Tuesday, August 31, 2021

A Roger Rabbit Crowd Scene

This cel from the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit was recently sold at Heritage Auctions. As if animating the whole movie on ones and following the live action camera wasn't tough enough, toward the end of production we still had a large amount of crowd scenes to do. Filled with characters from different studios.
I animated one early shot in which a huge number of characters come running toward camera to inspect what's left of the villain Judge Doom.
There was Mickey, Minnie, Pinocchio, Betty Boop, the Roadrunner, Bugs Bunny and others. For me this was the first time I animated classic cartoon characters. These scenes were usually split up between two animators. One drew the front rows of characters the other added the back end of the group.
I remember that I needed to study the characters' movements in classic short films on Video Cassettes, frame by frame. They all had to run "in character", so that needed some analysis. 
Betty Boop swings her arms sideways when running, the Roadrunner has these Beep, Beep stop and go moves etc.
I also remember that it took me forever to get those scenes done, particularly the running one. Despite pressure from management I had a ball animating famous "toons" trying to get them as close to the original versions as possible. 
This scene here appears a little later when the gang has already arrived and some of them are commenting on the situation. Here I animated Pinocchio, Daffy, Baby Herman, Goofy, Minnie, Mickey, Bugs, Betty Boop, Tweety, Donald and Sylvester.