Charade: Lessons in Creative Vision from a 1984 College Student
What Goethe has to do with pioneering animation.
By Maria Popova
In the summer of 1984, Sheridan College student Jon Minnis set out to complete an ambitious project, armed with only PANTONE markers and paper. (Cue in this morning’s PANTONE history of the 20th century.) After four months of writing and polishing a clever script, he spent another three meticulously storyboarding and animating it into an elegant, minimalist 4-minute film titled Charade, which Minnis voiced himself.
The gem went on to win the 1985 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and remains a heartening example of dreaming up a project and bringing it single-handedly to life. Or, as Goethe almost put it:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin It! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Charade is available on the altogether excellent 1994 collection World’s Greatest Animation, featuring Academy Award winners and nominees from the years 1978-1991.
Published November 23, 2011