Posted 11 months ago with 6 notes .
I love movies and I love drawing, and when you marry these passions you create animation. There is an absolute and undeniable sincerity in drawing the human figure in motion. More often than not I favor animated films as opposed to live action ones because the way an animator expresses an emotion is so much more poignant than the way an actor would. We see so many faces in our day to day lives and we often miss out on details and intricacies. When we give motion to a series of drawings the break from reality grabs the attention of the viewer and these details are revealed and emblazoned. The industry is diluted with films and television series that are cartoons but do not bear qualities of excellent animation. Key factors that differentiate these categories include content, performance, branding, and innovation.
Excellent films have thematic substance.They emotionally engage the viewer so they are invested in the main character and believe in the plot. Toy Story is about forgiving yourself for changing. The Iron Giant relays that at certain points there are deciding moments when we choose who we want to be. In contrast, Kung Fu Panda is about a bumbling Panda named Po who unwillingly becomes The Chosen One in a time of discord to the dismay of his peers. While studying a film I want to be able to learn and take something away from it. I will usually pass on projects that use a gimmick to turn a profit.
Brilliant character animation produces iconic films. There are many studios that create a great amount of cartoons, but so few successfully establish artistically unique performances. Ariel is not the first or last Disney Princess that pines for a better life, but she is the most famous and profitable because of the masterly approach given to her character. A few short scenes from this film reinvigorated the animation industry. Ariel is not restricted to conventional movement. She glides easily in any direction thanks to her underwater habitat. Her hair supplements her actions. The way that she bites her lip, idly combs through her hair with her fingers, and squints her eyes are all quirks that Glen Keane took from his wife to make her more human and relatable to the audience as opposed to Belle, the female lead from Beauty and the Beast, who is portrayed as an idealized French Judy Garland and comes off a tad vague. (See more)
Jack Skellington has a brilliant design that forces the viewer to focus on the way he moves. His stature and costume don’t have any interesting traits. The only dominant feature on his face are two great orbits he has for eyes. By stripping him of everything that is visually distracting the viewer is forced to direct their attention to the way he walks, and more importantly to the way he uses his hands. Music often drives his eloquent Shakespearean gestures and allows the viewer to believe in his dramatic persona. (See more)
Shrek is a memorable reclusive ogre noted for his surly behavior and sarcastic wit. Other than a Scottish swagger, which was added in retrospect after Mike Myers decided to give Shrek an accent in the middle of production, there is nothing endearing or significant about his performance. (See more)
Studios with clear brand direction establish credibility in their work. In other words, when a company creates a portfolio with a set focus they establish that they have a purpose instead of catering to audience trends to turn a profit. Pixar creates films with a focus on light, color, and composition. Square Enix in turn specializes in vivid human figures, rapid sequential action shots, and intricate hardware. Dreamworks specializes in anthropomorphic animals, fairytale satire, and quirky reluctant heroes.
Innovative technology breathes life into weary stories. Animation is a particularly new craft that is making rapid advancements and creates striking visual imagery that’s never been done before. Walt Disney’s Snow White was the first full length animated feature film. It gave a fresh new look to a classic story. Today, Snow White and the Huntsman gives yet another interpretation of the same story, yet achieves stunning visuals and creates a whole new experience for the viewer.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 1922 short story penned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was retold in 2008 in a Brad Pitt film utilizing a camera system called Contour to capture data from Pitt’s face. To give him a severely aged appearance they used fluorescent lights and phosphorescent liquid based makeup to create a photoreal 3d model with lifelike features that were accurate to a tenth of a millimeter in detail. Using this method they were able to use one consistent actor throughout the entire film.
Avatar received some scorn for having a subpar script when it was released. If the same story were to be told consisting entirely of live actors and costumes it would never have reached box office shattering records. Animation and the use of advanced pioneering motion capture technologies created a never before seen spectacle that demanded attention.
Animation allows one to give life to a blank page by creating motion. Freedom from reality allows the artist to create palpable characters and fantastic scenes to insightful stories and sincere moments. Excellent films require content, performance, branding, and innovation to make an impact and resonate with people. Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive.