Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Song of the Sea
Thanks to reader/commenter Matt Pidgeon, I was pointed to this production blog about another feature film being developed by the Cartoon Saloon- the same folks behind The Secret of Kells. The blog doesn't have a lot of artwork on it yet, but what's there already has me very interested. The picture above says so much. I'm amazed at how these guys weave all those graphical elements into what they do. These celtic touches seem to whisper to the audience that something deeper is happening here. I've been in so many story meetings for features and long form DVD projects over the years and one of the driving themes in American animated film is being absolutely clear about absolutely everything. No mystery allowed. If something comes into the story it must immediately be clearly understood as to why by even the simplest of audience members. Explain everything, and explain it again- just in case. I undersdtand the advantages of laying out clear character goals and desires, but that's not the only valid way of telling a story. The result is a narrative flow that is akin to following a series of known facts leading to a climax. How much more interesting- and rewarding- would an animated feature film be if instead of following a trail of revealed facts in pursuit of a goal clearly established in act 1 we instead follow a trail of unknown mysteries trying to answer a greater mystery presented in act 1? What I can pick up on the the story about Song of the Sea reminds me of The Secret of Roan Innish a bit- which is one of my favorite films. I just love that sense of mystery and magic that all these films seem to so easily have. It lends a sense of timelessness, substance, texture. American films just don't have this at all. We're big, boom, bold, brash and (for the most part) very temporary. American animated films are like cotton candy at a county fair. Which is OK, but sometimes you want something a little... different.
Posted by Keith Lango at 11:15 AM