Sunday, December 10, 2006

Art Lozzi 3- HB starts to standardize

There are a lot of variables that go into the look or "style" of a cartoon.

Every artist that touches the cartoon and every mood he/she or it is in when contributing, and the tastes of the bosses, the mood of the era...all these go into the feel and look of the final image and film. ...If they work at a studio that allows them to have creative input...

Change any one of these variables and leave the rest the same and you'll get a different look. Change them all and it will be a drastically different look.

These BGs are done by my hero Art Lozzi in 1961. They look completely different than the BGs in the previous posts about Art. The brush technique is still great, so why does it look so much "straighter" than the striking and fun 1958 HB cartoons?

Art Lozzi said:
As HB grew, we “unified styles” As the bg dept grew, we did our best to unify our styles, although Bob G always was recognizable, and Montealegre was too. Few of the other bg painters at Hanna-Barbera actually attended Fine Arts colleges. They took art lessons or went to Chouinard's -period. My art training began, as I told you, from the age of 8. This is basically the explanation of how -to me- green is not simply green. There are dozens of other tones included: blue-greens, myriads of shades of forest colors. I don't know if this can be called a theory but it certainly helps explain particular tastes...and techniques. It also touches on "how you choose your colors, textures". They're not actually chosen in the sense of selecting; they come out, I guess, depending on what my mood was the day I began those bgs. I think by 'frisket' you mean the cut-out cel we used to sponge in a color, especially for the repeats?

"Threadbare Bear" (1961)

Art's explanation doesn't answer quite everything. The 2 main things I see that are really different are:

1) The Layouts are bland and evenly composed, not as graphic or cartoony as 3 years earlier

2) The colors are realistic. Skies are blue. Grass is olive green.

Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera threw away the great creative opportunity they had with their quick success in TV.

All the elements that made their early cartoons so unique, fun, cartoony and imaginative were year by year sanded down and blanded out until all the cartoons began looking the same. And sounding and acting the same, and repeating the same stories over and over again. The irony is, as they had more money to put in the cartoons, they took out more of the creative elements.

These Lozzi BGs are still great, even though they aren't as obviously striking as the earlier ones. The caves here are much like the great caves and rocks he did in the Flintstones-and I'll go into that later.

When Huckleberry Hound came out in 1958 something happened that had happened in many cartoon series and comics earlier-a secondary star became more popular than the title character.

Yogi Bear was so popular, that 2 years after he debuted in the Huckleberry Hound cartoon, Hanna and Barbera did something that actually took common sense-something they usually were devoid of.

They spun off Yogi into his own show in 1960. Makes perfect sense right?

But while they did that, they made a whole bunch of decisions that I would call completely against any logic or sense. They purposely undid their good luck in discovering a star character by accident.

The original premise of Yogi and the characters that worked with him-Ranger Smith and Boo Boo - was a perfect sitcom.

Yogi is an overbearing slovenly greedy shifty but lovable oaf.

Boo Boo was his naive underage conscience who goes along with Yogi's schemes but always tries to steer him to do the right and responsible thing.

Ranger Smith is the republican authority figure whose mission in life is to make forest animals follow his regimented man made ways.

Boo Boo is always torn by his loyalty to Yogi and his obedience to Ranger Smith.

It's a perfect formula for conflict and laughs and imaginative stories.

Had HB taken all the great elements of the early cartoons and built on them and made more and more cartoony and imaginative cartoons and utilized the personalities of their characters, they could have saved animation and started another golden age.

Instead, when they made the Yogi Bear Show they must have assumed that since he was so popular, they wouldn't need to pay much attention to the cartoons.

One of the things that made the 1958 Yogis unique from each other was that there was a different mix and match of artists on each cartoon.

In Yogi's own show they decided to give every cartoon to the same layout artist ... and the weakest one of all.

The layout artist back then had a lot to do with the look and the acting in a cartoon. He would draw all the main poses of the characters and their expressions and he would design, draw and compose the backgrounds around the characters. When stars like Ed Benedict, Mike Lah or Walt Clinton drew a show it added a lot of style and life to the episodes. Animators like Carlo Vinci and Ed Love would use the poses and then add some of their own and the combination of styles made every cartoon look and feel new and different and alive.

