The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

Draw a Man Like a Woman

Favorite Freds. I struggled with how I was going to pose Fred as he struggled with Quiche’s leash. I finally threw up my hands and just animated his as a woman. It’s my film, so I can make a guy as effeminate as I wish. My decision was redeemed when I noticed that the Pink Panther was animated in the same way in one his shorts involving a snake like rope.
Thank you Depatie-Freeling.

Weight distribution was handled by narrowing Fred’s shoulders. Fred’s design became a snap after that. A rectangular suits the character and adds to his mobility. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to move around Optimus Prime body types, but until then I am happy to draw Rectangle Man.
Fred is more of an average joe in a snazzy suit anyways.
While I’m on the subject, let’s hear for the funny average guy. He may not be captain of the football team, but his creativity and humor still charm 🙂


John Cryer is so much fun in this film. Furthermore, his style isn’t too far from Fred Snyder’s, so it’s a good fit:)

Now on to a wimpy, neurotic guy who can be offputting, but when he’s funny, he truly funny: Woody Allen

The Lobster sequence from Annie Hall

I get pretty hung up on what a guys does vs. what a girl does in regards to mannerisms.
The hangup started in Cal Arts and at Warner Bros. My school mates told be that all my renditions of Don Quixote looked like girls ( I was designing a rock star version of Quixote after Prince) and then there was a another time at WB.
I was drawing an characiture of an absent storyboard artist on the dry erase bpard. I always flatter when I charicature people and I thought the drawing looked a lot like the fellow I was drawing. However, my director told me that my drawing didn’t look like the person intended, but more of a gay man. The session with the dry erase board went on for a while and no matter how chiseled I made the jaw or how rigid I made the shoulders ( which to me translates as masculine) the director said the charicature looked more like the “men of Santa Monica Blvd”, meaning the Gay community of West Hollywood.
Well, I know my director didn’t mean to intimidate me, for my director wasn’t the first to give me this critique, but he was the last straw. Hence, I’ve been self-conscious about drawing men ever since.
The only time someone says “yes that’s a man” when they see my guy drawings is when the character had body hair. There’s gotta be some way besides body hair to convey masculinity in a animated character even when it’s a Dionysus type character like Prince.

Anyhoo, I’m at Sesame Workshop on the Electric Company now, and with my current director’s recent pat on the head regarding a macho superhero I drew, I think I’m finally clearing this hurdle. It’s nice to know that I’ve grown in my art since that fateful day at Warner Bros. Television animation 15 year ago.

Here’s to research, observation and perseverance!


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