Incredible Commentary: Geeks From Another World

I’ve watched a lot of movies stuck here on the couch (except for a couple nerdy hours today when I went back to work to give a presentation to almost 200 people, but we won’t talk about that now). I’ve gone so far as to start watching the commentaries on movies I’ve seen before. I never watch commentaries. Most of them are really boring. But, I’ve found a couple really, really good ones, and they’re both from the same movie!
The Incredibles has a really nerdy animator commentary that’s way too revealing about the neurosis of nerds. You get a peek into the never-perfect (in their mind) world of animators, obsessing over displayed-for-a-second hand gestures and eyebrow raises, gleeful geek-joy at getting to animate a scene with two guys talking in a car (yeah, I know). It’s just brilliant to me to peek into another World of Geeks, full of new vocabulary but the same passion for craft and the same obsessive search for perfection. It’s fun, and really enlightening about the whole process of animation.
The “main” commentary is fun after watching the first. The Animators commentary is the “victim” commentary, where Brad Bird (the director) inflicted all of these really hard things on them. In the main documentary you get the director and producer’s justification for the “pain” they caused the animators, and usually with throwaway lines that belie the pain they caused the animators. Isn’t that always the way it is? The idea folks never care/realize how difficult it is to create the idea they come up with. I think that Brad Bird does, being an animator himself, but it’s funny to hear the differences between the two “versions” of the story.

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