Unit 12-Week 6

Practitioners Report

This week we continued on with the work we did in previous weeks. But looked at four practitioners, two early and contemporary practitioners. The early practitioners were Walt Disney (the actual person) and the early works of Hayao Miyazaki. My contemporary practitioners are Pixar and Isao Takahata, primarily his latest work “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”. I focused on this piece because it is Takahata most recent director’s role. I researched into these practitioners past works and modern works and created a timeline/infographic that presents the information clearly.

Early Practitioner

References

Anon, (1963). Miyazaki, Hayao. [online] Available at: http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/film-and-television-biographies/hayao-miyazaki [Accessed 21 Feb. 2017].

Anon, (2013). The history of Pixar animation studios. [online] Available at: http://pixar-animation.weebly.com/journal/the-history-of-pixar-animation-studios [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Anon, (n.d.). Who is Walt Disney? Everything you need to know. [online] Available at: http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/walter-elias-disney-3151.php [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Castle in the sky. (1986). [Video] Japan: Toei Company.

Disney, J. (2017). Walt Disney A short biography. [online] Available at: http://www.justdisney.com/walt_disney/biography/w_bio_short.html [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Grave of the Fireflies. (1988). [Video] Japan: Toho.

History.com (2009). Disney releases snow white and the Seven dwarfs. [online] Available at: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/disney-releases-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs [Accessed 1 Mar. 2017].

History.com (2009). Disney releases snow white and the Seven dwarfs. history.com. [online] Available at: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/disney-releases-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Kamen, M. (2017). Studio Ghibli’s Isao Takahata on animating his final film. [online] Available at: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/isao-takahata-interview [Accessed 21 Feb. 2017].

Pixar, 2. (1986). Pixar. [online] Available at: http://www.pixar.com/about/Our-Story [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Snow white and the Seven dwarfs. (1937). [Video] USA.

Spirited away. (2001). [DVD] Japan.

The tale of the Princess Kaguya. (2013). [DVD] Japan: Tōhō.

Toy story. (1995). [Trailer] USA: The Walt Disney Company.

Walt Disney animation studios’ steamboat Willie. (1928). [Video] USA: Celebrity Productions Cinephone.

Unit 12-Weeks 4 and 5

Experiment

For this task, we had to experiment in our chosen field. We chose a field and we had to research a subject in that in that field. The subject we had to research in our chosen field is fear and my chosen field was animation. After we done the fear task we got to pick a different subject, I chose how emotions are shown in animation.

Fear

Fantasia

My chosen examples for fear were Fantasia, When They Cry and Scooby Doo Zombie Island. Fantasia is a Disney film from 1940, the plot follows multiple stories “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, which follows Micky Mouse as an ambitious sorcerer’s apprentice who oversteps his boundaries. The second story is “The Rite of Spring” which explains evolution. And the third story is called “Dance of the Hours” which is an orchestra performed by animals. I be looking at one of the darker story called “Night on Bald Mountain”. Night on Bald Mountain uses an orchestrated piece of the same name. The segment of the movie shows a gargoyle above a town, raising/summoning spirits. In this segment the dominant colour is black or dark navy blue. In horror films the dominant colours are dark to show fear and suspense. The scenes has a dark overlay as well to show fear and horror. Another thing in Night in Bald Mountain that shows fear is the choice of characters and their design. The gargoyle, for example has no facial features and predominantly black except for the bits that get exposed to what little light there is. This lack of knowledge of a character can actually back people fear it because of the fear of the unknown.

When They Cry

When They Cry is a Japanese animation directed by Chiaki Kon about a small town that is cursed that is killing people. The main focus on fear in this series is suspense, it keeps information away from the viewer, for example, it does not tell you or explain why people were being killed until the end of the series. With the example I gave, there are different things this show does to show fear with the characters and as a subject. With the two girls in the scene, to make the audience fear them their facial expression go playful like they are about to enjoy what they are about to do and the eyes start looking like cat’s eyes. Then the scene becomes quite dark as the boy tries to defend himself, the light in the room gets smashed while it is happening to make the scene go dark but as well by the looks, there is a black overlay on the scene as well to emphasise the fear, horror and shock of what is happening.

Scooby Doo Zombie Island

Scooby Doo Zombie Island is directed by Hiroshi Aoyama, Kazumi Fukushima and Jim Stenstrum. It is about Scooby Doo and his friends found separate careers but for Daphne’s birthday, Freddy invites everyone on a road trip. How this Scooby Doo movie is different to the over Scooby Doo movies and TV shows is the monsters are real. That’s what gives the movie it’s fear when it is Scooby Doo you expect it to be a person in a costume so it being real makes it unusual for a Scooby Doo. Another thing that made it scarier is the change in art style, Scooby Doo art style is really cartoony but this movie made the character design more realistic while keeping the similar character designs. This also allowed to make the characters facial expressions more recognisable for the audience, so people could see the fear that the characters have.

