Posted by: emjb | November 29, 2004

animation geeking, and my drinking problem

Back at work, like all the other drones. Everyone has that just back from vacation vibe, where we spend half the day checking our emails and slowly easing back into the flow of work, like a swimmer inching into the pool.

Me, I’ve got no projects in yet, so my task today will be to string the traditional Christmas lights around my desk. Yes, I’m that girl. I believe that cublcle decoration is the only way to fight the onslaught of taupe and gray that is typical office décor. I have some odd posters, a Bartman sticker, various postcards, and bits of kitsch pinned to my cubicle walls.

I also have the following toys on top of my monitor:

1. Princess Leia and R2-D2 mini figures from, I think, Burger King.
2. A Wyoming shot glass featuring a jackalope.
3. A tiny plastic alien guy.
4. An assortment of multicolored dinosaurs.
5. A Buddha
6. A Japanese soda can a friend got for me. It has the following slogan: “Drink up the “Gokuri” can, you will find the difference!” So true.
7. A lucky quartz rock from my friend Chris.
8. A wooden saki cup.
9. A tiny rubber mermaid.
10. A Jamaica shot glass. (Slogan: “Jamaica: No problem.”)
11. A Famous Women folding block thingy Matt got from some museum.
12. Two beanie baby crabs, both named Claude, one large and one small. A copyeditor was going to throw them out, but I rescued them. They’re too cute to go in the trash.
13. A tiny plastic Breyer horse.
14. A tree-snail shell, sans snail.
15. A black toy duck in a hat.

None of this is valuable or irreplaceable, but it all makes me happy. Also, it seems to indicate some kind of drinking problem.

** ** **

This weekend was all about animation. On Friday, we went to see The Incredibles, which was super double plus good. I have seen some critics sniff that it wasn’t as good as Toy Story, but I disagree. For one thing, the animators got to try their hand at a much bigger world than “suburban ranch house and backyard”; for another, there were fewer cloying messages about friendship and more butt-kicking of bad guys. This is a good thing. Also, no Tim Allen.

My only critique is that, like all CGI, Pixar just can’t do convincing human flesh. All the characters, on close-up, look like they’re made of vinyl. 2-D animation still has the edge, ironically because it’s less detailed. Pixar’s people are always dancing, the tiniest bit, on the edge of the Valley of the Uncanny.

Anyway, we spent Sunday watching more of our Home Movies DVDs. It’s a great show, though you will probably only find it funny if you were a geeky kid who had artistic aspirations and was more than a little high-strung.

While Matt was at the laundromat, I also spent a lot of time watching Fairly Oddparents on Nickelodeon. It’s not a deep show, or even hip and geeky like Home Movies. It’s a kid show. But it’s witty, and the animation and writing are really sharp. The premise is that Timmy has two fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, who grant him his every wish. But every wish can come with bizarre consequences, like when Timmy asked to be “older” and became a paunchy, bald, middle aged man, whom his friends all found creepy and ran away from. Or when he asked to switch places with a dog and got stuck there—he couldn’t wish himself back because Cosmo and Wanda didn’t speak dog.

I’ve always been an animation buff, but I really think we’re in a golden age of animation right now, between Pixar and the Cartoon Network, not to mention the Simpsons, showing just how good animation can be, especially if the writing is there. It makes my geek heart sing.

Well, got to go string my lights. Talk to ya’ll later.

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