Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rip-a-Long CEREAL PRIZES




I've always considered myself a champion of the audience. While most of the industry conspires against being nice to humans, I fight to appeal to normal human desires. I don't succeed every single time, but at least I try.

When I do kids' cartoons I aim to give kids what everyone else refuses to. Like, can you imagine a super hero cartoon where the characters actually punch anybody? Well I had to fight executives for even the very few punches that appeared in a show about a genre that is all about punching.

In the Ripping Friends-a show that had many conspiring forces against it, I purposely crafted a segment to let the kids know that Spumco cartoonists were on their side.

I came up with a concept called "Rip Along With The Ripping Friends". In each of these sequences, kids would write the Ripping Friends to tell them who was being mean to them this week: Bullies, Teachers, Networks, Cartoon writers, Parents, Homework assignments, Lumpy toymakers, etc. The Ripping Friends would read the kids' complaints, empathize and then go after the monsters who dared to be mean to them.

Cereal companies are mean now, but they used to love kids. They used to cover their cereal boxes with great cartoon art, games and cut-out-activities. They made great entertaining animated commercials, they sponsored cartoon shows on TV, they coated every single nugget of cereal with glorious sparkly sugar, but the thing they did best was...they put PRIZES in every cereal box!

In this particluar Rip-Along, The Ripping Friends try to find out who's responsible for not putting real prizes in cereal anymore and then they rectify the affront.


This segment pretty much illustrates my whole philosophy of entertainment-let actual entertainers do whatever they can to entertain their audience and stay out of their way, then collect the money. The irony of the animation here is that much of it is pretty blandly executed. I drew the first half of the segment and did my best to try to get everyone along the production line to trace my drawings exactly. They didn't, they felt compelled to add lumps to every drawing, but you can at least recognize my style underneath the lumps- in the first half of the cartoon.







You idiot!


Those kids...


... believe in puppets...


...you're ruining...


...the MAGIC!


Yeah! Try to use your head, willya?!


I'm sorry fellas...


I'm just...


...Rrrr...


...eally...


...MAD!



The second half of the cartoon is some combination of me and the generic Canadian style. It was storyboarded in a very funny style by Mike Kerr, but his board then went through the blandifying Canadian studio who composed eveything in the middle, designed ugly incidental characters and liberally piled the lumps all over the stuff. I did some of the drawings of Rip, trying to keep the life and wackiness that Mike did in the storyboard, but of course that had to be covered in lumps too.

It was this bland, symmetric uncomposed lumpiness that drove me to write up the manuals I have started to post on the blog.
Even though the expressions in the drawing above are extreme by modern standards, notice that the features on either side of the face are totally symmetrical. The original drawings had a lot more life, but the Canadian director "fixed" them for me and evened them all out.
After I caught him, he explained he had to do it, because Jim Smith and my drawings were "off-model". Jim and I designed the characters.




That same "director" designed this wonderfully appealing pile of lumps above.



A lot of this art makes me cringe, but I'm going to show some clips now and then of stuff that I've screened at festivals that got a lot of laughs from the audience. Luckily for me, many modern cartoons have so dulled people's eyeballs that they can laugh at satire and gags despite many nasty drawings.







See the pin-point eyeball pupils in the characters above? Dead. Robotic. Non-organic. I had to make manuals just to show Canadian studios how to make eyes look like they are coming out of living creatures. The manuals were hidden in the file cabinet of the idiot production manager. What was his name again, Mike?

Wow! A slightly non-symmetrical drawing somehow slipped through the system! The director probably got fired for this.



72 comments:

Justin said...

I love that first drawing at the top of the page of the close-up. Its funny how much more interesting and even more cartoony a character can get by actually looking at real life instead of relying on generic cartoon facial features. Things like the bridge of the nose, the shape of the eyes, and especially that ear! I love that ear!

I never got to see Ripping Friends.

Mad Taylor said...

It's great how you pointed out the pin-point eyeball. I began looking for U-shaped eyes too! Probably a silly question, but is there ever a situation where it is ok to use pin-point or U-shapes for eyes? Last I checked Cracker Jacks got mean too, you can't get nuthin but a stinkin temporary tattoo now.

