Sunday, July 22, 2007

What is a Cartoon?





Last night I did a show all about what the primal elements that make up a cartoon are. No one seems to use them anymore.

There is more animation being done today than ever in history, yet where are the cartoons? I could understand maybe 5 or 10 percent of entertainment-oriented animation being not cartoons, but I can't for the life of me figure out why there are practically no cartoons at all anymore.

No one wants to do what cartoons actually are and what they do better than any other medium. At least no one in charge. The cartoonists certainly want to make cartoons and the audience would love to watch them if they existed.

I figure it's my duty to remind everyone of what cartoons are and to come up with some defining characteristics. Now remember, I don't care if people make animation that isn't cartoony for those who like that sort of thing. But SOMEONE should be making cartoons. Let's go back to our roots.

People who couldn't make it to the show last night have been asking me for these primal elements.

They are:

1) The Funny Drawing
What good is a cartoon without funny drawings? To me, that's the number 1 most important element in a cartoon. Anything else is merely a drawing.


http://www.animationarchive.org/2006/08/media-milt-gross-sunday-pages.html




2) Funny Motion
Animation that doesn't move funny should be called "animation". "Cartoon" is a very specific type of animated motion.



3) Impossible Gags
You can draw things that can't happen. Not in real life, or in CG animation or any other medium. So why don't we anymore?






4) Musical Timing
All classic cartoons were timed to musical rhythms or tempos. That's why they automatically feel good when you watch them. Most modern animation is timed straight ahead and actions fall haphazardly with no definite or structural relationship to each other. They feel jerky and not as fun as old cartoons.

A real cartoon is like music. It should feel good, no matter what the content or subject matter is about. It should make you bounce to it.

Genndy Tartakovsky times his cartoons to tempos and so do I. We are among the last holdouts to this tradition.






5) Butt Stabs

Even Walt Disney, who is mostly anti-cartoon loves a good old butt violation. All real cartoonists think the butt is the funniest part of the anatomy and tend to do an inordinate amount of butt poking and crack exposure in their cartoons. If you are ashamed of buttcracks, you are probably ashamed to be drawing cartoons and shame on you for doing it.









Here's a cartoon that has all these defining elements on purpose:


Another:


Here's Steve Worth's kind review of how the Cartoony Cartoons Show went over last night:
The show last night was amazing. I've seen all the cartoons in John's program, but when he put them in context with his comments and showed them in order, the progression and development was blatantly obvious. Everyone is talking here about what they want to see on the cartoon DVDs. John just nailed *exactly* what they should be... a collection that illuminates, not just shoveling titles onto disks by character. The bonus treat at the end was a sneak peek at John's videos for Weird Al and Tenacious D.

After the program, John sat at a table with his pals and signed and drew for everyone in the room. He was joined by Marlo Meekins and Eddie Fitzgerald who tag-teamed doing caricatures of the most interesting faces in the crowd. Marlo posted a few examples on her blog this morning... http://marlomeekins.blogspot.com/ Check it out. The surprise guest of the evening was the lengendary voice actor, Gary Owens. Yes, Powdered Toast Man was there! His stories (did you know that the Rat Pack did voices in Roger Ramjet?!) were golden!

John was incredibly generous to put this program together to help out ASIFA's Archive. Without him, we wouldn't have accomplished anywhere near as much as we have. Thanks, John!

This show needs to go on tour. The whole world needs cartoony cartoons, and this group of films are the cartooniest!

See ya
Steve
http://www.animationarchive.org/2006/08/meta-john-k-event-august-10th-report.html

124 comments:

Jeremiah said...

I wanna be a member too.

gabedozer said...

Thanks for the byork vid, fantastic!

That was the first time i've seen it, and I just wanted to say that it made me laugh, and want to watch it again.

I wish the same could be said for 90% of the CG and animation made today.

Anonymous said...

Hi John: Maybe you could put something together like this show on DVD. Use public domain cartoons if necessary? There has to be loads of good examples in the PD assuming a good print is available. Steve from Thunderbean should be able to help produce, you think?

I'm pleading because the odds of me being able to attend one of your shows is pretty slim :(
Brian

JohnK said...

Hey to all you anonymouses!

Why don't you get a screen name so we know everyone here?

I might later decide not to publish anonymouses because they tend to be the folks with chips on their sloped shoulders.

Not you Brian...

The Butcher said...

Dude, I've never seen that Bjork video until now. Parts of really remind me of some of the really surreal stuff Bakshi does in Coonskin. That was wild.

Brian O said...

OK, John! I did it. I got a screen name. I'm one of the guys!
Brian

Jesse Oliver said...

Hey Folks

I would like to point out that today is August 11th! The same date of the day Ren & Stimpy first hit the air waves on Nickelodeon in 1991 with there first season premiere with the episode "Stimpy's Big Day". That was the day that animation history was made. Every body here today should celebrate this day by watching all there favorite R & S cartoons. John would want it that way!

Vanoni! said...

Shame I missed the discussion last night - but the points outlined in this post really hit home.

Here are some antics from last night

Mcnuggetinator said...

"Maybe you could put something together like this show on DVD. Use public domain cartoons if necessary? There has to be loads of good examples in the PD assuming a good print is available."

Instead of a DVD, how about a podcast? It'll be cheaper to make and will be distributed for free so more people can see them. You should let the people download from here as well as itunes so people without itunes can watch them too.

Shawn said...

I'm glad the show went well! I wish I could have made it. Cartoony cartoons are the most fun to watch with a group!

Joe H. said...

Those cartoons you showed were awesome. And "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery" was a cartoon i remember watching when Cartoon Network used to show old Warner cartoons. Nice work!
-Joe

Gabriel said...

Hey John, don't most animators time their stuff to 24fps or fractions of it? Wouldn't that make their animation somewhat rythmic, even if they're not aware of what they're doing? Or would it just make it boring? Do you have to understand music to do good timing? Have you ever done stuff with weird rythms (anything not in 4/4 or 3/4)?

Stephen Worth said...

I wish the whole world was there last night. Eddie said something that I've been thinking about all day... He said that it's very hard to be cartoony and funny. It takes a lot of skill and a lot of hard work to be really successful at it. Even with a lot of skill and work, a gag can still fall on its face because it's a riisk. If something is intended to be dramatic and it comes off bland, no one really notices... but when we see something that's supposed to be funny and it isn't, it's painfully obvious.

Eddie said that if he sees something where a cartoonist is obviously trying to be cartoony, he cuts them a lot of slack when it comes to the sophistication or polish of the gag. I think that Eddie is onto something here. The problem is that cartoons aren't *trying* to be cartoony any more. They're afraid to take the risk. Instead of criticizing insignificant flaws in the paltry handful of cartoony cartoons being produced today, we should be pointing to what they do right.

