If Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs represented the Animation industry’s infancy, Ed Hooks thinks that the current production line of big-budget features is its artistically awkward adolescence. While a well-funded marketing machine can conceal structural flaws, uneven performances and superfluous characters, the importance of crafted storytelling will only grow in importance as animation becomes a broader, more accessible art form. Craft Notes for Animators analyses specific films – including Frozen and Despicable Me – to explain the secrets of creating truthful stories and believable characters. It is an essential primer for the for tomorrow’s industry leaders and animation artists.
Introduction Part 1: Infancy - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937: The Great Depression The Illusion of Life Defined and Re-Visited The Audience is a Co-Creator, Not a Lurker The Willing Suspension of Disbelief Defined Humans are Storytelling Animals Storytelling is Essential for Our Survival in Groups The Role of Empathy in Storytelling You Can’t Learn Something you do Not Already Know Walt Disney’s Intended Market: Made Movies for Kids, not for "entire family" Primarily for American audience; Secondary audience in Europe The European Influence on Walt Disney/Folk Tales The Younger the Audience, the More Zero Sum the Characters Character Archetypes for Children Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: An Acting Analysis Pinocchio: An Acting Analysis Part 2: Adolescence - The Hollywood Tent Pole Movie It’s All About the Money Movie Production for Stockholders CG replaces 2D Stop Motion not cost effective Perfection of Assembly Line Production Marketing of celebrity Voice Actors Defining the Audience Domestic vs. International China The Avoidance of Failure vs. Pursuit of Success Feature Animation from Japan Frozen: An Acting Analysis The Croods: An Acting Analysis Part 3: Maturity - Animation as an Art Form Shamans and Tribes Manifesto: Redefining the Animator’s role New Production Models Art vs. Commerce Redux New Forms of Distribution Feature Animation for Adults The Relevance of Story Despicable Me: An Acting Analysis The LEGO movie: An Acting Analysis Chico & Rita: An Acting Analysis Part 4: Videogames Evolution of Videogames Performance Capture Pros and Cons Twilight of Cinematics What to do about Empathy in Games Systemic Divisions in the Studios Afterword