Of course in animation there are always different styles when you do anything like there are different styles of walking, expressions, throwing objects and just general actions. Some animations like to take the more realistic route with precise animations that really show how that action would be done in real life, How would the arm move? Would the elbow turn? How should the hips react? The realistic approach is challenging to say the least as you are having to make this rig look and act real when fighting another monster or person. this Post is gonna be looking at the more realistic approach to combat in animation.
My first example will be Kung Fu Panda as some of the fighting in that really reminisces Martial Arts and yes, some of it is a bit more cartoon and wacky but a movie with a panda and a tiger fighting with Kung Fu, there is bound to be some wacky stuff. Nevertheless, some of the fighting in this movie is outstanding, even for the animals like the snake and the crane, where they would have obviously had to think of something outside of the box to make them look like they’re doing Kung Fu. In an interview with some of the directors and co-directors, they talked about the process of how they actually got the Choreography to work with all of these different animals.
“He actually came up with a unique system for doing the martial arts in our film. Originally, when the film was starting to be conceived, we didn’t think should was ask someone like Jackie Chan to be our fight choreographer. We figured out that in doing an animated movie that it wasn’t going to work. We needed to come up with our own system. All of our characters were animals and some don’t even have legs. One was a snake. Another was an insect. We had to come up with something unique. That’s where we came up with our own system internally. I know when we showed Jackie Chan some of the sequences, he was thrilled personally. He was very complementary.” This was a quote from one of the Directors John Stevenson about how they had to do a workaround for the Choreography. “What we actually did isn’t exactly true monkey or crane style. We had to come up with our own version so we could maximise on each character’s physique. For instance, a crane actually uses his beak to jab with. Humans use a pointed hand to imitate this. But our crane doesn’t have hands for fingers, so we went had to come up with our own solution to it.” This is a quote from the Joint Director, Mark Osborne on how their thought process was when doing the fighting for some of the more difficult animals like the snake or crane. One of my favourite parts about all this is the fact that it is all keyframe animation and with how fluent with it, I was more impressed when re watching this film. They also had a Choreographer called Rodolphe Guenoden who also supervised the animators and story artists to really nail those fight scenes so when it comes to doing fighting and choreography, the Directors of Kung Fu Panda went hard to nail it and they certainly did.