Animation Idioms from 1938 You Might Find Relevant

Today’s post was going to be about linking the seminal artist tryout book for Disney from 1938, but as I was reading it over on the Animation Resources blog (and you ought to as well), I decided instead to focus on the little idioms scattered throughout. Although merely complimentary to the book as a whole, on their own, they serve as a powerful reminder of what animation is really all about.

In today’s hectic world, it can be easy to forget that at its core, animation is a format of expressing artistic creation. It is disheartening to see it sometimes reduced to mere entertainment or as a babysitter for kids. Walt Disney strived to push the animation technique and the idioms below embody that spirit; coming as they do from an early high-point in the history of the Disney studio.

If anything, I hope you take away from this post and these idioms, the idea that animation can and should be more than simply a job with an artistic theme. Creating art than can inspire, entertain and stand on its own for many years ought to be the goal of any studio, not just ones confined to the history books.

The Idioms

The first duty of the animator is to caricature life and action for the audience.

The animator brings to life the inherent possibilities of a good story or funny gag.

To synchronize an action to its background the animator must compose an ever-changing picture.

Upon the animator’s ability to dramatize personality and action depends the success of the story.

The animator brings to life the director’s visual conception of timing, acting, and continuity.

To coordinate drama, music, action, and graphics, the animator must work with all the arts.

The animator, through experimentation, has opened a new field of expression for the artist.

Have you any of your own? Why not share them with everyone in the comments.

 

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