Saturday, January 31, 2009

WallE - a goldmine

Hello readers!

WallE has become a big international hit, and behind the kind little robot's cuteness there is an incredible amount of high quality work worth looking into. The interviews and podcasts with Stanton, the talks from the story guys, the hype from animators who have worked on this film....everything is full of so many interesting facts. I've seen it thrice, one of them dubbed into spanish, and is one of the few movies where language did not matter at all, preserving the emotional play between characters consistently all the way through. As an animator, I have learned that consistency in animation is one of the big things to achieve in order to make something good: consistency with character, consistency with model, consistency with your fellow animators views, consistency with the direction and story, consistency with the voiceover...

But what about the stage above the performance? What about the way this performance has been directed and shown on screen? Although I do personally think that the essence of this film was the soul of WallE as a living and breathing entity (he is no different from a microwave literally speaking, since he just switches on/off like any robot, but he exceeds that limitation and conveys emotional value to each and every action....he is "animated" in the pure sense of the word), I do also think that such element of the film wouldn't have worked the same way if they didn't orchestrated the movie the way they did. And the amount of work in the direction is just minute and absolutely fascinating...

Storyboard artist Karen J Lloyd has dissected in her blog several shots of WallE...the posts are worth a read ( They're a bit old now I guess but I just came to find out!! From how to why, Karen has done a great overview and analysis on the directorial aspect of WallE. A great film with great animation...not just a film about animated characters.

And that's the dilemma: what's more important, story or character? Some prefer the former, others the latter. Whatever it is, I think if you excell in both you totally have the upper hand. Both have to work for the best out of a film, and Walle has achieved this balance greatly in my opinion.

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