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Offset Blink

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The offset blink is an animation trope where a character blinks by closing one eye slightly earlier than the other, instead of both eyes simultaneously. This may be as subtle as a frame or two earlier, or exaggerated to the point where one eye closes and opens completely before the other follows suit. This may be a stylistic choice by the animators, used to make the action look more natural, to convey some aspect of the character such as slow-wittedness, or to make the character seem more alien or animal-like.

Examples of this trope may not necessarily include instances where it is used to convey the character being temporarily dazed, drunk, tired, etc., if the character usually blinks in the conventional way.


Examples:

Film

  • Pixar used this quite heavily in their earlier works, which led to offset blinks often being referred to as the "Pixar blink". The Pizza Planet aliens in Toy Story have noticeably offset blinks, for example (usually blinking their centre eye slightly before the left and right ones), but other characters in the film also perform more subtle versions. Has been toned down somewhat and used more sparingly in their more recent films.

Western Animation

  • Sometimes used for alien characters on Futurama. Horrible Gelatinous Blob is a prominent example, as he has three eyes that blink sequentially rather than simultaneously. There is also a lampshaded occurrence of it in the episode "The Cyber House Rules", where Leela has a second eye surgically grafted on, and has trouble blinking simultaneously to begin with.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Pinkie Pie's pet alligator Gummy usually blinks one eye at a time.
  • Blinky, the three-eyed fish of The Simpsons fame, blinks each of its eyes in sequence.

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