Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Animator: Rene' Laloux (1929- 2004)

Rene' Laloux was a french artist , animator and film director, who started in art by doing painting, and later worked in a Psychiatric Institution, where he started his hand drawn-animations with the interns.

In one of his animations called Fantastic Planet (1973) he uses drawings that are reinforced by the use of really strong colours. The design of the world was really interesting really similar to anything out of the surrealism, where the places looked like dreams, and it went well with the characters, despite his emptiness sometimes. One of the things I caught was the importance of music in this piece, not only it created atmosphere, but also it was used to emphasize the actions.

It bore a strong narrative that drove the audience throughout one hour of film, where it take on the social values and the idea of respect, in this animation humans become the target and the alien civilization Draag become the attacker. In my opinion, it criticizes the way people see the world, as a far superior being compared to other animals or plants. A case where the predator becomes the prey.

Although it had a good narrative, which I enjoyed to the fact that criticized society. i found myself disliking it because of its cranky and not appealing animation.
I don't know maybe because I am used to see hand-drawn animation where all the frames are drawn to the minimal movement detail, for instance's Disney. This one was rather weird, and the walking cycle looked a bit unfinished.

After Uni, I took some time at home researching Laloux's works, and I found a rather less known film called Time Masters,1982 , for the few minutes I saw I really enjoyed it. In this film is visible the delightful world that is seen on the other animation, where the environment looks like something out of Shaun Tan's illustrations. Also the fact that is set in space, gives a whole sense of science fiction to the whole feature. But one of the things that it doesnt share from the previous animation, is the crankiness of the animation. In this film the animation is far better, and the treatment of the picture looks much better.
This Animated film, reminded a lot of 1980' animated TV Series, such as He-Man or Transformers, not that I was one of the biggest fan of them, though the style is quite similar. Maybe because it belongs to the 80's.


tutorphil said...

You're much to young to remember the 80's! I loved He-Man as a child; it was my favourite, coming home after school and watching it instead of doing my homework. I also had all the collectable figures too - and all the plastic play castles and vehicles - and then, around my 12th or 13th birthday I decided I'd 'grown up' and sold them all! Stoopid - 'cos they'd be worth a small fortune now!

Ruben Alexandre said...

Too young indeed, but actually in Portugal He-Man was and all animations from abroad were delayed really, despite being from the 80's, in Portugal the would be still broadcast in the 90's