June 01, 2010

Character Design

'...The little Dwarf looked in wonder all round him, and was half- afraid to go on. The strange silent horsemen that galloped so swiftly through the long glades without making any noise, seemed to him like those terrible phantoms of whom he had heard the charcoal- burners speaking--the Comprachos, who hunt only at night, and if they meet a man, turn him into a hind, and chase him...'

Both characters are based on those found in Oscar Wilde's 'The Birthday of The Infanta'. With my interpretation of the story, I have been playing around with the idea of the 'Comprachicos' or 'child-snatchers'. According to Spanish folklore (and wikipedia), these were woodland dwellers who bought unwanted babies from whores and then physically mutilated them in order to sell them as entertainment to the popular freakshows...
Hence, playing with this idea of 'made' freakism - the first character, the little Dwarf of Wilde's story. He is found running wild through the woods and brought to dance before the Infanta, who leads him on by throwing her white rose at him and fluttering her eyelashes, so that by the end of the dance the little dwarf is madly in love with her. But he doesn't realize the tragic truth about his own hideous appearance until the end of the story....
The unnaturally conjoined monkeys are based on the gipsy monkeys who make a brief appearance in the story, also performing for the Infanta.

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