CSE 456 - Story for Digital Animation


Iteration 6: Explosive Panda Romance (7/23/09)

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- Beatsheet
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- Storyreel

1) Once upon a time there was a panda named Yao who wanted to impress a girl panda named Mei.
2) And every day, Yao did everything excessively, including his attempts to win Mei’s affection.  
3) Until one day he had a date with Mei on New Year’s and right as he finished making large quantities of food, and was primping himself in the mirror she arrived at his house.
4) And because of this, he brought out the first course and put a little bit of spice on it.  Mei liked this and Yao decided to dump the whole bottle of spice on her food.  Mei hesitates but Yao insists that she take a bite, so she does and her eyes start watering and her mouth starts to burn so she pushes the dish away.
5) And because of this, Yao brings in the next course.  Mei points out the fireworks outside to Yao, and Yao wanting to impress Mei grabs a firework from the decorations and sticks it in her food.  The firework pops and Mei is pleased.
6) Until finally, Yao brings out the final course, a cake covered in fireworks at which Mei is scared out of her wits.  Yao in his excitement lights the fireworks that start spiraling up the cake.  Until it BOOM blows up in their faces.  Mei  is upset and leaves, smushing cake in Yao's face as she passes by. Yao looks around the room at the damage he's caused and a few days later he goes to Mei to appologize with a wagon full of flowers.  He presents an armful of flowers to Mei at which she looks at disapprovingly.
7) And ever since that day, Yao learned to take things in moderation and so he tossed away the excess flowers and gave her a single rose, winning him a kiss from Mei.

ARMATURE: Moderation is the key.


  • Mid-20’s
  • Short-sighted, eager-to-please
  • Thinks that more is better.  He compensates for his insecurities with excessive behavior.
  • He likes to cook, but there is room for improvement
  • Has a crush on Mei and is hoping to win her over with dinner
  • He and Mei have been friends for a while
  • Friendly, genuine, tries too hard in all areas of his life, overachiever
  • Nervous about lady pandas in general


  • Mid-20’s
  • Kind, gentle, thoughtful, good-humored, tactful
  • Has a crush on Yao and is interested in more than friendship
  • Likes Yao because she can see he cares, even if his attempts to impress are misguided
  • Plays along with Yao’s attempts to impress her, but really she’s interested in him
  • Forgives easily


The story takes place in modern China, although the time period is somewhat ambiguous and not very important to the story.  The meal will take place right outside the house and fireworks are present because it is New Years.  The fireworks that are used in the food are hanging around the table as decorations for New Years.  The kitchen is the room closest to the eating area.

 1. Is the story as clear and succinct as you can make it? If it isn't, how can it be improved?
- Yes, we think that the story is succinct and easily understood.

2. Do you have a visual style in mind for your story and if so, can you describe it or provide visual reference?
- We are going to use a cartoon style to take advantage of illustrating extreme emotions and body movement to represent our characters.  We have chosen pandas as our main characters since they are native to China and because they will be easy to relate to and appealing to look at.

3. Why should this story be told? Why would anyone care?
- The story should be told because it is about moderation and being able to realize when something is going well, rather than overdoing it.

4. Is there an emotional hook in your story? Is it engaging?
- People can understand wanting to impress people and gain approval, whether it be from a romantic interest, a boss, a friend, etc...  It is engaging because of the quick pacing, humor, and fun characters.

5. Have you captured the visual transition in your story? Have you captured and illustrated the story beats? If not, what can you do to improve your visual storytelling?
- We think that we have captured the overall flow and transitions of the story and have improved our camera positions since last time to reflect changes in mood and action.