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Animation, puppetry, and wonder worlds Pot
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  • @BurnetRhodes I totally agree. Ive always been a fan of traditional animation and having it shot on film. Cant beat the look. Digital tools help cut the production line but also oddly lose the soul of the drawings. It truly is an extension from heart to drawing hand. Having a go at it myself at making a animated short film just made me realize how much of a craft it can be. I gave in when my daughter was born..just didn't have the time.

    BTW I recently saw Miyazakis latest...even his films have left me cold of late..last film I liked of his was Spirited away.

    @maxr Mindgame is truly awesome and not seen enough by many...its strange how unrelated images can evoke some sort of feeling inside...they nailed it with Mindgame.

    Heres a few more faves of mine...some random stuff here...mostly western stuff.

    Richard Williams flawed but amazing looking hand drawn film...shame the story isn't so good

    Rene Laloux

    Yuri Norstein

    Legend of the sacred stone...batshit crazy wuxia puppet movie

    Brothers Quay

    Secret of Nimh

    The Plague Dogs

    wings of honneamise

    When the wind blows (Typical british humour!)

    Great links btw guys...loving it!

  • Similar techniques being applied to digital video need to be explored for animation, particularly running a Film Convert type pass with scanned grain. Flat color cels still have texture when they're photographed on a multiplane camera. Metropolis is maybe the last great feature anime shot on real cels but I think this look can be synthesized, for the most part. We can even more accurately get the look of bi-pack photography like what you see used throughout Secret of Nimh thanks to linear float workflow. It just needs artists that value this aesthetic to put the effort in.

    I've been really disappointed with the flatness and sterility in the last several Studio Ghibli projects. Studio 4C, and, to a lesser extent Production IG and Gainax or some of their subcontractors, since it's hard to tell their division of labor, seems to have pushed digital to sometimes create aesthetics that would be impossible with traditional cels. Like the clean, modern look of the last three Evangelion films is remarkable, but they don't erase how gorgeous most of End of Evangelion was.

  • @Mimirsan

    its strange how unrelated images can evoke some sort of feeling inside

    I deeply believe there's a part in... the (don't like the word, but) creative process which cannot really be explained.

    Some films on your list never heard before, same with @jleo 's Thank you very much to both

    BTW to @all , please guys embed 1, maximum 2 videos in each post, for page lightness' sake, thank you =)

    @BurnetRhoades my experience with animation is pretty close to zero, but was lucky enough to accidentally participate in my friend Joana's hand draw based short "M" and can honestly say it's an awful lot of work. Now, when I saw it projected onto a 80 feet canvas, wow, all those little unperfected chaotic textures were like a sea of organicness :P  •  found the trailer

  • Lucy's Escape from ELFEN LIED, Warning: Extreme Violence!

    English Dub. HD

    An old Softimage PATENT: Simulating Cel Animation And Shading

    see PDF for full patent

    Psychedelic, Shamanic, and Magickal Themes in Anime Culture

  • it's an awful lot of work.

    It is. But any really good animation is, no matter the technique. I got into CalArts based on the strength of my self-taught CG animation but I'd been a lover of cel animation my whole life and really embraced the work while I was there. It taught me that I couldn't draw as well as I always thought I could, so I resigned myself back to CG after a brief period of thinking, "fuck it, I'm switching to cel animation." I still have my animator's lighttable disk with Cartoon Color pegs from school.

    There's something magic about seeing the work projected big. M looks really good!

  • @maxr Loved that! Thanks @BurnetRhodes I love Nimh as it has that "gritty" look. The cels just merge with the backgrounds. I still this is mostly part of them being photographed on film rather than digital. I sound like a grumpy ol man! haha

    BTW I forgot to rant a bit on digital motion blur in modern digicel animation...god I hate that! Is it so hard to just draw blurred motion?! Looks so damn cheap! :-D

    But very true on that if the artist puts the effort in they could replicate that look of classic cel animation.

  • Yes, photographing the backlit cels ads a lot of tonality and texture to otherwise flat tones. But Nimh, like most of Don Bluth's features, was an amazing film for layout and cinematography (in addition to animation and design). The use of color tones and colored lighting that draws your eye is just gorgeous and, I believe, this was the first animated film to create shadows through multiple exposures and masks rather than painted into the cels. A few years later Nelvana would incorporate the same technique, along with very liberal use of backlit, bi-pack effects passes for Rock & Rule.

