View Full Version : Chipmunk Adventure- Great silhouettes
09-29-2010, 10:33 AM
I'm sure you all have seen The Chipmunk Adventure. One of my favorite scenes is "The Girls Of Rock And Role" .
This is some of the best examples I have ever seen of "silhouettes". Theres like two dozen just in this one scene! This piece also shows examples of great extreme poses.
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i was in college when this was released. i saw it on vhs and i was (and still am) surprised by the fluidity of the movement but, all of the characters move in exactly the same way; they run the same, they dance the same, they pose the same. boys, girls, short, fat, brainy, conniving, lazy etc... whatever the unique personality or physical characteristics of the character it doesn't come through in the animation.
i can appreciate what you're seeing in the clear silhouettes of some of the posing but, it's ultimately meaningless as character animation or even illustration. when each unique character hits one of those extremes, shouldn't it reveal something unique about that character?
09-29-2010, 06:01 PM
Well they are all chipmunks. ;)
In all honesty I don't think it matters in this case. Because they are all the same creature type. Do the seven dwarfs walk differently? No. Do the dinos in Land Before Time walk differently? No. They are similar creatures. They have different personalities but not different walks.
Does The Great Owl walk differently from Justice, or Mrs. Brisby in NIMH? Yes, they are radically different animals, and should.
The chipmunks are also dancing. Dancing the same moves trying to best one another. However Brittany does do some "female" poses.
So I stand by my comments for the reasons stated above. If you see no value in the scene thats cool.
I didn't say I don't find any value in the scene. In fact, I remarked on the fluidity of the animation. As you posted this video under the heading "great silhouettes," I thought you were inviting forum members to engage in a discussion about character posing.
I asked if you believe it necessary for the emotional and physical make-up of each unique character to manifest in the poses or extremes from which those "great silhouettes" are derived. By the way, my answer to that question is "yes" in case you were curious. My suspicion is you like the scene for technical reasons but, I wanted to challenge you to take a closer look and try to recognize it's shortcomings. "great silhouettes" are the result of poses which reveal not just the action but, the reason for the action and who is taking that action. By definition, we should be able to fill in the silhouettes all black and still know who, what and why. This scene is predominantly about "what" but, not so much about "who."
If I understand your answer correctly, you seem to be saying "it doesn't matter because they are all chipmunks." Mrs. Brisby and the Great Owl walk differently because they are different species. Following your logic, Mrs. Brisby and Auntie Shrew walk differently because (in spite of their both being small rodents) they are different species. But what about Mrs. Brisby and Mr. Ages? They are both mice. Wait a minute, Mr. Ages wears a cast on his broken leg and walks with the aid of a cane. So, what is more important? They are mice or they have physical differences?
Don't you think the animators were interested in the emotional differences of the characters; from Auntie Shrew's "carry the world upon her shoulders" personality to the curmudgeonly Mr. Ages to the earnest and hopeful Mrs. Brisby? That's a rhetorical question (I actually know the answer to that one and that answer is "yes, they did care and that care had an enormous impact on the animation").
I haven't seen The Land Before Time in many years but, I'm certain there is a clear difference between the light-hearted Littlefoot and the more agressive Cera. Haven't you ever heard of animators getting to know a character by first figuring out their walk?
I also find your assessment of the animation of the seven dwarfs particularly enlightening. The dwarfs all have the same walk? There is no discernible difference between Grumpy and Dopey or Doc or Happy etc? This is fascinating news. I want to be sure we're thinking of the same film. Are you referring to the 1937 Disney version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? If so, I think you should take another look. Also, if you're wondering what that sound is, it's the sound of Bill Tytla, Fred Moore and Walt Disney rolling over in their graves.
09-30-2010, 06:28 AM
While I appreciate your comments that they all move the same way, it was not the basis for my post. I am well aware of walk cycles and using that tool to find the character. I was not discussing walks, runs, or "finding" your character anywhere in my original post.
It was about studying Silhouettes and extreme poses. Which is all I was saying. You do not think its a good example. Which is fine, but I disagree.
Regarding Disney's Snow White, I can bring up several scenes where the Dwarfs walk the same or run the same. Walking home from work, sneaking around the house and running after the Witch. Those are "group" scenes and there is nothing distinctively different than the chipmunk "group" scenes. (Other maybe than Dopey whom sometimes has a skip while he walks)
Same with the Dinos in land. Group scenes of them walking or running away from danger are all the same. When a scene is centered on a single character on screen more character is evident in their body posture.
Mr. Ages walk is different from Mrs. Brisby because he has a broken leg. That's not finding your character in a walk. They put a clever device, (the cast on his leg) to create a different walk cycle. But its more a device than a distinctive character trait.
Again I did not say this chipmunk scene was about finding character or studying distinctive walk cycles. To each his own.
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