“Seemingly superfluous details help sell the effect at a subconscious level”
Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a fantastic film and was one of the first times I remember feeling oddly drawn to a female character, the archetypal sex symbol that was Jessica Rabbit.
Part of that was no doubt my age but part of it was the incredible job the animators did — by hand and eye — of creating the illusions, especially the illusion of physicality and physical interaction between the ‘Toons and the humans.
This video explains how and that level of commitment to detail is what makes the film stand up even today.
It generated a phrase coined by Disney while working on the movie:
Bumping the Lamp. It means going above and beyond what was expected, to create something genuinely great.
The film explains:
“Seemingly superfluous details help sell the effect at a subconscious level.
The best part of this film is that without having noticed, having no technical knowledge, of the animation process, or the film making has no effect on your enjoyment of Roger Rabbit. It’s an incredible film by its own merit. The storytelling and the heart and the humor, that’s where the true movie magic is.
But it’s those technical subtleties and the dedication to the craft that really inspires new artists and that’s something to be admired.
So, in your work, always take the chance to bump the lamp in your work because somebody out there will notice.”
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