This shot gets cut into and out of a few times in the chaos of Amanda’s departure from the Bunker of Evil. It’s also the third head-swap for Dennis. This one is the alternate, unwigged head that came with his puppet. I painted it with dabs of neon paint and let him swing free with his trusty axe.
Note the placard on his cage, with a reference to Otto Warmbier — may he rest in peace. You and I know the story, but perhaps Ambassador Rodman didn’t when he signed up for this.
During his death throes, Dennis bites onto a cage rail and grinds his teeth along it. After a moment, neon paint comes gushing out of his face. Then his neck separates, leaving his head stuck to the cage while his body collapses below the frame. I did this by dripping a very strong adhesive (LocTite 495) into his mouth and letting it set. The electrical effects were done with a handheld flashlight shot in stop motion.
This is Amanda’s last showdown with Dennis. She grabs him by his jaw and gives it a bone-crunching twist, as she breaks free from his feeble cockatoo-man-grasp. I love how the UV light makes his white gloves glow through her hair.
This is a rather complex shot, and unfortunately it didn’t turn out quite the way I envisioned. Basically I moved Dennis’ cage to my turntable cyclorama. I removed the top gate, and drilled three eye hooks into Dennis’ back and butt, and suspended him via green fishing line. Up top, I connected the single stretch of rigging to a square wooden bar that I could use both like a pulley and a ratchet.
Then I animated The Ambassador flapping around like he was flitting and flying inside his tight little cage — bumping his beak, wings and legs off the bars as the cage rotates around in timed increments. The ratcheting allowed me to change Dennis’ elevation within the cage, getting his feet up off the floor.
It will take some time to remove all the visible rigging via Photoshop, so the effect will improve greatly once that process is complete. And no, I’m not looking forward to that menial task!
Oh, the best thing about this scene is that my brother-in-law (who voices James Bondáge) and his family were here for summer vacation. So he sat in the studio and watched me animate while we enjoyed a few beers.