Comedy for Animators  book cover
1st Edition

Comedy for Animators

ISBN 9781138777187
Published December 14, 2015 by Routledge
212 Pages

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USD $54.95

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Book Description

While comedy writers are responsible for creating clever scripts, comedic animators have a much more complicated problem to solve: What makes a physical character funny? Comedy for Animators breaks down the answer by exploring the techniques of those who have used their bodies to make others laugh. Drawing from traditions such as commedia dell’arte, pantomime, Vaudeville, the circus, and silent and modern film, animators will learn not only to create funny characters, but also how to execute gags, create a comic climate, and use environment as a character. Whether you’re creating a comic villain or a bumbling sidekick, this is the one and only guide you need to get your audience laughing!

    • Explanation of comedic archetypes and devices will both inspire and inform your creative choices
    • Exploration of various modes of storytelling allows you to give the right context for your story and characters
    • Tips for creating worlds, scenarios, and casts for your characters to flourish in
    • Companion website includes example videos and further resources to expand your skillset--check it out at!

Jonathan Lyons delivers simple, fun, illustrated lessons that teach readers to apply the principles of history’s greatest physical comedians to their animated characters. This isn’t stand-up comedy—it’s the falling down and jumping around sort!

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Human Cartoons Part One

3. Human Cartoons Part Two

4. Human Cartoons Part Three

5. Comedy Duos and Teams

6. Essential Characters

7. Context

8. Structure, Styles, and Themes

9. Gags and Comic Events

10. Props

11. Comic Acting

12. The Impossible

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Jonathan Lyons earned his BFA and created an award winning student film at New York University, where he studied with noted animator and author John Canemaker. After moving to California he earned his living in traditional animation, before transitioning to computer graphics and becoming animation supervisor for a dozen Pillsbury Doughboy commercials. While working at Industrial Light & Magic he earned two Clio Awards for commercials and went on to work on the first four Pirates of the Caribbean films. From the workshop for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse to teaching animation at the university level to animating on Seth MacFarlane’s feature film Ted, Jonathan has been employed in animation for over 25 years. During those years he also studied the work of great physical comedians simply for the love of the art. He applied the principles to his Floyd the Android character in two short films that have been screened in 50 film festivals around the world, and won a handful of awards.He is happy to share with you what he has learned from watching the classic comedians, and reading about the thousand year history of character comedy.