Tuesday, 22 March 2016

A Few Quick Facts About Limited Animation

“Purely graphic in design” is how Zack Schwartz viewed A Few Quick Facts: Fear, a cartoon made by United Film Productions for the U.S. Signal Corps in 1945.

The 3½-minute short has stylised designs, no backgrounds, and movement that resembles cut-outs being moved around in front of the cartoon.

Here’s one of the effects. The horses continue to clop away on twos while the background changes. Then during one of the wipes, the horse and rider change from negative to positive shades.

The heralds are moved around like cutouts (after the doorway is pulled out of the scene), then are animated to combine into a thick line, which is again moved like a cutout and stands on end. The herald emerge from it and are moved into two poses.

Bobe Cannon animated this short, which deliberately paid more attention to art than humour. That would eventually be part of UPA’s downfall.