Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Noir Wraps and Animation Cats

Over the weekend was a very successful one for writer & co-creator of Watchcat, Gregory J. Bradley, with the help of his producing & co-directing partner Lee Anthony Smith just completed principal photography on of their independent feature, "Noir."

We all did different jobs and roles to make this project happen. I was the special-effects make up artist as well as prop master and even filled in as an actor. But now, after two years of shooting, Noir has finally wrapped principle photography and is now headed for the editing room! Congrats everybody!

And with the new year, we at Watchcat Films are beginning to work on a brand new episode. I'm currently in the process of re-designing our animation workflow. I know its a very exciting thing to talk about, but I have been doing a some research into other films about cats.

There seems to be two types of Cat designs.  
  1. Cartoony cat characters based on real cats, either on two legs or on four.
  2. Stylistic cats in human form who wear human clothing and are bipeds.  
Beginning with a film from 2008 called "Second Wind", Ian Worrel from CalArt, features a very tall legged and stylized cat character who's owner is a tiny white bearded man.  

The cat has very large and expressive eyes with cat like mannerisms. Its a very unique and interesting story about the two characters discovering a windmill spirit character. Very Celtic in its style and presentation.

Another very interesting film is "The Cat Piano" from an Australia studio called the Peoples Republic of Animation. Based on a poem by Eddie White, the co-director of the film with character designs and animation by Ari Gibson and crew. This is a very dark film where I really like the cat designs with human characteristics and the look of night throughout the film. The cats are more human than real cats as if all the cats evolved to become bipeds on an island faaway from mankind.

The classic "Cats don't Dance" is set in more cartoony and upbeat world than "The Cat Piano", featuring the world of working biped animals in 1940s Hollywood.

It features very traditional animation using cartoony cats in period clothing of the era. The story isn't as good as the animation or the character designs, but there are some funny moments.

And then there is Felidae, a 1994 animated feature from Germany which is set in the modern day world. I had never heard of this film before researching this post and after watching it now I know why. This film has a lot of very graphic and adult themes within and I would not show it to kids under 16.  The cats are shown very realisticly in this Film Noir world where cats swear, kill each other and have sex just like real cats!

Spoiler Alert:
The main cat named Francis is the detective cat character who discovers several murdered cats in the neighborhood he's just moved into. Eventually, he meets a blind female cat named Felidae, who is introduced and soon winds up dead. There is way too much dialogue in this film and forget about any musical numbers or humor.

Not for little viewers...

This is film looks like it could have been animated by Don Bluth and could have been retitled, " All Cats go to Hell". After viewing it, I can now see what kind of cat story we need to avoid.   

Do you have a favorite animated film featuring a cat as a main character?  Please let me know in the comment section below.
New Year's Resolution
January 2017 = $26.83 from clicks on the ads on this blog. Help boost this amount by clicking on the ads and when its over $100, Google will send us a check which we will donate to a local animal shelter.