John has done a great job of pinpointing exactly what it is that is missing from cartoons today. It's every cartoon fan's responsibility to spread the word about what we want in cartoons. Create your own collections of cartoony cartoons like John's and give them to all your friends. Let them know what they're missing when they watch Family Guy or the Simpsons. Be an evangelist for Cartoonianity!

Spread the word. Blog this post of John's. Point to web pages that have great cartoons on them. Tell everyone you know... even your mom!

See ya
Steve

Anonymous said...

John?

Funny drawing is important to the toons you've made, but do you have any thoughts on George Pals' Puppettoons?

Characters like Jasper don't have the same elasticity as 2-D, but does it really make them less entertaining when handeled by a good director?

Gwangie Valley Cowboy

Shawn Luke said...

HI, John.
A fantastic post!

That comic you posted, with the dog playing golf all over the house, is that a Milt Gross cartoon? It looks like it to me. Anyway that dog looks exactly like the "Big Sleep" dog in "Big House Blues" and...um..well...I thought that was pretty neat!

I thought of a key difference between 'cartoons' and other animation. Other animation I can visualize in a static way, like in a comic book. A series of stills with word ballons.
But 'Cartoons'I can't. Like that Barnacle Bill cartoon. I can't even imagine how they storyboarded that! It would have been as thick as a phone book.

Jordan said...

I was once anonymous, and now I have created an account.


In my first post I put a movie I made about cartoonists! Its 35 minutes long and I'd love it if anyone here checked it out.

It's about a bad comic strip artist and how everybody loves him. It's based on a lot of me and my friends feelings (echo'd a ton by John K and people here..) how everyone will just accept mediocrity and how everything today is crappy. Especially with cartoons. Plus there's a lot of jokes and character and funny stuff for no reason. We worked our asses off. It was my thesis film for college. I cowrote, directed, shot, edited, and composed the music.

Hope people check it out! You guys are the perfect audience for it!! And YOU TOO Mr. John K.


Hoping your show comes to NYC soon...I know people at MOCCA (museum of comic and cartoon art), I can try to propose it to them...they screened my movie and I know lot's of the behind the scenes guys...


-Jordan

Lord Satan said...

Bimbo rules!

Freckled Derelict said...

Thanks John for posting the highlights! Steve's right you should tour with this. I bet universities with any type of animation program would sponsor you making this tour!
Bring the show to S.F!

Evan said...

great post, john. i keep harping on these same kinds of points to people, how there generally is no reason most animated shows on tv now couldnt be live-action sitcoms with actors. if youre going to be animated be a cartoon, dammit!

:: smo :: said...

butt slaps indeed!

bimbo's initiation is one of my favorite cartoons ever, thank you for including it in your blog here!

i don't know what it's worth, but i've been asked to make some pitches, so i'm preparing cartoony cartoon pitches. i just don't want to work on anything else. thank you for being such a powerful force on the side of animators who enjoy animation.

Patrick said...

There is a big problem with our CandyAss society...everyone is too damn affraid of offending someone!!
It's a cartoon for craps sake..its meant for laughter.

john p said...

John, do you really think the Bjork video is worthy of being showcased with Bimbo's Initiation ?!

Danne8a said...

Amen, john!
I wish I could have made it to the show last night.
I love cartoony cartoons.
The best one I have seen in a long time has been Stimpys Pregnant.
I must have watched that thing a dozen times because the acting and the stills are amazing.
I recently applied to work for The Simpsons and you won't believe the amount of 'Do's and Dont's they have on there model sheets!
It's 'All in the name of style' they say...
WHAT STYLE? It's a Cartoon!
I really miss Cartoons that weren't ashamed of being cartoons and am super thankful to you for raising awareness of this.

JohnK said...

Eddie Fitzgerald has left a new comment on your post "What is a Cartoon?":

If you weren't there last night, too bad! It was a mind-blowing, career-changing event!

The Oswald cartoons were a revelation. Do what you have to do to get copies of these specific titles! John will no doubt put up the names. They're not just typical black and whites of the period, they're very skillfull examples of cartoons that manage to be funny without plot. I don't blame people who may be skeptical about this, it flies in the face of what we've been taught for 50 years, but the proof is in the films, once you finally get to see them.

John followed these and some other great cartoons with Avery's "Slap-happy Lion" which also has the thinnest of plots. Sheer cartoon bliss, especially when seen in the context of other first-rate plot-lite cartoons! Gary Owens (the Powdered Toastman voice) sat beside me and he was laughing all the way through it. Later in the night Gary told me started out as a magazine cartoonist. I believe it. You couldn't hope for a better audience for gags.

John showed his latest cartoons at the end and the crowd loved them. It was a great ending for a great night! Oh!...and I got to do caricatures with John and Marlo afterward! Even Gary did some caricatures! I'm so mad at myself because I was sitting next to Gary at the caricature table and I didn't ask him to draw me! Why? BECAUSE I'M STUUUUUUUUUUPID!!!!!!

Crumpled Up John! said...

I love that Bjork video for so many reasons! She's one of my favorite musical artists in fact. What was it like working with her, John?

Pedro Vargas said...

Goddamn! I swear once you make another event in CA I'm deffinatley going to work real hard to fly my ass out there! I stick to my word! I truly believe that the event was the best ever.

P.S. You should make people donate some money to you or to the ASIFA archives to prepare some sort of a tour around the US of this show. I think people out there are ready to endure on some cartoony cartoons.

mike f. said...

Last night's Cartoony Cartoons show at the VAN EATON Gallery (it sounds like a snooty, high society dump from a Three Stooges comedy, but the owners are as down-to-earth and cartoon-friendly as you'll find anywhere) was a revelation for fans and animators alike.

I've been analyzing cartoons for about 40 years now (the first 20 as a fan outside the industry looking in, and the next 20 as an "insider") and I thought I'd seen everything - but I was still blown away by a pair of hilarious 1930 Oswald the Rabbit/Walter Lantz cartoons! (Where the Hell did those come from? Who knew Oswald cartoons were actually funny? I sure didn't.)

The heritage of the American theatrical cartoon of the 1930's through '50's is so rich and so vast that it never ceases to amaze.

Whilst an animation industry barnacle like Mike Barrier is busy taking cheap swipes at authentic pioneer animators like Bill Melendez on his pretentious, obscure website - and spitefully hurling hate-filled invective at cartoon fans in general, (has someone checked up on his bunker lately?) - John K is celebrating them.

