Appeal

Appeal was very important from the start. The word is often misinterpreted to suggest cuddly bunnies and soft kittens. To us, it meant anything that a person likes to see. a quality of charm, pleasing design, simplicity, communication, and magnetism. Your eye is drawn to the figure that has appeal, and, once there, it is held while you appreciate what you are seeing. A striking, heroic figure can have appeal. A villainess, even though chilling and dramatic, should have appeal; otherwise, you will not want to watch what she is doing. The ugly and repulsive may capture your gaze, but there will be neither the building of character nor identification with the situation that will be needed. There is shock value, but no story strength.

The parallel lines of the pipe or hose gave no chance for solidity or dimension.

When bentf instead of having weight or strength, it was only a linear design.

Adding flesh increased the volume without giving a fluid. active potential.

In nature we see forms in balance, ready to move in any direction. Few fluid forms are completely symmetrical, and the contrast in form and shape makes an active type of balance. One side can be straight while the other bellies out with (he relaxed weight, or they can both bend or stretch or twist or turn—it is always possible to make a drawing that is solid, round. pliable, and in balance. We call these forms "plastic91 as opposed to "static."

Appeal Animation
Aff/v.sT: Marc Davis—Sleeping Beauty.
John Lounsbery Drawings

animator - John Lounsbery—Lady and (he Tramp.

A weak drawing lacks appeal. A drawing that is complicated or hard to read lacks appeal. Poor design, clumsy shapes, awkward moves, all are low on appeal. Spectators enjoy watching something that is appealing to them, whether an expression, a character, a movement, or a whole story situation. While the live actor has charisma, the animated drawing has appeal.

Young people, excited about the great successes achieved with line drawing, are always perplexed to hear that delicate refinements are not possible in this medium. They recall scenes of great beauty and pictures with strong emotions and cannot see that there is any problem in communication. But the problem is there, in every scene and every day. Since the medium lacks the subtle shadow patterns on the face that can reveal the shades of character in a person, we must concentrate on the acting or the story structure. Delicate expressions can be misinterpreted, to everyone's confusion, and attempting too much refinement can make the drawing so restrained or involved that no communication is possible. Only simple and direct attitudes make good drawings, and without good drawings we have little appeal.

The whole idea of trying to communicate feelings with mere lines does seem ridiculous at times. There is always the temptation to get in close so the audience can really see how the character is reacting, but the close-up presents the greatest problems. Dave Hand said, in 1938, when questioned about the advisability of using extreme close-ups: "The face begins to flat ten out when you get too close on it. We are attempting to overcome that now, with a new dye process, but it will be some time before it's perfected." (It never was.)

Many great effects are possible, but too often they cost more than the average production can afford. The constant battle is to find the elements that will look best in this medium and still allow the strongest communication of the idea presented. A drawing must be made in line, duplicated on eels, painted in flat colors, photographed over a background, and projected onto a giant screen. Tiny, sensitive lines on the drawings are now enlarged until they are more than a foot wide, and very, very black. In the mid-thirties, we wished for shading, for textures, for areas with no outlines, but they were not practical. We had to find other ways of putting over the points in the scenes, and in so doing developed character animation into a communicative art that astounded the world. But at the time there was neither glory nor pride in our efforts, only the nagging limitations. As we passed each other in the hall, we shook our heads and shared the thought, "It's a crude medium."

Rude DisneyDisney Marc DavisMarc Davis Disney

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