Maybe if we do enough jokes, people won’t notice the animation is bad?

Charles Solomon seems to have identified one of the problems with the modern crop of animation, it’s too much noise. Specifically, too much dialogue and jokes instead of acting and gags.

Walt Disney often made his artists prepare their storyboards with only
pictures; dialogue was added at the end of the process, when they
determined how few words were actually needed to tell the story. In
2001, Joe Grant, who did key story work on "Snow White, "Pinnochio" and other Disney features, said in an interview: "Walt was a great
advocate of pantomime. He would stand in front of the boards and
re-enact the scene. You could see the reflection of him in the film:
his pantomime was beautifully followed through. Today it’s all talking
heads."

While I am upset Disney has decided to ‘mostly’ forgo hand-drawn animation (a small revival is currently underway in Burbank/Glendale), what upsets me most is the abandonment of Walt’s way of storytelling. Pixar never forgot Walt’s methods, but uses computers and look at their results. I really think Soloman has something here and all animators would be well served by taking this advice to heart.

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2 thoughts on “Maybe if we do enough jokes, people won’t notice the animation is bad?

  1. JookyG

    That’s a fantastic point. Years ago I took a college-level film class. One of the exercises in judging the storytelling in a film was to turn the audio off and see if we could determine the storyline without the dialog. That’s the old-school method, apparantly, but I still put films to that test. These days, most of them fail.

  2. K

    It goes deeper than that. The concept of “illustrated radio” has escaped from the world of limited animation and is a staple of cable TV.

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