Sunday, June 15, 2008

Honing Anthropomorphism...

Here we see an "animal studies and action analysis" class underway at Disney Studios around 1940. One of the kingpins of this era was an animator called Clair Weeks, who was the son of a missionary stationed in India. According to one expert: "Weeks not only exhibited mastery of construction and posing, but also the ability to embed the spark of life that makes a drawing come alive. His technique allowed for both analytically realistic depiction and cartoony stylized caricature." This Disney-born hybrid of realism and cartooniness - the oversized, over expressive eyes and cutified skulls - of so many 20th Century animated characters was probably inevitable, but also probably responsible for several generations worth of deep confusion about the nature of animals.

(source material with nice sketches here)

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