Notes on Animation: Cats Don’t Dance (1997) | Marc Hendry
“A look at the design and animation of forgotten 90’s gem Cats Don’t Dance.”
via Cartoon Brew:
“There’s nice insights throughout, but one of the most useful pieces of information comes toward the end of the video when video creator Marc Hendry talks about what compelled him to make this animation analysis video in the first place.
Hendry explains that a while back he posed this question to Disney animators through a Facebook page: What questions should an animator ask when studying another animator’s work? Contemporary master Eric Goldberg wrote him back with this list of things he asks himself when studying animation:
- How are the different attitudes expressed using the entire body?
- What kind of shape design is used to graphically support the idea of the pose?
- How are secondary items like hair and cloth, used to support the overall design and movement?
- What kind of shape manipulation is going on, particularly in the face, to better feel the expressions and lip-synch?
- What’s a key, what’s a breakdown, and what’s an inbetween?
- How are internal and external features defined in the animation? (What’s hard bone, what’s fat, what’s muscle, what’s loose hanging flesh, what’s squishy, what isn’t?)
- How is the use of one or two frames of distortion effective in defining the action?
Goldberg is basically explaining the difference between the passive act of watching cartoons and the active task of seeing cartoons. Seeing transforms the viewer into a student; as a student, one analyzes the choices that were made by the artist and tries to understand why a piece of animation looks and feels the way it does.”