Trevour said...

Memories...

I watched (AND TAPED!) EVERY single episode of the Ripping Friends as they aired each Saturday morning. In fact, I still remember the first episode airing the Saturday immediately following 9/11... and it was the first thing to cheer me up after such a crummy week.

I also remember wanting to write to the Ripping Friends (in the guise of a kid of course!), so I could possibly have my letter Ripped Along With The Ripping Friends as well.

My friend Jef and I bought Ripping Friends t-shirts the moment we saw them on display in a Hot Topic store a few weeks later.

I had that Ripping Friends print-out from the Fox Kids website hanging in the cubicle of my job at the time.

Getting back to the animation part, I could always tell what was John K. or Jim Smith drawings, and what wasn't! It's rather obvious!

Question John, who animated the "Pain Machine" scene, with Rip and Jimmy? In particular, when Rip is getting shocked to high heaven? That's some fantastic animation. That couldn't have been done by the lumpy crew, or was it?

I miss The Ripping Friends.

Shawn said...

I'm still a fan of the show, despite all the mistakes you hate to look at. It's still better than anything else that was out at that time. And friggin' funny too!

I can remember when cereal was still fun. But it was so long ago, I've almost forgotten.

We don't even get crappy stickers anymore. The cheap bastards!

R said...

In the late 90's-early 00's They reintroduced the cereal Golden Nuggets over here in the UK. for about the first year of production (maybe a little longer) they used great, retro-type boxes with cartoons (drawn in a somewhat Bill Wrayish style), comics on the back, puzzles on the sides, collectable boxtops (for stuff like Klondike Pete beanie toys), and ACTUAL PRIZES INSIDE! not ones relating to current movies or whatever, but toys relating to the 'world' they were setting up for the characters. and the TV commercials were actual cartoons!

Then they realised that's not how things are done anymore and they canned the idea, redesigned the boxes using a horrible Hallmark-card redesign of the characters, and I stopped buying the cereal.

I still have all my boxes from the good ole days tho, I think.

LêA said...

Nothing is like it use to. We are living in a ******* world that prefer to create stupid, compulsive-consumer kids, instead of giving them the encouragement they ask for and need. I have the theory that if you find a cartoon, a show, or a product on TV that further kid's interest, with no comercial proposal, with respect to them, and with love, there are two options:
-you are wrong, or dreaming a beautiful dream
-you are watching some Spumco cartoon...
(and I'm not trying to creep anybody)

LêA said...

(I'm only talking about NOWADAYS cartoons, shows or products, I think that a lot of old (and not so old) stuff were a lot more respectful with kid's interests and brains...

Pseudonym said...

So... how DO you draw eyes? (It's something I've always had trouble with.)

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand the logic behind changing your drawings. I mean, it was YOUR show. Why didn't they do it the way you wanted?

Crazy.

I never got to see it anyway.

They show tons of old Tex Avery cartoons here in Japan every night on "Cartoon Network," among other directors.

And they don't cut them, either. The other night I watched a cat blow his brains out with a pistol!

Patrick said...

My brothers and I were punching,slapping and tackling each other long before we saw our first episode of the "THREE STOOGES". It wasn't the TV that made us do this, we were just NORMAL FRIGGIN KIDS.
Do these execs think that by extracting things from a show will discourage it from happening?
CEREAL commercials make me sick these days....very goddamn one of them has to depict the SAME ethnic breakdown - Black kid,White blonde girl, SOme kind of Asian and the TOTAL absense of a White Male Child!!! WTF?

Francisco de Borja said...

Nice catoon, pal... is a pitty that in sapin we just had few episodes of ren and stimpy and horribly dubbed.
Take care, keep fighting for funny cartoons.

Salud!

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

"I had to make manuals just to show Canadian studios how to make eyes look like they are coming out of living creatures. The manuals were hidden in the file cabinet of the idiot production manager."

Any chance you can post more of these manuals for your blog pals? I promise mine will stay away from any file cabinet contraption.

-David O.

Rodrigo said...

I cracked up when he smashed the bunny.

I think there was a little too much talk though and not enough decisive action. . .

Interesting point you made about your style, John. Something happened to me just yesterday that relates very interestingly.

