Daily post 29 May 2009 07:48 am
For some inspiration let me give another Hubley answer in the Halas book, The Technique of Film Animation:
- Do you think cartoon is capable of handling realistic subjects, especially involving the human figure?
JOHN HUBLEY : Yes, provided animators master fundamentals of drawing form and volume, and then combine this with fresh, personal expressions of human action. The mechanics of moving the human figure cannot be isolated from the motivational drives and dramatic meaning of any action, without rendering it empty and useless. It is primarily the emotional content of an action that is of interest to an audience, and the goal of animators must be to express this in graphic motion; not merely to move arms, legs, and bodies around in space. At this point it will become possible to deal with “realistic subjects” and make them exciting and believable.
For some reason, the response makes me think immediately of Glen Keane’s Tarzan. Glen was on to something for whole stretches of that film, but the skateboarding through the trees destroyed any illusion of reality for me.
In fact, for me, the best and best observed human animation has always been the work in 101 Dalmatians. All of it.
The reviews are out, and the clearest and most articulate of the ones I’ve seen is by Manohla Dargis in the NYTimes. She’s fast becoming my favorite current reviewer. I urge you to read the whole thing, though I can’t resist quoting one or two phrases:
In its opening stretch the new Pixar movie “Up” flies high, borne aloft by a sense of creative flight and a flawlessly realized love story.
Though the initial images of flight are wonderfully rendered — the house shudders and creaks and splinters and groans as it’s ripped from its foundation by the balloons — the movie remains bound by convention, despite even its modest 3-D depth. This has become the Pixar way. Passages of glorious imagination are invariably matched by stock characters and banal story choices, as each new movie becomes another manifestation of the movie-industry divide between art and the bottom line.
… an adult relationship that the director Pete Docter brilliantly compresses into some four wordless minutes during which the couple dream together, face crushing disappointment and grow happily old side by side. Like the opener of “Wall-E” and the critic’s Proustian reminiscence of childhood in “Ratatouille,” this is filmmaking at its purest.
But much like Russell, the little boy with father problems, and much like Dug, the dog with master issues, the story starts to feel ingratiating enough to warrant a kick. O.K., O.K., not a kick, just some gently expressed regret.
I’m looking forward to seeing it tomorrow.