So on the RubberOnion Podcast this week, the audience question asked Stephen and Rob to list their top three moments in animation. They gave their answers, and then encouraged their listeners to submit their own. Turns out, I had a lot to say about it…
Here’s my top 3 animation moments (and 2 honorary mentions):
1) Transformers was my cartoon growing up. I loved how quickly they would transform (and I loved the sound!), and was always frustrated that I couldn’t transform my toys at the same speed. I also remember a sage piece of advice Optimus Prime gave Ironhide: “There is a thin line between being a hero and being a memory.”
2) Princess Mononoke – The scene where she wipes the blood from her mouth was a major feminist moment for me – she’s such a badass. (1:15-1:22) Also, the design of the Forest Spirit is just so exquisite.
3) A tie between a piece of character animation in The Incredibles, and a moment so perfectly captured in Ratatouille. In the Incredibles, Syndrome does this crazy little shimmy dance when he’s saying “Oh man! I’m still geekin’ out about it.” I must have watched that 500 times on YouTube to catch all the motion, and how it added up to such a great moment of character acting.
In Ratatouille, I will never forget when Anton Ego ate a bite of Remy’s ratatouille for the first time. The scene is freaking perfect. I love the lighting, the pacing, the extremely subtle use of sound, the super-zoom into his mind and then his childhood, and feeling the comforts of home in that bite of food, watching him come back to the table, dropping the pen… basically watching this guy who’s been such a fantastically hilarious prick the whole movie melt into his humanity because of an experience. It’s just the perfect climax for a movie, the whole thesis of the film is perfectly captured in this moment. And the “Defense of the New” monologue that follows is something I cling to as I try to make my own way in the artistic world.
Two other films/moments that made an impression on me:
1) Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and specifically, Jessica Rabbit’s song, “Why Don’t You Do Right”. I mean, it’s just hot (creepy old dude vibe aside). I was also obsessed at how perfectly all the live action pieces meshed with the animation. I really love live action/animation blends, and I think my love for it started with this movie.
2) Prickles and Goo was my introduction to all of the animations that Matt Stone and Trey Parker have created to the talks of Alan Watts. It was so cool to see the super simplistic style of South Park work with such philosophically profound content.