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Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses2010 ➔ Itchy Feet – A Study in Mixed Method Animation


Related people/organizations

Daniel J. Kramer (designer)
Anthony Jesse Deen (thesis advisor)
Chris Prentice (thesis advisor)
Anezka Sebek (thesis advisor)
Barbara Morris (thesis advisor)




When Walt Disney began his studios in 1923, they were at the forefront of creating cutting edge animation with their use of sound, color and realistic characters movement. The Disney Studios outlasted all their competitors and became the most successful animation studio in the world. In 1953, after a screening for “Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom”, Walt Disney explicitly banned stylistic experimentation. He complained about the non-Disney Visual style and lack of formal narrative. Although the film won an academy award, this was the last time an animated Disney film would be so brave in its methodology.

In 2010, Disney still dominates the industry by following rules established in the 1930ʼs. The lack of innovation from Disneyʼs has set a standard with in the industry. “If it aint broke, donʼt fix it”.

The move from 2D to 3D animation in the mid 1980ʼs was revolutionary and a new methodology was born. Since then, CG animation has only refined itself to create characters that are hyper realistic and is now the standard everyone is pushed towards. The art of animation and character movement can be expressed in a variety of methods and should be designed to suit the film instead of what the most poplar of cost effective method.

“Itchy Feet” is a 3-minute animation that combines rotoscoping, traditional squash and stretch and live stills. By mixing methodologies in a single film, the animator is free to explore and choose the most effective way to animate each character/ object instead of binding themselves to one style. The audience is given a unique experience that is unlike live action or single method animations. With a narrative Inspired by “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest” by Ken Keasy and “Falling Up” by Shel Silverstein, “Itchy Feet” follows a boy with very itchy feet living in a world where everyone wears locked boots.



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