It had been a while since I had seen an animated film.
I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I am honestly often skeptical about animated films, although why this is escapes me.
Anyway, the thing that stuck out to me most was the facial animation. There were some pretty fantastic expressions. Since taking a course in animation last semester, I have been able to better appreciate mouth and eye movements, as compared to last year. The most remarkable face was probably Darla Dimple’s.
There is a lot to be said for strong character development. One thing that I don’t hear often is the ability to contort the face of a character who is well established and still having the face be recognizable. Provided you had seen some of the film and had her character in your mind, you could pause her face at any point and still know what character it was.
What makes her so recognizable? First, let’s look at the circumstances. She was largely surrounded by animals and male characters. Therefore, as a female human, that makes recognizing her face much easier. However, even if there had been other females, there are still some things the animators did to keep her recognizable.
I’m a huge fan of using colors as storytellers, so let’s go there next. There was often pink around her. It was a typical character development tool: use pink, the color of innocent young girls, to give us a clue about this person. The prevalence of pink in her scenes kept them connected.
Also, her teeth were often shown. The gap added childishness and a point of recognition. Her eyes, although the size of the iris varied, had some blue showing. And, because her head was already proportionately large, it could be stretched even further without too much trouble.
Here are some images to show what I am talking about:
The range of facial expressions here are only a sampling of what was accomplished.