How To Train a Young Animator

I stumbled upon this amazing link from the past. Can you guess, how old it is and where it came from? I am going to withhold that for a while (just to increase the suspense). But here is the snippet. Kind of timeless, IMO.

The first duty of the cartoon is not to picture or duplicate real action or things as they actually happen – but to give a caricature of life and action

The list should start with the animators ability to draw; then, ability to visualize action, breaking it down into drawings and analyze the movement the mechanics of the action. From this point, we would come to his ability to caricature action – to take a natural human action and see the exaggerated funny side of it – to anticipate the effect or illusion created in the mind of the person viewing that action. It is important also for the animator to be able to study sensation and to feel the force behind sensation, in order to project that sensation. Along with this, the animator should know what creates laughter – why do things appeal to people as being funny.

In other words, a good animator combines all these qualities:

Good draughtsmanship
Knowledge of caricature, of action as well as features.
Knowledge and appreciation of acting
Ability to think up gags and put over gags
Knowledge of story construction and audience values
Knowledge and understanding of all the mechanical and detailed routine involved in his work, in order that he may be able to apply his other abilities without becoming tied up in a knot by lack of technique along these lines.

I stumbled upon it while following a series of people on Twitter who are involved in Infographics, a couple of hours well spent. Here is something in the beginning that made me stop everything else and read this eight page memo written in in December of 1935!

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the following eight-page memo. Written by Walt Disney