The Frog, The Dog, and The Devil
December 18, 2017 10:35 PM   Subscribe

The Frog, The Dog, and The Devil (1986) (7’10)

Bob Stenhouse worked largely alone to visualise this luminously-animated ode to the "nation of drunkards" (as New Zealand was tagged in the House of Lords in 1838). A shepherd tricks a Mackenzie barman out of a bottle of ‘Hokonui Lightning', but too much pioneer spirit sees him haunted by the devil's daughter. In 1986 it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short.

Painting with light (0’55) - Short about the animation process.

The Ballad of Bad Whiskey (Chris Robinson) - Bob Stenhouse describes the processes and amount of work required to make this animated short before the ubiquity of computer animation.
“The glowing halo 'neon' effect,” says Stenhouse, “– multiple film exposures on opal glass, sandwiched between layers of underlit artwork – was being used by local television graphic designers at the time for programme titles and promos, and I wondered if the same effect, ‘painting with light’, could enhance a whole short. As well as adding a 'photographic' appearance to the artwork – hard to achieve by hand – it also made quite simple shapes look much more complex. “
This animation was inspired by Ernie Slow’s ballad - The Devil’s Daughter (scroll down for full ballad)
Jack Skinner alone can surely boast
Of having seen the Godley Ghost;
'Twas way up in the Sardine Hut,
Where spooks and phantoms nightly strut,
For there, among the rocks and water,
He saw the famous Devil's daughter….
posted by Start with Dessert (6 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
That was gorgeous, and great fun too! The animation is stunning.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:14 AM on December 19, 2017

THANK YOU! I love Animation!!! I've never seen this!!
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:21 AM on December 19, 2017

Absolutely gorgeous, and delightfully weird.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 6:37 AM on December 19, 2017

Oh wow, this is fantastic. I wanted it to be longer and yet it was just enough.
posted by Fizz at 8:48 AM on December 19, 2017

I don't see any mention of rotoscoping anywhere, but parts of it sure look like that to me. The visual style reminds me a lot actually of Bakshi's Lord of the Rings.
posted by Naberius at 9:24 AM on December 19, 2017

Fuck. I saw this in one of the animation shorts compilations as a kid and it sure looked amazing but I never stopped and thought about how much WORK it was. Up to TWENTY camera passes for the most complex scenes. Nowadays you could probably pile on glow effects like this and do it in a fraction of the time, thanks to digital compositing never, ever screwing up the shooting of a scene and having to start again from scratch.

Oh yeah, and some of those horse shots are definitely roto'd to my eyes. Unsurprising. Horses are hell to draw unless you specialize in nothing but, let alone to animate.

There’s some really interesting things going on with the stylization of the drawings making it look like a moving stained glass window. I kinda want to see what I can do to reverse engineer how some shots were done and rebuild them in Illustrator.
posted by egypturnash at 11:38 AM on December 19, 2017

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