Richard Williams –
What does he make and how?
Richard Williams was passionate about animation from the age of ten. He started with cell animation, moving onto in recent years computer animation. He is most famous for his work on ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, a film combining acting and animation.
What is the idea behind his work?
Richard animates fictional characters in an extremely life-like fashion. He captures expressions, personalities and characters all with humour in his films. Also, he is very detailed in the movements that he shows in his characters. The way Williams shows animals with human characteristics (anthropomorphism) is unique.
Abe’s Laugh Williams, R. (2001)
What can I extract from his work to help in the development of my work?
Richard Williams was given the great advice from Disney Guru Dick Kelsey:
“First of all kid, learn to draw you can always do the animation stuff later.” p25 Williams, R. (2001).
This is really important to me as I don’t have knowledge of editing work, but I do have the drawing techniques! He was told this at fifteen. From this he has become very stylised with perspective, colour and detail. Reading this made me ‘re-realise’ that drawing is essential to have good quality animations.
p 255 An exam in flexibility Williams, R. (2001)
“Emery Hawkins said to me ‘The only limitation in animation is the person doing it, otherwise there is no limit to what you can do. And why shouldn’t you do it?’ “ p20 Williams, R. (2001).
You can have no boundaries in animation- you can make the most ridiculous and impossible idea come true- this is what I find inspiring about this field.
How and why is he important in his field?
Williams has over his career, won three Oscars and three British Academy Awards (as well as 250 other achievements).
In the 1960’s he could be described as having saved the industry by hiring experienced animators when other companies were letting them go. Richards hired key personnel from DIsney to Warner Brothers to work with his company.
Recently, he can be credited with revamping modern animation and saving it from becoming outdated. His animation masterclasses were turned into a best selling book, series of DVD’s and now a Ipad App.
Are there any related practitioners who are relevant?
Within Cell animation the studios of Hanna Barbera and Disney are directly comparable. However, it should be noted that The Pixar team, having just finished Toy Story , attended his Animated Workshop Series (Wroe, N. (2013)).
Body action Predominating Williams, R. (2001)
What has been said about his work, do I agree?
Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the first feature length movie to blend live action and animation. At the time the critics were very excited about it:
“Dense, satisfying, feverishly inventive and a technical marvel…” (Benson S. 1988)
Still to this day, I watch and enjoy this film, not just due to it’s intense and smooth animation but also the fantastic character design. Not forgetting Jessica Rabbit…
I agree that he is a “pioneer of hand-drawn animation” (Wroe, N. (2013)).
Williams, R. ( 2013) The Animator Survival Kit online, At: http://www.theanimatorssurvivalkit.com/biography.html ( Accessed on 26.10.13)
Wroe, N (2013), Richard Williams: the master animator for The Guardian At: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/apr/19/richard-williams-master-animation,( Accessed on 26.10.13)
Wells, P (2013) , Williams, Richard (1933-), Written for the BFI Reference Guide to British and Irish Film Directors, At: http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/868599/ (Accessed on 26.10.13)