Who framed Richard Williams?

I caught the classic movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" over the christmas break. It's difficult to appreciate sometimes what a ground breaking project it was for the time. There was a choice at the time between Disney cartoons (which seemed to have run out of ideas) and Japanese anime (which was still very new to western viewers) on the big screen and not much else. It was a revolutionary idea to combine cartoons and live action in a feature film and for these reasons (among others) the film was a massive success. On a personal level it's so much fun to watch as they got everything right. The story is fast moving and tense, the characters and dialogue are sparky, the photography is atmospheric and, above all, the marriage of film and animation is magical and brilliantly executed. The movie barely looks dated even 20 years on! The director of animation, Richard Williams, has written a book called "The Animator's Survival Kit..." which I've found invaluable for researching the techniques that help to give character and emotion my own animation attempts. He explains concepts like timing, spacing and weight succinctly and illustrates his arguments with detailed drawings. Personally, I found his break down of keyframing and spacing really useful as he makes it clear that organising your work saves a lot of time and effort in the end. I"m now discovering some superb analysis of emotion and drama and how to introduce it to my own work. The book is an essential practical reference to the techniques used in the industry everyday.

1 Comment:

  1. Mikhail Hernandez said...
    It's some good animation, for sure... Jessica Rabbit is sexier than any cartoon has a right to be. Erm...

    Seeing Betty Boop in that clip reminded me of something I read a while back, about Baudrillard. She was used as an example of his idea of Simulacra (that is, in cultural terms, a pastiche torn free of its original). Apparently, the character was based on a famous actress of the time, who has long since disappeared into the memory hole of history.

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