Who?  What?  Where?  When?  How?  Why?

Animation is not about pretty pictures. It's about action and reaction; about characters and their relationship to each other. In animation anything that you draw is a character. A tree can express emotion, a line can have a nervous breakdown and a raindrop can drown in a teacup. Establish the basic idea: The Dog Wants To Sleep. Who is this about? What characters are involved. What is the story you are telling? Is it about a relationship between a dog and his master? What universal emotions are involved? The need for sleep? Hunger? Love? Sex? Freedom? Get to the message early. The audience must be able to get into the story.

Simplify the characters' environment to not confuse the purpose or direction of the story. Introduce the locale and the characters. Basic gestures indicate something about the characters.Villains should have dimension. Even "good" people commit socially unacceptable acts. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

Design the characters to suggest their personalities. Round, soft shapes make them cuddly. A square is dependable; sharp angles can indicate a threat or merely awkwardness. In Disney's Aladdin the main character is delineated with straight lines while the genie is drawn with curves. Why?

Most stories have a three act structure:

Act 1: Introduction...the character wants something.

Act 2: The character attempts to achieve his goal.

Act 3: Struggle, confrontation and the climax where the hero achieves the goal. The end is the completion of the events of the story. All else is extraneous except for an action or line that frames the ending.


Fairy Tales, Myths And Fantasy



© Howard Beckerman 2004-2020