#1 12-12-2007 9:22 am

franko
Upright Citizen
From: Australia
Registered: 12-04-2007
Posts: 1028
Karmojo: 45

"Merry Christmas Mrs Munchnick"

It's the first part of the December 2007 dialogue. Steve Martin's opening piece.

I've been discussing the tone of the actor's voice with some animator colleagues.

1. I reckon the male character is a subordinate to the female character and is making an offering to a superior. As such they are a bit nervous and worried about how the gift will be received.

2. Another animator, here in the studio, hears it as a subordinate testing his superior and being a bit cheeky. As such the male character is being a bit mischieveous and looking for a reaction.

3. A third animator reckons that the male character is an outright liar. Fully intending to deceive Mrs. Munchnick and he will act in that manner.

It's only the first part. That's all. But how are other animators hearing it?

I'd be interested in country-of-origin accent, and hence, emphasis interpretation differences others are finding.

For the record, we're a barbecue of Australian animators (for want of a better collective noun)

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#2 12-12-2007 11:11 am

jahnocli
Upstanding Citizen
Registered: 12-12-2007
Posts: 13
Karmojo: 33

Re: "Merry Christmas Mrs Munchnick"

Here's a very different interpretation. It's the "Bates Motel" version...Mrs Munchnick is the speaker's mummified mother in a dress. We don't see her face to start with; it's an over-the-shoulder shot with everything but his face in shadow. He is mumbling her words like a ventriloquist. When he says "...yes" they are both in silhouette. For the final sentence it's an over-his-shoulder shot of her mummified face, then cut back to him saying the words, then a long shot of his back. He is in his mother's dress, holding a huge knife behind his back. Cut to long shot of Bates motel as car draws up outside...

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#3 12-12-2007 1:17 pm

franko
Upright Citizen
From: Australia
Registered: 12-04-2007
Posts: 1028
Karmojo: 45

Re: "Merry Christmas Mrs Munchnick"

Um, not sure that would match the dialogue, but I look forward to seeing your animation.

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#4 12-12-2007 5:30 pm

Traci
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From: Oregon
Registered: 06-12-2007
Posts: 28
Karmojo: 55

Re: "Merry Christmas Mrs Munchnick"

My take on it is that he feels like he has to give a gift to Mrs. Munchnick but he really doesn't want to and really doesn't like her.

I thought okay who would he be giving a Christmas gift too and why would he be calling her "Mrs."?  I figure it could be his boss, a coworker he doesn't like, or maybe even his son's teacher. But then why would he feel obligated to give this person a gift?

So I would say it's a work Christmas party and everyone had to draw names for a gift exchange and he got stuck with Mrs. Munchnick's name. Since he doesn't like her he decided to recycle the gift she gave him last year because she got stuck with his name last year. So I think they are peers and the feeling is mutual - they dislike each other. But he's trying harder than she is to be nice on the surface at first. But then when he says "Yesssss" I think you can tell how he really feels about her.

I don't have time to participate this month unfortunately because this does sound like a fun one. Have fun with it!

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#5 12-18-2007 3:33 am

franko
Upright Citizen
From: Australia
Registered: 12-04-2007
Posts: 1028
Karmojo: 45

Re: "Merry Christmas Mrs Munchnick"

I agree with Traci:

"... he feels like he has to give a gift to Mrs. Munchnick but he really doesn't want to and really doesn't like her."

Yes, I think he has more 'love' for the cake. I hear the, "Merry Christmas Mrs Munchnick" as a quite monotone delivery at a non varied tempo. But when she says, "A fruitcake?", his voice changes with the maple syrup answer, "Yesth!".

I'm sure my teachers say: "Listen for the change. That's your hook."

Sounds like he's most proud of the cake in that "yes".

I believe that he has made a fresh cake this year. He's put a lot of work into it. He doesn't like Mrs M but he feels obligated to give her a cake because she gave him one last year. Mrs Muchnick hates to be out done in the dried up old prune department and her sulphuric reply shows she is an old meany.

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