Friday, April 1, 2011

Affection for the Art of Animation

Here's my 'A' post of the A-Z challenge!

When I was in high school, I had a talent for recreating stills of animated movies.  I could pause a tape (yes, VHS tape!  No DVD player in 1994-1999!) and advance it frame by frame in slow motion until I found the image I wanted and then draw it.  The magic of a few lines on paper coming to life has always fascinated me.  The entire animation process, from storyboarding an idea to fine tuning the characters and recording the vocals that would later bring them to life, is completely enchanting and amazing to me.

I pursued animation as a career for some time, even majoring in Graphic Design in college and taking every animation class they had to offer.  But it was not to be.  I'm content to not have become an animator.  I would have had to leave GA for CA and as much as I enjoyed my visit to Los Angeles in 2001, I don't think I would ever want to live there.  (If you are reading this and you live in California, I'm not dissing it.  I just love Georgia and would miss it!) :)

I still love animation, though I'm not as much of a trivia nerd about it as I was some years ago.  I was actually banned from playing Disney Trivial Pursuit with my husband's family because not only did I know all of the answers, I actually found 2 mistakes. (One of them: "Name Cinderella's two ugly stepsisters." The answer printed on the card was "Anastasia and Cruella".  The answer is "Anastasia and Drizella". Cruella is the villainess in 101 Dalmatians.)  I know nearly every character from every Disney movie, from Snow White all the way up to The Princess and the Frog.  I can recite most lines and dialogue exchanges and sing ALL of the songs! :)  (Which proves, beyond any doubt, that I had entirely too much free time on my hands when I was a teenager and into my early 20s.  Just sayin'.)

Here are a few of my favorite animated Disney characters in no particular order:
Stitch of "Lilo and Stitch"


Frost Fairies from the original 1940s "Fantasia"

Sprite of Spring from "Fantasia 2000"

Tantor from "Tarzan"

Of course, not all of my favorite animation is by Disney.  I'm a huge fan of Chuck Jones' style of animation, namely Rikki Tikki Tavi, Mowgli's Brother's, The White Seal, and A Cricket in Times Square.

Chuck Jones also directed and influenced a number of Warner Bros Looney Tunes cartoons.  This is by far my favorite:

There are other animated shorts that I love.  This one is a beautiful example of "live line" animation, which means the rough sketch has been animated and the drawings appear to "wiggle" a little bit.

And then there is the entire other creature of computer animation.  I love traditional 2D, sketch animation the best, but there is a lot to be said for computer animation and the brilliance of such animators as the people at Pixar Animation Studios.  Partnering with Disney to create films = best corporate decision EVER!  Here's my favorite Pixar short:

And finally, here is one of my favorite computer animated shorts, which won the 2009 Best Animation Award.  Enjoy. :)


  1. Hi Jenny! Just popped over from A to Z, drawn by your great blog name :). I haven't written mine yet but I enjoyed yours a lot - I too am an artist (and trivia buff) and love animation. The octopus short is GREAT!! I'm sure you've seen "For the Birds" - it's one of my favorites.

  2. Oh crap - I just noticed you have For the Birds posted! How did I skip over that? *blushing*

  3. like those two last ones. it's so great 'cartoons' aren't just for kids anymore.

  4. Oh, Thankyou!!!! I've just spent a wonderful few minutes watching the animations - some I'd seen before and enjoyed all over agin - but that last one with the octopus had me laughing my head off!

    So, that's 'A' sorted, I wonder what you've got cooked up for 'B'....? ;-)


    I refuse to go quietly!

  5. Clew- Don't worry about it; that was a lot of images and videos in a row! :) Glad you enjoyed them!

    Sue H- I think my favorite part of Oktopadi is them duking it out on the roof of the truck and them squirting ink at him ala water-pistol fashion. :D

  6. I love A Cricket in Times Square! I haven't thought about it in a long while. I'm also a mom and writer, have gotten into genealogy this past year, and am participating in the blog challenge. Good luck with it!

  7. Thanks, Shannon! Best of luck to you as well. I miss my genealogy research. Hoping I can go back to it in a few years when the kids are all grown. :)

  8. Meg here! Couldn't resist posting a comment, especially since I've known you for so long!

    You are such an amazingly talented animator that it is truly Disney's loss to not have you. I will always treasure the drawing of Sprite that you did for me (and when I can dig it out of storage again I'll take a picture and send it to you, since I'm not sure if you took one afer you completed it).

    It takes more than raw talent and skill to be a great animator--it takes heart to breathe life into your art. And you have more than enough to spare!