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Joseph Scarbrough launched what he called "The Scarblog" as a way of cataloging his work over the years, as well as going into greater detail of things on his mind (known as "Unfinished Thoughts").

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Even Nick Park Gets It

Quite some time back, I wrote an entry about how sometimes the more flawless and pristine you can make puppets look, the more artificial they appear. As I mentioned, there's a certain warmth and edge in whatever imperfections you may see in puppets (seams, arm rods, pilly fleece, among others) that somehow makes them seem more real and believable; thoughts on the matter seem to differ among puppetry aficionados.

Interestingly enough, this doesn't just apply to puppetry, but also animation as well. Nick Park, the creator of the lovable plasticine duo Wallace & Gromit, and other animators at Aardman Animation, share the exact same mindset, that it's the imperfections that give the characters their warmth and realness - hence why whenever you watch any of the Wallace & Gromit films (or, really, any of Aardman's work), you often see the fingerprints and thumbprints on the characters. For Nick Park, it also goes beyond just a sense of warmth for the characters, but he also feels this is a way of showing a little bit of the artist themselves in their art. I don't even know if the layperson would even understand that, but I definitely think I do: as long as I've been watching and observing anything Muppets for almost all of my life, I can kind of see a little bit of Don Sahlin in the puppets he's built, or Kermit Love, or Caroly Wilcox, or Ed Christie.

To get a better understanding of what I mean, here's a collection of WALLACE & GROMIT'S CRACKING CONTRAPTIONS shorts, as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette, in which you can hear Nick Park and his fellow Aardman artists discuss this very thing (starting at the 20:14 mark):

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