Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hare Ribbin' - McKimson - pinch

If you listen to the dialogue track you can hear the ups and downs in Mel's voice. Listen to the accents. Mel is a great actor who knows exactly how to vary his voice, use contrasts in volume, pitch and pace that he gives 10 times the meaning to the written words and makes them funnier and more dramatic. A good animator can then take that and add even mnore meaning by further emphasizing what is inherently there in the writing and the track.

Bob McKimson puts his animated accents to match the dialogue track. When you hear an accent in the track you also see an accent in the motion. This gives great emphasis to the meaning of the dialogue. He also matches the drawings of the expressions to the inflection in the voice, rather than relying on stock "animation acting". This may sound simple and it is. Hardly anyone else does it. Then or now.

Ken Harris for example, doesn't. He bobs the head around seemingly at random, and not in time with the voice accents ... at least in the scenes that animators tell me are animated by him.

Nowadays, most voice tracks are done by amateur actors and have very little accenting in the dialogue. Very monotonal droning is what I hear, so the animators have to sort of randomly bob the head around just to "keep the scene alive".

Also, look how solid every action is in this scene from Hare Ribbin'. The pinches really feel like the dog's fingers are grabbing thick bunny flesh.

This couldn't be done the way people draw fingers today. Paper cut out flat fingers cannot give you visceral effects. They can't make a scene really feel like it's happening.

Flat drawings and animation put the viewer at a distance from the actions and characters on screen.

Some people have the theory that why my cartoons are so emotional-whether people love them or hate them, is because the scenes are so vivid and real. (Not every scene of course) South Park can get away with bloody murder because it is so obviously not happening.

George Liquor in "Man's Best Friend" pissed off a lot of people who hate men because everything he does seems like it is really happening. The Nickelodeon ladies hated him so much that they took the show away from me. Had I drawn it flat and lifeless and used crummy flat music that didn't emphasize the moods and scenes and didn't draw expressions that matched the voice track, they probably would have accepted it.

Clampett and McKimson and the rest of the crew make the best cartoons because they are so controlled. They make you feel what they want you to feel. They don't leave anything to chance. It takes a lot of skill and confidence. This is a good practice in my opinion.

Let's go back to that philosophy sometime, ok?