Friday, May 04, 2007

Honeymooners - "The Babysitter" - Ralph hits Norton

These are my best friends.

How many different expressions does it take before you finally beat your best friend?

Look at the pain Ralph feels as Norton drives him to violence.

Jackie Gleason has a million very specific expressions and gestures! He never seems to run out of them, and that's where most of the fun comes from good sitcoms-from the rich acting.

Cartoon expressions-even in really good cartoons are rarely specific. They usually are just simple symbols of happy, sad, mad, pain etc...just enough to get the general point across, but not enough to be entertaining by themselves. There are some exceptions of course-in Chuck Jones' work, Clampett's and even some of Avery's.

Captain Hook here is really well drawn and the expression is almost specific, at least for Disney, but not compared to live actors or real people in real life.


Kali Fontecchio said...

I think men's faces are even more specific than girl faces, because half the time girls are acting all illusive on purpose. Men are not that complex, they feel something, like anger, or pity, it shows instantly on their faces, hahaha. That's my theory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brian B said...

Well illustrated point. And your right about he Hook picture, it's almost there but not quit. Exceptionally nice drawing though. Why doesn't any recent traditionally animated films use that kind of lineweight in the final ? Is it just the cleanup artists decision, or does he get word down from someone else? It just seems like it'd be smart to carry the eye with it and use it but everything's so even and uninteresting. Takes a lot of the pencil's ability out of what becomes a traced production. I can't stand it.

Mitchell said...

John, I'm a student currently enrolled in a history of trends in animation course and part of an upcomming assignment is to get an interview with someone working in a feild of animation you're interested in. since I've found most of my influence has come from your work I'd love to ask you a few questions. If your interested you can contact me at

thanks for your time,
Mitch Anderson

Raff said...

Expressions can be the most fun part of animation.

Here's my attempt.

(The top youtube thing.)

Josh Lieberman said...

Well John,
another reason to keep you blog alive, it just got me a job.

Thank you!

Marcelo Souza said...

I also never felt that much affection towards TV characters as I feel for Ralph and Norton. Their acting is so natural, unaffected and immensely appealing. I haven't seen any "method" actor as "in the moment" as they are. What's more amazing is that they are in front of a live audience, so it's theater in a sense, and being theater they manage to reach the last rows and keep it fluid and natural at the same time. Alice(Awdrey Meadows) was a perfect match with her expressionless face( I believe she was trying not to laugh most of the times) and one liners. I have a huge crush on her.

nickbachman said...

I used to draw pretty boring characters with little to no expression. I'm still in the process of beefing up my character work, this blog is 100% responsible for any improvement I've had. I now make drawings that make me laugh. What an interesting concept: drawing fun things. I get a real kick out of making specific expressions too. My most recent funny drawings in comic form

carnitas said...

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