Animation Studies 2 : Toon vs Actor. The work and evaluation.

I’ve finished the Toon vs Actor project and it was successfully submitted and so it’s now time to evaluate.

First of all, because we were free to do what we wanted in this project, some created an actual essay whilst others focused much more on a script form.
I wanted to create an almost short pitch.  One where I would go into the do’s and don’t’s, things that I do want to impliment in the film and the things that I wanted to try and steer away from.  Included to that was an image of my characters and a script.

Part of my work follows now.

Animation Studies 2 : Toon vs Actor.
For the Toon vs Actor assignement I’ve taken the liberty to tell part of the story and give part of the script. I also go a bit into the idea of what I do want in the film and what I wouldn’t want to add to it. This won’t be too much in depth but enough to hopefully relay the idea of what “My pet hamster Joe” would be about and how I would want some scenes to be approached.

“My pet hamster Joe” would be PG 13.

Introducing the idea.
My pet hamster Joe is about a real girl who lives in an animated world. Always by her side is a huge, bulking monster who she names Joe. This world isn’t one of happy clouds and sparkly animation, rather an animated world which is close to a nightmare. Surviving through every day life, the girl can always count on Joe to protect her. However, one day she finds herself lost in a desolated wood and away from Joe, this is where she finds one of her own; A real person, a man.


Unknown voice: “Pst.”

Ana continues to walk through the woods, so focused on finding back Joe, she doesn’t hear the sound.

Unknown voice: “Hey, kid.. Pst! Over here!”

Tiny eyes narrowed as she looks around the darkened woods, searching until they fall upon a half hidden figure sticking out from dead shrubbery.

Ana: “Who’s there?” she asks, voice without tremble as she takes on her most courageous of stances. “Show yourself!” her voice louder now whilst her hand discretely goes for the bag that’s rested on her hip.

Unknown voice: “Calm down, calm down, I’m friendly.” the voice speaks as the figure now slowly emerges from behind the shrubbery, hands rise up before the figure steps from the darkness and into the brighter area.

Ana blinks, startled. Her eyes remain narrowed as she pins her gaze on his features. He’s different, not like the others who she knows, but so familiar.. like her own face. She steps back, too much for the girl to handle at this time she grabs onto her hipbag and yanks it forward, ready to draw whatever is inside out of it.
Man: ” Don’t, Ana, please. Listen.” his voice sounds tired.

Her nose wrinkles as she bares her teeth. The girl crafted by the environment in which she raised herself, this hellish place where nothing is what it seems.

Man: “Ana, I know this is difficult to understand.. but I am with you. We are the same. You and I, we are real. We don’t belong here, you don’t belong here. This is all just a twisted nightmare.”

Ana: “How do you know my name? You have been bitten by a mosquito?! Filled with their hallucinating toxins? It must be..” the latter of her sentence she muses to herself, almost as if the questions were never meant for the man himself. She tugs her bag as she commands him to speak ” I belong here, this all is real, I am real, what do you want from me?”

The man now lowers his hands now, almost convinced that she won’t take whatever is in her bag out to attack him. He sighs, rubbing his hands down his scrubby looking attire.

Man: “I am Roman, I was the one who brought you here when you were only a small child. Our world wasn’t safe and you had to be safe.. So I brought you here, the only place in which I knew that you would be looked after and protected.. Until this once dreamlike world was twisted and turned into this.. this .. nightmare.”
Roman looks down at the girl who’s grip on her bag seems to lessen, listening to him she seems to find some truth in his words.

Roman: “There is not much left of our world, but seeing as this one still exsists .. I -.. I think we can make a change, at least to this world. Whomever created this is still alive in our world and with that in mind.. it means that they have to snap out of their nightmare and continue their dream so at least this all can change and you can live in a place.. which isn’t.. rotten.”

Ana: “What are you saying? You’re not making any sense! I don’t want to leave to -your- world and wake someone up. I live here, I have Joe here. I have a life here. It’s not a bad place as long as I have Joe, I will do just fine!”

Roman: ” Joe..?”

Ana inhales and sighs out whilst behind her an enormous shadow appears, towering over the child five times her size. From its neck a leash is visible before she nods over her shoulder into the direction of the shadow “My pet hamster. Joe.”


For “My pet hamster Joe.” Ana and Roman will be the real live action figures in the story who find themselves in an animated world for the most part of the film. Joe is animated 2D just like his home world will only find himself in the live action world for a small portion of time when Ana goes to the real world to hopefully change the Nightmare world.

Due to the large difference in size between Ana and Joe, eyeline match is vital. Though, throughout the film Joe doesn’t make much contact with anyone as he seems more occupied with whatever’s happening around him than whoever is speaking to him. It is, however, vital that when they do look at one another, Joe is animated correctly to keep the illusion of interaction alive.
Joe’s assign, and his world’s design are both simple. Wanting to focus most on the shadows and lighting to create a 3D feel to it, I want to make sure that most of the time is spend on this than on the character’s design. Less is more in this case.
Interaction between the real and the fake.
Joe’s leash is an actual leash in the design, taking reference from the setup in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in which I go more in depth about on my blog post. His concept’s skin is rough, almost like that of an elephant. Due to this, whenever Ana touches his skin there is no movement. Ana does have clothes though Joe has no fingers to grab onto her.

Much like the previous Animation studies project (occurrence of two heads) I found this assignment pretty interesting.  I never realized the things we look at to make something look real or not. To find the reasons why something seems like real interaction is interesting and a good note as the possibility exists that I will one day work on a project that merges the real with the fake.
The story was well received aswell.  The feedback was positive overall, aside from the questionaires wanting to see more of the film idea, i.e more concept art. It felt like it was lacking depth.

I also didn’t make the word count of 1200, rather I ended on a 1100 something count which to me shows that my project was lacking aswell.
However, I tried to not dumb down my usage of words (this was part of my feedback with the occurrence of two heads. ) whilst I did try to steer away from quoting lessons in class and actually venture out into the internet and check out some background stuff of both Cool world and Who framed Roger Rabbit.

Overall I liked the the concept that I’ve created, it goes well with the script and can be considered to be a defining pose of the characters.  The short script was well received by viewers but I do agree that it was almost asking for more in depth information, maybe even more explanation outside of the script where I would have gone into the world that they live in or how the nightmare would be connected to the world and how it could have been fixed.  For a pitch it could work, but it would need more concept art and more background story.

I still struggle with the “It can be about anything”.



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