 

When experimenting, I could try to use all these methods to test how fear is represented or giving to the audience. I could change the lighting of the scene by adding dark overlays or by changing the colours of the characters of anything in the scene. And possibly changing the character designs as well, to see if things that look different can have an effect as well.

 

Emotions

For this, I looked at the same things I did when looking at fear but not focusing on obvious ones like facial expressions and body language. I will be looking at colours and lighting of the scene as well as some other methods. My three examples are Lion King, Your Lie in April and Shelter (music video).

Lion King

Lion King is a Disney film released in 1994, which is based on the Shakespeare play Hamlet. The scene I chose is Mufusa’s death scene because it is something you usually do not get in a children’s film. This scene starts off quite dark with dust from a bison stampede, this is to show the bad situation Mufusa is in. But when Scar says “Long live the king”, the scene gets darker as it zooms into Mufusa shocked faced as he hears that. The dark scene puts emphasis on the shocked face of Mufusa as he is thrown off the cliff. The same thing happens to Mufusa son Simba as it rapidly zooms into his face of shock. This proves the camera shot as well as the lighting of the scene, instead of just showing what happening you can use it to put more focus on something.

Shelter

Shelter is a music video animated by A-1 Pictures and the music was created by Porter Robinson and Madeon. It tells the story of a girl who’s father put her in a virtual pod and sent her into space because the world is ending. How the video shows off emotions is through colour. When the girl was looking at the younger version of herself in a happy memory, the modern version of herself turns yellow. In Japan, yellow symbolises happiness and making her yellow symbolising this is a happy memory of her and her fathers. The video also becomes black and white when the girl starts to feel lonely. This was done to limit what things the audience can see because when someone is lonely they restricted so restricted the colours the audience can see makes them feel what the girl can see.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso/Your Lie In April

Your Lie in April is a Japanese animation produced by A-1 Pictures which first aired in 2014. It is about a boy who lost his ability to play and hear his own music when his mother died but tries to regain his ability to play music. The scene I chose to look at is the end when the boy finally regains his ability to play music but his friend is in a life-saving surgery. The scene starts off quite blue symbolising everyday life, this shows the fight his friend has to go through every day to survive. But it as well is a sad scene as well (western meaning of blue is sad) because you find out later his friend does not survive. This scene uses two cultural meaning of colours to get its message across, Japanese meaning of blue and western the meaning of blue.

My Hypothesis

  • How fear is presented in 2D animation?
  • How can 2D animation represent fear?

I will explore how some 2D animation portrays fear in their animated sequences. The animated short/TV episode/movie does not need a horror genre, it just needs fear as an element in a sequence. For example, Spirited Away is not a horror film but it contains elements of fear by making the character fearful or suspense in a scene can make the audience feel fear as well.

Equipment:

  • Graphics Tablet/mouse

Examples:

  • Scooby Doo Zombie Island
  • When they Cry/Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
  • Fantasia

When They Cry

Fantasia

Emotions in Animation Research Project

My Hypothesis

How emotions are presented in animated films, television series and shorts.

Additional Information

Usually, when we portray emotions in real life we use body language and facial features. In animated sequences, you can portray emotion by changing the colour of a scene, colour of the character and background noise. Film and animation do use facial features for their characters but use other techniques to show emotion in a scene.

Example

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso/Your Lie In April

This anime is about a boy who lost the ability to hear his own music after his mother died when he was young. After two years he found someone who made him interested in music again. This scene is in the last episode where something happens to one of the characters. This scene uses different colours to express the feelings of the characters to each other. The dominant colour of the scene and throughout the entire series is yellow. In western society, yellow means happiness and joy whereas in Japan where the animation is created it means courage and beauty. Blue is another dominant colour in the scene, in Japan blue means everyday life, meaning they want to spend every day with each other. The lighting of the scene also affects the mood because it starts off really bright and ends in darkness.

Lion King

Lion King is a movie that was produced by Disney in 1994. The story is based on the Shakespeare Hamlet.

Mufasa death

This scene uses lighting to add emotion to it. The scene is quite dark, it starts off bright when Simba thought he was getting a surprise to make people excited to see his “surprise”. But when the stampede came over the hill the scene became dark to

 

Shelter

Equipment:

  • Computer
  • Graphics Tablet
  • Adobe Flash/Animate

I hope to create simple animations and adjust the colour and other features of the animation to change the mood.

Week 5

On week five, we continued experimenting with our chosen areas. While experimenting I found out that animation takes a long time to do. I knew it would but did not expect it to take as long as it did.

This was the effort of one week worth of animating with Adobe Flash/Animate while using a graphics tablet. If I had the time to finish it I would experiment with changing the colours of the characters and lighting to get fear and emotions across to the audience. The reason I do not finish it was because I wanted to show how long it can take to create an animation using this method and software. Also, I wanted to show off you can learn mutiple and differnet things while experimenting.