His projects have always been a shot in the arm for the industry and the art form, and he unveiled 2 brand-new animated music videos (one featuring Weird Al, and the other Tenacious D.) that won't be any different, judging by crown reaction.

But John was really there to honor other animators and their achievements.
He was aided by uber-cartoonist Eddie Fitzgerald and ASIFA's own knowledgeable Steve Worth - both of those worthy gentlemen's admiration for the proud history of the medium match his own.

Gary Owens, the world's youngest 70-year old, told awesome stories of classic Hollywood animation's history.
And Marlo Meekins, part-time caricaturist and full-time bombshell, dispensed dazzling portraits to some lucky, swooning admirers.

Audio/video wizard (and "Jeeves" to John's Bertie Wooster) Mark Decter was there to make sure the evening went off without a digital hitch, which it did.

John laid out a history of animation that you won't find in the history books (it ain't the standard, hand-out press release Disney version) and backed it up with some pretty hard evidence. Afterwards, as usual, he made sure the fans didn't go away empty-handed - and did drawings and caricatures for everyone who wanted one - and even forced a few on the occasional innocent bystander. Jon Trapnell is still recovering from his caricature - detailing his person being indecently violated by various processed food meats. (You had to be there...)

The evening was certainly fun, but it had a noble purpose as well. Corporate Hollywood is busy trying to rewrite its own history, and downplay the role of the Hollywood cartoon in this brave new world of soulless CGI and plot-and-dialogue driven animation product.

Don't let them.

marty d said...

Never mind the hecklers.

What a great show last night. And what a thrill to handle (and buy) some of the great Spumco art done through the years. It was esp. cool to see drawings from your Yogi Bear episodes!

Like I said last night, you and "Uncle Eddie" would make terrific hosts for an all cartoony cartoon revival program, like two modern day Tom Hattens or Sheriff Johns. With so few channels airing the classic Warner's and MGM cartoons, and everything else (Fleisher, Lantz, etc.) invisible, the time for a cartoon revival is nigh!

Marc Deckter said...

BILL NOLAN DUCK -------->





The show was a great success!

The only thing better than watching an hour and a half of cartoony cartoons is watching them with 150 other people all laughing along.

C. A. M. Thompson said...

I really want to see these Oswald cartoons. Maybe someone could post clips somewhere or something. Or titles and information about them.

Also I want to see what Gary Owens' cartoons looked like. I had no idea he was an artist.

max ward said...

take this on tour

I don't really care said...

When a guy has to educate other human beings about what a real cartoon is, I start to think maybe I've lived too long.

I'm glad I grew up in the 60's when they didn't have enough new tv shows, so they just put on old stuff. Lots of it was great cartoons. We had saturday matinees at the movie palace with bugs bunny and 3 stooges...

Nowadays a kid can grow up and never even see a real cartoon. He will never be inspired to hit his dog in the head with a frying pan to see if he comes back together.

No wonder there are so many disaffected kids. When they come of age, they somehow know deep inside that they've been cheated.

akira said...

hey john,
i saw that you're not doing commentaries for the next batch of looney tunes. is this your choice because of the crap they gave you about posting clips of great looney tunes animation on your site, or what? hard to imagine they wouldn't want your participation, so i'll guess that you opted out, out of principal... but forget that crap next year and do some commentaries for us, your humble fans... this year it looks like they're doing a Tashlin themed disc.. maybe next year they'll have a clampett disc and you'll have to be involved!

Tougi said...

Please tour.

k9_kaos said...

Wow, what a great post! I haven't seen that video for Björk in years!

I love those old Betty Boop and Bimbo cartoons! I wish they'd show them on Cartoon Network or Boomerang, so more people will discover how great they are. Mysterious Mose is one of my favourites. I love the way Betty is drawn and animated in this cartoon (even though she still has dog ears!). Another Betty Boop cartoon I love is Chess-Nuts. It makes me wonder if this cartoon has a social message about interracial marriage (or perhaps this was the Fleischers' take on those wieners who wanted to split up Betty and Bimbo, because he was a dog and she was a human).
But my favourite of all would have to be Swing, You Sinners!. That cartoon has some of the trippiest drawings and animation I have ever seen. The stand-out scene for me is the bit with the long-legged chicken singing scat, while Bimbo is cowering in the corner.

Oh, and yes, I can never get tired of butt jokes! David Feiss is the master.

bardhol said...

my favourite betty boop cartoon! (besides all them ones with cab calloway acting).
yes!

Alex said...

God I love that Bjork cartoon...I hope more of the Jimmy the Idiot Boy/Geoarge Liquor stuff is making it to the web/DVD. And the Weekend Pussy Hunt stuff too.

I don't really care said...

Corporate Hollywood is busy trying to rewrite its own history, and downplay the role of the Hollywood cartoon in this brave new world of soulless CGI and plot-and-dialogue driven animation product.

This is why copyrights have to be allowed to expire as they were always intended. When a mega-conglomerate is allowed to retain ownership into perpetuity, the public is not well-served. These corporations don't make for responsible guardians. They don't even make good salesmen. Most of the cartoons ever made are just being horded by entitiies who reserve for themselves the right to make money off them again, someday, if they ever feel like it.

I don't really care said...

You don't need to draw well to know that Bimbo's Initiation is lightyears ahead of the Bjork Video

Hi, me again... just wanted to point out that in the "I miss you" video, starting at about 3:50, there are a series of really radical drawings. Anybody who want to know "what is a cartoon" should really freeze frame them. They are much more sophisticated than Bimbo. They go by so fast you wonder why a guy would even bother. Must be because he cares.

Terry the Crusader said...

Cartoons, are unfortunately today associated by the some of the uneducated masses as being crappy pap made for kids.Some people today dont even understand what a real cartoon is or even watched one,or understand that they were originally,enjoyable, funny films made by animators for themselves (adults).On the bus yesterday,a friend of a friend said I was strange for having tapes of Betty Boop in my bag-ignorant fool! I would have been kind to have thrust a dagger into her cold heart to release her from her joyless life.Sad, but it will change, i promise you good people! The essence of cartooniness maybe can be surpressed but cannot be destroyed, its too strong.

Gabriel said...

I like to think that the we, the people, played a large part in making Eddie Fitzgerald get his blog up. I say we turn our efforts to Mike Fontanelli now!

R said...

Working on Rule 5, David Feiss must be the gGREATEST CARTOONIST EVER. I'm ok with that.

David Germain said...

3) Impossible Gags
You can draw things that can't happen. Not in real life, or in CG animation or any other medium.


Absolutely. This point needs to be underlined a billion times, highlighted, put in bold text and stapled to the forheads of Chris Landreth, Richard Linklater, and Robert Zemekis (mo-cap = my ass).

mike f. said...

