Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Design Appeal- Mickey Mouse Club - Cute and Wonderful Mickey

When I was a kid, I was mesmerized by Disney cartoons-by how cute and appealing they looked and by how smooth and magical the movements were. My only complaint about Disney was there wasn't enough of it on TV.
I used to watch the Wonderful World of Disney every Sunday night and The Mickey Mouse Club every weekday. The shows were really frustrating because they were mostly vile live action. It was like they would just put enough cartoons in the shows to lure the kids in so that they could trick you into watching the amateur live action stuff.
My favorite part about the Mickey Mouse Club was the new animation-it looked different than the classic shorts-it was stylish and modern. The characters weren't just pears and sausages, they were pears and sausages with corners on them. This is different from what we have today. Now we have just the corners, but the nutritional parts have been thrown out.
Anyway look how Goddamn cute Mickey is in these great openings. When they talk about the importance of "appeal" in the Disney books, this is it in its highest form.
Mickey not only looks great in his design-he has all the fundamental principles of good animation drawing to back up the slick and stylish finish.
Solid construction.
Line of action.
Clean silhouettes
Squash and Stretch.
Organic forms.
Disney animators were great at all the fundamental principles of animation and that's where it should all start! Without fundamentals, you really limit what you can do from an entertainment point of view.
You should see this stuff animate-look at the nice perspective on Mickey's cane-it really is effective in motion.

It's also cool that each animator-even though he followed the basic 1955 model of Mickey, still ddrew him slightly different.
This is my favorite of all the openings-the cowboy sequence. The way Mickey twirls his lasso while jumping through the hoops is amazing. What skill these animators had!

****TIP to Young Cartoonists!****
If you wanna learn how to draw for animation, copy these poses as exactly as you can-then go and copy the other great cartoon poses from classic cartoons all over my blog. If you do this a lot-and I mean a lot...you will absorb the principles I talked about above.
Get the Preston Blair book too and he explains how the principles work!
But start copying now and maybe someday you will be able to work for me (or any other real cartoonist).

In fact go buy the DVD collection of the color Mickeys and copy from all the cartoons on there!

WANNA LEARN TO INK? Ask Katie: http://funnycute.blogspot.com/2006/05/inking_01.html