Monday, 12 July 2010

Critical Studies Retrieval

Wallace and Gromit

Wallace and Gromit were created by Nick Park and are animated at Ardman studios. I have chosen this shorts of Wallace and Gromit because it was really one of the first ardman productions to last for about 15mins. Although they had much success with creature comforts they were not that long and so Wallace and Gromit was a big step forward within the stop motion industry.
I think one thing which works well in Nick Park work is that fact that they find people to do the voices and model the characters around the voices i think this works because they have quite comical characters and the voices just go with them.
One character that works really well is gromit because he doesn't even talk and they have animated him in such a way that he is still comical and sarcastic without even moving his lips its all in his eyes.I really like this idea of having a silent character because i think its more powerful to use characters that cant speak because then it really shows that you are able to animate a characters emotions by just using there eyes.
I think this is still classed as traditional stop motion due to them using Plasticine. Nick Park likes the fact that it should be seen as it is -hand made and so all the imperfections should be shown within the plasticine. Although i don't like this aspect within stop motion i prefer the slick smooth look of perfection i fell in the Wallace and gromit features it works well because they are more focused on the characters performances and story rather than all the little things such as imperfections in the plasticine.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This film is probably my favourite film because i really love the colour schemes in the film and just the whole story line. Again this film is stop motion but this time i have chosen a feature length film rather than the shorts of wallace and gromit.
I love the fact that this film was from the creative mind of Tim Burton and is directed by Henry Selick because with both of them working on this feature i knew that it would be weird and have an almost creepy style to it but also i love that fact that they are both perfectionists and so this film would contain the detail which animation fans would love.
I think on way in which this film shows development within stop motion is the actual scale of the project eg the size of the models and set designs which is something which draws you into the film from the start. i think that it is a good development because it meant that they could have a bigger area to work in and animate in meaning that they could show off how well they can animated characters and make them interact with the scene and other characters within the story.
One thing i love about stop motion films is that you can escape to another world and i Love the fact that in this film they have created 3 different worlds and they are all extremely different and this is shown in the colours used and the characters from each place eg the characters from Halloween town are mainly blacks, purples, reds and greens mainly associated with the Halloween theme which i think gives the atmosphere as being creepy and this is a running theme in many of Tim Burton's films and so i was glad that he kept it within his animated pieces as well.

Coraline 2009
Coraline is the latest film by Henry Selick. It is the story of a girl called Coraline Jones who moves into a house and is extremely bored until she finds a secret door which leads to another alternative world in which everything is a better version of her life until it turns dangerous and she realises this world may not be as perfect as she imagined.
Again this film is a stop motion although this one doesn't look it due to the amount of work and development which has taken place in the stop motion industry making Coraline a smooth stop motion film.
One reason this film stands out from traditional stop motion films is due to Henry Selick wanting it to have a 3d feel to it and so this makes it appear to look like its been done using CGI due to its smooth finish and its intricate detail in every scene and within in each characters design.
One thing that Henry Selick does on Coraline which isn't really used on traditional stop motion is that he doesn't use plasticine for the models he uses a special resin which is placed on top of mechanical faces making it easier and more realistic to make facial expressions. This also means that it was easier to replace the bottom facial expressions when doing lip -sync. for example on the original plasticine models they had to replace the whole head whereas in Coraline the top half of the head an the bottom half of the face are separate and so this means you can mix and match eyes with different facial expressions making it far more realistic.

Another thing i love on this film the detail which has been put into it. I think the More detailed it is the more people will watch it because its not just seen as a animation/ children's cartoon its classed a a actual film because people can relate to it. One piece of detail i love in this film is the wire hair because it just works so well and moves like actual hair something my own group tried out when doing stop motion.
Another detail which just adds to the realism of the animation is that they actually decided that they would make small outfits for each of the characters which i thought was brilliant because it makes them again appear like people with personalities. I think the amount of detail involved in this film is amazing and it is a key development within the stop motion industry and will raise the bar for future stop motion animations.
I really think that the smooth finish works well on this film because although i enjoy traditional stop motion films i don't like how imperfect they are. I feel that on some stop motion features that the little imperfections work because it shows the film as what it is- a stop motion plasticine film e.g in Wallace and Gromit you can actually see the finger prints of the animators in the plasticine but i feel that in the film coraline this would have spoilt all the detail within the film because it needed to be clean and look very finished to go with the realism in the film.
I also think that the animation within stop motion has developed and so you can now do more advanced things with animation than what they used to be able to do and i think coraline is proof of this.
I think that another thing within this film which makes it more unique than other stop motion films is that Henry Selick has decided to experiment with 3d something i think really works with 3d models drawing you into the scene/ world making you the audience involved in the film.

Peter Dodd
Peter Dodd is a animator, writer and director based in London. He has worked on films Fantastic Mr Fox, The Tale of Depereaux,The tale of Sir Richard and The Corpse Bride.
I have chosen this animator to discuss because i think that the animation in the corpse bride is so beautiful and clean cut and because he was key director/ animator on this film he did a lot of the scenes.
I think that he animated the character of the corpse bride really well because she is clumsy and her bones keep breaking but hes animated her in such a way that shes still very elegant and this works really well with her personality.
Another thing in this movie which i think works really well and the animators did a really good job of was making the characters move with the sound/ music in the background. i think this needed to work due to sound being such a huge part of animation anyway and i think that Peter Dodd and his team worked very hard on getting this aspect of the film perfect.