Monday, April 13, 2015

Road to El Dorado Posing Breakdown

There is a lot about "The Road to El Dorado" that I really enjoyed.  Fantastic animation from James Baxter and many other animators, superb character design, witty dialogue but what I liked best were the staging choices from this film. In the sequence below, the heroes, Miguel and Tulio, narrowly escape death by giant rampaging stone jaguar and end up on the ceremonial ledge leading to Xibalba (or a long drop off the cliff to a whirlpool below).  The situation presented here consists not only of how will the two get past the blood thirsty Tzekel-Kan but how to get the two heroes to confront the growing animosity toward each other while moving safely away from the cliff edge?  I really love this part in how the film makers found their answer.  So I grabbed and split the scene up shot by shot showing many main keys along the way. James Baxter's Tulio acting to Kevin Kline's dialogue is absolutely brilliant here, but watch how Tulio tries to encourage Miguel into conning Tzekel-Kan and Miguel wanting nothing to do with it. So Tulio tosses Miguel toward Tzekel-Kan as the two heroes argue. Slowly, with great subtlety, the two walk past the antagonist and hit each other, ending by landing a double punch on Tzekel-Kan's face, thereby sending Tzekel-Kan to the cliff edge and allowing Tulio and Miguel to take the place of safety.  This is fantastic scene planning from story and layout all the way through to final animation.

Shot 1 from this sequence.
Shot 5 keys
Shot 6 keys
Shot 7
Shot 8
Shot 9
Shot 10 keys (actually a camera move)
Shot 11 keys
Shot 12 keys
Shot 13 keys
Shot 14 keys
Shot 15 keys
Shot 16 keys
Shot 17 keys (So great!)
Shot 18 keys
Shot 19 keys
Shot 20 keys
Shot 21 keys
Shot 22 keys
Shot 23 keys
Shot 24 keys
Shot 25 keys
Shot 26 keys (Note Camera move around Tzekel-Kan)
Shot 27 keys
Shot 28 keys
Shot 29 keys
Shot 30 keys
Shot 31 keys
Shot 32 keys
Shot 33 keys
Shot 34 keys
Tzekel-Kan slides to a stop at the cliff's edge.  If you'd like to see this scene click here.  That link is actually the whole movie if you want to watch it.  I suggest you watch the dice game and sword fight in the alleyway at the beginning as well.  Practice good staging!  Thanks for stopping by.

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