Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Creative Animation Film Overview

Today I am presenting my personal opinions about seven short animation movies. Some are very recent and some are from animation pioneers.

Dots (1940)
I had never seen this movie before. After seeing it i felt dots. And some splashes here and there.

Then i went to find out how such good work had been done at that time. After reading about Norman's work, I can say he was trully an inovator for his time. He actually made the sounds in the movie by scratching the audio track. This is where, for me, he stands out. The apearence of electronic sounds defined as music date from early 20th century, and it became more popular due to technological progress during WWII. But conciliating animation with music was something new, and he excelled at it.

The way he relates the sound and the image with such harmony, is just amazing. At the time this movie was done the resources to do such a thing were very limited and he's work was based in experimentation. That makes him, along with various other artists, developer of a trend.

From my point of view, I cannot just determine were his work would belong to, or were I could expect to find this type of work. Probably on cinemas would be the place where the film fits the best, since at this time animation short films were a sensation. For me, besides being a genious inside the animation frame, he is a researcher, a developer and a true artist.

Fantasmagorie (1908)

An even earlier production that the previous one. This one is just brilliant. The story is somewhat random, but with a logical sequence of funny events, with each hapening relating to the previous.

I am also very impressed by the way he literaly interacts with his animation, transmiting a 3 dimensional feeling. To top this off he goes even further. 

When I saw the movie, I though he made this on a chalkboard, then I read about Emile just to find out this was done out of 700 drawings with minor variations in each, and all of them printed in negative, creating the illusion of a chalkboard. The only thing it comes to my mind is that this is "pre-historical" video effects.

"This was definelty a cinema hit", was my first thought. Backed up with knowledge of who Emile Cohl is, I now know that this man is the creator of the first fully animated movie ever!

Cafe Serre (2009)

A more recent movie, where graphics excell. But this movie has a lot more into it. In my opinion, one of the big inspiration themes for animation is humor. And this one is a very good example of it.

The plot is funny, the creator managed to maintain a defined style throughout the movie and the sound effects complement a very good short story. And the representation of the idea that people have about the american police and donnuts, with a sip of irony towards the thiefs luck and the police man inocence is really funny.

This movie could most definetly be televised, probably with youth as a main target group. It has a great moral message, told in a funny ans simple way, and this is the place where i can see the movie fulfil it's potential to a maximum.

Pocoyo (2007)

This is a great example of story telling through the animation of the characters. I love the "cartoonish" way the animator managed to transmit the feelings that the characters live throughout this little adventure, and the way he delivers the message to a very specific target group: children.

I had seen these series before, although not this specifical one, exactly in a situation where the target group was present, and i can only say that the impact it had was most definetly, or from what i interpret it being, the one intended by the creators of the series: to educate children in problem resolution in a benefitial way for them and their friends. I do not risk to say correct because it depends a lot on the culture of the target group.

There is no better place to show this one, other than a TV program vocationed to children of young age.

Ryan (2004)

About this movie I have to start by saying that Crish had a very good story to tell. And he told it in the best possible way. A tribute documentary to one very impressive animator that marked an era, is, to say the very least, a very though chalenge.

Everything in this film, fits within the story. The style of the animation, the scenarios, lightning of the scenes, the way he mixes his animation with the old fotages, how he inserts all those people that have had influence in Ryan's life into animated characters with a hint of reality is amazing.

And the emotional part of the story is very well represented: there is a visual reference for every feeling that the characters have, on the moment they have it, and is so well complemented by the fluid animation of all the characters in the story. I can trully say, that details make all the difference in this story. 

And the biggest one here is that the image is a clear computer image, but he gives it a particularity: it has details as if they were painted by hand on the image, that I belive is a reference to the way Ryan created his animation.

Cyber Evolution (2007)
Zennor Alexander

Well, this one really makes up to it's tittle almost through it's whole story, however I don't know if at the end the idea of the story gets a bit lost. Apart from that, I think the movie is interesting, simple message, good looking animations and effects.

I feel that this short movie could be a trailer for something...maybe a computer game. Not because it's fantasy, but because of the feeling I got after watching it.

Toyota/ APT Prod. (2006)

A very nice comercial animation wise, with graphics in context with the message of the comercial. The illumination of the scene is also very nice, although i belive the shadows could have been a bit lighter. However, I find something very ironic, but bear in mind this is a personal opinion.

Talking about protecting the environment and showing a tree growing in the middle of the road, with cars passing by in the middle of a concrete city, is somehow very wrong. I think the tree could be replaced by some other animation, maybe some statistics passing by a comercial electronic banner or a TV, that could also transmit the idea of making an effort to care about the environment.

In conclusion, and although none of these movies relate directly to anything I have created,  I can identify myself and the style of things I do and intent to do in the future on a common element they all have: be able to produce something that achieves the best way possible the objective and theme of my stories and to be able to give it a personal touch, that little (sometimes huge) something every artist shares with others through his work.

Good day!