Blog Specimens: Final

For my final blog specimens I chose to tune up:

Blog Post 10

Blog Post 9

Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 1:45 PM  Leave a Comment  

Blog Post #13: Because This is What History of Animation is All About… Teaching History through Animation.

While surfing youtube for my final blog post, I stumbled upon a video that a 7th grade teacher made in order to showcase her teaching style. This style is all about getting the kids engaged in World History by using popular culture as a incentive.

(Embedding was disabled)

When I thought about how effective that style was for teaching history, I began to think about our class as a whole. Not only do we learn about the history of the animation but we learn history through animation. There are just so many animated shows that teach us about history every day.

In the video, the teacher uses clips from popular shows like Family Guy and the Simpsons. Both of these shows use history as a foil in order to perfect the parody. Like in this Family guy clip, it uses the Nazis as a way to parody the McCain/Palin campaign.

Now of course this clip doesn’t lay out a lecture about Nazis or the McCain/Palin campaign but it does touch on some popular feelings about McCain/Palin being like the classic evil during World War II, the Nazis. This tiny sliver of history justs goes to show how history is in a lot of popular culture nowadays and no one really notices.

I commented on Samantha Francis’s blog and Ian Crawford’s blog.

Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 10:57 AM  Comments (6)  

Blog Post #12: Because They Want Your Vote… Animation Helped The Presidential Race!

Our last Presidential race was one of the most publicized events in our nations history. Everyone, I mean everyone, was talking about either John McCain or Barack Obama. The political sphere was overrun with pundit news coverage and confusion about the candidates was rampant with the younger generation. A good way to level out confusion was to make animation that highlighted a specific candidate, had visual reference, and was easy to understand.

This Pro-Obama animation talks about the war in Iraq and how the other candidate did not do the right thing when it came to September 11th. It is simple to watch with animated characters we know and an easy to follow commentary.

It is easy to understand exactly what the animator wanted people to understand about the War and who to vote for. When I tried to find a Pro-McCain animation, I came up with basically nothing but anti-McCain and Palin. Is this because the liberals focused towards the younger people? I believe so. Make something easy for the Youth and convert them to your belief, you just might win. Barack Obama did.

I commented on Brittany Alberry’s blog and Danyael Hughes’s blog.

Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 3:17 PM  Comments (3)  

Blog Post #11: Because Comics Integrate So Well… Comics Are Lost to Animated Features.

Sunday morning newspaper comic strips, paper back comic books, and online comic strips are all animated mediums of their own right. Their characters are rich, storied, and part of many of our childhoods. Also, they translate over to animated action particularly well because the work is already half done. But the problem is the overshadowing effect and the lack of knowledge of the original work.

Charlie Brown is best known in my parent’s generation as the lead character in a comic strip by Charles Schulz called Peanuts. This strip ran all the way from 1950 to 2000 and still has re-runs in many newspapers today. But the newer generations know Charlie Brown better as the lead in many seasonal and holiday themed specials that run every year in tandem with particular holidays. When I asked my 20 year old roommate what she knows about Charlie Brown, her first response was, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” When I asked further, she had only heard in passing that Charlie Brown used to be in a comic strip but that she most associated it with the holiday specials and television shows.

But how could my roommate feel wrong when it is just so easy to make a comic strip into a animated feature? Look at the similarities of this peanuts strip and Charlie Brown special.

Peanuts - January 1, 2010

Besides color, music, voices, and more detailed mats the character design, characters, and plot are the same. But the reason it resounds more with a newer generation is because it has things like sound and color. Comic Strips seemed to have become dull to the newer generations and the best way to have a good comic like Charlie Brown become popular was to make specials like It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. More evidence to this argument would be the sheer amount of comic characters who have become part of feature films. Almost every Marvel and DC comic character has a feature film now (i.e. Superman), online comic strips like Cyanide and Happiness have started doing animated shorts, and the television industry has taken comic characters and made them TV shows for years now. So can we say for sure if the mediums have totally crossed into one another or are we seeing the disintegration of the comic?

I commented on Ian Crawford’s Blog and Bonnie Hansen’s Blog.

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 2:31 PM  Comments (8)  

Animation Project: The Horny Little Toaster

By far the hardest creative project I have ever put together.

Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 10:08 AM  Leave a Comment  

Blog Post #10: Because The Eyes Are The Key… Animated Sequence From Kill Bill Vol. 1!

Expression of emotion is one of the crucial parts of an animated feature. Without the ability to humanize a cartoon fully, an animation is only a drawing that moves. I find that the best of human expression can be told through the eyes. The first animation I could think of that is a fine example of eye expression was the animated sequence from Kill Bill Vol. 1. This sequence is part of a Quentin Tarentino movie (so you know that violence is rampant) where” The Bride” is searching for and killing each person who was a part of her daughter’s death and her almost death. O-ren Ishii is one of the Bride’s targets and the story of how she became an assassin is shown as an animated sequence because of its adult nature.

(If excess blood and violence are not your thing, I suggest you do not watch the clip.)

The focus of this animation, besides the moving of the plot, are the eyes of the characters, especially young O-Ren. When the animation starts we see young O-Ren underneath a bed peeping out with large eyes.  If you pause the clip at 30 seconds and use your hands to block everything but her eyes, then you see the emotion of curiosity. She is wondering what is going on in the room and her eyes highlight that emotion so well. When the frame zooms in 2 seconds later curiosity turns to fear with the slight opening and shining of her eyes. The 20 second sequence that follows O-Ren’s eyes sets the stage for the rest of the animation, the situation O-Ren and her parents are in will not end well.

O-Ren’s eyes turn from fear into anger at 2 minutes and 41 seconds after her father is killed right in front of her. Her eyes become larger, the lids slant, and her pupils fill more of the space in the eyes. This makes O-Ren’s eyes carry more emotion through the rest of the animation. With her eyes full of revenge, the animation takes a turn for the worst as O-Ren becomes one of the most feared characters in Kill Bill.

Without the expression of the eyes in this animation, I feel as though it would not be as engaging as it is. The tale of O-Ren is told through the pain and emotion of her eyes not through the blood and violence of the world around her.

I commented on Katherine Danoy’s blog and Gerard Thomas’s blog.

Published in: on April 2, 2010 at 1:56 PM  Comments (4)