Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Animation Time line - Raymond Briggs (1934 - Present)

Figure 1, (2011), When the Wind Blows Still 1

Raymond Briggs is a cartoonist and graphic novelist, who has produced hand drawn animations for adults and children. His best known work is The Snowman, which was entirely wordless and produced only in crayon. "The simplicity of the story (a boy makes a snowman which comes to life and takes him on a magical flight through the night sky) only serves to heighten the tragedy of it's ending: when a boy wakes up the morning after, the snowman has been reduced to a puddle." (Secher, 2007) Briggs has visualised the magic of Christmas and imagination as exciting and fast pace but also allows the story to slowly build up to the what has to happen in the final act which captures the real world of when a child loses their snowman as the temperature raises and they are devastated. Briggs continued this simplistic style to create more adult based content which captures a real event that has happened, in the case of When the Wind Blows, tells the story of an elderly retired couple living in a rural cottage when a bomb strikes. Both these characters survive and at first it seems to be that the shelter protected them, until the story plays out and the viewer witnesses the effects of the fall out radiation take over and the symptoms are clearly show in their appearance. The mood of this story turns dark as the area looked pretty in the beginning until the bomb hits and changes the tone and reduces the countryside to rubble, emphasising the impact of a sudden disaster. "Written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs, When the Wind Blows was his first attempt at an adult graphic novel. Released in 1982 ... A heavy topic, but the dark, yet compassionate sense of humour pervading the book lightens the mood somewhat. Twinned with the cosy, pastel shaded art - work, the unsettling, yet warm - hearted story closely examines the initial effects of a disaster on two people who have never done anything to deserve it." (Ciao Reviewer, 2011) The point in this quote explores how Brigg's soft pastel style makes the animation seem more friendly but it also entails a serious fact of how a person would try to fight an unstoppable force and how in the end they are beaten.

Figure 2, (2011), When the Wind Blows Still 2

Figure 3, (2010), The Snowman

Briggs continued to produce works for children in the form of a television series, including The Bear recapturing the lovable quality of The Snowman  of a child's bond to the bear. "The Bear has all the marks of a classic. Lauded by animal rights groups for it's respect for the integrity of all species, it manages to speak out eloquently against the senseless hunting of wildlife without having to depict killing to make it's point. Instead, it emphasizes the ties that bind the human and animal worlds together." (Brussat, 2009) Briggs has managed to implant a series message in his animations but still retain the soft appropriate style that allows any age range to view it and in the Bear, it is to protect and look after the animal kingdom without showing all the horror and darkness.

Figure 4, (2011), The Bear


Figure 1, (2011), When the Wind Blows Still 1, @ , Accessed on: 2009

Figure 2, (2011), When the Wind Blows Still 2, @, Accessed on: 19th September 2005

Figure 3, (2010), The Snowman, @, Accessed on: 24th December 2004

Figure 4, (2011), The Bear, @, Accessed on: 2011


Brussat Frederic and Mary Ann, (2009), Spirituality and Practice - The Bear, @, Accessed on: 21st August 2002

Ciao Reviewer, (2011), CIAO - When the Wind Blows, @, Accessed on: 27th May 2009

Secher Benjamin, (2007), The Telegraph - The Snowman, @, Accessed on: 24th December 2007

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