Out on a Limb
Out on a Limb
Sketching Bone by Bone from Joint to Joint at the Zoo
This chapter examines limb sketches by focusing on the work of cartoon animator Chuck Jones. From pinniped to pachyderm, limbs differ dramatically in order to accomplish crucial functions, and zoos are well suited to the study of this diversity. Creatures held captive in zoos or animated with exaggeration in cartoons can get close looks, affording an investigator the opportunity to figure out whether, for example, elephants have knees or seals have heels—and maybe even hips. In his autobiography, Chuck Amuck, Jones recounted the story of animating Rudyard Kipling's tale “The White Seal” as a Disney production. To improve his animation, Jones went to the San Diego Zoo, where he observed sea lions. This chapter imagines a sketching tour of a zoo guided by Jones and his animator team and considers sketching animal limbs from torso to toe tip as a way to engage zoo visitors in comparative anatomy. It also discusses the importance of limbs and classification on the basis of limb anatomy.
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