I found the articles really interesting this week. Julie Doucet’s work was a great example of caricature in the form of comics. In a way I feel she had caricaturized her diary and all its contents. Not only did she successfully caricaturize art school and its clichés, but the very words at the top of each frame, loaded with sarcasm. I feel that the contrast between the words and the pictures is what makes Doucet’s comics successful.
It was intriguing to consider the work of Pixar to be caricature, for I’ve never truly connected animation to caricature, yet everything Pixar makes is basically personification or a caricature of one thing or another, whether it is a car, monster, lamp, snow man from a snow globe, or birds.
Another aspect of Pixar’s work that I hadn’t contemplated was the physiognomy involved in their character design and animation. The article compares some works to Daumier’s drawings, in that taking the physical features or expression and morphing them or having the features suggest something about the character’s personality. The idea of physiognomy is more apparent in animation and cartoons that we give credit for. The very aspect of character design is founded on the same notion. In animated movies, there’s very little time for the audience to get to know the character, thus the animator or character designer’s job is to save time by telling the audience as much as they can about the character visually.
For instance, in Monster’s Inc., Sully has a rather broad frame with geometric but rounded features and is fluffy and bear –like as well as having a smile on his face, thus the impression the audience gets is one of kind-hearted good-guy hero. Mike on the other hand, is short and goofy looking due to his ab-normal proportions (really big head and small appendages) but has circular features, thus the audience knows that he’s the funny side-kick. Yet, Randall, the antagonist of the movie, is very snake-like, and has angular /sharp features with a crooked posture as well as smile, thus the audience feels wary and untrusting about this character.