- The beginning of animation 5. Keep it simple
- Language differences 6. Different parts in one
- Fewer than in real life 7. Drawn secretly
- Important rules 8. The best drawn character
A. While all of the characters and places in Disney’s animation film “Hercules” have Greek names, there’s one character that doesn’t: Hercules! Like “Mars” is for “Ares” and “Neptune” is for “Poseidon”, “Hercules” is actually the Roman name for the Greek figure “Heracles”. If the movie was consistent, the movie’s main character and title would be “Heracles”. However, Disney executives chose the Roman “Hercules” because they said it was more familiar to the general public.
B. In 1888, French scientist Charles-Emile Reynaud invented a device called the Theatre Optique. It could project a strip of pictures onto a screen. Reynaud painted individual images onto flexible strips of gel to run through the projection system. He made three animated short films to demonstrate his invention. The first was a 12-15 minute film called “Poor Pierrot”, which was shown in 1892. Some consider this to be the first animated movie.
C. The most common mistake which beginner animators make when they think of a story idea is that their plot is too detailed and long. It’s great to have an imagination and visualization of an epic storyline that involves lots of characters and several plot lines. But it’s important to keep in mind that the time frame and the available resources are usually limited. For a beginner, it’s more sensible to work on a story that is not too complicated and easy to follow.
D. One of the most difficult tasks in making “Beauty and the Beast” film was the animation of the beast. In the end, the character’s face and body represented a combination of several animals. Glen Keane, an experienced Disney animator, included the mane of a lion, the beard and head shape of a buffalo, the tusks and nose bridge of a wild boar, the strongly-muscled brows of a gorilla, the legs and tail of a wolf, and the big and bulky body of a bear.
E. A lot of cartoon characters have four fingers on their hands instead of five. The reason is simple – hands with four fingers are easier to draw and animate. Cartoon characters are always simplified versions of their real life equivalents. Four-fingered hand saves a lot of time in animating and it really does not make any difference to us while watching. It all started with the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon. Walt Disney said that this was both an artistic and financial decision.
F. Animators have hidden representations of Mickey Mouse in most of the Disney films and all of the parks. It started as a joke between Walt Disney and other animators and became a tradition carried out for decades. “Hidden Mickeys” usually consist of three circles drawn to represent Mickey’s head and ears, but sometimes they draw Mickey in a crowd scene. Nowadays people have made a game out of searching for Hidden Mickeys in Disney movies.
G. Disney’s Twelve Basic Principles of Animation is a set of principles of animation introduced by the Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their 1981 book “The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation”. Johnston and Thomas based their book on the work of the leading Disney animators, and their effort to produce more realistic animations. The book and some of its principles have been adopted by some traditional studios. Many people call it the “Bible of animation”.