Facial Expressions & Attitudes Really Can Make A Difference In A Character's Image of Personality!
Compare how the characters act in each version of the cartoon scenes below; Version A makes the main character(s) seem nice, but Version B makes them seem mean!
In Version A of this animated scene, Goldilocks has an apologetic expression on her face, suggesting that she didn't intend to hurt Archy Ant's head under her petting foot. But Version B makes her seem a little bit mischievous, as she smiles & giggles after her foot makes Archy dizzy!
Version A of this recycled scene from the epic comic strip: "Mischief of the 50-Foot Fairy" suggests that Sabrina Pixie is kind-hearted because after she stepped on the 3 men & squished them by accident, she cries. In Version B however, she seems cruel as she wickedly laughs & smiles; she even says this dialogue that suggests that she's proud of her rather mean action!
Version A of this recycled scene that began the story of the epic comic strip: "Royal Ladies" shows Michelle complimenting Danielle's pedicure; she smiles & says positive words. But she frowns & says negative words in Version B that hurt Danielle's feelings! Danielle's facial expression also had to change to suggest that she has been insulted! Notice Danielle's tears; her own sister made her sad with that insulting remark about her feet!
These normally heroic characters didn't seem so heroic in the B-Versions, didn't they? Well the message of this whole Web page is that body language, with words to match, can have great impact when cartoon characters communicate with each other. Actions, facial expressions & gestures all speak louder than words, but these characters were just acting & pretending! In fact, cartoon characters are like imaginary actors & actresses, depending on how the cartoonist plays with them.
If you have characters from your own imagination, do you always have them play reserved roles or do you have them switch roles after each previous story is done? A specific character can play the hero in 1 story, but the exact same character can also play a not so heroic role in a next story! However you have your characters act in your stories, it's your decision what roles you want them to play! That's the wonderful advantage to having a BIG imagination & a BIG cast of characters to fit inside it!
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© Derek Cumberbatch