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  • Top 5 Edited Live Action Movie With Talking Animal

    Top 5 Edited Live Action Movie With Talking Animal

    July 17, 2009, 12:32 pm
    I just recently finished compositing some shots for a live-action Disney DVD film (soon to come) involving talking animals. This is the first time that I’ve really done anything like that, and although I wasn’t editing, I could appreciate how difficult it can be to edit a film with animal actors as I saw the shots come in. And it’s difficult regardless of if they have moving mouths or not. Animals aren’t really "acting" on their free will as humans do, so discerning which take is the best has to with a mixture of the action being performed properly (pun intended) as well as juxtaposing the action with another action to convey an accurate sense of emotion, which 95% of animals (arguably) don’t naturally exhibit.

    Criteria:
    - Live action movie with animals that talk
    - Editing successfully anthropomorphises animals to convey emotion/performance
    - 75-100% of animal performance is a real animal (not CGI/puppet)
    Top 5 Edited Live Action Movie With Talking Animal
    5. Charlotte’s Web (2006)

    The strengths of this film lie in some creative transitions, but ultimately I was disappointed by the amount of CG pig replacement (back-flipping pigs? C’mon!). However, there still was enough real pig that it still fits the criteria. The montage was smooth but the pacing was slower than today’s ADD kids would appreciate (maybe that’s a good thing).
    Top 5 Edited Live Action Movie With Talking Animal
    4. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

    This movie is not only great because of its sentimental value (I grew up with this film and nearly all the kids in my generation still love this film) but because the mouths don’t move. The animals in Homeward Bound are never replaced with puppets, nor are they CGI in any way, shape, or form. Finally, the animals aren’t constantly "performing" in the sense that what they do isn’t over-choreographed. Consequently, the animals seem more like animals than animals trying to be people. Editing with this is probably much more difficult, and it shows with the poor montage. That said, the content and characters were strong enough to stick in the heads of an entire generation.
    Top 5 Edited Live Action Movie With Talking Animal
    3. Dr. Dolittle (1998)

    Here we have our straightforward Hollywood comedy that follows all the rules and is fun to watch, but isn’t as artful as it could be (as Tarkovsky would argue, made for entertainment rather than art). The montage is very clear and ultimately the takes chosen are good— we the viewers get the idea that all the animals are reacting in human ways.
    Top 5 Edited Live Action Movie With Talking Animal
    2. Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)

    At first I was apprehensive in sitting and watching this film (especially after working on the sequel— coming soon!), but I have to say it surprised me with how cute, fun, and well edited it turned out to be. The choice of takes were dead on during sequences where the dogs were talking to one another, and there was one particularly inspired scene with a praying dog. With all of this, we lose a lot of the "animal-ness" because the dogs are treated (in an editing-the-performance context) like humans, but on the same token it’s pretty amazing how much like humans they managed to make the dogs seem.
    Top 5 Edited Live Action Movie With Talking Animal
    1. Babe (1995)

    Another one close to my heart from my childhood years! However, with Babe there is a significant difference in editing style, in that it is quite artful as if it were a picture book. Not only is the montage and pacing spot on, but also the continuity is as though the scene actually happened in one take with multiple cameras exactly how we see it on screen. On top of that, the animals never lose their "animal-ness" because Babe exhibits the perfect balance of CG, real, and puppet. I still get emotional with it!

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  • Other Postings By Member
    • Light Sabre Battles! (v)
      EDITING

      Light Sabre Battles! (v)

      January 18, 2012, 3:00 pm
      As an interesting note, it was conveniently blocked by FOX just as the internet is on blackout strike today in solidarity against SOPA. American friends, please be aware that if SOPA passes, videos like this where I attempt to teach about film editing in a fun way will not be available anymore, even if I am in compliance with the Fair Use clause— in fact, I could be shut down, fined, and/or jailed without due process. If you like the internet and the ability to find information freely and easily, please educate yourself about this bill, and do whatever you can to stop it from passing!

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    • Top 5 Marx Brothers Films
      EDITING

      Top 5 Marx Brothers Films

      January 4, 2012, 1:19 pm
      First EDL of the new year up! Marx brothers, see? nyaah!

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    • Top 5 Moment of Despair Scenes in a Xmas film (v)
      EDITING

      Top 5 Moment of Despair Scenes in a Xmas film (v)

      December 14, 2011, 4:44 pm
      Have a video version of my very first Christmas blog, the best edited Moments of Despair in a Christmas film!

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    • Top 5 Scenes With a Steam Engine
      EDITING

      Top 5 Scenes With a Steam Engine

      November 30, 2011, 11:29 am
      Check out this week's EDL, featuring the top 5 edited scenes with steam engines!

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    • Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attack Scenes!
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Dinosaur Attack Scenes!

      November 16, 2011, 1:28 pm
      I know I've covered this one in the past, but with the new video format I feel like I can really do some of previous written blogs justice. This one especially!

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    • Top 5 Scenes on a Mountaintop
      EDITING

      Top 5 Scenes on a Mountaintop

      November 3, 2011, 1:54 pm
      Vlog number 3! Scenes on a mountain. See my epic climbing skills (not)...

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    • Top five scenes in a Mad Max film!
      EDITING

      Top five scenes in a Mad Max film!

      October 19, 2011, 1:19 pm
      In Vlog number 2 of the Edit Decision List, I look at the best edited scenes in a Mad Max Movie, as well as manage to completely butcher an Australian accent.

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    • Top 5 Edited Die Hard Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Edited Die Hard Scenes

      October 5, 2011, 12:07 pm
      My very first vlog covers the top 5 scenes in a Die Hard movie!

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    • Top 5 edited scenes in Metropolis
      EDITING

      Top 5 edited scenes in Metropolis

      September 21, 2011, 4:25 pm
      Metropolis is one of the most influential science fiction films of all time, and it's obvious that the editing has a lot to do with it. The expressive nature of the acting is superbly juxtaposed with epically framed shots in such a way that story isn't only easy to follow, but really fun to watch!

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    • Top 5 Back to the Future Scenes
      EDITING

      Top 5 Back to the Future Scenes

      September 7, 2011, 12:16 pm
      Great scott! I must've blown a hole in the space-time continuum with my 1.21 "Jiggawatt" blog entry…

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