Milton Gray Discusses Animation Timing

If you read just one blog post this week, then please make it this one. In the post, Milton Gray, a timing director on THE SIMPSONS, discusses the awful cartoon timing on current TV productions, followed by an in-depth examination of the artistic timing in the classic Warner Bros. shorts, especially in the works of Bob Clampett.

Milt’s post is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the discussion of timing. Comedic animation timing and pacing are essentially extinct arts in today’s animation world, with every show relying on the exact same mechanical timing formulas. The current production process is so compartmentalized and out of whack that animation directors no longer even have to know how to animate or to understand how to time actions and pace scenes. And the results are woefully evident by watching any of the shows currently produced by Nick, Cartoon Network and Disney. It’s doubtful that animation timing will ever return to the heights of Golden Age animation, but Milt’s article provides at least a start towards understanding the importance of timing in animation.