A Common Theme In Low-Budget Animation Is Characters With?
If you dip back into the archives of 20th century animation, you may quickly notice a trend that was, perhaps, lost on you as a child. The vast majority of cartoon characters in your run-of-the-mill daily animation shorts have some sort of neck adornment, be it a collar of some sort, a necklace, a tie, or anything of similar size and composition.
In the image seen here, for example, showing Ranger Smith, Yogi Bear, Cindy Bear, and Boo-Boo Bear, from the very popular Yogi Bear animation franchise, you’ll notice that all four of them (including Yogi Bear who, inexplicably, is wearing a shirt collar and tie with no shirt) have a neck adornment of some sort.
The reason for this has nothing to do with 20th century fashion sensibilities and everything to do with budget animation practices. High end animation, like that seen in Walt Disney feature films, involves a total redraw of every character and moving object in every frame of every scene. While the end result is superior, it’s also incredibly time consuming and expensive.
To cut down on expenses for lower budget productions, animators would use a simple trick: separating the body from the head with some sort of adornment to break the two up. In that way, you could avoid redrawing Yogi Bear’s body if he wasn’t moving and only redraw his head, from the collar line up, if he was talking or making a facial expression. By doing so, animators saved hundreds of hours worth of additional work and were able to produce television cartoon shorts at a rapid enough pace to meet production deadlines.