Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Animated Inspiration: Simon's Cat 'The Box'

Simon Tofield is back with his cat. Sometimes Simon's work makes me laugh out loud, sometimes it's just a chuckle, but I always find something amusing about this series--probably because I love cats.

Looking at this from an animation standpoint, I love the cat's smooth motion and split-second expressions. Watch when the cat tips over the box from marker :45 to :46. In one second, a maximum of fifteen frames if he's drawing this animation on twos, the cat goes from being compact with limbs tucked in to spread eagled to being compacted again, albeit in a box. The amount of motion, body language, and expression that takes place in just that one second is enormous--to say nothing of the timing necessary to pull off that gag. Mr. Tofield is simply a master at drawing these split-second expressions that parody a real-life cat's reflexes.

Also observe the layered actions at marker 1:33 when the cat pops out of the box--first one ear and then the other as the head moves and the eyes look around. Mr. Tofield draws the cat--moves the cat--not as a single entity but as a series of individual parts. Observe the motion of the cat's legs at marker 1:50. There's no symmetry in the motion, which is intentionally jarring to our expectations but breathes more life into the cat.

As an added treat, check out this animated commercial for Felliway, a diffuser spray for cats. Not a Simon Tofield production as far as I know, but amusing nonetheless.