The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

The student news site of Wilmington Friends School

The Whittier Miscellany

Patriotic Parking Lot
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Kendall Law, Staff Writer • April 1, 2024
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Whittier StaffApril 1, 2024
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Erewon in the Cafeteria
Sarah Levenson, Staff Writer • April 1, 2024
New Head of School: Suga-Sheed
New Head of School: Suga-Sheed
Mitchell Brenner, Staff Writer • April 1, 2024

Into the Spider-Verse’s Take on Unorthodox

The Pixar animation look and style are recognizable instantly. From the way shadows reflect off Rex in Toy Story to a blurry background in The Incredibles when the camera focuses on the main characters, Pixar films attained an identifiable animation style that combines unrealistic characters with visual effects that apply to the real world. Though these movies undoubtedly changed animation for the better, they set the precedent of high-standard billion-dollar gains from animated films. Thus, to chase after the Pixar “dream”, many creators chose to mimic the same category of realistic animation styles, confining the endless spectrum of animation to an art style that reflects reality. This all changed on December 14th, 2018, when the critically acclaimed Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse, was released.

 

Into the Spider-Verse stretched the creative boundaries that many animated films obey. Experimenting with vibrant colors pops in texture, and a jittery comic book art style which adhered to the origins of Miles Morales, Into the Spider-Verse took important steps towards creative liberty and an evolution of art. Essentially, the Spider-Verse walked so that the future of animation could run. Miles Morales and the rest of his saving-the-world crew of Spider-abled heroes move, talk, and fight at a shuddery pace. Into the Spider-Verse is animated at 24 frames per second regularly. However, in a movie with such attention to detail, what is “usual” is often tweaked to convey a theme or idea. For example, Miles Morales is animated in 12 frames per second while fighting to highlight his clumsiness as an 8th grader with new spider abilities, juxtaposing the smooth and well-adapted movements of Miles’ mentor, Peter.

 

Additionally, the film’s VFX supervisor, Danny Dimian made the conscious choice to avoid motion blur, contributing to the crisp outcome of every panel animated with care. The shift between the rapidness of the change in each panel only further pushed the comic book 2D style, while also spotlighting the intensity of action scenes. In contrast, nearly every Disney-Pixar movie is edited consistently at 24 fps with softening motion blur. “The whole movie is grounded with what we call stepped animation. That means the animation doesn’t change every single frame; characters will be held up for one frame, two frames, three frames so that their motion looks jittery,” says Damian. As we all know, creating an animated film from scratch requires a dedicated team of animators like Dimian, artists, and video producers. Additionally, investors are important to a film’s production quality and budget. These benefactors finance the highly demanding budget of studio-produced animated movies. In turn, investors often seek out projects that guarantee them substantial profit. More often than not, it is not that designers lack creativity and uniqueness in the ideas of creating a movie. It’s that the investors upholding these ideas are hesitant to take a shot in the dark at the unfamiliar. Instead, they chase after the dream Pixar Disney look, one that guarantees them stability and baseline interest. “When I was in art school, we had people from Disney come to recruit artists. They made it clear that if you came to work at Disney, you would not be a craftsperson, you would be a work person. As an art student that was really hard to hear,” says Mary Robertson.

 

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About the Contributor
Lucy Cericola, Staff Writer
Lucy Cericola has written for the Whittier since the fall of the 2021 school year. She realized at a young age that she had a passion for film and music and that she enjoyed writing about her interests creatively. Lucy's aspirations for the future include wanting to pursue a career in film, specifically film directing. As a backup occupation, she wishes to be a social worker and help aid kids placed in foster care. Lucy additionally clerks the school's Music Club alongside sophomore Layla Baynes and takes part in the Gender Sexuality Alliance, the Asian Student Union, and the Modern Women's Club. Throughout the past school year, she has enjoyed writing articles ranging from Spider-Man to Hannah Montana and women in television.

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