ONE OF THE GREATS
We have been having some great discussions, in the comment sections on recent posts, about the world of animation and the path of the indie creator. Much has been said about how our animation should look. I think, in the past, it was the noted Disney animator and character designer Glenn Keane, who brought us characters like Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, and Ariel, from The Little Mermaid, who said that animation looks the way it does simply because of a technical limitation of the times.
Because of the need to paint cels back then he said, "…you’ve never even seen any of my drawings up on the screen. Everything is always cleaned up or interpreted by somebody else." It always seems as though something gets lost when the original drawing is cleaned up and made into perfect, sharp lines, for cels. With animation done on computers nowadays, there is ZERO reason for animation to continue to look like this. The thing is, audiences have now been trained to accept that this is what animation looks like. When someone deviates from this, it is given the side eye. Some might even associate different looks with a lack of quality.
It is for this reason I was enamored with the film Ernest and Celestine. It is a French, animated film and normally I would watch such things in the original language with english subtitles, but the dubbed version features a cast of Hollywood talent such as Forest Whitaker, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, and Jeffrey Wright. It also doesn't sound like they are just sitting in a room, bored and reading off a paper, as many dubs tend to sound.
What I am more interested in, though, is the look of the film. It has a very painterly, watercolor feel to it. Lines are not perfectly sharp and crisp. Lines do not even completely outline the figures. It has a very artistic look. This is the kind of stuff that is easily possible in today's world. We don't see it because it is so much easier and cheaper to just use Flash and move "digital puppets" around.
With my tablet having all but kicked the bucket, I haven't been drawing as much as I used to. I think I am seriously missing it. Although I have made progress in getting back into cel shading and am able to get results I have been after for ages that way, there is something that comes with and from drawing that is not being satisfied. I WANT to do stuff like this Ernest and Celestine film. Not necessarily content wise, but I want to explore different looks, styles, and play with what drawing can really bring to the table. Who knows? Maybe I will just have to find a way to do both!
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