Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's the Cat

Mark Kausler's animated short, It's the Cat, is now available for purchase at MyToons. Set to a 1920s recording by Harry Reser's Syncopaters, the cheefully amoral cat plays pranks on the moon, a dog and the three blind mice. You can see the above preview in a larger size at the MyToons link above.

I love this film because of the intricate synchronization of the animation and soundtrack. While the actual cartoons of the time period often just bounce repetitively to the musical beat, Kausler is constantly animating accents to hit off beats and notes in a very sophisticated way. The above clip really doesn't do the film justice as it stops before the most interesting animation.

As I'm going to be teaching a workshop on animating to music in May and June, I was interested in Mark's process for dealing with the synchronization. He gave me a very detailed description of his process here. Scroll down for his comment.

Mark is known both for his animation on films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and his extensive knowledge of animation history. I'm sure it was his love of the latter that prompted him (and producer Greg Ford) to ink and paint the animation on actual cels and shoot it on a film camera stand. This is as old school as it gets. This film was made over a 10 year period, as Mark was busy with professional assignments. This film is a small gem and I understand that Mark has already completed the pencil test for his next short. That's something to look forward to.

I've added Mark's link to the list at right. It should have been there a long time ago.


Mitch K said...

There's something beautiful about the quality of hand painted cells.

I love this one. I saw it a while ago when CartoonBrew was offering it.

Where and when are you teaching your workshop on animating to music?

Mark Mayerson said...

Details are still being worked out, but it will be at Sheridan in May and June. I'll post the details when they're final.

Mitch K said...

Thanks Mark!