"Cartoons, are unfortunately today associated by the some of the uneducated masses as being crappy pap made for kids..."

There should be a cartoon character called "Crappy Pap"!
I think you're onto something here, Terry. (Are you a cartoonist? If not, I'll design him for you!)

I see him hosting his own kiddie TV show, called "The Pablum Hour" or something. He secretly hates cartoons and kids. He's real smug and condescending.
Maybe he looks just like Michael Barrier.

"...ignorant fool! I would have been kind to have thrust a dagger into her cold heart to release her from her joyless life. Sad, but it will change, i promise you good people!...

I like the cut of your jib, Terry; that would make an ideal comedy catch-phrase! (Man, imagine a Crappy Pap talking doll saying something like that? I don't know if parents will go for it, but kids would love it!)

Maybe The Crappy Pap Show has a peanut gallery, like Howdy Doody. Except the kids are all chained to the walls. Maybe Crappy Pap tortures them by making them read his book "Hollywood Cartoons". Everytime we cut back to them, another one has offed himself.

"...The essence of cartooniness maybe can be suppressed but cannot be destroyed, its too strong."

You said it. Corporations have already destroyed the American comic strip. (Go back and look at what the comics used to look like before 1975, before "Drabble" and "Boondocks" hammered the final nail into the coffin.) Now they're setting their evil sights on cartoons. It's a goddamn conspiracy.

Stephen Worth said...

We live in an era where lawyers tell us how cartoons should be made. Welcome to Crazy Town.

See ya
Steve

JohnK said...

>>i saw that you're not doing commentaries for the next batch of looney tunes. is this your choice because of the crap they gave you about posting clips of great looney tunes animation on your site, or what? hard to imagine they wouldn't want your participation, so i'll guess that you opted out, out of principal...<<

Yes I did. Too much tampering with the cartoons:

Digital Line thinning.
DVNR
Changing the colors
Changing the sound

The cartoons are too hard to watch anymore. The characters strobe when they move and it looks too digital. It gives me a headache.

There's a whole Goddamn side of Speedy Gonzales!! Unbelievable.

And I can't take the menus. Too much trouble.

I'll just watch my tapes and laser discs. So much easier and they look better.

JohnK said...

>>We live in an era where lawyers tell us how cartoons should be made. Welcome to Crazy Town.<<

I don't know about that.

Ne cartoons are made by execs, not laywers.

But lawyers are largely responsible for the treatment of classic cartoons.

They tell me what I'm allowed to say on the commentaries, what cartoons the public can't see, what colors the characters on the merchandise have to be and all kinds of crazy stuff.

I know this directly and from other folks who work at WB.

nate said...

"I'll just watch my tapes and laser discs. So much easier and they look better."

Hey John,

Will you consider doing a quick post using screen grabs to compare the differences between the laser disc cartoons to the DVD? I'd really be interested to see what you're talking about. Thanks.

Stephen Worth said...

I was referring to one particular lawyer!

See ya
Steve

Stephen Worth said...

I've seen plenty of IB Tech prints as well, and I've color matched to original cels, and none of it looks anything like the artificially goosed colors on the Clampett cartoons on the last set. Watch the documentary on the restoration in the supplement... they admit it there. There's a scene that shows two know nothings deciding to change the colors on Bugs Bunny for no reason at all.

The original Turner transfers were quite true to the way the film looks. There was no DVNR, over-sharpening of the lines, grain smoothing or color manipulation. I'm sure that better transfers could be accomplished, but not the way studios are doing them now.

See ya
Steve

The Butcher said...

"anthropormorphic inanimate objects"

Kick ass.

JohnK said...

>>Do you guys have proof that Warners is violating the cartoons? It sounds like you're just not used to seeing them so bright and vivid. I have I.B. Technicolor prints of several shorts by Jones and Clampett from the 40s and they look stunning.<<

They sure do look stunning. I've seen those too.

They look nothing like the DVDs. There are a lot more subtleties to the colors. Much richer.

Some of the DVD transfers are actually duller colors-like Hep Cat-they turned that cartoon practically black and white.

Gruesome Twosome is all primary and secondary colors now. So is Rhapsody Rabbit and Corny Concerto.The backgrounds are florescent lime green and pink-even though Friz had deliberately painted Bugs a subdued greay to make the cartoon moodier. For some reason, the post folks left Bugs with a greyed muzzle and brought the backgrounds forward and the colors of the curtains now bleed all over him.

All the cartoons have that horrible line thinning that makes the characters strobe and flattens them out. Many are DVNRed which erases half the lines.

What's Opera Doc looks pretty good color wise, (except for the lines) but has bad sound!

It's as if they just farm out all the transfers to multiple post houses, because there are so many different ways to ruin the cartoons.

I do this for a living and I've seen what post production people who don't have eyes and ears do when they discover new digital technology. You have to watch them like hawks.

On their own documentary on set 3 they show how how they pump up the subtle colors - like make Bugs' ears bright pink. They brag about making the cartoons that were once very rich and tasteful look like garish modern Saturday Morning cartoons.

The Jimmy Durante cat in Gruesome Twosome has had his expressions obliterated by pumping up the red in his what was once reddish brown fur. He has no eyebrows or facial wrinkles anymore. He glows. This is so amateurish, it's ridiculous.

The colors in the background have been drastically altered.

It was a moody cartoon that took place at night. It now looks like daytime. The contrast has been turned way up so that what was once dark, rich moody colors is now black agains an almost white sky.The fence is now bright green.

If you like it that way, fine for you.

I think it's criminal to change an artists' work just because digital technology makes it so easy to do so.

Why any fan of these cartoons would stick up for people who abuse them so badly is beyond me.

In a few years, old films and cartoons will be completely unrecognizable, because every year they re-remaster them and take them further away from what they actually look like.

They are even starting to add sound effects to the cartoons.

You like that too?

Why not just redraw them from scratch in Flash and use the Licensing guide models of the characters so that they are always "on-model"?

Maybe they will digitally add in live action basketball stars to give the cartoons more street cred.

This stuff is going to happen and you are approving it.

I don't think you will win any fans here.

Shawn said...

>>The characters strobe when they move and it looks too digital. It gives me a headache.<<

They strobe when I pause the DVD's too. Sometimes I like to pause a frame and draw a pose, but on those DVD's the characters flicker when I pause them and I can't see a damn thing! Why does it do that???

The Butcher said...

Sounds like we're losing our culture here. What a shame.

Dennis said...

Same here! I'm not happy with the Looney Tunes DVDs. The lines seem to get thinner every time I watch them.