I've been running through those Preston Blair lessons, and I decided to doodle a silly caricature of me and a friend. Right off the bat, people asked if I was trying to go for the "Ren and Stimpy"-style. As much as I love your toons, I've never tried to recreate your style. Truth be told, I was thinking Preston Blair throughout my doodle. . . spherical shapes, wrapping details, etc. And then people tell me that it looks like your stuff -- whodathunkit?

Apparently, it's all about roots.

Ambo said...

There's tons of punching on Saturday morning now. Legion of Superheroes, the Batman, etc etc. Punch-o-rama. We are living in the golden age of punching, thanks to the trail you blazed.
Also, why are your characters always so pinched all over the place? Pinched as in sausage link joints and such. Even the faces seem sucked in on themselves a lot of times too. Where does that come from? Where did you get that and who influenced it? Katie seems to have taken it much further than you.

JohnK said...

>>There's tons of punching on Saturday morning now.<<

Characters punching other characters? In the face and stuff?

I'd like to see that. They never used to let superheroes do what superheroes do in the comics - kick ass.

Raff said...

"You mean ONE kid swallows a prize, and every other kid has to PAY FOR IT??"

Ye gads, did you ever hit the nail on the head there. Up until that point it sounded like Rip was preaching the evangel of Ronald McDonald, but that line speaks volumes.

A friend once mentioned that Barney the Dinosaur came to prominence because a mom or two complained that Sesame Street was too sophisticated for her kids. Whose kids would be too dumb to get Sesame friggin' Street - and didn't the majority who DID get it have rights?

akira said...

man, i hope there'll be a complete series dvd set of Ripping friends released or at least another disc that has the Jean Poole episode! any chance of posting original storyboards for side by side comparison? (i know there are storyboards of some sections on the dvd, but they're pretty small and hard to see).

also speaking of dumbing down drawings (and bad color and BGs), i recently had the misfortune to watch "class of 3000"(supposedly a highly budgeted show), and on the credits it says you and Katie were guest art directors or something like that...

perhaps you want to avoid badmouthing people you just worked with, but maybe you could just clarify what work you actually did for the show? also, have you ever asked to be removed from a show's credits or doesn't that happen in animation work?

JohnK said...

>>"class of 3000"(supposedly a highly budgeted show), and on the credits it says you and Katie were guest art directors or something<<

Katie and I did some inspirational sketches of the characters in different styles for one particular music video in one episode. I don't think it's out yet, because Eddie was storyboarding it just a couple weeks ago.

The director Joe Horn was great to work with. Maybe I'll find some of the drawings and post them if Joe lets me.

murrayb said...

jessica borutski's cartoon I LOVE PANDAS got nominated for 2 awards on frederator: Everybody GO VOTE for it!!

http://www.channelfrederator.com/awards

I Remember that dreaded production cabinet at Funbag. It was always locked. The artists had to find the curmudgeonly unhelpful production assistants at the pub across the street to get the key, to get our own designs.
I want a "rip along" for all the production morons of the animation industry.

Mitch K said...

I never really liked this show as a kid. There was always something that drew me to it, but then I just didn't like it when I watched. Remember thinking that the animation wasn't fun, but now that I see it again I can see that the drawings really WEREN'T all that fun!

That was a hilarious idea, though. I still laughed, just now. That's actually the last thing I remember seeing from the show.

JohnK said...

Hey Mitch, you are well on your way to the Canadian style, there. You better de-lumpify by doing the Preston Blair lessons quick!

Otherwise you'll end up at Funbag changing my drawings and then hating the show.

Max Ward said...

In Michael Barrier's book concerning you and Ren & Stimpy he says, "Clampett himself did not, and almost certainly could not, make real Bob Clampett cartoons when he produced a Beany and Cecil series for television in the early sixties, and Kricfalusi couldn't either, even in a culture far more hospitable to blue humor."

What happened on the Ripping Friends is an example of this. Is there any cartoon you have made that you think you can say 100% follows your vision?

Naomi said...

