Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I finally finished watching the animated Soul Music (one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld stories) Monday night. Oh boy was it bad.

It was particularly bad for me as a nascent animation director. So much of it was good that the bad aspects jumped up and down screaming, spoiling the rest of the show.

The character designs were some of the worst I’ve ever seen, managing to be both plain and ugly at the same time. Worse, many of the shots were drawn in a terribly conventional manner. How to portray an emotional argument between two professors at Unseen University? Animate one guy from the waist up, talking to the camera. Cut to the other guy animated from the waist up, gesticulating at the camera. Repeat until the scene is over. Ick.

Worse, the characters are animated in a stiff, wooden way that I can’t think of a way to accurately describe. They often look like puppets, their legs and arms gesticulating akimbo as if barely connected to their brains.

But there were great aspects. It’s a story about rock music, and the music was amazing — perfectly capturing the spirit of The Beatles or the Stones at various times. The direction had some good moments. And most of the cast performed perfectly, particularly Christopher Lee as Death (no surprise there).

So really it’s a mixed bag. Some aspects of it are top-notch; others are quite poor. Unfortunately, it’s the animation> that’s poor, which is most difficult to forgive.

If only I’d had the opportunity to make it…. <sigh>

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