Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Todays Animated Shorts

Today I have watched some very old animations. Each of the animaters have a different way of animating.
Lotte Reiniger uses silhouettes animations. The animation I watched, which was made by her is 'Cinderella'(1922). Cinderella had no sound but the the story it was telling was very strong. This version of Cinderella had a bit of surrealism to it. For example when the prince and Cinderella finally meet, the evil step mother blew up. I know that her blowing up is meant to show that her world has crumbled or she died of a heart attack. Either way this animation is funny but also quite dark, but I wouldn't mind watching it again.

The next animator is Norman McLaren. He is know for drawing his animation on an actual film reel with a pen. His animation shorts I watched are Begone Dull Care, Lines Horizontal, Hen Hop, Le Merle (The Blackbird) and an interesting film called Pas De Deux (Dance for Two).
Begone Dull Care has a lot of colours matching to the beat of the music that is playing in the background. However random the animation is I felt there was a story to it because of how the beat of the music switch from energetic to gentle to energetic again. Could be showing the type of mood the music is in.
Lines Horizontal also follows the beat of the music, but while I was watching it I could actually see different shapes like rectangles turning, a cylinder and a pillar that is lying down.
Hop Hen has a dancing chicken, but in a surreal way. The feet of chicken is dancing, the head is dancing even the chicken is dancing.
Le Merle is just a surreal blackbird dancing to the music. The music is about a blackbird losing each of it's body pieces, which is happening to the dancing blackbird.
The last animation I have watched which was made by Norman McLaren is Pas De Deux. Pas De Deux has ballet dancers dancing around the screen, while leaving an after image behind. The after image is then slowly catching up to the dancer, but when it does the dancer starts dancing again. This short film has a dream like quality, where we see two people dancing. This could also be telling a story about love and a quest for it.

To finish today of watching short animations I watched Disney's Fantasia.
Fantasia is about animated cartoons which are representing and following the sound of the classical music played by an orchestra. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Nutcracker Suite, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria.
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor was just an introduction to the instruments that will be used in the film and what are the feelings that come from them.
Nutcraker Suite has the fairys and plants dacing to the music that is playing.
The Sorcerer's Apperentice has Mickey filling up a well with water, he finds this too difficult so he wears the Sorcerer's hat and brought a broom to life. He tells the broom to fill the well up with water. Later the broom went out of contral and over flows the well with water soon the entire house.
The last one is Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria. This short Animation combined two musics which was very different into whole story. It starts with a spooky tone with a demon attacking a small village. The demon (whose name is Chernabog) also summons all sorts of evil things, like dead spirts, imps, harpys, fire dancers, all sorts. It ends with a beam of light from the sky hitting Chernabog and locking him in his mountain. The village people then leave their home to find a new one.
Fantasia was showing that animation isn't just to tell short stories, it is an art that can be meaningful and unique.

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