Archive for the 'Story' Category

Who says great animation can’t save a mediocre story? Exhibit A: Hotel T

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Regular readers of this too-sporatic blog know I believe that great animation CAN save a weak story. The mantra that “Story, story, and story” are the three most important elements in an animated film is still heard throughout the land, but it’s still wrong.  Further evidence of how wrong, or at least how incomplete, can […]

Invisible Ink

Friday, February 11th, 2011

A while ago I wrote about how I think being an animator has more similarities to being a writer than it does to being an actor. Not that we cannot or should not learn from actors and acting technique, but I think we share quite a bit in our process with the work that writers […]

Kurosawa on TCM this Tuesday!

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

I should have posted this earlier, but each Tuesday this month Turner Classic Movies is showing a huge selection of Akira Kurosawa’s films, all uncut and commercial free.  I’m a huge fan of TCM and Kurosawa (and the great Toshiro Mifune) so this is pure gold.  I pretty much filled up my DVR last Tuesday, […]

My Final Answer to the Question

Monday, March 15th, 2010

We’ve established that I don’t think story is the end all and be all for successful animated films, and that it might not even be crucial.  And I’ve written that I think storytelling is one factor that is absolutely crucial.  But is there more?  Yeah, I think so, and I think both of these things […]

Storytelling, storytelling, storytelling?

Friday, March 12th, 2010

So last week we watched that new CG feature, Kung Fu Wormy, and were disappointed.  Why didn’t we love it as much as Kung Fu Panda?  They had virtually identical stories, and that fat, funny lead worm, Pi, was expertly voiced by the very best Jack Black imitator in all of Iceland.  How could it […]

Story, story, and story?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

As I’ve discussed before, there’s a common joke-slash-truism in the animation community: What are the three most important things in a great animated movie?   It’s a variation on the old real-estate saw: What are the three most important things in selling a house? Location, location, location. In the world of animation, the axiomatic answer is […]

Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Writing a Short Story, with a Bonus Rule

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Here are the rules, from Vonnegut’s Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction: Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. Every character should want something, even if it […]

Story Development in Animated Features

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

This post was inspired by a few questions from Alonso in the comments section: How much time is typically devoted to the story making/boarding/animatic phase of a movie? How well can you tell if the film will work when it’s in animatic form? . . . do stories come out weakly because they didn’t have […]

Wall-E: when Theme and Plot get out of sync

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

It might seem odd to be musing about Wall-E on the weekend that Up is tearing up the box office, but I like to look back at films after all the initial hoopla has died down.  In the next few weeks I’ll also have some observations about some of the other animated films of last […]

Story Neglect?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I just read the following comment in Michael Barrier’s review of Monsters vs. Aliens: Like many other CGI films, Monsters feels unfocused; the technology has absorbed so much of the filmmakers’ attention that more important matters, like the story, have been neglected. Comments like this bug me, as they do many people who work in […]

The animation and animation-related musings of Kevin Koch