Acting Aesthetics and Audience Research 1

The Aim/intention I am setting my self for this project, is to produce an animation that effectively shows both Dramatic Impetus and Emotive Context, that also throws typical convention out the window.

Here are few examples of Acting, Aesthetics and Audience that are going to be helpful in this project:

Steven Universe:

Steven Universe is an extremely popular animation that has risen to be one of Cartoon Networks top shows. The series is about a young boy who is half human – half gem and lives with his team and family called the crystal gems while defending his home planet from invaders. The clips below are from one of the newest episodes and I have chosen them for several reasons, which will be explained down below. The show was created by Rebecca Sugar, one of the animators who used to work on another one of Cartoon Networks Popular series called Adventure Time. The genre of this series often varies depending on which story arc it is on at the time. For example the first half of the series was more comedy based at the time as Steven was often portrayed as a goofball but once the main villains of the series started to make an appearance, the story started to become more action based and about training Steven to use his powers, so that he could help protect Earth.

I chose this clip because it utilizes a wide range of methods to not only convey the story effectively but to also effect the audience as well. For example the conversation that is occurring at that moment is effective at conveying what the animators wanted the target audience to see and feel. What they wanted the target audience to see was the pain and suffering that both Steven and Amethyst go through for been unique gems in their own right. Rebecca Sugar and the other animators on the show do this by not only the actions of the characters faces but also by they way the characters talk to each other. For example on the two characters faces during this scene scream not only anger but also pain and sadness. The reason for this is that Amethyst is been tormented by one of the stories villains who claimes, that Amethyst is a mistake leading to her almost giving up and Steven stops her by showing her that he too feels the same pain because he is something new, he isn’t a gem and he isn’t a human either. Due to the way this is conveyed, it heavily affects the target audience, the feel of pain in the characters and in some cases the pain can be even stronger for some in the audience as they already know what it is like to be segregated for been different.

What makes this moment even stronger is that, the way both Amethyst and Steven speak about the pain to each other, Steven claims that Amethyst will never be like Jasper because she is Amethyst and she is just like him a one of a kind gem. What is also interesting about the way they talk to each other is that it has another message embedded within it, that basically says that they actually understand each other and this point is emphasized when Amethyst states that “We worst gems’s stick together.” This is used to not only make the audience feel happy for the characters that they have accepted what they are and that it makes them unique, but this is also used to throw the target audience off for what happens next.

Rebecca Sugar utilizes the element of surprise within this moment of a sibling like relationship to announce a new character which not only is used to surprise the target audience but to also make them happy that both Steven and Amethyst have accepted that they are different but together they are stronger than any opponent they may face. I might consider using this element of surprise for when I start to work on the acting animation because it specifies for me to produce an animation that if I am able to defies expectations so something like this might be a good way to go. The colour scheme within this animation is also quite interesting as well because it is used in various ways for example often for the gems their skin colours will be used to help identify their gem. For example Pearl = White/Pale, Amethyst = Purple, Peridot = Green and Jasper = Red/Orange, the only exception to this rule is Steven because of his nature as a Half Gem – Half Human. This is so that it is easier for the target audience to identify the characters, as some may have trouble identifying them by either their name or gem stone.

Mickey Mouse:

We all know Mickey Mouse, the mascot of Disney and the start of the company. But he has made a return in most peculiar fashion instead of mickey been modified for the the time period that we are currently in, Disney have decided to go back to Walt’s original design, which is a nice choice.

I chose this episode because it is a good example of not only voice acting but also colours and design and how they affect the target audience. Straightaway when the episode is aired you can tell that Disney has gone for one of it’s original roots within the story, which is to tell a story that has an educational theme hidden within it. Although the lesson that is hidden within this animation’s story is easy to see, mainly because they want the story to been seen by the target audience straightaway since the lesson is the key part of the story in this case. The lesson is to be a good sports man.

The voice acting of Mickey helps draw in the target audience with not only the way he is often portrayed to speak (I.e. his squeaky high pitch voice) but the way he is trying to present himself as a sport’s presenter. He tries to makes himself sound exactly like one by deepening his voice and trying to add a tonne of sports quotes, which makes the audience laugh because while it makes him look like he has an idea of what he is talking about he actually doesn’t and this is what adds to the comedy of the scene. Through out the rest of the animation Mickey’s words are filled with passion about the true nature of sportsmanship, which again draws in the target audience because of the way he displays this. Mickey ears are also a key part of his animated shows because when we see his ears, we see and know that it is mickey mouse, Disney’s greats creation and this invokes emotions of happiness and joy and for some annoyance.

The acting and motions done by the characters are done really well within this animation, they aren’t slow or have tones of missing cels so that it looks like huge chunks have been cut out of the actual animation. The actions of the characters speaks for themselves and help bring the characters to life effectively and carry the flow of the story e.g. when Mickey mentions bad sportsmanship, all the goofies take on a sinister and villainous looking appearance, to show how much they enjoy committing these deeds and to make the target audience feel the dread of this situation. The colours used contradict this on the other hand, they show that while the tale does get pretty dark, the show and the tale are still quite light and cheerful, which in turn makes the target audience feel these said emotion.

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