Friday, May 16, 2014

"Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel" - '30s-Themed Video Game Animation

Fleish Cherry Crazy Hotel
"Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel."

"Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel." There's a whole world out there of video game animation which I don't really go into much on this site because this is more for films, not games. However, I'll make an exception for this Trailer because it focuses more on the graphics than on the game itself. Also, it's an interesting attempt to create a modern video with a '30s feel, and as such required all sorts of choices as to what, exactly, a '30s animation was all about.

The question of "how do you make a character look like a toon from the '30s" like Betty Boop or Olive Oyl occupies some folks endlessly. It's not an easy question to answer. The characters were stylized, for sure, but what does that really mean?

Well, aside from everything being in black and white, different people have different answers to that question. For me, it involves emphasizing the head and its features - lips, eyes, hair - and pretty much disregarding the body except as an appendage that is completely fluid but other unchanging. The eyes generally get a big, innocent look, and the hair is featureless and usually black. How you play with those unwritten rules determines your character.

Olive Oyl Popeye

Thus, Olive Oyl from Popeye has a long, pencil-thin body that practically waves in the wind it is so fluid. She is not meant to be sexual, but rather ordinary, with a huge beating heart to show her emotion rather than curves in her body.

Olive Oyl Popeye

Betty Boop's head is drawn much larger than her body, with owl-like eyes, but she is given sex appeal. Her body, while smaller in proportion to the head, has all sorts of curves. A lot more girls seem to b entranced by the Betty Boop character than the Olive Oyl one, even though Popeye was by far the more popular comic series, probably because Boop is drawn in a much more feminine style.

Of course, there are a lot more ways to establish a '30s feel than just how the character is drawn. The banjo music or whatever it is in the "Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel" clip certainly adds to the time period, once again illustrating how important music is. The setting also has all sorts of little '30s details.

You can draw your own conclusions as to how good a job the animator did. It's obviously a worthy effort, though playing around with things like the head size and so forth on the female character would have sealed the deal and given her a unique '30s style similar to that of Olive Oyl or Betty Boop.

You could compare this to the excerpt from a similar effort that accompanied "Frozen," "Get a Horse." The latter animation had the full resources of the Disney empire behind it, and is a complex bit of graphics that capture the characters of the time. This video, "Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel," of course, had to go a different route by recreating the look as opposed to the characters

From the youtube page:

You can download the demo here:


No comments:

Post a Comment