Sunday, November 06, 2005

All is right in the world...

So Friday, I came down with some sort of death-illness, a cold or flu or something. Saturday was a gray and dank autumn day, where it couldn't quite make up its mind to rain and be done with it. Ordinarily such events would have inspired me to hide in bed, except that we took it as an opportunity to see.... (da da DA!) the new Wallace & Gromit film: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit!

There were bunnies. There were gadgets. There were daring chases. There were obscure cheeses and many fine examples of British orthodontry. At times you could spy on Gromit's puzzled brow, the actual fingerprints of his creators. I have to say, Nick Park and his team are total Jedi knights when it comes to stop-animation. Sure, making a clay figure walk around seems at least conceivable to me (not that I could actually do it, but the idea is simple, I guess). But I have no idea how they manage to get fog to drift through a moonlit graveyard, or how a were-rabbit grows fur. I can only imagine the time and attention to detail it must take to make even a few minutes of such animation, and this was feature length.

And today, I feel much healthier. Coincidence? I think not. Cracking toast!

[PS- Wikipedia sez that the animation proceeds at a rate of about 30 frames, or one second of film, for each day of production. For a 90 minute film that's about 15 years. I think this means that for this feature they had to use several animation teams working in parallel, but still, that's a lot of person-hours spent molding clay.]

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