Mous..Mus..Moose! Tash.

Link straight to YouTube:
This is a very difficult word for me. I think that a possible part of the problem is the difference in English and American pronunciation, and since I haven’t really thought about it as UK English vs US English before (if that is even the case!) my brain registered one as correct and the other as incorrect, but then forgot which one is which. Right before I have to actually say the word “moustache” the following happens in my head:
1) I see the word written down in my mind, it’s always the “mOUstache” version
2) I hear myself saying it in my mind, and it always comes out as Moose-tash first
3) Doubt sets in. Is it mOOse-tash, or moose-tAsh? Or mAst-ash?
4) Going back to the way it’s spelled, looks like a mooooosetash
5) I start thinking about a moose with facial hair, flouncing around in a fancy suit
6) There’s now more than one moose. Meese. Mooses?
7) Brain freezes, possible blue screen of doom
8) I actually say ‘tache.

Sometimes I bug out and phases 2-8 happen out loud.
And this is before you even hear me try to say “cockroach”. (Coke-roach? Cock-roach? Cock… Hehe! Rooster-roach? But I love chikans, Eddie! I said “cock”! *giggles*! *says ‘roach*)

As usual, the idea for this animation came to me somewhere around 2 or 3 AM. I had just put the baby back to sleep, and I was in that funny state where I wasn’t 100% awake, but not really asleep either. When the theme for July’s Rubber Onion Battle was first announced, my brain wandered in the direction of hair crawling up nostrils, or tripping over and stepping on the ‘tache, even though I wasn’t intending to participate, due to the amount of work I had to do on the book. I kept thinking about it in the back of my mind though, mostly as a challenge, wondering if I could come up with a different, less obvious moustache problem.
This is the part where I should mention that all of the friends I speak English with around here mostly go for the US version, due to the majority of the TV shows, movies and even music being “made in the USA”. The people I talk to mostly these days are, however, UK dwellers that I first met online playing WoW (even though I don’t play anymore due to baby aggro), and they tease me whenever I say things in “American English”. Yes, I now go to shops and not stores, and whenever I ask my husband if he wants any tea I sound like a horrible TV parody show. As a result, my friends and family members over here now tease me about trying to sound British. And I don’t even do this intentionally! Whenever I start thinking about how I should pronounce something I get distracted my odd looking animals and end up making a spectacle of myself. And anyone that saw any of my Boonka videos knows I speak with a pretty strong Russian accent.

Self-conscious rants aside, I decided to ask one of the more prominent UK teasers to help me voice this exercise, and if he agreed and sent his recordings in time for me to make the animation, then I’d do it. He did his bit beautifully, and I had a wide variety of moustaches and sighs to pick from. Thank you again, You-who-chose-to-remain-unnamed, for the time and help! Having someone else participate in this animation exercise gave me more motivation to finish on time, hoping to not let another person down.

Technical-stuff-wise, it’s still frustrating for me to look at my handiwork here:
1) The movement is very choppy, timings and rhythm are a bit off.
2) The funky head design might work in a comic strip, but I butchered it trying to move them in what I thought was a more natural way.
3) I still can’t draw or animate hands to save my life.
4) I struggle to keep the characters consistent, and as a result I’m afraid of moving them and losing their form.
5) Even though I know about the 12 basic principles of animation, I barely use them. I also need to take my Animator’s Survival Kit off the bookshelf and actually reread it. Multiple times.
I filmed myself as reference for the girl, and acted things out in front of a mirror for the guy, and so they look as awkward as I do while trying to “act”. It was still extremely helpful though.

All in all, I’m loving these animation exercises. I try to learn and do something new with each one, and I feel like I’m learning a lot, even though I’ve only done 2 so far.

Oh, and in case Stephen or Rob read this, it took me forever! The clean up alone was about 10 hours, filming myself and finding a mirror to mount on my desk also took longer than expected, and I worked for 2-3 hours a day for at least a week on the animation itself. I am a very slow drawer -.-


7 thoughts on “Mous..Mus..Moose! Tash.

  • I love these behind-the-scenes “making of” blog posts on the battle entries… and wow that’s a lot of cleanup time! I think I mentioned on the youtube video that it was like an interstitial on a tv station or a commercial like those red bull ones… the timing was great. And the same thing I said about style on the last battle talk episode applies here, it all works well as one unit! You may want to have more overlapping action or anticipation but taken as a whole finished project this completely works and works well! It was great actually to not have them move too much because it accented the absurdity of the moose-head-morphing part. So whether you did it on purpose or on accident doesn’t matter… like that guy who crashed his motorcycle into the back of a car and did a flip onto its roof… just act like you meant to do it because it looked cool haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really appreciate the feedback, thank you! Originally I had very little movement planned for them, hence the flat design, but I couldn’t just leave them standing still the entire time! I came to a conclusion that animating very subtle movement is even harder than large gestures, which they trained us for in animation classes. I also start doubting all of my decisions and stuff the more I stare at my animations, so a look from the side is super helpful, thank you so much!


  • I pronounce it the American way and I’m British. Think the last time I pronounced it the British way was when I was 7 or 8, then I went through an American phase and it must’ve stick since then. Yey for American TV!

    Liked by 1 person

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