What Emotions can be Expressed by Faces Missing Most of their Features?
Credits: WALL-E, produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, 2008.
This WALL-E movie still is a stellar example of minimalism in character design. The sci fi characters are able to communicate distress and the frown by eye shape alone; no eyelids, eyebrow, iris, nose or mouth are required.
To achieve this feat, two different eye strategies are employed. The larger robot, EVE, has only the cropped shape of her eyes to express her feelings, face-wise. The downward oblique snipping of her upper eye circle successfully suggests the slanting brow of anger/irritation. WALL-E, on the other hand, shows distress by the combination of upwards oblique lines (the metal edge above his eyes) and white open eyes. The artists behind this scene have kept within their limitations and effectively communicated the desired emotions.