I bought the laserdiscs on eBay just to have decent copies of these great cartoons. And now I'm putting them up for everyone to see. Take that, Warner suits!

Anonymous said...

RCA is remastering all of Elvis Presley's hits without Elvis's voice. Wanna take odds that's only a joke?

Graham said...

Hey John. I noticed some cg on that Bjork video. Can you talk a bit about who did that and what it was like?

Oh...and that Bjork video was fantastic!

JohnK said...

Hey Mike

don't forget the barbecue tonight!

about 6:00

Bring some real cartoons!

Jeremiah said...

Do you guys have proof that Warners is violating the cartoons? It sounds like you're just not used to seeing them so bright and vivid.

If we were talking about selecting the right brand of laundry detergent, that would be one thing. But since we're talking about cartoons, suffice it to say that yes, we're not used to seeing these cartoons so bright because they were never meant to be.

What they're doing to these cartoons is no different from what Ted Turner did to all those black and white films back in the 80's. But guess what? People gave him hell for it, he mended his ways, and gave us Turner Classic Movies.

That's why more people need to stick up for these cartoons.

If any of the Warner directors had lived to see this this, you can bet they would've echoed Orson Welles' dying words: "Keep [your] goddamn crayolas off my movie."

Robert Hume said...

Hey John, you gave out a link once before to a Warner Brothers' site that sold the old VHS copies of classic(non-tampered with) Warner Brothers cartoons, but I can't seem to locate it on your blog...

Would you mind giving it out again? I would like to order some!

I don't really care said...

It was a moody cartoon that took place at night. It now looks like daytime. The contrast has been turned way up so that what was once dark, rich moody colors is now black agains an almost white sky. The fence is now bright green.

If you like it that way, fine for you.

I think it's criminal to change an artists' work just because digital technology makes it so easy to do so.


A rational being naturally assumes that the process would involve skilled technicians who start with the highest quality originals or negatives, and do everything possible to preserve that experience through the transfer. Silly me.

Instead they do them all on take your kid to work day, and just let him fuck with the knobs.

Chloe Cumming said...

I don’t know if I’m feeling too clever today but I wanted to contribute…

I’d love to be able to attend one of these shows one of these days, at least one, to be honest, I want in on the cartoony cause.

I wrote my dissertation about cartoons and the importance of cartoonyness (a word MS word outrageously refuses to recognise). In my teens I think I read a little essay John wrote about cartoons being about funny drawings, and it absolutely lodged in my brain like a pure little nugget of goodness and truth, through all the crap I went through at art school, it kind of glimmered there asking to be unravelled.

I’m too embarrassed to even re-read the dissertation now. I think my heart was in the right place but I was still suffering severe Artschool-Irony-Apathy-Inertia… but the fact I did choose that subject, despite the total indifference of everyone in my immediate environment, says something about how important it seemed in the grand scheme.

Important to understand how to join things up logically…

Joining up the human needs for joy and handcrafted things, needs that people don’t realise they have, but suffer from the lack of

Joining up the need for multi-pronged all enveloping sensual entertainment with the need to value the toil and manual skill it takes to achieve that

And the joy that lies even in the toil, if you have faith in the project

Trying to make something un-ironically brilliant is a leap of faith

I was struck by something someone said earlier (quoting Eddie Fitzgerald?) about the bravery needed to do cartoony humour… and risk it failing.

There’s no bravery in deadpan irony or deliberate ugliness

I see people hiding behind assumptions about how sophisticated we all are now supposedly by default… too sophisticated to try?…

Those Fleischer cartoons are primitive, which serves to just make it more obvious how much soul and joy and humanity they have oozing out of them. The picture I used on the cover of my dissertation was one of Bimbo using the rubbery moon to swing over a pit… someone might know what cartoon that’s from. Some of the Fleischer images were totally immediately radical to me, not old or retro cool, just the joy of invention and creation in its purest form.

I may actually be a little delirious tonight with fuzzy spit infecting my brain, forgive me. I had to eat a Star Bar to get me up the hill after I went to the gym because I feared I’d fall into a swoon.

Ramble ramble, extrapolate, gush.

max ward said...

Now I see where the model of Jasper comes from.

Eric Dotseth said...

This is the first time I have seen the Bjork video and I think it was great. Thanks for the post.

How much creative license did you have with this video...how much of the visual content was decided by you vs. the singer? And how were you able to use your own trademarked characters in a product (music video) that is owned by someone else?

Tougi said...

Have any of you heard of TVTonic? If you have a computer with Windows MCE, there's a good chance you've seen the link to their Website. It's not really any different than Podcasting, in that it downloads video files any time your computer is turned on, but it has some exclusive "channels." Cartoon Cow (http://tvtonic.com/content/detail.php?channel=cartooncow)
features old, often cartoony cartoons. It's fantastic, and if you're the sort of person who enjoys this blog, you should absolutely download TVTonic just for this, in spite of the unfortunate compression on all the cartoons. Then there's the Looney Tunes channel. You know John's suggestion: "Why not just redraw them from scratch in Flash and use the Licensing guide models of the characters so that they are always 'on-model'?"

Yeah. They pretty much did that.
http://tvtonic.com/content/detail.php?channel=looneytunes

Disgusting.

Donald S. said...

Thanks for the very imformative blog, John. I've learned alot.

Anonymous said...

this post should be required reading for all animation or motion-graphics enthusiasts/practitioners.

As a musician myself I was glad to see the music note in there. Part of me thinks that the general climate/process of including music in visual media is responsible for the decline in "designed" though re: music.

Basically that since Pulp Fiction (a movie with a great soundtrack slapped on a pretty good movie) film-makers (and by affiliation... suits?) just look for their favorite music to make a soundtrack to their movies as opposed to a score.

And given that animation, as the ugly step-child of film, already does it backwards (score first, animation to match score)... the whole thing just gets worse and worse. No one cares about the music other than if it's hit-worthy. Thus the animators can't care about it because the music has to be done later. Thus no one really watches?

Am I insane here? I'd really like more thoughts on that.

Great post.

Marc Deckter said...

Great comment, Chloe!

jert said...

sounds like fun....... this is my favorite post on this blog. free insightfull information from animation heroes allways deserves maximum respect. i've made a couple of comments in the past without introducing myself, im jeremy townsend and i'm one of those caricature guys. i drew a lot of inspiration from your work growing up.....blah,blah,blah... just wanted to say i appreciate free resources for artistic disscussion. keep posting and i'll keep reading.

Gabriel said...

Those Fleischer cartoons are primitive, which serves to just make it more obvious how much soul and joy and humanity they have oozing out of them.

