ANIMATOR ANALYSIS

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Over at Jaime Weinman’s Something Old, Nothing New blog, he’s posted a scene-by-scene analysis of which animators did what on the classic 1950 Robert McKimson cartoon HILLBILLY HARE. With the help of animator Greg Duffell, Weinman points out the differences in animators styles in the McKimson unit, comparing scenes done by Rod Scribner, Emery Hawkins, Charles McKimson, Phil DeLara and John Carey.The saddest part about the slow demise of hand drawn (2-D) animation over the past 30 years, is the loss of the animator’s individualistic personality in studio produced feature films, shorts and TV animation. Part of the fun of watching classic cartoons is the recognition of certain artists’ unique – sometimes eccentric – drawing style which stand out in bits and sequences: Irv Spence, Jim Tyer, Rod Scribner, Bobe Cannon, and Fred Moore’s loose limbed look pop to mind. Where are all the Bill Tytla’s and Ken Harris’s in today’s CG animation? Heck, where are they in anime or TV cartoons in general? Animated films and television shows today are so slick that this individual element has been eradicated in the final product. One of the reasons the “Making of/Art of” books (especially Pixar’s) are so fun is we get to see the individual styles of the artists behind the scenes. Rarely does this fun make it to the finished film. Andreas Deja, Glen Keane, Eric Goldberg and John Kricfalusi are among the few today whose animation style makes it through the process, and they carry on this tradition in projects they are involved with. It’s a significant element of what make their films so good, and what made the old cartoons so great.