3.4b: Animal Farm

The Task

Minnie Mouse, Danger Mouse, Tom and Jerry, Gromit, Watership Down, it’s often hard to name an animation which is about people rather than animals pretending to be people. The term anthropomorphism describes this process of superimposing human characteristics onto animals, and animation seems to do it a lot.
With this in mind, develop an animal character that is capable of showing a range of emotions, movements and reactions to different situations. Come up with extreme examples such as ecstatic or terrified; though you might also want to work with mildly pleased or startled, it’s much easier to work with stronger emotions first of all. Explore what these expressions might look like extended into the body – ecstatic and hopping, terrified and running, for example.
Develop a range of drawings showing your character from different angles, with different expressions and in different poses. You may want to develop some model-making as part of this exercise, using plasticine or exploring the options puppetry gives you.

Zemni – a blind molerat

For this task I wanted to play with animating characters for my two alter egos:

ZemniFree Dictionary (Zool.) The blind molerat ‘Spalax typhlus’ native of Eastern Europe and Asia. Its eyes and ears are rudimentary, and its fur is soft and brownish, more or less tinged with gray. It constructs extensive burrows.

Baby Zemni with itchy nose
Young Zemni uncertain about the world
Zemni searching in the dark
Zemni bemused
Zemni curious
Zemni poised for action
Mafia Zemni
Greedy Zemni
Zemni wretched
Zemni depressed
Zemni on the rampage
Zemni scream
First sketches
Rat and Mole photos

Other ideas

Frog
Hairy Harriet Spider
Facial expression doodles