I think "Swing you sinners" is kind of primitive but charming. "Bimbo's initiation", on the other hand, is very sophisticate, the techniques had already been perfected by that time. I think that its level of skill is mind boggling, it's a cartoon that I'd easily rank not only as one of the funniest ever made, but one of the most impressive too. It's not like it was only great for it's time, it stands on its own very well to this day.

P.C. Unfunny said...

"When a guy has to educate other human beings about what a real cartoon is, I start to think maybe I've lived too long."

We live in a society were common sense must be explained to us,a sad but true fact. Also, we in live in a society that is too lazy work or demand what it wants,my theory is people do want cartoony cartoons yet they take "South Park" instead because they are too damn lazy to demand high quality.

JohnK said...

Hey Jorge

I didn't put up your latest post, because it was too full of factual errors.

If you correct them I will be happy to post your insults.

Jorge Garrido said...

Here's an interesting story regarding element #5, the butt stab, at Disney.

Dave Hand, who directed The Flying Mouse, recalled "an argument Walt and I had about a specific action... The mouse was blown backward through the air, out of control. He was a sympathetic character in a sad plight. The 'laugh' gag was that his rear end would make a 'bull's-eye' into a large thorn sticking out of a rosebush stem." Hand had opposed that gag during work on the story, but Disney had overruled him, "so when the picture got to me, I decided to play the impaling down as much as possible." Disney caught up with Hand, though, and overruled him again: "Walt insisted that I make the thorn long, dark, and sharp- and that the mouse's rear end get buried clear up to the hilt. And further to this, that I have the music build up to a 'screech' accent. That poor mouse!"

Hollywood Cartoons by Michael Barrier, pg. 122-123

Mike Barrier's interview with Hnad, 30 May 1975.

Jorge Garrido said...

>>I didn't put up your latest post, because it was too full of factual errors

I didn't save the post anywhere, email it or something. blindside_invert@hotmail.com

Kitty said...

you mean nowadays cartoon network is a LIE?? I mean, I don't see Cartoon Network changing their name to "Animation Network" b/c of all the non-cartoons (anime, non-cartoony 'cartoons', etc.) lol

anyway, thanks for the references. maybe a young cartoonist will see this for the first time and learn from it.

(btw, [off topic] john, check out my new blog entry. )

Mitch K said...

Awesome post! I'd love to see this show!!

Jesse Oliver said...

Hi John

QUESTION:

Which of the following Clampett cartoons do you like the best?

1. Porky's Bedtime

2. Tick Tock Tuckered

J. J. Hunsecker said...

Does anyone know if Tex Avery worked on those Lantz Oswald cartoons? I know he was an animator there in the early thirties, and that he contributed gags to the cartoons.

JohnK said...

>>

Does anyone know if Tex Avery worked on those Lantz Oswald cartoons? <<

Yep, he did.

>>Which of the following Clampett cartoons do you like the best?

1. Porky's Bedtime

2. Tick Tock Tuckered<<

Well neither one is very strong for Clampett. Porky's Badtime Story is one of his 1st cartoons, and the other is a cheater retrace of it.

They both have some nice animation in them though.

Julián höek said...

john, your coments about the animation industry are both inspirationl and sad. it's sad well....becouse you are totaly right, cartoons are not being cartoony any more, but it's inspirational all your effords for them to be cartoony again. first of all by talking all the time about all the great stuff of the golden era, i have to admint that i did't know who clampett was untill you started to talk about him and in result i started to watch more and mores his cartoons and they blowed my mind. then by trying to spread the blair's book and telling all to practice on old model sheets when the characters have lots of volumen. It's like puting seeds in every bodys brain and hands and expect a new wave of youg cartoonist actualy cartoony (i'm not shure about the expretion buy i hope you get the idea)
it's great that you are doing this kinds of shows. i read what cartoons where showed and try to get them and watch them also to read all the coments to know bettet what happen in the event becouse it's more than interesing to me. Stephen Worth said "I wish the whole world was there last night". well i'm trying in my way,!! and with this blog and all the coments in other sites like stephens's or animation id, goober slave, etc, etc, etc it will spread!
somebody mentiones you should do like a tour of this talk. i guess a visit to argentina will be asking to much, but hey! what the hell!! would you like to come to argetina some time to talk about these. there was a big industry here untill ten years ago then it kind of slow down but now it coming back again.
perhasps a dvd of you coferences or a dvd with your favourites would be a great way to spread it. i have been talking a lot with the folks in the studio where a work about this. i make my self a home dvd with clampett's filmography and im giving it away to my friends there becouse it's a must have.
well...thanks again for all john and i hope you wish of a rebirth of cartoony cartoons beacome a reality!
BTW sorry for the crappy english

Julian from argentina

Adam B said...

The Warner Bros DVDs arent the best, but I think you can get good tapes from the net.(I just ordered a Bob Clampett tape).I couldnt find any DVDs of Bob Clampett cartoons.

Whiggles said...

"It's as if they just farm out all the transfers to multiple post houses, because there are so many different ways to ruin the cartoons."

I think that this exactly what happens, or at least they have a bunch of different technician who all have their own ideas about how to "improve" the cartoons. I've seen films on DVD where the way the materials are tampered with varies radically between different scenes. Those responsible are obviously just running around like headless chickens and doing their own thing because no-one's there to keep them in check.

David Germain said...

New cartoons are made by execs, not laywers.

But lawyers are largely responsible for the treatment of classic cartoons.


I remember reading a book about how Saturday Night Live was run in the early 1980's. Then producer Dick Ebersol would carry a baseball bat around with him. So whenever a suit from NBC would come around saying stuff like "We think the show should be more like this and less like this...... our market research tells us this and that........blah blah blah" Dick would shove the bat right in their faces and shout "BACK OFF, MAN!!! JUST BACK OFF!!!" And, lo and behold, NBC would leave them alone.

I think that the John K.'s, the Brad Bird's, the Craig McCracken's, or any other actual creative artists within the industry should adopt this technique. :D

Anonymous said...

That Björk video is just the greatest thing ever. I wonder why this remains the only collaboration between John K. and Björk.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

This post is music to my ears! Why isn't anybody making cartoons anymore? I wish I knew the answer. Maybe it's because everybody, artists and executives alike, put too much emphasis on plot and character arcs and high concept. These are dramatic conventions that are alien to comedy. We need simpler concepts like, "a rabbit lives in a hole and bothers people."

JohnK said...

>>Maybe it's because everybody, artists and executives alike, put too much emphasis on plot and character arcs and high concept.<<

I have seen very little in animation that uses a real plot. Certainly not animated features or TV sitcoms. They are always contrived.

