Animation as philosophy, part 1

I once had the good fortune to have a conversation about character animation with a great Disney animator. He talk to me about the difference between animating cats and animating dogs.

Basically, he said, if you want to understand how a character moves, you need to think about how it gets its food. Dogs hunt in packs, which means they need to be fast and loud and they do not need to move gracefully.

Cats, in contrast, are solitary hunters who depend upon stealth to catch their prey. Everything about them is about graceful silence, from their slinking gait to their retractable claws.

It occurred to me afterward that this bit of advice has implications far beyond the field of animation. More tomorrow.

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