Monday, 15 March 2010

The Mascot (1933) - Ladislaw Starewicz

Animation is somewhat famously known, especially for animators, for being incredibly tedious. Therefore, when strapped of modern technology and given the most basic of tools to construct a moving image the artform becomes more than dedicated. In watching Ladislaw Starewicz animation "The Mascot", I was stunned at the visuals for their time. The smoothness of the characters and the enviromental effects used was suprisingly convincing at certain moments. The "magic" of the toys coming to life really gave me a sense of what may of inspired the likes of "Toy Story" (1995), especially when comparing to the moment the toys were caught up in a fast travelling Car scene.

Ladislaw Starewicz (1882 - 1965) started his work as a passionate photographer who wanted to capture the scene of stag beetles fighting together. He found this somewhat of a challenging task to capture on camera however, due to the fact they reacted to the strong light shone on them for the camera to pick up their presence. He decided, rather than trying to film them, he would create many frames of still photographs and play them together as an animation to reconstruct the movements of the stag beetle fight.

In some ways Ladislaws animations are more than just moving imagery, they are masterpeices of craftsmanship. In "The Mascot" he even manages to overlap the real world with his puppets, creating scenes where real humans "interact" with the characters. This to me was very impressive, and took some good thought as to figure out how he possibly may have acheived this.


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