How this Trump handshake animation forced its creator to 'cancel almost everything'

Lee Roden
Lee Roden - [email protected]
How this Trump handshake animation forced its creator to 'cancel almost everything'
This Swedish animation of Donald Trump's unusual handshake has gone viral. Photo: Anders Ryttar Visualisation

A Swedish 3D artist whose animation of Donald Trump's unusual handshake technique became an internet phenomenon has told The Local how the unexpected success forced him to change his plans.


Trump's distinctive manner of shaking hands – including pulling the other person towards him and patting them on the body – has been the subject of intense scrutiny over the last week after he unleashed it on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, before having less success with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

The most popular take on it may just have come from Sweden's Anders Ryttar, whose simple animation of the "Trump pump" has gone viral, earning more than 243,500 views on image hosting site Imgur since it was uploaded on Thursday.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling even retweeted it to her 9.75 million followers on Twitter. But according to Ryttar, the success is all down to pure luck.

"It's interesting to see how the virality of a meme such as this works. I didn't expect it to have such wide spread (and I don't expect to have any other) viral success. I'll keep making jests and poke fun at people in power, but this was just a fluke of how the internet works," the animator told The Local.

The Swede explained that he spent relatively little time on the animation, which he originally thought would get him "a few visitors" to his Facebook page:

"I was just practising some very simple character rigging and animation when I had the idea. The bizarre handshake is topical to say the least, so it came naturally. The animation took a couple of hours, and I hoped people would get a laugh out of it and move on, and perhaps get a few visitors to the Facebook page for my company Anders Ryttar Visualisation."

Rather than a couple of clicks on his Facebook page however, the animation resulted in Ryttar having to clear out his schedule:

"J.K. Rowling retweeted it and I had to cancel almost everything just to handle the questions, which is fine, I don't mind. Almost everyone realizes that it is in good fun and not some sort of deep meaningful stance or propaganda piece."

Ryttar explained that most of his work is for commercial clients, and as such can't be shared on his website, so it was "fun to watch the statistics blow up on the page for a couple of days". He doesn't expect a wave of of new customers as a result of his Trump animation however.


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