You would see these same animators animate from Tony Rivera's layouts and the cartoons were a lot weaker -really primitive actually.

I used to watch these badly drawn Yogi cartoons, not knowing who drew them and just wondering why some Yogis looked like a kid drew them. I thought it was funny, until I realized there were so many of them. Mike Fontanelli and I, after watching the Huckleberry Hound DVD and being amazed at the variety of styles in it, cracked open his DVD set of the Yogi Bear show and watched a couple whole sides of Yogi cartoons in succession. We were stunned. Every one had terrible character drawings and bland background layouts. Many of the paintings were still good technically and interesting but had lost the charm and surprise of the 1958 stuff.

Even the music was different-it was now depressing. The voices were still professional but less distinct and had fallen into formula line reading rhythms, although Don Messick still did some hilarious acting for Ranger Smith-if only the artists had taken advantage of it!

Now, while sabotaging the creativity and fun of their most popular characters seems kind of crazy, Bill and Joe went even further!

Since Yogi was no longer in the Huckleberry Hound Show that was still running with new episodes on TV, they had to replace his spot with new characters. So what did they do? They invented a fake Yogi and Boo Boo!

Instead of bears they are wolves. Insane!

But this time the chemistry of the shifty oaf and his little buddy just isn't there.

Why would they purposely undermine their own star characters by competing directly with them and watering down two shows at once?

This became the pattern for Hanna Barbera (and the rest of the cartoon business) for decades to come. Eventually they would do cartoons with their star characters and they took out every part of the characters' personality that made them successful in the first place. Yogi eventually became a citizen of the world and flew around in Noah's Ark saving the environment!

All this bad decision making that gave HB the horrible name it had later started really early in their TV career. Studios today, without even realizing it still follow the self-sabotaging formulas devised at the Hanna Barbera studio during the 1960s and 70s.

Here's some fake Yogi and Boo Boo:

Hokey Wolf "Hokey Dokey" (1960)

Hokey Wolf "Pushing Wolf Around" (1960)
Look how skinny the lines are around the characters now and how uncartoony everything looks.

No more one of a kind poses or expressions.

Hokey Wolf "Too Much Too Bear" (1960)

Hokey Wolf "Phony-o-Juliet" (1960)

Hokey Wolf "Robot Plot" (1960)

Completely symmetrical composition.

Hokey Wolf "Which Witch is Which" (1960)

Here comes the garish colors!!

What a strange thing to do with a studio full of some of the greatest talent in the history of animation. You can have all the talent in the world in your studio and not know how to take advantage of it. Just design a system that doesn't allow the talent to get their stuff on the screen.

I understand when an executive run studio is set up that way since they naturally fear creativity, but when artists themselves do it, it baffles me.

For shame.


Kevin W. Martinez said...

I don't think anyone can tell me that Hokey Wolf's cartoons are good and keep a straight face. In fact, Hokey's probably the first in a long line of sausage cartoons; cartoons that don't entertain and serve no point other than to fill up a timeslot.

Your right, John. It's sad to see how downhill things go.

JohnK said...

>>I don't think anyone can tell me that Hokey Wolf's cartoons are good and keep a straight face.<<

Why not? A bunch of people admitted they like Scooby Doo and Hokey Wolf is genius compared to that.

Jorge Garrido said...

And then they copied Yogi twice more, with the inferior Wally Gator, and then with the MUCH WORSE Magilla Gorilla.

>I don't think anyone can tell me that Hokey Wolf's cartoons are good and keep a straight face.

I stil find Hokey watchable, unlike, say Secret Squirrel or Squiddly Diddly.

Those lines are not only thinner, they're also less tapered, there's no thick/thin.

Hey I just thought of another Yogi Rip off! That Polar bear show!looks up Hanna-Barbera List* Breezly And Sneezly!

>And sounding and acting the same, and repeating the same stories over and over again.

They actually did two series based on Bilco. They did like 4 series with Wolves. I don't care what anyone says, this tendency of copying themselves didn't start with Pixie And Dixie which was way different from Tom & Jerry.

