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Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes Volume 1 by Don Hahn, Walt Stanchfield

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147 Gestural Symbolism

When we draw, we in a sense, draw symbols. For instance when we draw a hand it is not a real hand, it is a symbol of a hand. To a viewer, though, it is a hand. Due to the standardized use of body language, most gestures have actually become symbols. As an example, by certain manipulations of the fingers you can create a symbol of prayer, obscenity, stop or go, stay or come, accusation, just a minute, shhhh, I’d like a ride, and many others.

In animation we make use of those facts. We not only move our characters around the stage, but we have them deliver their lines and their actions in symbolic ways. That is the fastest and surest way of communicating our story. There need be no worry that using these symbols will lead ...

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