Final Major Project: Initial Ideas and Development

2D animation, Animation, Final Major Project, Research, U6_U12

The idea for my final major project animation stemmed from a number of things, but the majority of inspiration comes from my friends and family and the funny incidents that have happened in my life. I also took this as a chance to add some subtle comedic commentary on the modern day, starving student’s experience with self finance.

One of the more profoundly bizarre books that I grew up with was called The Runaway Pancake, originally a Norwegian folktale that probably got translated and illustrated into the form of an English children’s book that I read in nursery. The story was about, well, a pancake that didn’t want to be eaten and ran away from the family that was about to eat it. I loved the story so much, I took it home and read it again and again. It was such a weird story, but clearly back then I must have thought the idea of having to chase your meal as it ran away was incredible. When I was coming up with ideas for the plot of my animation, I thought that basing my animation off of a fairy tale or something similar would be a good, simple baseline to work off of. I must have been hungry at the time, because The Runaway Pancake was strangely the first to come in mind.

Numerous scenes are based off of various events that I’ve been through such as my parent’s wedding, which inspired the brief interruption scene where sushi boy can be seen barging through a couple’s wedding. This didn’t actually happen in reality, but the thought always crossed my mind as rather humourous. The same went for the majority of the other scenes. The people featured throughout the short are mostly based off of my peers and family. The eye bags and messy black hair on sushi boy was taken somewhat from my older brother who would occasionally fill me in on his experiences with living off of dirt cheap snacks in university. And pizza girl’s design and background was based off of one of my good friends who wore glasses and loved history. And the pizza? That came from another friend of mine who ordered me pizza when I was feeling ill a couple of times. I wanted to take this opportunity to make an animation and sort of pay homage to all my friends and family for their support over the years with some wacky, cartoony fun.

The idea to use the William Tell Overture as the main music was decided when I was thinking about what kind of music I could use for a short and comedic sketch. I knew I wanted it to be film with no dialogue; partially because I didn’t want to spend too much time on the sound when the main frame of the work was the animation and also partially because I was hooked on the silent-type comedy that I saw in really classic cartoon shows like Tom & Jerry. I grew up watching the Hanna Barbera show and it had a huge influence on me. Slapstick comedy like that was just silly and wonderfully over-exaggerated so I wanted to go for something like that. And seeing as how instrumental music and classical music played a big part in the Golden Age of animation, I decided to try out something classical. I have a soft spot for classical music myself, having been taught the violin and messing around with my brother’s piano growing up. We didn’t have an alarm clock when I was in primary school, so my mother would use a huge stereo radio and play classical music on max volume every morning to wake me up. Suffice to say it’s been well integrated into my sense of being.

I went back to the town I grew up in to use as a reference for the setting of my animation. I knew that the start would be in a sushi restaurant. But as the sushi would roll away, it needed a setting to essentially roll through. That’s when I took the high street as an inspiration. Spending a day out was quite nostalgic and I had a lot of fun taking photos and looking for ideas.