Saturday, December 22, 2007

Acting tool 3) Gestures - McKimson examples
That last post I did on acting

got me to thinking about acting through gestures, which is something many animators do. McKimson was really into gesture acting (as opposed to acting through facial expressions)

This chicken scene is funny acting. The actual gestures themselves are pure McKimson and there isn't a lot of variety to the held poses. What makes it more interesting is the variety of ways the animator comes up with to anticipate each of the held arm poses.
This looks like McKimson animated it himself, but Greg Duffel told me that the scenes that look the most like McKimson's own work were actually animated by his brother Charles McKimson - who would take Bob's layout poses and translate them exactly in great family loyalty.
The McKimson dynasty were chicken masters.

Here's a famous McKimson Daffy Duck scene that really defines his style. I think Mark Kausler told me this was animated by Manny Gould.

This is similar to and different than the chicken scene at the same time.
Here, Daffy uses broad arm gestures, but there aren't many holds. You don't see the final poses, because the arms keep swinging.
Bill Melendez told me that he and Rod Scribner used to make fun of McKimson's acting style and then he acted it out for me, swinging his arms and pointing in the air and at me and shoving me around his office.
He said all of McKimson's gestures were literal. If someone said "you" in a sentence, the character would point to the you he was talking to.

Here's a funny "scoop" gesture that you see in a lot of McKimson scenes. Maybe it's a Manny Gould trademark?
Daffy is amazingly ugly in McKimson's cartoons. I wonder what his theory was behind that?


I find this acting style totally hilarious because it's so ignorant. It's such a man's way to view the world. Pushy and shovey. It's like Daffy is manhandling the air to get his points across. I know real people like this.
It's the opposite of today's full animation style which is completely gay. That's ignorant in a wrong way.

Here Daffy says "slapping my head", so in McKimson's world of course the gesture has to be literally slapping.

If you say "rattle my brains" you better show it.This is man animation at its most blatant.