Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mama Odie Test Scene

This is a scene I did a while ago, before we really got going with animation for
"The Princess & the Frog".  It was based on story work  that was current at the time, but was later changed and improved.
It's always good to do a few test scenes in order to get to know your character.
Usually it takes me 5-6 scenes before I feel comfortable with what I am doing.

I am showing you here the first pass pose test followed be the tied down inbetweened version.
There are also scans of the main key drawings.
Looking at the scene now, if it were production, I would probably punch up the timing here and there. 

Mama Odie was a blast to animate. With a character concept like this one, and the voice recordings of Jennifer Lewis....how much better does an assignment get?
Though originally I thought that her eye glasses would present a problem.
How do you show emotional change without eyes? It turned out that her eyebrow wrinkles would work well enough to show the mood she is in.
And "loose flesh" was the name of the game. The more her fatty neck reacted to her overall motions, the better. I probably could have pushed that in production scenes even more.

Anyway, in this scene Mama Odie talks to the off staged frogs, showing her enthusiasm for candy. At the end she interrupts herself when she smells the
burnt gumbo.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great work Andreas, what a cool shot. Thanks for sharing the clips/keys and what was going thru your mind during the creation. So helpful

  3. Wow, this is awesome, Andreas, thanks for this post! It's amazing getting to see your work. I love seeing your key breakdowns and hearing your approach to a new character. Great stuff, and so helpful!

  4. This really inspired the story work as well!

  5. It's really great to see these animation test in early stage!
    Really great tips on the brows and the loose flesh!
    Thanks so much for your tips!

  6. This is really marvellous...great art Andreas!

  7. Really beautifull. Sorry for dummy question but what means that numbers on the rigt side?

  8. Andreas I love your blog and the information in it.I want to one thing how do you plan your timing charts or ladder charts. how do you know how much frames a scene will take before actually animating it

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  10. This is a work of art, congratulations! I'd like to know one thing about Mama Odie, did you ever considered, during story meetings, to have her confrontingting Dr. Facilier directly and have a magical fight? I always wondered why this fight didn't take place in the movie. It would have been epical, good woodoo vs evil woodoo, light vs shadow. Your animation is a masterpiece though and the character is very funny. like to know one thing about Mama Odie, did you ever considered, during story meetings, to have her confrontingting Dr. Facilier directly and have a magical fight? I always wondered why this fight didn't take place in the movie. It would have been epical, good woodoo vs evil woodoo, light vs shadow. Your animation is a masterpiece though and the character is very funny.

  11. Thank you for sharing this with us, Andreas. I love Mama Odie. Her musical number is the best song in the film.

    Did I understand correctly that you also animated the snake JuJu?

  12. awesome i love the little sniff sniff at the end !
    oh and thanks for posting the individual frames ! good to study from :)

  13. Awesome post. Thanks for showing both passes-- this is way helpful (and beautiful!).

  14. These drawings by themselves are gorgeous. Most of the time, I'm under such a tight schedule, that I don't think I have the time for a really rough first pass, but now it looks like it definitely saved you time in the long run. Thanks!

  15. So nice, I love the way your eye is always led to, and the poses support the action eg the hand throwing the sweet, or the hand when she rubs her tummy. Very beautifully done. Everything is alive. yet nothing takes away from what the most important body part is doing, something I'm trying to get into my assignments, very tough tho! :)

  16. This place is Canaan of the Lines! Superthanks!

  17. Thank you so much for showing your rough animation, this is the cats meow of stuff to see, over the years it is so hard to to see the rough animation, I'm so glad you put it up, please show more, any characters you've done would be awesome to see.

  18. Simply amazing! So inspiring to see, thank you so much for sharing. The pose test is really helpful to see. Usually the finished piece has so much going on and it's wonderful to see how you take the first step. :)

  19. Einfach unglaublich. So viel Kraft und Ausdruck in nur 13 Sekunden.

    Benutzen Sie eigentlich bestimmte Bleistifte? Ich frage deshalb, weil ich weiß das Glen Keane mal in einen Making Of sagte, dass er bestimmte Bleistifte benutzt.

    Ansonsten, vielen dank für diese tollen Zeichnungen.

  20. Thanks so much for showing this Andreas. I love that you've shown the original pose test as well as the tied down animation. I'm particularly interested in the first explorations of a scene at the moment so the pose test is a big help to me.

    I love the character in profile. The last of your main keys shows this well. I can't put my finger on what it is, but I think she just looks brilliant in profile!

  21. Thanks Andreas, this is magnificent.

  22. Great post!

    You once presented to a group of artists in Disney Consumer Products and I was fortunate to be in the audience. You shared some video of Margaret Rutherford (performing Miss Marple I think) and spoke of how you hoped one day to use her as inspiration in an animated character. When I first saw Mama Odie, I thought you had found a way to work the elasticity and expressiveness of Rutherford's face into your character. I don't know if I am correct but, it's the conclusion I came to when I saw the film.

    It would be interesting to hear (read) your thoughts on inspiration, the places you find it and how you weave it into your work.


  23. John,
    you are correct, Margaret Rutherford was a big inspiration for me when I was doing Mama Odie.
    I should do a post on the visual development of the character, because I started her off differently.
    For now, here is a link to the brilliant Patrick Mate who caricatured her a while back.


  24. ahhhhhhhh...gorgeous!!!!!!!..that is what i am looking for...your animation process and extremes....thanks again to share all of these among us..

  25. Great post Andreas! Margaret Rutherford had this wonderful wobbly pelikan-floppy chin-neck. Terrific!
    Here's a Rutherford inspired lithograph I drew a while ago.
    One Night At The Opera

  26. Inspiring as always Andreas...Thank you for posting such awesome work. I was listening to a podcast the other day with Jason Ryan and he was talking about a test you did on Hercules mainly using line of action for the characters. Its the scene where Herc is giving Pegasus a noogie. Any chance you could post that test? Thanks again.

  27. Love Mama Odies personality.. Good stuff. :)

  28. thanks for sharing! beautiful animation!

  29. Hey Andreas! Here's a link to the pencil animation short blog we talked about tonight:


    Thanks for coming out tonight. Loved hearing about your wire sculpture process!

  30. Simply amazing. Thank for posting this Andreas!

  31. Thanks for posting the key drawings I love seeing these wonderful poses!! They give me so much inspiration. All that fat skin around the face an neck must have been so much fun to work with.

  32. Sehr geehrter Andreas,

    leider kann ich Sie nur hier kontaktieren.
    Ich fing an, auf Living Lines Library einige Bewegungstests zu posten, und möchte die erscheinenden

    Animatoren angeben (bei clean-up-Szenen möglicherweise die clean-up-Artists auch).
    Ich habe zuerst Sandro Cleuzo kontaktiert, und er schickte mir Mark Henns E-Mail-Adresse, aber er hat noch

    nicht geantwortet. Könnten Sie mir eventuell helfen?

    Wenn ja, könnten Sie mir bitte hier schreiben: nagypicture@gmail.com

    Vielen Dank, und weiter so mit Ihrem wundervollen Blog!

    Peter Nagy

  33. Andreas,

    von den hier abgebildeten, welche sind deine Charactere und Szenen?
    (Passwort: frosch)

    1: http://livlily.blogspot.hu/2013/12/the-princess-and-frog-2009-pencil-test_16.html
    2: https://vimeo.com/81237609
    3: https://vimeo.com/81237316

    Schonen Tag! :)