RTMT: Personification

Disney Sketches
Disney Sketches: A few simple lines tell an amazing story

Today’s Random Tuesday Morning Thought is brought to you by the letter P and the feeling of O, as in, “Oh, I am really anxious about this.”

Mrs. Potts IS Angela Lansbury!
Mrs. Potts IS Angela Lansbury!

Personification” is one of my favorite figurative language terms. So simple in definition, yet provides so much richness to our imaginations. Whenever illustrating personification one of the most accessible ways is to think about the characters in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Each tea pot and candlestick has its own personality, every feather duster and door knob. It’s magical.

Even Carmen from Art of Carmen puts her own spin on Azerothian characters. They tend to be salaciously sexualized and entertainingly sinful: note the little “devil’s tail” in the smile of the Draenei below:

http://artofcarmen.tumblr.com
http://artofcarmen.tumblr.com

My dear friend Plaid Elf much more kindly pointed out some of her disappointment, too.

We were all so excited, but what we got was Low Budget Beasts. Scratch that. Low Budget Beasts have character and grit, even if ofttimes poorly executed cosplay. At least they try!

tumblr_n8d0i9lR0C1tbe42to1_500

When many of us saw the ‘sketchbook’ if you will of our new characters we were delighted. All except me, who immediately saw the dead-eyes, too narrow of jaw, and sexless, plastic lips– to me, the new Draenei female models look like they’ve been on a three-day bender of Botox and Velen sold their souls to Illidan. Am I that unhappy? Yes. When I showed the Beta model of the female Dwarf, with richness and vibrance to the art, that is what I was pointing to, what I wanted. I feel that this is somehow Blizzard’s passive-aggressive means to take two of the most beautiful female races (Draenei and Night Elf) in Azeroth, and instead of making ALL races rich, vibrant and…looking for a word here...they did what they always do: break the good in an effort to level some imaginary playing field. Now – I’m going to try to say this next thing as carefully as I can, but I’ll probably get misunderstood: Tauren, Troll, and Dwarf females were often thought of as not the “beautiful” races. First, I disagree. Big time. But Blizzard did give them a richness and nuances that served to enhance their natural beauty. (We haven’t seen Troll yet, but I am betting the farm they are ‘new and improved: even the Forsaken has left us feeling forsaken.) Careful framing, shading, and line work that only added to their beauty. I wish the good and talented artists at Blizzard would take a step back and go study the artists of Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, and Pixar. Heck, even Tim Burton would add some grit. Let him redesign the Forsaken! And second, shame on Blizzard if that is their plan, to somehow make the “pretty” girls “ugly” as a way of compensating for something that didn’t need to be paid.

Now maybe I can get the word to Blizzard. I know they keep saying it’s just the Beta, and not providing me any mental relief as far as what the future holds for my Draenei and Night Elf clan. I will say I’ve been delighted with the addition of a Dwarf shaman named Mollei. Remember Mollie MacBallbuster? She is all kinds of delightful. Sometimes I have error speech on, and when she says in her little Scottish accent, “I’m oot of mann-ah!” I crack up, as her braids twirl with every spell. At least I can count on her to stay beautiful, inside and out.

13 thoughts on “RTMT: Personification”

  1. After much thinking about what bothers me about Ailuuya’s new face, I came to a few more thoughts on it. Draenei had small noses and chins before…not quite too small in the current version. I think the beta versions have shrunk the nose, weakened the chin. Not only are they lifeless but to me Ailuuya looks as though she’s gone from being a strong woman to a petulant child with a woman’s body. And that’s not who she is.
    The dwarves did turn out lovely, though. Both genders of them. And I am very much looking forward to spending a bit more time with Gilbraith. I really hope they didn’t ugly them up on purpose. I think I can safely say that nobody wanted that. What we wanted was our characters, just in hi-def.
    I loved this post. I hadn’t entirely put my finger on everything that bothered me until I read it. When I saw the artcraft I’d assumed they’d look better in game and in motion. They don’t.

    1. I know people are tired of my rants, but we do have some authority in these matters, and we are stake holders so to speak. Thank you for understanding what I was trying to say. Now if only the head artists would take note.

      1. For the record I am not even the least bit tired of your rants. 😀 I actually really enjoy reading (and most often thoroughly agreeing with) them.
        Here’s hoping the artists will take notice, and that what they say about beta and not finished means -really- not finished, further overhauls coming.

  2. Totally agree. I feel that my Nightelf has lost all personality with her new face and that it just doesn’t sit well with the rest of her body.

    I made an Orc though and she’s fabulous, strong and slightly wicked looking.

  3. I never thought my big concern about Warlords would be the models but it turns out it is. After I read this I logged in to look at one of my Dwarfs and she looks lovely. I don’t know if I should check out my Draenei or not. After seeing Cat, Sasche and Cim I don’t think I can take anymore disappointment.

    1. I read that and will post. I am really tired of people dismissing concerns as “we do not like change.” That makes me really angry. I actually DO like change– they say that cliche when they are trying to justify something, Oh well. You’re right – official forums are the way to go. (Although they might be reading Tome’s – lol!)

  4. So I’m not the only one worrying about my new model! You know, I think it is because we are all so attached to our characters, that’s the issue. If I made a totally new character, I would love the new look. I’m just an old dog who is not doing well with this new trick, I think. I haven’t really seen what my draenei will look like, but because I play her so infrequently, I think I would adapt to her new look better than I would with the new tauren look.

    1. I bet Navimie will always be beautiful. I know we’re told “we don’t like change” but this is my cantankerous opinion: I think it’s a way to be dismissive of our critiques. We were all looking forward to the changes, but good and decent ones. Oh well, time will tell.

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