Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Staging Pongo and Perdita

Just returned from A New Year's weekend at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
The parks were packed, but it was still a lot of fun to spend time there.
It sure brought back memories from when I worked at Disney's Florida Animation Studio on "Lilo & Stitch".

Time for another post:
These are staging ideas for a scene animated by Frank Thomas for "101 Dalmatians". Here Pongo is trying to give Perdita some hope that the Twilight Bark
might help find their stolen puppies. It's interesting to see that Frank is analyzing
the direction of movement and feeling through arrows, he even comes up with an abstract doodle on the last sheet, that seems to say: connect these two characters !
That last drawing shows a physical connection as well as a strong emotional touch.
Just compare it to the middle one, what an improvement!
First Frank thinks of the placement of the characters, then he adds real emotion.

As I said before, great staging is not easy. The audience often has only seconds to register what the animator is trying to say. But when the staging communicates like here, the scene becomes a warmhearted story telling statement.