Truly, it's sad that when people like you, who know what kids REALLY want and like, get shunned and screwed over by the industry because it's not "soft" or "safe" or wtfever. They're taking all the fun and creativity out of everything now because those things are discouraged. And btw, they don't even put stickers in cereal anymore! Now, you get jack shit! I miss those days of getting cool toys in my cereal. :'(

JohnK said...

>>In Michael Barrier's book ...<<

That's his fancy way of saying TV doesn't give you enough money to make full animation. But it's more fun for him to insult his heroes.

You could give Mike Barrier a billion dollars and he wouldn't be able to even make South Park.

Ken M said...

re: "Class of 3000"

The makers of this show would benefit greatly from reviewing the discussions of structure and color theory in this blog. I find it hard to look at.

Eric C. said...

Oh I miss The Ripping Friends.

Say John, speaking about puppets and your satire on them (especially on the classic Ren & Stimpy), what do you think about puppets? Honestly, in your own humble opinion.

I'm just so dang curious as I am a cartoonist / puppeteer.

_Eric ;)

Charlie J. said...

"The director Joe Horn was great to work with. Maybe I'll find some of the drawings and post them if Joe lets me."

He"s really cool! He showed me those drawings you did of Andre as Fred Flintstone, those were great!

a request said...

Care to elaborate on lumps? I assume you mean pointless added forms or wrinkles, but I can't distinguish them in the examples.

Gabriel said...

And they don't cut them, either. The other night I watched a cat blow his brains out with a pistol!

Hey, here in Brazil too. Some months ago I caught 'Tortoise wins by a hare' on. Apparently no one cares about rabbits shooting themselves on public tv at 10 am. Good for the kids, now they just need to stop showing the crappy cartoons.

Ted said...

I obtained a binder of Rip Along scripts; nothing especially interesting about the Cereal Rip Along script, but there's some hilarious notes from outside for some other segments; like "Delaying Virgil's punishment until he is a grown-up, suggesting that it's okay for grown-ups to beat on each other, is problematic. We need to establish the adult Virgil is a villain" and "The resolution of ripping the cat does nothing to solve the cat's eating or pooping. It addresses only the cleaning of the litter box".

Patrick said...

What will they take out of the Cereal box when a kid CHOKES on the CEREAL???

tedrex said...

umm..While I would agree that Ripping Friends was definitely homogenified, calling it the canadian style is just plain nuts! Boring drawings, flat characters and bland expressions seem to a problem all over the world!

Don't be a self-hating Canuck, John! There are still some of us up here trying to do cartoons with some imagination. Show us the way, but don't blame our whole country!

Please keep up the excellent posts, cuz I know me and my cartoonin' friends are always talking about what you have to say!

Jeremy said...

I remember getting a bowl caddy from my cereal. Or a water squirter from my coco pebbles.

J said...

Dear John Kricfalusi,
My name's john maioriello, and i write for LAist.com, which is some blog thing-thang, and welp....

i would be honored if i could perhaps interview you, and publish it on LAist. because you know, i'm a big fan, and i don't get paid or anything...

i'm just some stoner college kid who wants a chance to ask you some semi-serious questions. BUT LAist is part of some big thing and it ends up getting TONS of traffic, so we could link to your blog or whatever you want.

like i'll email them to you, and perhaps you would kind enough to answer them in the email and send it back????

dude, i know you're prolly too busy, but this is my email anyways:
antidis@gmail.com

hope to hear from you.
(ps, i would have emailed you, but like, i couldnt find your email adress)

Anonymous said...

Joe Horne is a genius, but Hollywood won't recognize it until after he's dead.

Julián höek said...

please post those eyes manuals or any other kind of manual you have done john that would be really cool. thanks!

JohnK said...

>>calling it the canadian style is just plain nuts! Boring drawings, flat characters and bland expressions seem to a problem all over the world!<<

There is a certain type of blandness that is uniquely Canadian. It comes from Nelvana, Sheridan and Teletoon.

Canada always imitates the United States, but they are always about 10 years behind and have a very strange interpretation of styles that begin in the U.S.

There are very talented Canadians, but they are stuck in a system that won't let them use their talent.

Art F. said...

best prize i ever got from a cereal box was one of those scuba divers with the baking soda pellets that would make him submerge, rise, and submerge over and over again in your bathtub. i wonder if kids nowadays would find that toy as enjoyable as i did.

