Monday, October 29, 2018

The Detail From Coco No One Noticed that Blew My Mind

As a filmmaker I pay attention to the details in films. Making a film requires so many people, and little if anything ends up in a movie by accident. In live action movies there are accidents here and there, changed lines on the fly, background characters who weren't supposed to be in a shot etc...but in animated movies literally nothing ends up in the finished product by accident. For this reason I try to watch animated movies even more carefully, but it wasn't until I really looked at Miguel from Coco that I noticed something.

     I'm no great artist, but I draw for fun and to amuse my kids (usually when they are getting rowdy at church). One particular week they were getting really bored so I asked what they wanted me to draw and they requested Miguel. I found a picture of him for reference and started drawing.

    I admire Pixar for their incredible storytelling, even the worst of their movies (everyone has a different opinion on which this is) is still great. More than their storytelling though I have come to admire their attention to detail. As I drew Miguel I felt like he looked just like I would expect him to, but then I noticed something that caught me off guard. His clothing is all a bit worn as would be expected, he dresses like a working class boy would likely dress except one small detail. His shoes. As I worked my way down in the drawing I kept noticing how nice his shoes were. They are beat up and worn, but they aren't the typical crappy tennis shoes I would have expected him to wear, they are (or at least were not long ago) fairly nice shoes for someone in his position in life.

     For a few minutes as I drew it didn't dawn on me why exactly this would be, and then it hit me. His family are shoemakers. Naturally the one nice thing he would wear would be his shoes. It actually occurred to the animators to plan for this. I'll include the reference image I used for my drawing so you can see for yourself. It's a micro detail but it floored me, and frankly inspired me to try to work harder on the details of my own projects.

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