How to Train an Animator

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

In 1935, Walt Disney wrote a letter to Don Graham, an art teacher from the Chouinard Art Institute on how to train an animator. This passage stood out to me:

The first duty of the cartoon is not to picture or duplicate real action or things as they actually happen — but to give a caricature of life and action — to picture on the screen things that have run thru the imagination of the audience to bring to life dream fantasies and imaginative fancies that we have all thought of during our lives or have had pictured to us in various forms during our lives. Also to caricature things of life as it is today — or make fantasies of things we think of today.

The point must be made clear to the men that our study of the actual is not so that we may be able to accomplish the actual, but so that we may have a basis upon which to go into the fantastic, the unreal, the imaginative — and yet to let it have a foundation of fact, in order that it may more richly possess sincerity and contact with the public.

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