Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Well, more accurately, it’s now December, so we truly should be wishing everyone a Happy Boxing Day! May all your boxes be merry and bright! We had a nice time in New Mexico last week, and feel quite rested and rejuvenated. No Turduckens were harmed in the making of our feast. Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.55.37 AM

We learned how to play Chess-Checkers, which is a game conceived of by a mad genius (Lindsey’s five-year-old nephew) that combines Chess, Checkers, and “secret pieces” that seem to change how they operate every turn, obviously.  One minute my rook was just hanging out, minding its own rook-y business, when BLAMMO, along comes a mean ol’ flying Checker piece that ended his fun real quick-like. I’m running out of things to say about board games that won’t turn this entire newsletter into a post about board games, so we should probably take this opportunity to move along now.

Animation is a lot like turkey. My notes indicate that this is the part of the newsletter where I’m directed to “compare turkey facts to animation,” and I’ve never been one to turn down a non-giving-up-muffins challenge, so here goes. According to Sesame Street,

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the turkey was the runner-up in the race to become America’s national bird way back in 17-whatever, which is why it got saddled with becoming a delicious accompaniment to cranberry sauce and stuffing. By contrast, the eagle got to settle down to a cushy life of flying past majestically-flapping star-spangled banners and eating salmon and whatnot.Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 11.13.07 AM

 

In much the same fashion, animation is often thought of as the wackier, less understandable Luigi to the Mario that is filmmaking (I needed a quick metaphor). Whereas Mario’s the one to race to the goal as fast as you can please, Luigi’s the one to bounce all over the place, feet kicking in the air… and, by doing so, will uncover all the secrets and hidden blocks in the level. Every film conveys a message, but its animation that can really explore it.

I need a third paragraph, and I also need to explain that last sentence a bit more, so this works out nicely. There’s an example that Lindsey continually points to, where a police sketch artist had more luck getting witnesses to identify a suspect with exaggerated caricatures rather than true-to-life portraits. It seems that, on occasion, embellishing the qualities of a thing helps to give Joe Newcomer a much better idea of what its all about than simply reporting what it looks like. You’ll probably get the gist of what a 6’2” Irish-Indian male with a cleft jaw looks like just from this sentence, but one cartoon later, and you’ll spot him a mile away. There’s a good reason larger-than-life subject matter in TV commercials are as common as they are, after all.

Oh right, so what does this have to do with turkey? After squinting at this computer screen for a good long while, my answer is that the turkey works a lot like a cartoon does in that it presents the essence of “bird” much better than “eagle” does. What is bird?

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Bird is goofy and awkward, and also a descendent of goofy, awkward dinosaurs like “Therizinosaurus” and “Incisivosaurus.” But it’s still a dinosaur at the end of the day, which is why we eat turkeys for thanksgiving.

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And yes that makes sense, and no, I’m not going to think about it too much more than that. Happy Boxing Day Month everyone!