A little bit of Christmas inspiration

When researching on the internet for tips on improving my drawing technique, I happened across a really interesting article on Animator Island ‘s website, talking about one of my favourite Christmas movies; Arthur Christmas.

It’s not a super detailed or formal video by any stretch of the imagination, however; it does explain well some of the unique and clever ways Arthur Christmas works well on the big screen.


The guy speaking in the video breaks down the lessons we animators can learn from the movie like this:

  • Use holds in action scenes – to draw viewer’s attention to important details in frame
  • Contrasts – fast vs slow action – this adds interest to scenes and makes action more digestible/memorable to the viewer
  • Characters – clear attitudes – to make characters memorable, you must show their individual attitudes/personalities from the get go
  • Crossing story thresholds in the Hero’s journey – an unusual technique that makes the plot more intriguing and gets all the key characters involved in the story again
  • Starting a film with the theme – establish key themes, if possible, in the opening scenes
  • End scenes with surprises; go the extra mile! – don’t cut scenes too short; there may be extra opportunities for humour or dramatic effect!
  • Symbols in the background – the background isn’t just a background; You can add important visuals or props to add to and/or help tell the story of your animation!
  • Use acting reference – some of the most believable animation comes from using your own acting skills! Don’t be afraid to act out a scene to see how the characters might move or speak in a more believable way
  • Don’t be afraid of using jokes for adults – adding jokes that the adults would get in a “kids” animated movie is always a good idea; let’s be real.
  • Make sure the staging is clear – You only have so many frames, so many minutes, so many seconds and they all must tell the story. So, make sure everything in the story flows and makes sense to the viewer.


more on this video in article: http://www.animatorisland.com/arthur-christmas-story-animation-acting-tips/


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