We present GLASS, a method for Global and Local Action-driven Sequence Synthesis. GLASS is a generative model that is trained on video sequences in an unsupervised manner and that can animate an input image at test time. The method learns to segment frames into foreground-background layers and to generate transitions of the foregrounds over time through a global and local action representation. Global actions are explicitly related to 2D shifts, while local actions are instead related to (both geometric and photometric) local deformations. GLASS uses a recurrent neural network to transition between frames and is trained through a reconstruction loss. We also introduce W-Sprites (Walking Sprites), a novel synthetic dataset with a predefined action space. We evaluate our method on both W-Sprites and real datasets, and find that GLASS is able to generate realistic video sequences from a single input image and to successfully learn a more advanced action space than in prior work.