There is nothing wrong with having a plot, if you are actually capable of it- as long as you still make it a cartoon.

6 minutes is usually too short for a plot, but in a half hour it's possible.

Just don't waste time with long setups and exposition, make it ALL entertaining.

Character arcs are torture. It's audience abuse.

Bluto said...

Are you and Eddie talking about short cartoons? because I haven't ever seen a character arc even attempted in one of those.

Maybe in "8-Ball Bunny" where Bugs comes around to helping the pain-goo-en, but today's stuff? Where is there an "arc" of any kind?

If you're talking about feature animation, that's another thing. but you never discuss animated features here per se, only the things you love and want to see in 7 minutes which is as it should be. That's the purest form of the cartoon ever invented.

I don't really care said...

Character arcs are torture. It's audience abuse.

We need simpler concepts like, "a rabbit lives in a hole and bothers people."


--Or,
CONFLICT:
"Wanna be a member?" -"NO!"

RESOULUTION:
everybody is actually Bettie Boop.

What would happen if you wanted to make that for Nick?

They'd probably say that the life lesson isn't clear enough, there's not enough characters talking out their problems, there's no sharing, the knife in the butt is too pointy, sending the message that kids should play with sharp knives, there aren't enough corners on the characters, there's no lime green anywhere...

Bluto said...

They'd probably say that the life lesson isn't clear enough, there's not enough characters talking out their problems, there's no sharing, the knife in the butt is too pointy, sending the message that kids should play with sharp knives, there aren't enough corners on the characters, there's no lime green anywhere...

don't care, you're not describing any Nick shows. Warner's? Absofuckinglutely. Nick?? Not so much.
Love 'em or hate 'em, the Cartoon Network and Nick shows are pretty broad and freeform and all over the place...even stuff like whatever it's called, Fairly Oddparents? doesn't impart "lessons" or any shite like that, it tends towards the obvious snark and turning convention on its head(in a way that's itself become utterly conventional). You're thinking of Baby Looney Tunes or that stuff.

If anything it seems that with Adult Swim and Oh Yeah cartoons, etc. there's more room for non-PC stuff than ever.

I don't really care said...

I was being general.

Fairly Oddparents? doesn't impart "lessons"

Corners on Characters. Lime Green, or some equal offense. Too much talking about things.

Rugrats: Talking out problems, Sharing, or some other nonsense.

I could go on, but what show specifically is guilty of what is not my interest. There's plenty of guilt to go around.

Sam said...

Hey John, I uploaded two scenes from Boo Boo Runs Wild, Do you think they fit in one of the categories you talk about in your post?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaiTcFR6EQg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa0JvkvDSJQ

lastangelman said...

Excellent stuff! The Fleischer toons are unbelievable (I haven't seen Barnacle Bill in twenty-five years!), the complete I Miss You, absolutely THE best animated music video ever (haven't seen your latest opus for Weird Al Yankovoch and Tenacious D), wonderful still images that get the point across. I've recommended this site to a lot of talented young people I have met in Dallas TX who are learning animation (why are they are all young girls or women? Where are the guys? Can anyone explain?).
Bob Clampett and Tex Avery must have been Fleischer fans. Why did Fleischer Brothers cartoons drop the ball and Leon Shlesinger/Warner Brothers pick it up? There's a mystery!

Razzmatazz said...

Wonderful work, Mr John K! Great!

For all pals, my animation blog:

http://kinetoscopioblog.blogspot.com/

Jesse Oliver said...

Hey John

I have a question about the "Altruists" cartoon.

In the scene where Ren takes the painting of Mexican Elvis off the wall there are other pictures of people on the wall. Are any of thoes people based on any body?

Jesse

J. J. Hunsecker said...

Why did Fleischer Brothers cartoons drop the ball and Leon Shlesinger/Warner Brothers pick it up? There's a mystery!

In 1934 the Production Code got stricter with censoring "objectionable" material from films and cartoons. Mae West and Betty Boop's careers never recovered from it. Betty was changed from a cute flapper into a frumpy housefrau.

Secondly, the Fleischers tried to imitate the popular Disney Silly Symphonies in the late 30's. Heartwarming sentiments weren't their strong point and they made a series of crudley drawn and bland cartoons in color.

Next, Paramount Pictures wanted a feature like Disney's Snow White from the Fleischers. They made two -- Gulliver's Travels and Mr. Bug (or Hoppity) Goes To Town. The last feature caused some financial troubles. Max and Dave Fleischer weren't on speaking terms around this time. Paramount fired them and took over the studio (in all probability, an illegal move). The studio was renamed Famous Studios.

ncross said...

"In the scene where Ren takes the painting of Mexican Elvis off the wall there are other pictures of people on the wall. Are any of thoes people based on any body?"

Those are Katie & Luke and Fred Osmond...and of course "Mexican Elvis" is Jose Pou.

David Germain said...

Max and Dave Fleischer weren't on speaking terms around this time.

I believe that was because Dave had become an alcoholic much to the dismay of Max. Dave wouldn't stop drinking no matter what Max said so they parted ways.

Or was it Max who was the alcoholic much to Dave's dismay?

warren said...

Lotta complainers in here.

Let's MAKE some goddamned cartoons. That's waaaaay more fun.

Patrick said...

WOW...this post has it ALL..I really like all those youtube videos ( have you ever thought of posting QuickTime videos?) The Bjork video was EXTRA disturbing, VERY COOL.

Aaron H said...

Hey, I just wanted to say, regarding the colors on these old cartoons, I am colorblind and you guys are making me feel like I have really missed out on something by not being able to see the richness of color in non-ruined cartoons.

It never even occurred to me until I read all this stuff that Bugs Bunny's ears were anything but bright pink. Maybe the studios have a bunch of closeted colorblind frustrated animators working for them?

fast eddie said...

Hey John, if you get a chance, could you post your list of essential dvd's/vhs.

Thanks

NARTHAX said...

Dave Germain,

It's all in Richard Fleischer's book about his father, Max. Dave was an alcoholic but Paramount was the culprit that killed their studio. Cabarga's 1976 book didn't have all the goods.

Stephen Worth said...

Richard Fleischer's book is a long way from being the last word. It's a wallpaper job over the Fleischer's history.

Dave was having a very visible affair with his secretary at the studio. Max was morally offended by it and refused to work with him. Paramount took advantage of the rift to take over the studio, and both of them blamed the other one for losing the studio.

See ya
Steve

Anonymous said...

"This show needs to go on tour"

Silence! I concur.

Toren Q Atkinson said...

"This show needs to go on tour"

Silence! I concur.

cinematograph said...