Boo Boo's voice also changed. It was more squeaky and high-pitched and less *talking with the front of your upper jaw* sounding. (Like Ren Hoek) Everything was more deliberate with no subtext. Listen to Jinx The Cat with his gaps and stops and stutters and compare it to...I don't know... Mr. Peebles. Egad.

Or the abomination known as "Hey There Its Yogi Bear" which shocked me with its badness and I still haven't bothered to finish it after 6 months. The humans are a precursor to Scooby Doo! AHHH!!!

Thanks for this post, John. I've been waiting for this one. :P

Anonymous said...

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Shawn said...

Wow! Are ALL those Hokey Wolf stills from 1960? The last few pictures on this post look sooo bad, I would have guessed those were from the 80's. That's terrible.

The Yogi cartoons from The Huckleberry Hound show are my favorite, but I still think the Yogi cartoons on The Yogi Bear Show are a million times better than the Snagglepuss and Yacky Doodle cartoons (also from The Yogi Bear Show). Although watered down by this point, at least Yogi's character was originally from good creative cartoons in 1958, so he was still a semi-likeable character in his own show. Snagglepuss and Yacky Doodle just seem like half-assed characters nobody even cared about, cranked out to fill up the rest of the half hour.

Stephen Worth said...

Looking at this stuff almost made me cry. It's sad to see something so great completely ruined so fast. I remember when I was a kid watching these shows. I didn't notice the slide on Yogi, probably because they mixed the 58 Yogis in with the Yogi Bear Show ones. But when Magilla Gorilla debuted, I was terribly disappointed. I knew something was wrong.

This post is positively painful.

See ya

Mad Taylor said...

After all those images, the ones with the garish colors really punched me in the eyeballs. Just looking at those you could also think about the sound. The recording quality in all their newer cartoons, probably starting in the 80s, Flintstone Kids and stuff, was different. Something about it would make me aware that it was an HB cartoon I was watching.

EIBass said...

"The irony is, as they had more money to put in the cartoons, they took out more of the creative elements."....John K

Well, fame and fortune have a way of effecting creativity. I've seen so many comedians get famous and loose their funny.

Theoretically all artists should grow and improve with time but that’s not always the case. Money can cause sloth and complacency. The lesson is to not rest on your previous laurels and readjust the bar as you go.

God damn I sound like some kinda motivational speaker.
Thanks for the great post.

Mr. Semaj said...

I never would've known Hanna-Barbera's decline started THAT early.

It's scary to think that the same studio that could come up with The Flintstones and Top Cat could also contribute to the decline of the medium. When came the day they were producing more toons than Hanna and Barbera could give direct attention to, they practically sold out.

Anonymous said...

Hi John, I wanted to share what I've been getting out of the postings you are doing as I am not an artist by nature. I've been using your blog to retrain myself not to just follow an idea that I know has a great core and ignore issues that come up. The most current example I can recall is your pointing out that the Samurai Jack characters look as though they are drawn separately and then added in one scene. I've always seen SJ as a perfect example of a new cartoon that embraced the most important things in cartoon creation. And todays post where you point out flaws in Art's later works instead of putting all of his work on a pedestal where much of it should be.

Secondly, I've been enjoying your precise explanations of the differences between cartoon styles and how to recognize them. Having not grown up in an artistic setting, it's easy to forget that I can still learn new hobbies. And while I don't see a career change, I do see it helping in areas of the projects I'm involved in. Thanks for it all.

Anonymous said...

You're right on target with this assessment. I didn't even bother with the Yogi set just because it doesn't compare with the cartoons that were made in the Huckleberry Hound show. To think these same characters were flying around in an ark is so ludicrous I can't comprehend it. Don't even get into what a piece of shit Wacky Races was. Each new show dulled every facet of the cartoons more and more. And the music they started using couldn't compare to the cues by Shaindlin, Hormel, and Loose/Seely.

Anonymous said...

That Hokey stuff looks pretty generic compared to the original Yogi things you hit us with earlier. It reminds me of some of those lame-ass imitations from the 80s, or those crappy Ruby-Spears "Richie Rich" and "Little Rascals" shows.

On one hand I know you could rip those pretty hard, on the other I think they're beneath your notice.

