(My wife just delivered our baby Sunday, so not as up to date on the bigger world lately ;)
Interview with Glen Keane post Tangled.
My sketch books and the figure drawings are the source for everything I’ve ever animated. It’s all these observations. The little things that make a huge difference. You don’t see it unless you are drawing it, and you have to draw it. In order to draw it, you have to have observed it.
This is what I was challenging the animators with constantly on this film. I’d say ... This is your moment. So you take the moment, and find something real personal, and put yourself into it. Don’t put yourself into past Disney movies. Don’t copy anything. Make it personal and real
I know that there’s people who possibly work at studios for a long time and they lose themselves. They become, I don’t know, a formula of some sort. A caricature of themselves. And I really don’t want that.
The thing that happens with the computer is that it’s always seducing you to buy into ‘less than’. It’s seducing you to fall in love with a nicely rendered form. And the shading that is done so nicely on that shoulder. But who cares that the shoulder is pushed here [motions away], and it’s anatomically impossible! Look at the way the wrinkle falls on that dress! It’s like, grrrr! I’d look at that, and in the beginning I was so frustrated, seeing what the animators were presenting to me. It was horrible!
What I’m trying to say is that I know you have to work so long and so hard just to get it to a level that’s even mediocre. But we can’t stop there. You have to be so convinced inside about something that you believe, that you will say no to the computer, that’s not what I want. Yes, I could do that, but this I what I want, I have to go to the end and get that. So how do we get that? That’s where I’d start to do the drawings, and push the shoulder.
See, the computer always tries to do everything symmetrical. Asymmetry is beauty. Symmetry is cold, and lifeless.
And I showed Ollie a scene of Tangled... I said “look, freckles!” ...
Ollie said, “Well, Glen. What I was wondering is, what is she thinking about?”
It was like, gah, yes. Who cares about all of the icing on the cake, if the cake isn’t tasty... Have a goal that’s worth fighting for. If you don’t, the computer is like a used car salesman. It’ll always make you walk off the lot with something you don’t want.
People were second guessing now, they would predict what I would draw beforehand, and they would do it. And I found I wasn’t doing those drawings any more. I was doing less and less drawing. My drawings are different now, they’re very specific about acting choices.
I realised I don’t have time to learn this [how to animate on the computer]. I thought if I become soft, and too sympathetic to their suffering, I will give them too much freedom.
It’s actually the only moment in my 36 years of Disney where you see my drawings up on the screen. All the others are somebody’s clean-up of my drawings. But it’s in Pocahontas, in Colors Of The Wind, and it’s the charcoal drawings that I did.
And we used the computer to paint it, but keeping the charcoal lines in. I thought, that’s how I want to use the computer. I want to find a way to really celebrate drawing. To really value the energy of a line. A line to me is like a seismograph of an earthquake, that measures emotion. And when you clean it up, you take so much out. That’s another direction that we can go because of the computer.
I love to do a drawing of a child sitting on a chair. I’ve never seen a two children sit on the chair the same.