Sunday, 21 August 2016

Trying To Get Animated

I grew up in the fifties and sixties when animated films - or cartoons - were all the rage. I must have been the only child who didn't like them. Give me a choice between Lassie and Mickey Mouse and the dog won, paws down, every time. I've always preferred reality over fantasy, although, with hindsight, I have to admit there probably wasn't much real life in the story of a super dog who bounded about rescuing humans against all odds, fighting off the despicable enemy and still remaining cute and lovable.

I lived for Saturday Morning Pictures. My brothers and I would be packed off, each with with sixpence clutched in a sweaty palm, to the local cinema, where, without parents, we were let loose to eat sweets, throw the wrappers at our enemies, run up and down the aisles, laugh uproariously - and occasionally watch the film, all the while keeping an eye out for the uniformed staff who marched about, shouting and shining torches into the eyes of anyone misbehaving - about 90% of the audience most weeks. 

My brothers were big fans of the animated films and would settle down and stare up at the screen with rapt attention once the accompanying music began. I, however, would disappear to the toilet or go off into a dream of my own until Lassie reappeared to solve all our problems.

If you want to know about animation ask a ten year old. He will almost certainly be able to demonstrate how to create a YouTube video using stop motion techniques - or some such thing. This is one my grandson made last year when I was doing some children's photography workshops with a fellow photographer.

I can appreciate the huge amount of time and skill it takes to create even a short animated film, but try as I might, I just can't sit through one.

Discussing this week's blog with my husband I discovered he was a secret Popeye fan, instantly listing all the characters, and even running through whole episodes, which still made him double up with laughter.

As for Lassie, she leaves him cold....

A little ditty in praise of animation
There's a certain satisfaction
In the art of animation
When a figure that was static springs alive
The simple little drawing
That once was found quite boring
Is something else when one frame becomes five

A slight change in the form
So that movement 'comes the norm
Is magic in the eyes of young and old
Just a tiny little shift
Is an animator's gift
And the story really does start to unfold

From flip books without sound
To Huckleberry Hound
And Popeye, Nemo, Frozen and the rest
If those characters are moving
Then the animator's proving
That cartoons are right up there with the best.

Thanks for reading, Jill Reidy


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Jill - good to see you adding writing to your already superb photography - and it was Saturday Morning Cinema (at what was then The Odeon and is now Funny Girls) which set me on the Yellow Brick Road to being a lifelong film fan.

truthnotlies said...

Thanks for your kind comments xx