Friday, December 24, 2010

Simple Gifts - No Room At The Inn, Animals

"No Room At The Inn" may be the crowning segment of "Simple Gifts" -no mean feat considering the strength of the others.

At the very least it represents the apex of the simple line Blechman style.  After this, his long form work took a tilt towards the fantastic with "The Soldier's Tale" and a curve towards a fuller style with the stillborn films like "Bird", "The Golden Ass" and "Candide".

Before posting the full segment and further thoughts tomorrow, I wanted to highlight my favorite scene.

This film is very stage-y.  It all happens along the same flat plain with some variation on shot length, but almost always playing as through a proscenium.

Ed Smith animated most of this film.  Those are Ed Smith animals right there.   They have an unmistakable humor to them.  They're cute without being cloying.  Expressive but not telegraphic.  Really just great animation.

Also take note of the wind blowing.  Phenomenal really.

When the schedule started to draw to a close, Ed needed some help finishing up.   Tissa David took care of several scenes towards the end.  I may be mistaken, but I believe this was her first time animating in the Blechman style.  I can only imagine how nervous Bob must have been, he had long been unhappy with the way animators approached his art and finally found the perfect guy in Ed.  Of course, any trepidation would prove groundless.

Still, the differences in their line is visible.

Above, an Ed Smith donkey.

Tissa David donkey (and sheep).

Also amazing is Ed's draughtmanship of horses.  Here's an 11 drawing cycle.












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