    My storyboarding professor hated Bluth and some of his storytelling techniques but I always just chalked that up to him having some kind of beef from earlier in his career maybe, but he loved to talk about how all Bluth films had to have a "disco ball" in the scene, commenting on the use of backlit effects and so much effort put into the cinematography and layout of the films, particularly Nimh.

    I love it though. Especially because while Jeffrey Katzenberg was turning Disney Feature Animation into a balloon animal factory Bluth stuck to the character design principles from the height of Milt Kahl and Frank and Ollie's contributions to the Disney FA look, like from the Jungle Book and Robin Hood era, with heavy use of straight against curve and very graphic, solid drawing, with loads of interest. It just doesn't get any better than Milt Kahl at Disney.

    It's interesting the reference to Richard Williams film up there. Back then this was an extremely controversial production that drew a line through the industry. I think everyone agreed that Williams was insane but there were reportedly concerted efforts to undermine his film and some rather big names today at places like Pixar took part in, reportedly, actual sabotage working as, essentially, spies for the "establishment", meaning Disney Feature Animation (which had become rather evil, with respect to anything threatening their supremacy in the States). Nobody could live up to William's standards for line quality and everything, I mean everything, being "on 1's". Supposedly, under outside orders, assistants under Williams were going in and not only throwing out inbetweens from portions of the film already completed but altering the drawings so that William's work would be more consistent with the more lax efforts employed in the completion of the film, after he reached out for help and lost control.

    Most likely not since the "Red Scare" have there been lists of animators considered persona non grata in the industry based on where they fell in the drama surrounding this film. I can assure you, what you see in the finished film isn't the real film. I was fortunate enough to see a pencil test version from before all the meddling and controversy, with a majority of work done by Williams himself, and it's some of the most stunning animation I've ever seen with sequences of moving perspective that I still cannot believe were done without the aid of computers. And it was all "on 1's".

  • The Sweatbox is a good documentary about the unravelling of Disney's Kingdom of the Sun, watered down to become The Emperor's New Groove. (produced by Sting, directed by his wife Trudi Styler). For Disney, the deadline for Happy Meal tie-ins seemed to reign supreme over moviemaking.

    “The Sweatbox”, the Documentary That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See

    You’ll cringe in sympathy with the Disney artists as you see the gross bureaucratic incompetence they had to endure while working at the studio in the 1990s. The film not only captures the tortured morphing of the Kingdom of the Sun into The Emperor’s New Groove, it also serves as an invaluable historical document about Disney’s animation operations in the late-1990s. If any questions remain about why Disney fizzled out creatively and surrendered its feature animation crown to Pixar and DreamWorks, this film will answer them.

    The Greatest Disney Documentary You May Never See

    Rarely have artists been caught so evocatively in fear of executives, or executives portrayed as so clueless as to how to deal with artists, how to resolve story problems and how to understand what audiences wanted.'s_New_Groove

    The full film (86min) debuted at TIFF, leaked to Youtube and Vimeo, but was removed. Last time removed on Thu Mar 13, 2014. It'll probably pop up again.

  • Robin Wright gets animated in The Congress by Ari Folman ( Waltz with Bashir) :

    Variety REVIEW:

  • @jleo yes, I used to hear about these story meetings from friends working on Dinosaur. Katzenberg was reportedly hiring story/producer types from the Chicago musical theater industry. You can see it in the films and because of how long it takes for these projects to be made the damage kept coming long after he left to co-found Dreamworks, which is more of the same only worse in most cases.

    That part you quoted naming Dreamworks alongside Pixar is grossly in error and highly ironic. Dreamworks animation has been perpetually just a bomb or two from shuttering since they were working on Shrek 2 and whatever that Biblical film was. As one of the few, dwindling employers of folks doing this stuff I don't wish them ill but they've done nothing deserving of comparison with Pixar.

    That documentary is of historical value but Disney Feature Animation is a different company now that the Pixar guys are running the show and I'm pretty sure all of Katzenberg's cancer has been exorcised from the lot. The '90s was a really bad time there, which is a shame because it was also perhaps the biggest boom decade for animation that the US had ever seen. So much work, so many dreams being made and fulfilled...yet so little of the result will stand the test of time as anything more than something of historical value, like that documentary.

  • Yes, true about Dreamworks. They cranked out so many flops, their unofficial motto was “Stop Dreaming, Start Working!” Their live action movies haven’t fared too well either, nearly bankrupting the company twice. So now they’ve turned to India and China for cash, which may produce a new variety of europudding or almond/mango pudding, if we consider the movies made after the Hong Kong film industry crashed in the 90's. What movies?!! The only HK movies I remember are mostly from the 80's.

