouTube in just over a year.
Teacher, actor and animator John D Ruddy from Letterkenny has created a series of short online cartoons of important historical events that have been proving hugely popular around the world.
John says he has been delighted with the support he has received to date and part of his motivation is to bring “history to life” for all his viewers.
“The first one I did about two years ago was on Irish history, which I did just off the top of my head and that went viral around Ireland. That lead to more demand and I did a couple more. I did the World War 1 one and that reached a much bigger audience and went viral around the world,” he explained.
John says that because of the educational nature of his creations his audiences continue to grow as more educators and viewers discover his work and he currently enjoys over 30,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel.
“The support has been amazing. They are educational so history doesn’t go out of date and maybe that is why the views are growing steadily,” he added.
While his channel has received three million views, his “World War 1 in 6 minutes” amassed one million views alone.
John says he would love to pursue his animation career further in conjunction with his teaching and acting.
Each video is a six to nine minute synopsis of historic events brought to life in humorous animations featuring Ruddy’s own character Manny Man, who he manages to morph into any historical figure with convincing accuracy that is instantly recognisable.
John has been keen to expand his channel and last month, after he travelled the entire Wild Atlantic Way himself, he created a stunning fifteen minute video featuring some of his usual animations while also incorporating photography from the 2,500km scenic route. This video not only shows the beauty of the land and seascapes, but also features pockets of history and local information along the way. This video has gained almost seven hundred hits a day since it went live.
His history videos will also be shown in the Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny on Culture Night, September 18th 2015 at 17.00.