Animation Guild

Winter 2018

Animation Guild | We are 839 Digital Magazine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 47

16 KEYFRAME I N P R O D U C T I O N PRINCESSES OF POWER "I drew from a lot of '70s and '80s sci-fi art, like Moebius and Roger Dean, to capture the feeling of that epic, campy fantasy feel," says showrunner Noelle Stevenson, referencing the world's bizarre and looming shapes. When it came to the characters, though, Stevenson along with Beth Cannon, DreamWorks Animation VP of Development, hoped for a fresh interpretation. To begin with, the team wanted to make the characters appear younger and appeal to a new audience. They reached out to a select group of artists and asked them to compose their version of She-Ra, giving them carte blanche to re-imagine her in any way they wanted. The resulting images served as an initial point of inspiration to create She-Ra's new look. In particular, illustrator Xanthe Bouma drew a character that resonated with Stevenson's vision. "[She] found this amazing, very magical and very fresh language for the characters that was very light and effortless and youthful," says Stevenson. This re-imagination did not come without some backlash from fans of the original series that accused the production of making the character look androgynous. The reaction surprised the team, including character designer Rachael Geiger, who was tasked with developing poses for the characters and setting the style for how expressions are translated from boards to animation. She scoured She-Ra re-runs to review the characters' original expressions while also adapting them to new emotional heights. "I've always been into pushed [or] 'ugly' expressions," she says. Though the production had to rein her in a little, Geiger was allowed to develop emotive expressions. For example, characters grimacing when doing something physically taxing. With a predominant cast of princesses, she adds, it allowed them "to show all types of women [going] through a wide emotional range and not be restricted to being pretty at all times." Once the character design was established, they had another consideration—the importance of simplifying the design to be replicated hundreds of thousands of times by hand. They prioritized strong, iconic shapes to show the characters' personalities and personal style. These iconic shapes included a diverse range of body types, with more realistic shapes and varied weights. Frostine Shake, known as a plus-size ballerina, served as inspiration for Spinnerella; Scorpia's muscular physique was modeled after weightlifter Samantha Wright. "Entrapta was designed to be older but still stands a head below teenaged Adora," says Geiger, adding, "I hope girls with dwarfism or who are just shorter than average can be excited to see themselves reflected in her." —Alexandra Drosu PRINCESSES OF POWER The She-Ra team wanted to include a variety of body shapes in the show. from left: Catra, Adora, Bow, & Glimmer THE LONG-AWAITED SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER REBOOT RECENTLY DEBUTED ON NETFLIX REVEALING A NEW CHAPTER FOR THE ICONIC CHARACTER. ONE THAT APPEALS TO A YOUNGER AUDIENCE AND EMBRACES 1980S INFLUENCES— SUCH AS SHOULDER PADS AND BIG HAIR—INTO THE CHARACTER DESIGN. SHE-RA and associated trademarks and character copyrights are owned by and used under license from Mattel, Inc. Under license to Classic Media. She-Ra and The Princesses Of Power © 2018 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Animation Guild - Winter 2018