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)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow, this was ridiculous! The sound effects were quite gross, if I do say so myself. But the eyes captivate you immediately, from the first time that you see her. In general, the whole animation looked very, very realistic. I agree with your thesis; you could very much tell what she was thinking just by looking at her eyes. Cool but gross animation! Haha

  2. I agree 100% that if the animator did not succeed on the facial expressions then it will not be as powerful of a production. I feel with the particular clip you presented that they are telling you story of the situation the young girl was brought up in. But with the facial expressions being a key focus you are able to see the type of pain she is going through. This gives you a personal connection to the character wear you can relate to her. Yes, it could have been just as productive if they just showed you the clip without seeing the young girl under the bed. But this has a bigger impact in displaying their ideas. Great job and what a great clip to fully demonstrate your main point!

  3. […] commented on Myca Taylor and Gerald […]

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