Design Story: Goober Candles
Talbot & Yoon discuss the inspiration behind their blob-like Goober Candles for Areaware.
You may have noticed; organic things deform when they move. In the book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, this fundamental fact of biology is translated into Fundamental Principle Number One of physical animation, “Squash and Stretch.” It gave early animators the ability to transform inanimate objects into animate ones through subtle manipulations of line and shape.
In the 1930s, prospective Disney animators put it to the test when they were given a list of emotions and asked to illustrate them as sacks of flour (a dejected sack, a forlorn sack, a surprised sack, an elated sack, a sad sack, etc.). Although a full character is a more complex task (see: Physical Animation Principles two through twelve), the emotions attributable to a simple sack of flour are as numerous as our own.
This may actually be a little hyperbolic, but Talbot & Yoon see the animation of sacks of flour as a Promethean act. We only realized recently that his gifting of fire came second—Prometheus had to make humans from lumps of clay first, and then have Athena breathe life into them. It turns out that, even for gods, animation takes creativity and teamwork.
So, we took our principle and relevant creation myth and began to make our candles. As we squashed and stretched our lumps, we imagined the emotions that our future customers would be experiencing when they needed to light a candle, and the lumps began to breathe.