Gene Sheldon – Comedian

If you could make an animated character as funny as Gene Sheldon, you would be doing something great.  Sheldon was a baggy pants comedian, whose character was in the style of the childish man, similar to Harry Langdon.  In this entertaining compilation, note that he is an excellent banjo player.  The lesson is that foolish characters can endear themselves to audiences by showing great skill.

I also like how his loose clothing helps accentuate his motion. Some smart animator could make use of cloth simulation to get the same effect.

Funny Short: Mobile

Mobile is a great short film directed by Verena Fels.

It’s simple, short, and funny.  The characters are super appealing.  I am particularly fond of short stories that wrap up nicely.  Of course, I am attracted by the non verbal nature of the comedy.

Roberto Benigni

Roberto Benigni is one of my favorite film makers.  Like many great comedians he is at his best directing and acting in his own films.  In 1999 his tragicomic film, Life is Beautiful earned him an Oscar for best actor, and a nomination as best director.  I will never forget his reaction to winning, when he was the first and only winner to literally jump to the top of the seats as shown in this clip.

On IMDB, he is credited with this quote about Charlie Chaplin:

Charlie Chaplin used his ass better than any other actor. In all his films his ass is practically the protagonist. For a comic, the ass has incredible importance.

I love his verbal delivery and energy. If you were to read them as text, think how much would be lost from listening to him. Here are two interviews with him for you to learn from.

How To Make Your Writing Funnier.

I stumbled across this nice animated Ted-Ed video about writing comedy by Cheri Steinkeller.  She briefly mentions Commedia Dell’arte, and the archetypes of comedy.  I have an entire chapter on comedic archetypes in my book, and they are all explained with live and animated examples.  If you like this video, you’ll get a lot out of Comedy for Animators.

How to make a slapstick movie: From an Aardman animator

Bram Ttwheam is an animator and visual effects supervisor for Aardman Animation, and he produces idents for The Bristol Silents Slapstick Festival which is held annually in Bristol, England. It is a festival I would love to attend. The festival has a blog where I found this fun short film he created to show his process.

Here is last years ident:

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