Chris Wyatt said...

Unfortunately I picked up the Yogi Bear Show, completely shattered my memories of the show that did. I didn't realise that the earlier episodes were on the Huckleberry Hound DVD.

I might pick up Huckleberry Hound on DVD sometime, perhaps.

Desiree said...

wow, depressing stuff! The backgrounds are so bright and crowded and the characters have such flimsy outline taht i can't find them in the frame even though theyre symmetrically or smack bang in the middle posed.
Why the hell would anyone paint trees pink and purple and the grass limegreen??
Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

Wow, those cartoon stills DO look just terrible. It's very impressive that you've studied these cartoons so closely that you were able to pin point almost exactly the year HB went to IS very depressing to see it though for my self...

I need to go buy that Huckle Berry Hound DVD!

Anonymous said...

That helps. Thanks Art and John. I got my answer on the repeating backgrounds. I'll have to try it. I'll post a test of the repeating background on my blog.

"A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart."
-- Confucius

Oliver said...

hey John, I really liked this instalment and watching the HB cartoons watered down right before my eyes. I liked scrolling up and down a few times like a flip book and the comment made by Art about things being "good" and lasting, really started to make sense.

anyway, I am almost 24, when I was growing up I watched a similar thing happen to my favourite show, but I gradually got wise and came to associate your name with the good episodes.

now I am staring at a contract to illustrate a children's book, how lucky can I get? and I know that without these lessons, the book would be alot different to what it will be.

thanks for all your great work and all the works yet to come.

Kevin W. Martinez said...

Well, people are naturally going to like Scooby more since he's been festering on TV for decades, wheras Hokey Wolf was pretty much left for dead after Huck's show ended.

Also, I think the absolute nadir of the Hokey screencaps John is showing us are the ones with a mustard yellow sky, pink trees and purple logs. Even the modern cartoons with the worst color stylings don't make those kinds of poor color choices.

JohnK said...

They sure do! And worse, with lousy technique on top of it.

The Hokey BGs are genius compared to say... Sponge Bob.

Nico said...

Sad post, John! But i am still learning an unbelievable amount of stuff.

I appreciate this blog in ways you can't understand. It is definately my most-visited cartoon website. Thanks for everything thus far!

Your biggest fan

Anonymous said...

"The Hokey BGs are genius compared to say... Sponge Bob."

Maybe if you look at it in a really mechanical technical point of view they are. But Spongebob is a hell of a lot more appealing than those eyesores.

Taking shots at Fairly OddParents and Samurai Jack and Disney are funny, but SpongeBob?

LH said...

Is there any modern cartoon running today that you like, at all, John?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Actually, I don't think i've ever heard of Hokey, but it's amazing seeing those screenshots. While it's not as close as the complete collapse of cartoons today, those Hokey shots definitely show some kind of a beginning of the end. And so early too. 1960? Yeah and those colors, near the end. The choice in pinks and purples... bad omens.

Jorge Garrido said...

Spongebob is a bad example John, there are some good BG's in SB.

The Krusty KRab has a great rich wood texture with simple brush strokes.

Here's a simliar technique but with convergiing assymatrical perspective meant to show the mightiness of Neptune.

Here's Spongebob ripping off Ren & Stimpy. Not a background, but a great painting.

Not a good background but an interesting technique:

OK, ok, I'll admit I couldn't find any good ones on the internet!

Anonymous said...

I don't remember if I've seen any Hokey Wolf cartoons. But, from reading the basic synopsis and looking at the screengrabs here, it looks way to similar to Robert McKimson's Big Bad Wolf and Nephew characters at WB, more specifically the way they looked and acted in the awful Bugs Bunny cartoon Now Hare This (c. 1958).
Could McKimson have sued HB for copyright infringement?

the plummer said...

wow...this made me shudder. i feel like i've died a little on the inside.

Anonymous said...

hey john whats your input on hong kong phooey? i personally liked the watercolor look, the animation was good and Scatman doing the voice and intro theme was great.

im currently studying hong kong phooey style, just want to know your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Sad and great Post, John. I always wondered just when the decline in animation began, and I never realized that the early HB cartoons are gems, which still, despite the low budget, have everything a cartoon is supposed to have. Before that, I just assumed that HB was crappy right from the beginning, but thanks to your posts, a lot of people can better understand to put everything in the right context.

