What Is The 'Animan Studios' Meme? The 'Axel In Harlem' Video And Others Explained (2024)

Recontextualizing adult media is a meme trend that isn't dying out anytime soon, evident in the latest meme amid the genre called Axel in Harlem. The adult cartoon showing a man walking with an over-sized rear end was made by Animan Studios, and for some meme enjoyers, it's becoming the new Ambatukam.

Redraws, fan art and TikTok videos are all using the Animan Studios scene where Axel is getting stared down by three men on a sidewalk. The creativity is blossoming across Twitter and Facebook as this meme is becoming mainstream.

It's not just "Axel in Harlem" that's getting memed. Another cartoon showing a cowboy is getting lit up too. Need to know more about where this meme came from, who Mr. Animan is and why it's such a big meme right now? Let's explain.

Who Is Mr. Animan And What Is Animan Studios?

Mr. Animan is a man of mystery. According to a 2011 interview from the Seattle Gay Scene, Animan is a pseudonym and the artist refuses to give his legal name. This is because he fears that his "animation gig" would have repercussions on his job status.

However, Mr. Animan did reveal in his interview that he's American but lives overseas. Granted, this interview is from 2011, so who knows where the elusive Mr. Animan is right now. One thing's for sure, though — he's still active on Tumblr and Twitter, which is where he posts most of his explicit animations other than on his website.

Where Did The "Axel In Harlem" Meme Come From?

As of right now, one Animan Studios animation sticks out from the rest, entitled "Axel in Harlem." It follows the story of a Black man named Axel who, according to Mr. Animan, is "the neighborhood man-slu*t [who] attracts men like a magnet." Of course, the now notorious cartoon shows Axel strutting down a Manhattan sidewalk as other men ogle at his behind. They follow him up an elevator to their final destination.

The "Axel in Harlem" cartoon was first shared to Tumblr in April 2016. Years later, in 2020, it spread to Twitter, finally landing on Facebook and TikTok in its most censored and memeable form.

What Is The Guy Walking Meme With The "Vámonos De Fiesta A Factory" Song?

"Axel in Harlem" is also well-known in Latin and South America. In fact, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking meme creators are pretty much the reason that Animan Studios is such a big meme right now. On Facebook and TikTok, they started sharing the opening sequence of the cartoon set to the Peruvian song "La Cumbia de Free Fire" by Bukano, specifically the lyrics "Vámonos De Fiesta A Factory." Thereafter, the song became associated with the meme.

@bark.xd Animan Studio me salvó la vida #fyp #parati #navidadxiaomi #edit #animanstudios blank" title="♬ sonido original – Bukano" href="https://www.tiktok.com/music/sonido-original-7126708738936851206?refer=embed">♬ sonido original – Bukano
@dani_el_gil Vamono de fiesta a factory #meme #animanstudios #fyp ♬ sonido original – Bukano

What Is The TikTok "Ballin'" Meme With The Guy Walking?

English-speaking TikTokers decided to choose a different song for Axel walking through Harlem, namely the song "Ballin'" by Mustard and Roddy Rich. Thereafter, the song became associated with the meme and both songs propelled the trend going forward.

@pxpithiccems brandon > dreamy #animanstudios #dreamybullxx #brandoncurington #thugshaker @husain_sallami ♬ Animan Studio – ︎︎
@un_knowncookie2 #animan #animanstudio #animanstudios #ballin #cowboy #viral #meme #momento ♬ Animan Studio – ︎︎

What Is The Animan Studios Meme With The Cowboys?

Other than "Axel in Harlem," there's another animation of Animan's that's gaining meme attention, and it features a bunch of cowboys similar to Ram Ranch. The animation is titled "The Sheriff of Lone Gulch" and many are ironically calling it Red Dead Redemption despite no other correlation to the game than the wild, wild west.

@haveyouseengavin_ Only in Blackwater💀💯 #animan #animanstudios #onlyinohio #fyp ♬ Animan Studio – ︎︎
@haribo0154 #animanstudios #yugonmakemebus ♬ Animan Studio – ︎︎

What Other Animan Studios Memes Are There?

The biggest Animan Studios meme format outside of videos is redraws in which illustrators and artists are re-editng the screencaps of Axel walking and the three men staring. They're inserting different characters from many TV shows, movies, video games and more into the template.

For the full history of Animan Studios, be sure to check out our entry on the meme here for even more information.

What Is The 'Animan Studios' Meme? The 'Axel In Harlem' Video And Others Explained (2024)


What is the story behind Axel in Harlem? ›

It follows the story of Axel, a young black man living in Harlem, and his journey to becoming a professional dancer. From the moment Axel stepped onto the dance floor and started shaking his body to the beats of the thug shakers, I was hooked. The moves were so infectious that I couldn't help but move along with them.

What is Animan Studio? ›

Animan, the anonymous artist behind Animan Studios, is known for his explicit animated works. Despite being featured in an interview by Seattle Gay Scene, he has chosen to keep his true identity confidential, citing potential harm to his job prospects.

When was Alex in Harlem made? ›

Axel in Harlem (Short 2016) - IMDb.

What is Axel F based on? ›

"Axel F" is an electronic instrumental track by German musician Harold Faltermeyer. It served as the theme for the 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop, starring Eddie Murphy, and became an international number one hit in 1985.

Where is the Axel in Harlem? ›

I thought that "Axel in Harlem" was just some title to make the animation sound fancy but no, it literally takes place in Harlem: on the Lenox Ave./ 131st St. corner, to be exact.

What was Axel in jail for? ›

Not much is known about Axel's life prior to or as the outbreak began, except that he had a brother and was imprisoned for armed robbery. One day, he robbed a store with a water pistol, and the police found him hiding at his brother's house the next day with the water pistol.

How does Axel survive? ›

Resurrection: After being bitten by a daywalker, a vampire of Scar's bloodline, Axel will resurrect anytime he is killed from damage that he cannot regenerate in time. He will go into a hibernation-like death state and he will eventually regenerate and come back to life.

How tall is Axel from Axel in Harlem? ›

Axel is about 6'3" (190 cm), which is definitely tall, but not freakishly tall. Everyone else is just really short.

What show is Axel from? ›

The Middle (TV Series 2009–2018) - Charlie McDermott as Axl Heck - IMDb.

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