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The kid behind A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything

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(Read caption) It took Jamie Bell, 17, about three weeks to make A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything.

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In the beginning, there was lined paper. Then, the big bang rippled through the ream and started A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything.

This new viral video may not have the professional polish of T-Shirt War or the genial charisma of the wedding dance video, but it distills the lovable, quirky charm of a creative kid with too much free time on his hands. It's a three-minute-and-12-second reminder of why YouTube is one of the most important galleries of modern culture – even without silly Super Bowl ads.

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As the title suggests, this video carries the viewer from the creation of the universe to man leaving Earth to explore that universe. Along the way, the flipbook-style animation retells evolution, the rise of civilizations, and the theory of relativity.

Who made the charmingly amateur cartoon? Seventeen-year-old Jamie Bell of the UK.

According to his YouTube channel – called Displeased Eskimo Productions – Jamie drew and filmed the project for art class. "It's something like 2100 pages long, and about 50 jotter books," he writes. "I'd say I worked on and off it for roughly 3 weeks." He set the history lesson to Jacques Offenbach’s opera "Orpheus in the Underworld," music now thought of as the Can-Can.

In about the same time it took Jamie the make the video, the YouTube clip has attracted more than 1 million viewers – not bad for a class project. In case you've missed the video, here you go:


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