I hope you continue this and share some of your own personal experiences with us, if you like to. To appreciate what is good and great, one has also to fully see and realize the decay in animation. I´m always astounded when I read your name in the credits in a typical 80´s cartoon like Heathcliff. I mean, how did you guys feel doing these shows? Did animators start to realize right from the beginning that things went terribly wrong, or was this more a slow process?

Mr. Semaj said...

John might want to watch "Snowball Effect" or "Nasty Patty" before he badmouths SpongeBob backgrounds.

JohnK said...

Hey I haven't seen every Sponge Bob episode and it's possible there might be some with tight BGs, but even the artists that work on the show (who worked for me) have admitted that the BGs are sloppy and ugly. That's the way the creator wants them. Ugly sloppy homages to the tight well done paintings in Ren and Stimpy. No one can explain why.

Maybe the odd time they slipped in some good ones in when the boss was on vacation. I don't know.

JohnK said...

I checked those links, Jorge. Thanks for proving my point.

LH said...

Yeah, Jorge.

This show contain most, if not all, of the problems that exist in todays cartoons. Yes I know that people are gonna badmouth me with "OMG! Spongebob kicks ass! It's not shitty!" but let me go down the list of things wrong (You can help me out here, John, if you wanna)

1. Vomit-inducing Video-Box-Colors (Yellow, pink, blue, purple, etc.)
2. Most of the cast acting like kids (Rember the Golden Age stuff? Bugs, Daffy, etc. acted like adults)
3. Exec-driven brainwashing (Always on-model, entirely outsourced to Korea, stiff, uncartoonlike movement, lack of Line-of-action, up-downy layout, no poses that are extreme or full of life)
4. Some stealing from John's "style", sorry, I mean the "style" of piss-poor Ren & Stimpy imitators and putting it out of context.
5. No rhythmic dialogue what-so-ever.
6. So popular (like that Family Guy atrocity *shudder*) that other people are ripping this show off now.

That's all I can think of right now.

JohnK said...

Hey, I was just comparing the BGs, not the show...

LH said...

Ooops, sorry John. I'm just so mad that good stuff like Huckleberry Hound and WB is being looked over and people set their expectations so low that they laugh at pop-culture ridden crap like Family Guy, an excuse as well as proof that the writers on that show have 0% imagination and resort to stealing because their bosses are bullying them while the execs themselves think about wishing for a job bagging groceries at some place like 7-11 (which they're more qualified for to do than anything) while being total dipshits and picking up unoriginal bullshit from people who barely know about cartoons and are brainwashed into thinking that cartoons "are for kids" (no thanks to that pee called Saturday morning "cartoons") while they turn down people with good ideas and/or fuck them up so much that they look nothing like the creator's vision.

Like I said, sorry if I went overboard.

Anonymous said...

The question which comes to my mind is: why did the artists let it happen? Why did they helped to destroy the medium they created and love? Was the afraidness of losing employment so high that no one seemed to speak up against it back then? Younger artists perhaps, but what about the older and experienced guys, already legends by themselves?

JohnK said...

>>The question which comes to my mind is: why did the artists let it happen?<<

It wasn't the artists in the staff that let it happen. It was Bill and Joe the artists who ran the studio. They designed a production system that didn't allow creativity.

Anonymous said...

>>It wasn't the artists in the staff that let it happen. It was Bill and Joe the artists who ran the studio. They designed a production system that didn't allow creativity.<<

Ok, but how did the artists react to this change? I mean, of course everyone is afraid to lose one's job by behaving not consistent, but the question which bugs me is: how much were these changes accepted? When I read Art's comment on the situation:

>>As HB grew, we “unified styles” As the bg dept grew, we did our best to unify our styles, although Bob G always was recognizable, and Montealegre was too.<<

it sounds a little bit that there was not so much reluctance to adopt this system. I'm most probably getting something wrong here, that's why I'm asking this question to learn and understand it completely. Please take no offense.

JohnK said...