    —— and ... Pixar knows story

    Pixar Rules of Storytelling

  • Of course, it makes more sense to them to make films as they've been making them for cheaper rather than work harder at telling better movies for what they cost to make here and win like Pixar. They're playing to "not lose" rather than "to win". Typical corporate filmmaking. Because they can't tell the difference between what they do and what kicks their ass (kinda like watching Microsoft attempt to be cool like Apple, but maybe not quite as pathetic as that).

    I wonder if they have the same sort of delusional ideas about their product as Sony has, or has had. The last time I worked there my desk was at the end of a row of cubes within earshot of the VP's assistant. The stuff I used to hear every day was just incredible. They were convinced that Polar Express somehow made them the next Pixar, that they were as good or better than Pixar, that they were geniuses, in fact, and smarter than Pixar. I'm not making that up. I'd wear headphones just so the stupidity didn't leak into my ears.

  • Wow guys, very interesting reading all those insides, it really is.
    I know nothing about those houses though, so hope you don't mind me contributing with

    It's about spending time together (2011) by Ainslie Henderson



  • "Cloud" (a segment by Mao Lambo for Katsuhiro Otomo's Robot Carnival)

  • A bored afternoon in Illustrator and AE back in 2003,

  • The National Film Board of Canada

    Animated Films Online

    Click on GENRE >Animated Films

    Background Info on NFB's Animation History:

    Animation Dept

  • @BurnetRhoades was a long time ago, but don't remember seeing that segment in Robot Carnival, is it a blueprint/sketch for the animation? Very nice sir ,-)

    @jpbturbo jajaja de de D DANG man!!! Hope you enjoy some more of those bored afternoons =)

    @Vitaliy_Kiselev there are days that feel a bit like that, je je. I wondered for a bit {sheep eating grass} in @jleo 's link (dōmo arigatōgozaimashita) and found a very nice short by Ishu Patel; AWESOME soundtrack BTW =)

    Afterlife • 1978


    Director - Ishu Patel

    Animation - Ishu Patel

    Producer - Derek Lamb

    Music - Herbie Mann

  • @maxr I believe this is towards the middle. It's the most understated of the shorts and so different than everything else. Most of the animation that makes its way out of Japan tends to be very commercial so it was interesting seeing something so experimental, especially back in the mid '80s when Robot Carnival happened, I think the first of several anthology releases that Katsuhiro Otomo oversaw (Robot Carnival, Mani Mani (aka Neo Tokyo), Memories).

    "Canon Fodder" might be the closest to experimental in Memories but it's been so long since I saw Mani Mani I don't remember if it had a really wacky experimental piece too.

    edit: Ah, I see he has a new anthology, released last year as Short Piece.

  • Destino is an animated short film released in 2003 by The Walt Disney Company. Destino is unique in that its production originally began in 1945, 58 years before its eventual completion. The project was originally a collaboration between Walt Disney and Spanish Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, and features music written by Mexican songwriter Armando Dominguez and performed by Dora Luz.[1] It was included in the Animation Show of Shows in 2003.

    The Man with the Beautiful Eyes • 1999



    Director: Jonathan Hodgson
    Producer: Jonathan Bairstow
    Designer: Jonny Hannah
    Poem: Charles Bukowski
    Funded by: Channel 4 TV
    Voice over: Peter Blegvad, Louis Schendler
    Sound design: Jonathan Hodgson
    Drum break: Stuart Hilton
    Sound Recordist: Liam Watson
    Animators: Jonathan Hodgson, Kitty Taylor, Lucy Hudson
    Assistant Animators: Bunny Schendler, Martin Oliver
    Artworkers: Mark Shepherd, Jonny Hannah
    Rostrum camera: Peter Tupy
    Producton Company: Sherbet
    (c) Channel Four TV

    @BurnetRhoades lots of great info/tips/knowledge there bro =) Watch list gonna have a banquet... I've watch some of those films, but I'm starting to think that my mind was too busy, that was too much to ingest or that has merged already with my dreams, je je. Salu2


    Bless You • 2013 // Watch it in stereo 3D


    Directed and Animated by: David Barlow-Krelina
    Music and Sound Design: Greg Debicki
    Voice: Chris Wilding

  • @maxr @BurnetRhoades @jleo - wow. A seemingly endless stream of great work. Thanks for posting.