Looney Tunes (Roadrunner)
Looney Tunes is a series of animated shorts that involve different characters in different scenarios. The comedy is very physical in most of the animations but the animation that resembles my idea is Roadrunner. Roadrunner uses no actual dialogue so the comedy is very physical and this was something I wanted to research.
Roadrunner is about a hungry Coyote that wants to eat a very fast Roadrunner. The coyote thinks up numerous manic methods to catch the roadrunner and every single one seems to back fire and inflict pain unto the Coyote.
Unlike my characters that have human attributes the roadrunner and coyote look very much like the animals they are meant to represent and the only humanistic thing that happens might be when the coyote walks on two feet like a human.
This allows the coyote to do things like carry a bazooka and this is not questioned by the viewers. The fact that the coyote is also a carnivore ensures that his reason for chasing the Roadrunner is justified. This is something I was missing in my animation and Roadrunner did not give me the answer to this.
Each episode lasts around 6-8 minutes and in each one they do 5-6 sketches some lasting 2 minutes but some last less than that.
The main aim when I was researching Roadrunner was to find out how they timed the sketches and through further research it turns out they did it to musical beats. The animation is timed to the music and the benefit of this is that the animation has a natural rhythm.
At first I thought Mr Bean was slapstick but when I actually started going through the episodes I quickly realised the slapstick is limited to that character and they are not always snappy gags. A lot of the actions in the gags use minimal physical action. The comedy is very psychological and at times it is awkward comedy. It shows everyday situations going very wrong and this degree of wrongness, for lack of a better word, makes it funny.
The Slapstick was not the only thing that drew me to Mr Bean though. He has a unique way of reacting to situations and I wanted to capture this in my “Hunter” character. Mr Bean uses a lot of pantomime as there is rarely dialogue and this fits perfectly with my idea. When something happens he just makes a small gesture and his intentions are easily understood. I will be adding some of his characteristics into my Hunter character.
Pib & Pog
Pib & Pog is a series of stop motion animations, about two blobs that seem get placed in random situations and one ends up trying to inflict pain unto the other. It uses no dialogue and the comedy is very physical. Both the characters have quite evil intents and so the attempts at assassination are equally shared. This is unlike my animation though but there were plenty of gags in each episode so this made very good watching material to allow me to understand how gags are executed to make them snappy.
Boby Le Zombie
Boby Le Zombie is a French animation about a zombie going on a date with a human female. It is set in 2 locations and only includes two characters. It has a lot of simple elements. The story, characters and texturing are all very minimal and simple. This makes sure the viewer’s main attention is on the animation and the story. This type of movie was exactly what I was aiming to do for my fmp this year because I wanted to concentrate mainly on storytelling and animation and avoid all the technical things that tend to come up when working in 3D. Even the props in this animation are limited.