The 3 Rules of Living Animation

Why does Who Framed Roger Rabbit seem so much more integrated with live action and animation than anything before it? "Bumping the lamp," slang that YouTuber kaptainkristian says originated from the film for animators who go above and beyond expectations.

There are a number of etymological retellings of this "bump the lamp" anecdote online, but not much verifiable documentation. It may have emerged as an urban legend from Disney fan sites. Here's a typical version:

Reportedly, Michael Eisner has used this story as an example when promoting how Disney animators go the extra mile when paying attention to details. Details that the audience might not notice. Details that if left out would not have affected box office revenues one bit. So why did it matter enough that the animators did it anyways?

Regardless of its provenance, the phrase is now shorthand for going above and beyond, and the scene will always be an example of masterful animation.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit - The 3 Rules of Living Animation (YouTube / kaptainkristian)

Notable Replies

  1. I believe the Disney Imaginers call that kind of thing "plussing." It's part of the corporate culture there.

  2. I liked the video but saying that the wya the animation in Mary Poppins is done breaks the illusion is a bit much. People, hyperbole is not necessary to sell your point.

  3. A fantastic reminder of what a great film Roger Rabbit is, and why Richard Williams is one of the greatest animators of all time.

  4. I found no hyperbole in that statement at all.

    Even as a kid I couldn't stand to watch them pretend to see the cartoons in Mary Poppins. When I saw Roger Rabbit I totally believed every second of it.

  5. I was born in 72 but didn't see Mary Poppins until some time in the 80s.

    On reflection, I think it's just how flat the animation in Mary Poppins looks when put next to real people. I love the animation but they don't seem to occupy the same world at all. Roger Rabbit characters actually seem to be in the same physical space.

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