Friday, July 13, 2012

The Animated Animator

Way back on Beauty & the Beast I was told that some of Gaston's  gestures and expressions look like me (of all the characters!!).
The truth is that an animator can't help but inject some of his or her own physical characteristics into the character. Sometimes this is intentional (when studying yourself in the mirror), other times it is not.
Disney story man Vance Gerry told me once that he thinks that all of Milt Kahl's characters have Milt's eyes. Ever so slightly cross-eyed, they look like they are up to no good. I think Vance has a point.

The following frame grabs show Frank Thomas as he explains animation principles during a TV show from the 1980ies. What an expressive face, Frank could have been a great live actor.
I couldn't help myself and searched for (Thomas') animation drawings that somewhat reflect Frank's grimaces.