Above: "Escape!!! of the Gingerbread Man" sketches from nearly 10 yrs ago!
I wanted to share a little more "Gingerbread" inspiration. I realized just today that I have been kicking this idea around for almost a decade! ... and am only getting to it now. Maurice Noble was involved early on this a few other projects we were cooking up called "Noble Tales"... he, and his group of trainees used to sit around his pool, drink cokes, eat cookies, and talk gags and story.
Above: A few of the "Noble Tales" short ideas that were in development by Maurice, and his trainees... the "Noble Boys".
Maurice is best known for his work at Warner Bros. and he explained why people loved the "Golden Oldie" cartoons of the 1940s & 50's. He also explained why after over 50 years... people still love them. He wanted to infuse the same elements into the cartoons we were trying to make. Here are just a few of those elements:
1. The shorts should be well designed and entertaining.
2. Don't make "children's films"... Explore mature themes... but with class.
3. The films should give an "impression" of a place, rather than a realistic view.
4. Don't forget the "craft" of film making... a small budget film doesn't have to look or feel low budget... make them look great ... and stand out from tv fare. It will pay off in the long run when people want to watch them again and again.
Maurice talked about a lot of other things as well... some of which I will share here at a later time... but really don't have time for now.
Here are two films that have made a huge impression on me over the years... and have had a big influence on "Escape!!! of the Gingerbread Man".
"Little Rural Riding Hood" -Tex Avery
The characters are great! Watch how each character has a specific movement style that matches their personalities. And even though there is a lot happening... and a lot of fast paced stuff... there really isn't all that much cutting. Tex really sets a stage, and lets the characters act on it.
"Together in the Weather" -George Pal
Just great writing, and a great delivery. Part of the Noble Tales series was meant to be a mix between whats best about animation, and whats best about traditional "oral storytelling". The only negative thing I have to say about this cartoon is that sometimes its difficult to understand what the narrator is saying. But for 90% of the film... its just great voice acting and delivery.