Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Laws of Physics in an Animation Universe - Term Paper Outline

Fantastic Mr. Fox - stop motion animation

Fantastic Mr. Fox strays from the world of physics by using gravity defying movement, morphing sizes and improper arcs.

Defying gravity
  • The squirrels moving the Fox's into their tree-home defy gravity by walking on their hind legs in a supine position up the side of the tree as if there is no gravity pulling at them. In the same manner when the Fox's are digging to get away from the farmers trying to kill them; they dig in the same supine manner seeming to walk down the side of the tunnel as they dig.
  • The Fox's and other quadrupeds walk around on their hind legs like humans. The Fox's will jump great heights from a standstill and do flips and cartwheels appearing weightless.

Morphing sizes
  • The tree-home the Fox's live in is bigger on the inside than what is physically possible from the outside of the tree.
  • The size of the Fox's and other animals will change in size ratio to suit their environment. In one scene Mr. Fox and Rat fight with the rat being the same size as the fox. In another scene Mr. Fox is the size of an apple cider jug then his tail is blown off and worn by a human as a normal sized necktie.
  • One character that stays the correct size ratio to the other animals is the field mouse tailor. While the other animals with no credence to what their actual size comparison is are all an equal size to each other. 

Improper arcs
  • When Mr. Fox pops the cork out of a champagne bottle (which is at a 60 degree angle) the cork has an arc that acts like a boomerang defying it's natural arc so that Mr. Fox can catch it with out moving.
  • They also throw ignited pinecones out of the bottom of a sewer which appear to travel at a 60 degree angle. The scene then cuts to the pinecones entering at an angle of 30-40 degrees, and seem as if they are being self-propelled landing at specific destinations at different distances.
  • In contrast to these improper arc paths, whenever the characters are jumping or moving they follow a true arc.
The use of these physics defying scenes is done with entertainment as the driving point. A movie with proper physics in place staring animals would be pretty dull. The scenes where the laws physics are being "bent" help to pull the audience into the film and forget reality.

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