Saturday, February 02, 2008

Goofy's Floppy Principles

Here's some animation from my favorite period of Disney. I love the character design and the way it moves.The late 30s is when they were discovering and polishing the basic animation principles that we still sort of base modern cartoons on only we don't remember exactly how they work or what to use them for.
The scene is interesting, because it has nothing to do with story or acting. It's just what they used to call "business". It exists purely to remind us about Goofy and to have some fun bouncy animation.

Warner Bros. cartoons used these same principles to tell more individual and original stories and to assert the artist's own world views, but it's interesting to see the principles here stripped of opinion and individuality- existing in wholesome purity.
Line of Action and Clear Silhouette

Overshoot past the keys for accents

Settle into the final pose after overshoot.

Everything is bouncy and timed to music.

Many of the actions move on arcs. One pose will squash down in the middle of the action to move into the next pose.
Always feature the ass.

And the groin is good too.

Cartoons like this are all about the principles. They aren't very funny and nobody has specific personalities, especially not the director. These are strictly the basics drawn in a very appealing graphic style.

I kinda wish we could have a studio that would go back to these basics and from there move forward into individual styles and customization.

Today's full animation style is such a specific small collection of cliched actions that it is very hard to move forward from there.

I actually saw a movie the other day that didn't have all the stock acting and motions of most modern fully animated features.

It had a depressing drawing style to match the depressing subject matter and is not really my kind of thing but I was The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

impressed to see that the way it moved seemed more customized to what was happening in the story. It wasn't a collection of stock actions.

If only we could apply that kind of clear thinking to entertainment animation.