Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Princess and the Frog

Andy sent me the link to Disney's 'Princess and the Frog' trailer (see it here!). It doesn't show much but, well, I like it. I really like the design of the frog - it's very traditional and more than a little old fashioned. I like that.

Not that they can succeed just living in the past but I think it will take one good movie that treads old ground to put that 2D style back on the map, even though it was retreading that old and very battered ground that probably took it off the map to begin with. I'm confusing myself with map/ground metaphors.

I'd love to see a return to quality 2D (you can debate the merits of the Disney style and whether it's 'classical' until you're blue in the face but it always was the poster boy for quality animation, deserved or not). I'm bored with 3D for the very same reason I was bored with 2D many years ago - everyone is just trying to make the same sort of film. Actually, Wall-E looks different but I haven't actually seen that yet.

But as for me burning my computer and Flash along with it, I would love to do that but the last time I set fire to the computers, they took it out of my pay and I need the money right now to feed a Walnut Whip addiction. And I don't even like walnuts.

Also, whether this film does well or not, it's not going to really impact on us poor saps working on television animation. Flash is just too cheap. We have priced ourselves too low and reset all budgets to a figure that will barely pay our rent (or for our Walnut Whips). For my feelings on Flash and what it has done for us, click the Flash tab below and hopefully it will bring up my posts on why Flash rocks, and why it sucks.

Though the film being a success may prompt others to try similar things and start a whole new boom of traditional 2D animation. I began my career on a traditionally animated tv feature. Then a proper feature feature. Those methods brought their own crap but the work was usually of a higher quality than we accept as the norm now. It was easier to take pride in it.

I'd like that.

Thanks for sending me the link, Andy. You never know, you may get to work on a traditionally animated feature yet!


Andy Latham said...

You don't like Walnuts, but do you like whips? Maybe it's best that I don't find that out!

I hope that if 2D does get big again, I can get myself to a standard good enough to be part of it before it goes downhill again (because you know it will!).

I wonder why things seem to go in cycles with animation. I think there's a pun in there, sorry! Disney films have been up and down a number of times. I hope they're on an up with this one.

Watching that frog really made me see how good 2D is. The bit where he puckers up with big lips particularly. You rarely see distrotion like that in 3D.

Bitter Animator said...

Yep, it's rare you see something like that in 3D and, when you do, there's something kind of disgusting about it. It remains unrealistic and yet totally appealing in 2D.

Speaking of animation moving in cycles, have you ever seen Filmteknarna's 'Revolver'? Check it out here -

Andy Latham said...

Have I woken up yet...? Good lord that's a disturbing short. Actually your little avatar picture sums up what that film makes me feel like!

I'm curious to know what the process is with 3D when it comes to doing distortions. Does the animator or director come up with an idea they'd like to do that the rig won't do, and they get the rigger to modify it to allow the action? Or does the rigger try to predict what the animators might try to achieve in advance?

I guess that's why it doesn't work in 3D - whichever way they go about it, it goes through such a planned mechanical process that it can never look spontaneous. A 2D animator could just do a quick drawing of something really far out and see if it works. If not, no big loss, but if it does, it has the chance of bringing something new to the table. Maybe that's also why 3D animation hasn't evolved much like 2D did - evolution is just too much effort.

me said...

The fire fly is ass, and that doesn't look like New Orleans, if that's what they're going for, but you're right, the frog is funny.

Elliot Cowan said...

I think the whole think looks stink.

Bitter Animator said...

The style really just follows on from where Disney left off. If that's not your thing, I can understand not liking it.

I think I'm a little more receptive to it because it's being brought into a world where 2D movies are effectively dead.

It's like finding a living human in the zombie apocalypse that's coming - he may be a bit of a loon but seeing one of your own brings a feeling of safety.

I feel safe watching this trailer.

me said...

I'm a little less concerned about medium as I am about content. That firefly looked like a leftover character design from "Cars." I'll watch a movie made with an Etch-a-Sketch if it's good.