Whenever Stanchfield mentions about acting in animation, he would talk about getting sensitive to the gesture.

By this he means to be able to first see and feel the motivation behind the pose.
Nicolaides calls it the inner impulse behind the pose and provides excellent exercises to make you capable of touching the gesture (inner impulse) and then develop the pose/s onto it.

Some frames from Brave –


In the world’s most popular acting methodologies developed by Stanislavsky, the key teaching is to be able to generate the inner motivation (current) in reality by the actor on stage (using methods like affective memory), same or similar to the one needed by the character being played on stage.
“ our art you must live the part every moment that you are playing it, and every time.” – Stanislavsky

Some frames from Black Swan-



ACTING is asking you to generate that motivation (current) in reality and let your mind and body respond to it on stage. ANIMATION is asking you to be sensitive to the gesture so you are able to touch and be one with the inner motivation of the animated character, so you are able to create series of gestures most apt for those inner impulses.

Good ACTORS are able to portray very subtle and intricate inner motivation. In ANIMATION it takes lot of effort and is bit difficult to achieve this intricacy.

In ACTING, good actors are able to create intense and pure inner motivation (current), matching the character at that moment of story, BUT its very difficult to keep out trace of mannerism of the actor himself. Same character played by two renowned good actors, one can make out which actor is playing it, even if the face and voice is modulated.

In ANIMATION, since the person is not using his own body, its bit easy to keep one’s mannerism out while generating gestures matching the inner impulses of the established character at that moment of story.

One thing stands large that in both the artforms, its not the outer look and form that is prime, its the inner impulse, motivation, current that communicates, tells the story.

Without this prime factor any system or artform can become “..theatrical claptrap..” – Stanislavsky

This is what happened to the Delsarte system of expression.

“it led others into stereotyped and melodramatic gesticulation, devoid of the very heart that Delsarte had sought to restore.”, Wangh

By Parminder Singh Roobal

Animation Mentor at Arena Chandigarh 17.

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