Mitch K said...

I work at Funbag already....

No, just kidding! haha
Thanks for the constructive input! You`re right!!

Fire Exit said...

> i wonder if kids nowadays would
> find that toy as enjoyable as i
> did.

I wonder if kids today would find that enjoyable at all. Most would rather run over pedestrians in aa GTA game their mum bought for them. It's a shame all the decent games which actually have stylistic artwork and themes (like Psychonauts) never even get near children and they get stuck with terribly animated rubbish such as Kingdom Hearts (good gameplay, totally bland animation).

Even the most interactive toy (consider Lego for example) get's a lot less attention than the latest console experience.

BTW, I'm a devout video gamer.

Anonymous said...

When I do kids' cartoons I aim to give kids what everyone else refuses to. Like, can you imagine a super hero cartoon where the characters actually punch anybody? Well I had to fight executives for even the very few punches that appeared in a show about a genre that is all about punching.

** That's stoopid

In the Ripping Friends-a show that had many conspiring forces against it, I purposely crafted a segment to let the kids know that Spumco cartoonists were on their side.

I came up with a concept called "Rip Along With The Ripping Friends". In each of these sequences, kids would write the Ripping Friends to tell them who was being mean to them this week: Bullies, Teachers, Networks, Cartoon writers, Parents, Homework assignments, Lumpy toymakers, etc. The Ripping Friends would read the kids' complaints, empathize and then go after the monsters who dared to be mean to them.

** Can't understand why there's such a big thing with censoring shows like this when kids skip classes in 9th grade to watch Halloween on LSD. Anyway I liked the one featuring the huge fat cat.
I got Ripping Friends ripped for me to video by some dude in Rochester (I can't make Saturday mornings). I thought it was a great show, though the insanity didn't flow as smothely as Ren & Stimpy insanity. Fave eps were Man Man n Boy Boy and Tuesday/Thursday?? Man part I. I almost choked on the segment where he is explaining his origion story to future cat. The series had some memorable lines too-

*YOU MAYBE SMALL IN EARS SON, BUT YOU'RE LARGE IN MAN HOOD
*WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS- BECAUSE YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WHO LOVES ME...
*TAKE A LOOK AT THE NAIL- YEAH SO?- IT'S ON THE WRONG SIIIDE!!!
*I'M I'M- ...SMOOOOOTH??- YES!!

Ape Lad said...

John, this Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes clip has some general butt-kicking. And it's on Saturday mornings. Be warned though, the colors will make your eyes melt right out of your head.

Sliced Oranges said...

What I didn't get is your anger at the artists that didn't draw on model. I know they're your creations, but you have also said that you liked cartoons where you could tell artists apart.

I'm not trying to poke fun at you and I know you have a good explanation for this, but I'd still like to hear it.

Hryma said...

I remember seeing a post when I was 16 or something asking for people who were able to draw manly men and wishing I bloody lived in Canada, because it was for the "Ripping friends" still would have loved to had worked on it even though it was tampered with.

Raff said...

>> There is a certain type of blandness that is uniquely Canadian. It comes from Nelvana, Sheridan and Teletoon. <<

Ah! C'est seulement Toronto, 'ostie de tabarnak!! :)

Worst thing is I might move there.

Jesse Oliver said...

Hey John

I like how the cereal company man was designed to look like Larry Fine from The Three Stooges. Also, Rip has always been my favorite Ripping Friend.

Jesse

"IT'S RIPPING TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

JohnK said...

>>What I didn't get is your anger at the artists that didn't draw on model. I know they're your creations, but you have also said that you liked cartoons where you could tell artists apart.<<

I'm not complaining about not drawing "on-model". The Canadian animation director would throw out the drawings that Jim, John D. and I did because HE thought they were off model. Then he would redraw them bland, even and lifeless and lumpy.

I'm all for artists who HAVE style to draw in their styles.

If you DON'T have style (as most artists don't)and all your job is is to clean up an artist's work who DOES have style, then you need to learn how to not tone it down or change it into something far less.

The system that exists in animation today is designed to tone down drawings every step along the production line. I've spent my entire career trying to combat this.

