- All living creatures, fictional or not, have anatomy. Equally true of an amoeba, an angle worm, a mastodon , and a Grinch.
- If you want believability in your characters, you must have visual consistency. In animation, each character must move according to its own anatomical limitations: Daffy duck must move with Daffy Duck’s anatomy, Donald Duck with Donald Duck’s structure. The amoeba’s anatomy seems to have only one restriction - its bulk; like an inflated baloon, it can vary its shape, but it cannot change its volume. That is, if you want a believable amoeba
- All animals - humanized animals or animalized animals - must appear to stand, walk , run or skip under the stablizing pressure of gravity in order to achieve believeability
- There is no sympathy without believability, no real laughter without sympathy.
- In the sympathetic recognition of any character there must be some evidence of one’s own self, one’s own weaknesses, one’s own mistakes, no matter how well self-concealed, buttoned down or pigeonholded.
- The flimmaker as well as the viewer must be able to find the character within himself. We cannot fashion personalities from what we SUPPOSE another person to be.
- If you start with character, you probably will end up with good drawings. If you start out with drawings you will almost certinly end up with limited characters, caught in the matrix of your limited drawing. Therefore…
- It is not what or where a character is, nor is it the circumsances under which he finds himself that determine who he is. It is only how in a unique way he responds to that enviorment and those circumstances that identifies him as an individual. hopefully, an interesting character becomes interesting because of that uniqueness among his contemporaries.
- For identity, you do not DRAW differently, you THINK differently. It is the WHO of the character , not the WHAT that counts. Walk- through circus clowns depend upon WHAT they look like for their brand of comedy. That is WHAT they are. Comedians depend upon HOW they move for comedy and pathos - their wonderful who-ness.
- As the writer John Buchan said, you will never succeed in playing a part unless you convince yourself that you are it.
- Animation means to invoke life, not to imitate it.
- no great children’s book, film or fable was ever written for children. It was written for the witer, the artist , the flimmaker. Again, the mark of any ’ great work ’ for children, from one by Beatrix Potter to a book br Dr. Seuss , can be easily identified: if it can be read with pleasure by adults it is probably a very good, possibly a great, childrens book.
- You cannot write DOWN to an audience or to your subject. you must write UP to them with the certainty that you cannot ever do justice to your subject, but must bend every creative nerve and muscle of your heart and brain to its full capacity in an attempt to do so.
- The least you owe an audience is the best you can do
- No art form can exist without restrictive disciplines. Most of the great paintings in history have been caught in the terrible discipline of the rectangle. The flimmaker finds himself trapped in the exact and severe disciplines of both the rectangle an time. Most cinema features are in a time warm of 90 to 120 minutes, most animated cartoon shorts in a confinement of 6 minutes.
- You must not complain of your restrictions. If you cannot live with them, find a discipline you can live with.
Above is a section from Chuck Jone’s book Chuck Reducks. I’ve bolded some of my favorite and most inspirational rules. Forgive me some spelling errors. I was staring at the book while I was typing so I wasnt really watching the screen haha.