I think it's part of the responsibility of an artist to shock, to upset, to make people think differently, and to surprise people. And that's where the good humor is, if there's a surprise and there's something unexpected. Something that's not normal, not in the realm of general living expectations.
For me, the perfect film has no dialogue at all. It's purely a visual, emotional, visceral kind of experience. And I think one can create wonderful depth and meaning and communication without using words. I started out as an illustrator and a cartoonist and caricature artist, so for me the visual is primary.
I look at some of my early stuff - back when I was 12 or 13 years old - and I was already doing cross-hatching back then. I don't know where I picked that up. I think I was in a hurry, and I wanted to shade something really fast, and I tried cross-hatching a shadow.
I think it reflects well on the state of animation that people are knowledgeable about it and love the fantasy and imagination that goes into it.
I'm very happy with the success of short films. In fact, for me, the short films make more money than the features.
I'm much better known in France and Germany and Spain than I am in the U.S. When I go to Russia, I get mobbed; I have groups of fans waiting for me out in the hotel lobby, waiting for me to come down off the elevator. In China, I almost got beat up because people were trying to get me to do a drawing for them.