JohnK said...

>>John, this Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes clip has some general butt-kicking. And it's on Saturday mornings. Be warned though, the<<

I didn't see any butt-kicking, let alone characters punching characters.

I saw girls, robots and gay guys and ray punching, ray blasting, walking and talking.

When I read superhero comics as a kid, all the superheroes spent pages and pages of the stories beating the crap out of not only the villains, but each other.

What's the point of animating superheroes if they are going to have less action than the still drawings in the comics?

Nate said...

You know what you might find interesting?

The 1992 Batman animated series.
It's now known as one of the most violent cartoon even aimed at kids.
And the various other cartoons by the same studio are just as good, if not better.

Later Cartoons based on the DC universe by the same writers, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, would be hailed as some of the greatest superhero cartoons of all time.

I would describe these series myself, but I think I'll let some clips do the talking.

Here, we have spine breaking and face stomping
http://youtube.com/watch?v=MY4R_cPTjK4

Just as much brutallity, with a crazy twist at the end that you think would scare religious fundamentalists:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMRO9S4e9CA&feature=PlayList&p=F7BF3814666DA85B&index=22

And here's one more fight with Darksied, with a GREAT speech from Superman and three crushed buildings:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=geKjvg0rI9c

And this is just from the end of the series. The series is beloved among fans of DC for its violence, its character, its hear, and its wit (When I find them I might post some of the double-entendres that they got away with.)

Main problem with this kind of thing though is that parents now soil their pants over letting their kids watch voilence. My mom nannies a proffessors kid. This kid is never allowed to watch anything were one character even thinks of hitting another, yet all he EVER thinks about is violence and bloodshed (in a childish manner, of course).

Kids networks today, to my understanding, will not air a cartoon where one character fires a GUN at another. A GUN. Even if its the police shooting a criminal. I mean, what?

Fire Exit said...

It is kinda ironic how the girly super-heroes throw the most punches in animation. (Powerpuff Girls)

Bam!
Pow!
Kablam!

Nate Birch said...

I remember watching Ripping Friends back when it was still on Canadian TV...

...you'd wait for bits of good art and Spumco style to show through then beg it not to go.

"Wow, this cartoon suddenly started looking great...come on, last...last, keep it going. Aw damn, it's back to looking like a generic Saturday morning cartoon".

The Rip Along with the Ripping Friends segments were great. You managed to slip some pretty out-there stuff into them (cat shit, weiners going into vaginas...er, I mean hotdog buns and puppy eating...oh my).

Ted said...

An image from one of my favorite fight scenes in BTAS (more or less; World's Finest is a crossover between BTAS and STAS):
http://tag.rubberslug.com/gallery/inv_info.asp?ItemID=143087

JohnK said...

Hey Nate

I'm amazed! That was on broadcast TV? Was very episode that violent? I wish I had execs who let me do that.

Nate said...

Truthfully, I don't know for certain. Only series I saw in full was the 92 BAtman animated, which I know had burtal violence, as I said, most violent cartoon of the time. And one of the best.

JLU I've mostly seen in clips - which sadly seem to be taken off youtube - but in the DC comic book fan's comunity many like the cartoons better than the comics.
Still wish I could help more right now. I really reccomend Batman the animated series, Batman Beyond, and JLU in terms of sex violence disturbing moments and torture - They have DVDs now.

Out of curiousity, what did you think of the animation?

Ted said...

I think one of Nate's clips was from the final episode of Superman The Animated Series, which was on broadcast; the rest were on JL/JLU, and were only on Cartoon Netowrk (in the US).
BTAS and STAS had a fair amount of physical contact fighting; a number of hulking Superman villains didn't have built in range attacks, so at best would have to chuck something at him, which would be imitable behavior as much as punching. There might be more kicking and throwing than punching in Batman, but that's still not bad. Batman Beyond is mostly physical contact; his gizmo is more his suit than anything, so there's lots of hands on crime fighting.

Jordan said...

The fights with Darkseid and Superman on STAS and Justice League were always KICK ASS.

