…was what a friend said about the first Guardians of the Galaxy film.
Good artists do their research, that’s what makes Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks and those folks who brought us Kubo and Coraline so awesome.
You have to understand reality before you can bend it like fence wire.
In GotG, we have a talking anthropomorphic tree (also we had those in Lord of the Rings and Narnia, or at least walking ones in Narnia) and an anthropomorphic raccoon. It’s one thing to do Bugs Bunny in a flat cartoon style, or to do Rocket Raccoon and Groot onn a comic page, but to bring them to life in full blown CGI…
Welp, trees are easy to find and study.
Raccoons may present a bit more of a challenge.
They are, in fact, rather like Rocket; fluffy, tough little omnivores who will jump on your head and try to drown you (if you’re a dog attacking them) …aaaaand rabies vector species.
Raccoons are native to north America (it’s a Virginia Algonquian word), but have been introduced elsewhere: Oreo happens to be a Brit.
When he was born his mother failed to produce milk, leaving Oreo and his littermates without food. Oreo came to us at just two days old, and we took on the job of hand rearing him – this meant round the clock feedings and lots of stress and worry!
His chances of survival were so small, but day after day Oreo continued to defy the odds, and before long he was out of the woods! Thankfully, Oreo has since grown up into a healthy, happy and well-adjusted raccoon. He has the best of both worlds – firstly, he shares his home with other raccoons and so is able to be sociable with others of his kind. But also, due to his unconventional upbringing, Oreo is equally comfortable spending his time with humans as well.
Good news for the GotG animators: they could study the movements and facial expressions of a real raccoon and morph that into one who talks and walks on two legs.
One of my favorite bits in GotG is when Rocket actually runs or climbs on all fours, like a regular raccoon.
Well done artists!