To be a little off-topic:

I'm crossing my fingers on this -
The First Annual SF International Animation Showcase Oct. 12-15
http://www.sfiff.org/pt/articles/sc_coming.html

I hope they know what a cartoon is and include them in their program. I know also you were planning another SF show. Are you involved in this?

Anonymous said...

i appreciate your point of view on today's animation and i couldn't agree with you more. also, i want to thank you for helping to raise me properly and making my childhood one to remember. Cant wait until the Ultimate Ren & Stimpy comes out!!! you rock!

Vanoni! said...

A real cartoon is like music. It should feel good, no matter what the content or subject matter is about. It should make you bounce to it.

When I first moved to LA I was desperate to figure out what a real animation studio looked and functioned like - so I asked around and was sent to Pantomime Pictures, where Fred Crippen gave me the grand tour. . .about 15 minutes.
I didn't pick up on much, he breezed through most everything pretty quickly, until he got to the timing director and spent a good amount of time explaining how important the sound and music was to the cartoon. At least THAT stuck with me.

karaokefreak said...

Good analysis, you know how to read the pieces and present them, good job.

Roberto González said...

I'm still translating the zillion comments here, but anyway, fantastic post, John. I think it's probably your best post ever. Very nice examples too. I'll try to see those cartoons in the future (I mean, the ones I haven't watched yet).

Colin said...

There really needs to be a new uprising of real cartoony cartoons.

Pixar and Anime has ruled for too long now.

Chipnyu said...

You included your TWIST AND RIDE thingermajing from Mighty Mouse! Those were some ridin' 80s times, man...

You do get very in depth with cartooning. You can't really call it a dying art yet either, hah.

Brian B said...

Nice post first of all. It got me thinking about how closely your values are tied to your idea, and really a lot of peoples ideas, about what a cartoon is. Which leads to this.

Do you think it's fair that people who try to do funny animation now are called "John K wannabe"s? Like this animator who was attacked somewhat for "desperately wanting to be John K" when his video was posted on cartoonbrew.com, Andres Silva.

Link to the post/video: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/shorts/cupcake-hitler

I don't think he desperately wants to be John K. I think he was influenced by you and probably respects your work, but there's originality in here. An attempt at it however successful you might deem it to be.

Nobody ever calls out attempts to emulate UPA or the very traditionally "Cal Artsy" style which does exist in mass - though I don't think as prevalent as you claim but I can't say for sure. Point being though - real fun, cartoon animation is a minority now. And as such it's attacked as copycat/emulation of yourself now when somebody does attempt it. Where as something that may be a less original imitation of a more common form of animation isn't.

Not saying there aren't sad imitations of Spumco-style. They exist for sure like any other style spawns, but I don't think every one of them is a pure, slavish imitation. They're shot down for their influences before ever being allowed a chance to develop like animation the directors of Termite Terrace were. I think Eddie's Tales of Worm Paranoia is one such example along with the one posted above.

I understand Eddie's worm had some similar drawings/expressions to Ren, as well as integration of expressionism and classical music. It's wrongly attacked for being a pure imitation though. The frustrating part comes in in that nearly any feature film and Cal Arts-influenced show/film share character expressions and other things alike. Just in a less alarming, quieter way for audiences and executives. Allowed another project for blending into what's common and current. Cartoons in general are loud, they're going to be in your face. It makes it such a sink or swim gamble for anyone who believes in cartoons.

JohnK said...

I haven't seen the cartoon, but I know people who have cartoony styles who have been told, "None of that Spumco stuff here!"

It's sad that there are so few cartoony cartoons anymore that anything that looks remotely fun is classed "That Spumco stuff".

They say that about people who merely draw well and use traditional principles.

Colin said...

Can I ask you John, How much money does it cost to start your own animation studio?

I wanna start my own rather than wroking for some one else and having my creativity limited.

Also, do you know any good animation schools here in California that teach these principles or anything close to them?

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Well said, John! Well said!

Emmett said...

This is all amazingly informative, yet at the same time, very distressing. I love the expression of animation. I love cartoons. I also believe Genndy Tartakovsky is one of the great geniuses of modern animation. How does he get to make the amazing work he does, and still keep it so complete and original?

Mr. K, have you seen any of John R. Dilworth's animation?. He's a new york animator, who did the show COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG. I always thought most of his work had cartoon elements.

I hope its not hopeless.

Jim Rockford said...

You're right,the music is almost as important as the visual aspects of the cartoons,great music and timing underscore and add to the impact of what we see on the screen.
Almost all of todays cartoons have crappy synthetic noise in the background that does nothing but detract from the show (what little of it there is)
The classic production music you used in Ren & Stimpy and the Spumco Yogi's
added immeasurably to the action and feeling of your cartoons!
Happy,zippy,brilliantly arranged and orchestated instrumental tunes by guys most people have never heard of!
Tunes like "Hollywood Holiday" and "stop gap" really brought home the glamour of Stimpys hollywood experience in "Stimpys Big day"
How about the eerie music that played when Mr.Horse asked if the boys had any rubber walrus protectors?
Or heavy affliction playing as Ren walks in despair through the dark streets of town enduring the hard reproachful stares of bystanders to seek mental help!
The choice of music and the timing is brillaint!

Another great example is in Firedogs 2 when cheif tells Ren he can pick and choose who lives and dies at the next fire!
Incredibly strange and ethereal music plays as Ren's mind is off wandering in some dark region chanting "die...die..DIE"

No Ren LIVE...LIVE!!

Anthony said...

John, if you do go on tour, don't forget the Castro in San Francisco. Last time was a blast!

John said...

I do think that Genndy Tartakovsky's cartoons are second only to you and mabey Danny Antonucci(of modern cartoonists ayway) but yours are the absoulute best no doubt old or new.

Sean Worsham said...

John if you do go on tour, visit San Jose! Camera 12 cinema supports independent cinema and hosts Spike and Mike every year and there's a college 2 blocks away full of artists that care about you and your works. Good luck on whatever you are doing man!

Fred said...

I think the reason cartoons don't have "impossible" things in them anymore is because cartoons are though of (incorrectly) as being for kids and it would "scare" them...

Traven said...

I wonder what's your view of these animations by Ivan Maximov?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbar3nsf0_U

This one doesn't have a butt stab, as far as I recall, but all the other elements of cartooning are there

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnWJ6LwIQkU

This quirky one gives butts a prominent role... see it yourself.

Ivan

baronash said...

Hello John
Loved your post

I just happened to see this on TV and could you see if this can qualify as a true cartoon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm3kI04a8Qs

PS:personally this is just Disneys take on family guy