Friday, December 19, 2008


Most books on animation including Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston’s, “The Illusion of Life” warn against drawing mirrored poses or having the same timing on body gestures that echo each other. The term is called ‘Twinning' and the argument is that asymmetry is more natural. Perhaps this is true in a still image to prevent stiffness and to give interest, but I find it happening in live performances again and again. I also recall ‘twinning’ in Disney’s “The Wind in the Willows” segment where Mr. Toad goes car crazy. Now John Kricfalusi has posted some images from Disney’s “Song of the South” that sure look like ‘twinning’ to me. I guess when you make the rules you can break them too.

1 comment:

r8r said...

My own opinion is that twinning can be used when the idea is to convey uncomplicated, ingenuous emotion. Or guilelessness, or honesty.

Asymmetry, in the body or the face, seems appropriate when the intention is layered, nuanced, uncertain or equivocal.

Just my opinion, from watching people in real life. I've always heard the warning against twinning too, but I don't think it's always true.