Thursday, May 16, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
By the way, for those out of the loop, here's the silly controversy I'm referencing regarding a perceived makeover of Merida from Disney/Pixar's Brave. And here's my take on the subject that I had posted on Facebook that I think is worth reposting here:
I must admit I feel that everybody is getting their knickers in a knot unnecessarily about this supposed makeover of Merida. I suspect it is nothing more than a less than faithful final rendering done by an outside illustrator based on a much better and accurate drawing by the talented Jennifer Gwynne Oliver, not a deliberate, insidious attempt to sex her up at all. Part of the problem is that, in order to fit into "The Disney Princess" merchandising program, Merida (like Rapunzel before her) has to be translated from CG to drawing to be consistent with the others. In so doing, some of the subtleties of the design are lost, notably the complex frizzy hair, as well as the need to define her eyes more graphically with an outline.
I think it's fair to say that even the traditionally animated Disney girls have lost some of their likeness as they've been homogenized into a consistent art style for this merchandising program. Aurora in particular has been rounded out more from her original, more graphic design. To be honest, I've never much liked the mentality of "The Disney Princess" program to begin with, as it takes these characters out of context of their respective cartoon universes, as well as away from the unique variety of shapes and sizes of their respective co-stars. It then places them together alongside their similarly shaped sorority in what looks like a Vanity Fair photo shoot, not allowing any of them to acknowledge or interact with each other in any way. Artistically it's a pretty dumb concept, however little girls just love it and, since they're the target market for all the dolls and accessories, I say let it be. Personally I don't give a rat's ass about them being "role models" - that's just a lot of ultraliberal claptrap.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
|James Garner as gambler, Bret Maverick|
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Yes, today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Marc Davis, one of "The Nine Old Men", Disney's celebrated group of veteran animators. Andreas Deja has been writing up some great posts on his blog, so I'm not about to compete with that. But I also love and admire the work that Marc did after his career as an animator, when he moved on to design and create many of the best attractions at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Attractions such as The Haunted Mansion, It's A Small World, and The Pirates of the Caribbean were all a big part of my childhood in those early years of family road trips from Ottawa, Canada, down to the brand new Walt Disney World in Florida in the early 1970s. Actually, though, my personal favourite attraction that Marc designed was The Country Bear Jamboree, that had its debut at Walt Disney World before also being built for the Bear Country area in Disneyland.
|Marc Davis concept art.....|
At that time in the 70s, both my Dad and I were big fans of country music, so The Country Bear Jamboree was a well appreciated parody of Nashville's beloved Grand Ole Opry, with its caricatures of familiar character types from that era of country in the form of cartoon bears in various shapes and sizes. To this day I still love vintage country music (although not its vapid pop/rock incarnation as "New Country"), and The Country Bear Jamboree in its heyday remains a favourite of mine. Sadly, I hear that the show has been recently pared down in length by the philistines who currently run Disney, as they feel that they can get more performances crammed in per day in this abbreviated form.
|....Translated into the actual show!|
|Marc Davis working on The Western River Expedition model|
|Concept art for the saloon scene|
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
In the 1946 Disney animated feature, Make Mine Music, there was a rather delightful sequence called Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet. It was a terrific example of anthropomorphism - giving human traits and personality to that which is not human. Usually we think of anthropomorphism as it relates to cartoon animals who wear clothes, talk, and walk upright on their two hind legs. But there are plenty of samples of objects that are also brought to life with human traits, like the enchanted clock, candlestick and tea pot in Beauty and the Beast, or the brooms that overwhelm poor Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
But getting back to the film I cited above, here are some stills from Johnny Fedora and Alice Bluebonnet that show what it is that I love about their design and treatment in the animation.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
What?! There's still a pulse in this old blog?!
Yeah, it's been far too long since I've updated this thing, but here's something new to put on here as the first post of 2013. I did this caricature of Cameron Diaz for the current Caricaturama Showdown 3000 challenge, though I must admit it's been ages since I last participated in that thing too. Hopefully this entry will lead to some more in the weeks ahead, as I really do need some sort of kick in the butt to get back in the creative groove again.