WB and Cartoon Network gave Bruce Timm certain rules like "you can't have a character pointing a gun into the camera", but beating the crap out of people and knocking over buildings and breaking spines never seems to be a problem!

John - Check out the Justice League episode "Clash" if you are able to find it (on youtube?)... The whole episode is one big insane fight between Superman and Captain Marvel (SHAZAM.) They destroy a city during their fight. It's relentless. I just sat on my couch jaw dropped for the whole thing.

Here is a handful of clips from it.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=rY0VNjribyY

The sound quality on youtube doesn't do justice to how it sounds on TV...



Jordan

Sean Worsham said...

>Cereal companies are mean now, but >they used to love kids. They used >to cover their cereal boxes with >great cartoon art, games and >cut-out-activities. They made great >entertaining animated commercials, >they sponsored cartoon shows on TV, >they coated every single nugget of >cereal with glorious sparkly sugar, >but the thing they did best >was...they put PRIZES in every >cereal box!

http://theimaginaryworld.com/cbarch.html

In this particluar Rip-Along, The Ripping Friends try to find out who's responsible for not putting real prizes in cereal anymore and then they rectify the affront.

I dunno, I went to the supermarket yesterday and found many toys still offered as prizes in cereal boxes. Albeit they are mostly w/ movie tie-ins such as Cars and Ice Age 2 I still see them being offered today, even plastic ones. The art appeal varies depending on the box art though, but they still keep the (SOME) of the same style characters throughout the years (ie Captain Crunch and the Trix Rabbit). On top of that I still see Cereal advertised on Cartoon Network and Saturday morning, so I don't understand what you mean when you say none of this happens anymore?

I do agree w/ you that a lot of the art isn't as appealing as it used to be on the boxes but the prizes today are just cool. They even offer DVD games and movies today inside the box along w/ the colorful plastic toys! Although some of the plastic toys in cereal boxes of yesteryear were sculpted better.

Anonymous said...

"JohnK said...

Hey Nate

I'm amazed! That was on broadcast TV? Was very episode that violent? I wish I had execs who let me do that. "

Hey John,

Yeah, I caught those on tv here in Canada. It was on YTV saturday mornings around 10:30 for the last year or so. The series is finished now though.

-Nate (a different one)

katzenjammer studios said...

JOHN!

POST THE NOTES YOU GAVE THEM! I think that'd be a lot more constructive to us than the drawings they ruined! I'd rather see those anyway!

Your pal,
Stinky Chris

Jorge Garrido said...

>I'm amazed! That was on broadcast TV? Was very episode that violent? I wish I had execs who let me do that.

I WISH! They're the best American action cartoons since Fleischer but Bruce probably had to FIGHT to get that stuff past BS&P. Cartoon Network allowed more leniency, but keep in mind, they don't like to market this tuff to kids anymore. When it was on teh WB Saturday Mornign it wasn't as violent, but the best one was on Fox in the early 90's.

>Characters punching other characters? In the face and stuff?

Anime shows tons of it, especially Dragonball Z, but those skew older audiences. You've got to check it out, John, even though the animation mostly sucks, sometimes it can get quite good (80's episodes). It's basically martial arts superheroes mixed with Chinese Monkey King myths and tons of food puns and perverted jokes.


>That's his fancy way of saying TV doesn't give you enough money to make full animation. But it's more fun for him to insult his heroes.

He was actually saying the the TV system couldn't creatively support his ideas since his Beany cartoons weren't as good as his theatrical cartoons (and really, what IS as good as Bob's theatrical cartoons?) I like Bob's Beany Cartoons and pre-63 HB but tv can never compete with theatrical, and money isn't the only facotr. He's also complimenting you on the fact that you made the best, most well animated cartoons on such a low TV budget, that was a truncated quote. How the hell did you do it? You accomplished more animation than even Bob did with TV! I'm not saying youre better than Bob but you figured out how to do something even he couldn't do!

>Canada always imitates the United States, but they are always about 10 years behind and have a very strange interpretation of styles that begin in the U.S.

The trend now is the fake flat 50's fag style with 60's style Disney eyes and everything is yellow and lime green, like neopets.

