Behind the Scenes of COSMOS: Animating History

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey features all of the scientific wonder and captivating visuals of Carl Sagan’s original Cosmos. But one way that the two programs differ is their treatment of historical moments in science.


While the original Cosmos used historical recreations to transport viewers back in time, the creators of the new series sought out a more sophisticated technique to bring history to life than the original Cosmos’ costumed characters.


A natural solution came from Cosmos executive producer Seth MacFarlane, who employed his expertise as the creator of multiple animated series (Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show) to animate the  stories of Cosmos, working with his team to visualize moments in scientific history.


The Cosmos animators developed a specific style of animation for the series, both sophisticated and accessible enough to appeal to the series’ younger viewers.


Drawing inspiration from graphic novels, film noir, folk art and everything in between, the artists of Cosmos blended artistic styles to create animations as varied as the myriad worlds the series covers.


Utilizing realistic backgrounds and historically accurate settings to recreate famous figures in science, the animations in Cosmos still retain the series’ sense of wonder, allowing the characters in the Cosmos history to explore the universe in ways they only dreamed about.


Don’t miss the next episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, premiering this Monday at 10P.


  1. S Silva
    March 27, 2014, 9:26 pm

    It’s amazing the work, the quality of the special effects are wonderful that makes possible that the young people get interested in science and in a educative tv serie. I know that it is a exclusive serie but could you put the serie more early in Latin America, I’m young so I know what I am talking about

  2. Connie Leslie
    London, On.
    March 28, 2014, 8:35 am

    I like the Cosmos series for its entertainment value, but am a bit concerned that it may be attempting to turn science into another religion! Scientists have their own distorted view of reality despite such scientific facts as time is relative and even an observation influences an outcome. The ‘God is a myth’ statement they are making is very one-sided and ‘scientific’ and probably dangerous to the human psyche. Is this the makings of yet another distorted religion not helpful to struggling humans living on planet Earth?

  3. Abby
    March 31, 2014, 10:41 pm

    @Connie Leslie: If anything, human race should strive to ”kill god” at even faster pace. Religion today shouldn’t be of any real value (except for cultural), but, sadly, it does. Just imagine how much better place it would be, if people like you would start living in reality. You and your kind are the reason this world is in its current shit state.

  4. Doris McNary
    Los Angeles, CA area
    April 1, 2014, 2:19 am

    I don’t have National Geographic on cable and I couldn’t find the first episode on Fox, so I didn’t look for it again on Fox. Is it showing every Sunday (or Monday) on Fox Channel 11 in LA?
    If not, where else can I watch Cosmos?

  5. Stacey Severn
    United States
    April 1, 2014, 6:59 pm

    Doris McNary, you can watch full episodes on line (with no commercials) at

  6. Renato Britto
    Brasília, Brazil
    April 1, 2014, 8:14 pm

    I loved the documentary, everything there was awesome and the animation is better than perfect. Really good.

  7. Fatz Lacson
    April 3, 2014, 5:04 am

    COSMOS is such an amazing masterpiece! I’ve always waited for this. I’ve learn so many things about the “cosmos” including the scientists etc, and how they discovered these things that we see right now! I feel like I want to be a part of this documentray! Just kidding! 🙂 MORE POWER TO THE STAFFS! GODBLESS~!!

  8. benjamin
    Knoxville, TN
    April 15, 2014, 1:55 am

    Abbey was a bit harsh on Connie there in her comment except that Connie started by calling Cosmos entertainment and scaring up the science is religion meme so I’m hard pressed not to agree with Abbey’s core point.

    Cosmos is not entertainment. It’s a vivid celebration of the MOST important discovery humans have EVER made. Far more earth shattering, and valuable than that there might be a supernatural god.

    The truth takes patience, experiment, replication, courageous insight, and a deep awareness of our human biases and limitations. Feeling something is true has very little accordance with any real truth.

    Only through the collective work of thousands of people, carefully measuring and observing the world as it is and describing their methodology for others to co-explore and then making educated guesses at the possible connections that might explain those observed phenomena and then rigorously testing those explanations and predictions do we draft a close approximation of truth. That is what humans have used to really heal the sick, raise the dead, walk on water, turn lead into gold and fly to the stars.

    No religion does that, although they all claim to. So I see some of Connie’s confusion. Science beats religion at it’s own game by starting with the premise there is no path to the truth internally, only via the method described above.