Another criticism was that there was far too much narration in the animatic. I personally agreed with this and suggested to the rest of the group, that were panicing about the length of the film, that we should either omit the narration or at least make the characters speak directly, and I made constant offers to rewrite the screenplay like this. This is mainly because the pace of the film was being massively slowed down by the narrator delivering each character's line and saying "...said the rat" afterwards.
After the tutors advised us to cut down the narration so that it only occurs when it is necessary, I decided to write up this latest redraft of the screenplay, which can be found here:
"Cat and Rat" Screenplay Draft No. 5
Our director, Lily, was reluctant to have the animals speak directly, as she was worried that this would turn the film into a children's story, which she was not intending. She was, however, happy to have the Emperor speak directly.
In this draft, the Emperor now speaks directly and has fewer lines. As Lily was worried about the dialogue of the Cat, Rat and Ox making the story more childish, all of their dialogue was replaced with either action, or with narration to describe what they were doing; in particular, when Cat and Rat negotiate with the Ox to ride on his back and also when the Rat decides he does not want to share the victory with Cat and Ox.
Through doing this, I was able to remove a huge amount of narration alone, which had merely consisted on reciting what the characters were saying more than anything else. Furthermore, the narration is still present, but it is now only there when necessary, i.e. when introducing a scene or when describing things which cannot be conveyed in action. In doing this, I have managed to reduce the amount of dialogue to a total of 1 minute and 40 seconds and in the script, there are larger gaps between each bit of narration, meaning that the script is much more effective in showing and not merely telling.
Now that the dialogue is about 1 minute and 40 seconds, I reckon that the film as a whole could be reduced to about 2 minutes and 10 seconds; meaning that we will not be doing far more work than we need to or that will be too hard to do considering our deadlines. We will need to redo the animatic with this new dialogue, to make sure that it fits with the film and no longer slows down the pace of the film.