>John - Check out the Justice League episode "Clash" if you are able to find it (on youtube?)... The whole episode is one big insane fight between Superman and Captain Marvel (SHAZAM.) They destroy a city during their fight. It's relentless. I just sat on my couch jaw dropped for the whole thing.

OH MY GOD THAT WAS AWESOME. Is Timm's Captian Marvel not one of the great all time interpretations of a Supehero, and he was only in one episode! He was so moral and good-hearted, unlike very "Edgy" anti-hero who teaches kids about moral relativness and grey areas these days and solves problems with words, not fists.

Jorge Garrido said...

Never saw this show, but I remember it being advertised on my favourite block, Fox Kids, when I was 9, but I wasn't allowed to watch it. I instantly recognized that i was by the Ren & Stimpy guy even though I never saw an episode of Ren & Stimpy until I was 16.

Gabriel said...

you know what's annoying? That swords are only used to cut wood in cartoons. There may be sword fights, but every blow must be parried. The same goes for Wolverine's claws, he'll never use it to cut anything living.

Anonymous said...

I always wanted you to explain why and how Ripping Fiends was a disappointment to you, because I generally have enjoyed what I have seen on DVD (never could find it during broadcast) That is, I still think there was something nice there. Do another post on it.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say Batman: The Animated Series was 'violent,' but it was able to address mature themes to a young audience. Alot of the stories used to make me cry, because the bad guys weren't always the bad guys, they were just misguided souls. This, and Ren and Stimpy were the only decent cartoons to come outta America in the 90s. The rest were crap, and all of Nickelodeon's cartoons were Ren & Stimpy influenced

Ted said...

I thought the JLU Captain Marvel owed a lot to Kingdom Come, where Marvel was brainwashed by Luthor's syndicate and nearly wiped out the entire super powered DC Universe until a last second change of heart that still let most of them get wiped out. That's what the new Legion cartoon needs; massive death...

LFW said...

I remember these episodes you're talking about, and I totally agree. I noticed that they didn't look the best next to some of the other ripping friends stuff I had seen before, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Thanks for making it clear, gotta love those canuk animators.

your fan

-LFW

crapjuice said...

I was raised to violent cartoons, gotta love the french part of Canada, they'd air a lot of japanese series, so pretty much all of my favourite shows as a kid were filled with death, blood and boobs.

Mark Ackland said...

YES! I worked on this show in Toronto! Ha ha ha! Oh well. Fun to work on, but in hindsight we had all worked on typical animation productions so much that we didn't understand what John wanted...despite numerous instructionals. None of us could draw funny drawings neither. Still fun to work on tho.

Jorge Garrido said...

>YES! I worked on this show in Toronto! Ha ha ha! Oh well. Fun to work on, but in hindsight we had all worked on typical animation productions so much that we didn't understand what John wanted...despite numerous instructionals. None of us could draw funny drawings neither. Still fun to work on tho.

Sort of proves that the demands and standards of a "typical animation production" aren't up to snuff, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Hello John. My name is Mike Bass. It was I who drew up that board sequence and subsequently had the life sucked out of it. Like many, I had not seen it on air and now that I have I like to wish you condolences on the lifelessness caused by all that bad drawing. There are many factors that can lead to this fatal outcome. One of which is the growing lack of drawing skills and the false reliance of software to "do all the boring stuff" that is assumed was part of the chore of classical animation. When wordless storytelling and meaningful composition are neglected the end result falters.
-Mike

Gay Cartoons R Us said...

Hey John :) just discovered this blog so apologies if my comment is "old news"... been a big fan of the Ripping Friends since it aired here in Canada in 2002..

did you know Teletoon started airing it again in Canada last week? it's still as funny as hell and I wish that all 13 EPs could be issued on DVD in Canada or USA... the only place it is available is Australia.. I would buy it tomorrow - until then I have to make do with okay quality copies taped from analog tv.

Thanks a million for making this kickass series.. sad that only 13 eps were made, they are all killer. Keep up the great work.. hope you get to do at least one more Ripping Friends EP in the future but I know that's not likely.. but one can dream, eh? :)

Gabriele_Gabba said...

Man, i had no idea you made this, i'm so glad i got to watch it! I really do wish more of this type of attitude in cartoons existed, this was really funny too!