Three Twenty One

VE: The Illusion of Life

Disney's Nine Old Men

Part of what makes animation look animated are the exaggerated poses of the characters or objects. The techniques behind these poses were refined by the legendary Nine Old Men of The Walt Disney Company in the early days of animation and film. In this snazzy visual essay, artist Cento Lodigiani illustrates the main techniques developed by the Nine Old Men. Any animator worth their salt knows this is the foundation from which to start. Here is The Illusion of Life.

Pose to Pose

It’s fun to watch the original Steamboat Willie cartoon to see how some of these animation techniques have evolved. If you look at the way Mickey moves, you can see how the timing of something like his arms and legs seems slowed or stretched. Compare that to the snappy rhythm of Mickey in his new series. Neither is bad; both show the versatility of the art of animation.

[1] Nine Old Men
[2] Pose to Pose & Straight Ahead

2 comments on “VE: The Illusion of Life

  1. isabel
    May 14, 2014

    It is a testament to how strong the principles are, when even a cube becomes captivating when applying them 😉

    It was interesting to compare the 2 animations. In the older one, it seems almost as if the arms, legs, and body each have their own timelines, unrelated to each other. I kind of like the bouncy, lively, contrasting energy that creates. In the newer one, the movement did seem to originate in the character’s core, even if it was then exaggerated as it flowed outward. Fun!


    • Shirley
      May 21, 2014

      Mickey’s body parts look kind of hypnotic, the way that they move!


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This entry was posted on May 10, 2014 by in Film, Visual Essays and tagged , , , , .

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