Element: animate() method

Baseline 2022

Newly available

Since September 2022, this feature works across the latest devices and browser versions. This feature might not work in older devices or browsers.

The Element interface's animate() method is a shortcut method which creates a new Animation, applies it to the element, then plays the animation. It returns the created Animation object instance.

Note: Elements can have multiple animations applied to them. You can get a list of the animations that affect an element by calling Element.getAnimations().


animate(keyframes, options)



Either an array of keyframe objects, or a keyframe object whose properties are arrays of values to iterate over. See Keyframe Formats for more details.


Either an integer representing the animation's duration (in milliseconds), or an Object containing one or more timing properties described in the KeyframeEffect() options parameter and/or the following options:

id Optional

A property unique to animate(): A string with which to reference the animation.

rangeEnd Optional

Specifies the end of an animation's attachment range along its timeline, i.e. where along the timeline an animation will end. The JavaScript equivalent of the CSS animation-range-end property. rangeEnd can take several different value types, as follows:

  • A string that can be normal (meaning no change to the animation's attachment range), a CSS <length-percentage> representing an offset, a <timeline-range-name>, or a <timeline-range-name> with a <length-percentage> following it. For example:
    "cover 100%"
    See animation-range for a detailed description of the available values. Also check out the View Timeline Ranges Visualizer, which shows exactly what the different values mean in an easy visual format.
  • An object containing rangeName (a string) and offset (a CSSNumericValue) properties representing a <timeline-range-name> and <length-percentage>, as described in the previous bullet. For example:
      rangeName: 'entry',
      offset: CSS.percent('100'),
  • A CSSNumericValue representing an offset, for example:
rangeStart Optional

Specifies the start of an animation's attachment range along its timeline, i.e. where along the timeline an animation will start. The JavaScript equivalent of the CSS animation-range-start property. rangeStart can take the same value types as rangeEnd.

timeline Optional

A property unique to animate(): The AnimationTimeline to associate with the animation. Defaults to Document.timeline. The JavaScript equivalent of the CSS animation-timeline property.

Return value

Returns an Animation.


Rotating and scaling

In this example we use the animate() method to rotate and scale an element.


<div class="newspaper">Spinning newspaper<br />causes dizziness</div>


body {
  height: 100%;

body {
  display: flex;
  justify-content: center;
  align-items: center;
  background-color: black;

.newspaper {
  padding: 0.5rem;
  text-transform: uppercase;
  text-align: center;
  background-color: white;
  cursor: pointer;


const newspaperSpinning = [
  { transform: "rotate(0) scale(1)" },
  { transform: "rotate(360deg) scale(0)" },

const newspaperTiming = {
  duration: 2000,
  iterations: 1,

const newspaper = document.querySelector(".newspaper");

newspaper.addEventListener("click", () => {
  newspaper.animate(newspaperSpinning, newspaperTiming);


Down the Rabbit Hole demo

In the demo Down the Rabbit Hole (with the Web Animation API), we use the convenient animate() method to immediately create and play an animation on the #tunnel element to make it flow upwards, infinitely. Notice the array of objects passed as keyframes and also the timing options block.

    // keyframes
    { transform: "translateY(0px)" },
    { transform: "translateY(-300px)" },
    // timing options
    duration: 1000,
    iterations: Infinity,

Implicit to/from keyframes

In newer browser versions, you are able to set a beginning or end state for an animation only (i.e. a single keyframe), and the browser will infer the other end of the animation if it is able to. For example, consider this simple animation — the Keyframe object looks like so:

let rotate360 = [{ transform: "rotate(360deg)" }];

We have only specified the end state of the animation, and the beginning state is implied.

timeline, rangeStart, and rangeEnd

Typical usage of the timeline, rangeStart, and rangeEnd properties might look like this:

const img = document.querySelector("img");

const timeline = new ViewTimeline({
  subject: img,
  axis: "block",

    opacity: [0, 1],
    transform: ["scaleX(0)", "scaleX(1)"],
    fill: "both",
    duration: 1,
    rangeStart: "cover 0%",
    rangeEnd: "cover 100%",


Web Animations
# dom-animatable-animate

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also