>>it sounds a little bit that there was not so much reluctance to adopt this system. <<

What choice did they have? A lot of good artists work at the crappy network studios today and don't use their ability. They have to eat.

There isn't a good studio to work at and no competition for fun and quality cartoons.

Gabriel said...

i must admit i really don't have a good eye for bgs. When you talk about lack of line of action, bad character design or dull composition, your examples are undeniably obvious and to the point. When it comes to color i can grasp some of the concepts. I cry when I look at those awful neon pink trees, but I'm still trying to wrap my brain around Art Lozzi's and Montealegre's stuff. I really want to learn. I fail to see what's so wrong with some of that stuff Jorge pointed. Not that I care much for Sponge Bob, but what's wrong with this one, John? The characters sure annoy me a lot more than the background. I'd appreciate if you could tell more specifically why it's flawed.

JohnK said...

That particular one is painted somewhat neater than the others, but what does it add to the scene?

There's no composition and the whole scene is a jumble. The BG merely exists. It doesn't add mood or pretty colors or framing or anything worth talking about.

Anonymous said...

>>What choice did they have? A lot of good artists work at the crappy network studios today and don't use their ability. They have to eat.<<

Yes, of course I understand that now, the situation for talented artists is depressing, and that everyone would accept those conditions to stay alive.

But in this post, you are now describing the point in "history" where the change took place which created those working conditions in the first place.

Now, if you leave Joe and Bill's undeniable resposibility out for a moment, the big question is: could the artists have made a change back then, to prevent this from happening? If they could have done something, why didn't they do it? And if they couldn't do something about it back then, wouldn't it be hypocritical to teach young talented artists now, in the present, that they actually CAN make a change, and that they have the power to influence the (un)creative process?

>>There isn't a good studio to work at and no competition for fun and quality cartoons.<<

Yes, and I love and admire your hard work you are investing in your cartoons, and in talking to the people here. To make a change.

LH said...

This is so fucking sad.

Sad that a bunch of dumbass execs who lack any knowledge of the animation industry can excert so much power to produce what they say is "creator-driven" but is really yet another attempt to knock off Spongebob or Family Guy or "a show that some guy acually got off his ass and made something cool of it" because anything else is "not profitable".

Anyone here read Animal Farm? There's this sequence where the farmyard animals attempt to see through the pig's bullshit but then Squealer says "Do you know what would happen if we "insert productive thing that's democratic here"? Jones (the bad farmer who previously owned the farm) would come back!" And then everybody backs down.

Replace Squealer with any head animation guy being pawned by execs, "we "insert productive thing that's democratic here"" with "we allowed you to draw something cool and inivative and funny and expressionable instead of the bland shit that you're being forced to draw right now?" and "Jones would come back!" with "We'll fire you because making cool drawings isn't productive or profitable to the exec's high up above me who shouldn't be there anyway and instead should be bagging groceries at a store somewhere!"

You know what? Ditch the corporations entirely.

We've reached an age where we no longer need studios to make quality work. Why, we have the internet, don't we? Even John made a few toons on the net, yet most people on Newgrounds are trying to make the next Family Guy, rather than sitting down, and think things out for just a moment.

Maybe some people who wish to grow up to be animators will realise that they don't deserve to animate, maybe some will believe the opposite, but what matters is that what a lot of people don't realise that if they thought it over, and maybe learn how to draw good, watch some Golden Age stuff, LEARN from it, the techniques, etc. and used the net to showcase their ideas and STAY INDY, rather than selling their souls to brainless monkeys in suits who will fuck up their ideas, then maybe we'll see a brighter future in animation.

They need to realise that there is no easy way to be famous in the animation industry, and that they need to have years of experience and lots of hard work on their own if we're ever going to have another Golden Age. Just look at Maddox, he regularly mentions that he didn't spend a single cent in advertising himself (and STILL dosen't) and look where he is now! An internet celeb!

Sorry if I'm overreacting again.

Jorge Garrido said...

I was about to go down that guy's list of things wrong with SB but it doesn't seem appropriate or even worth it. There's tons of things wrong with Spongebob but it's the best non-Spumco cartoon in the last 10 years. Tons of bad points but a few more good points than other shows.

What I meant was, SB isn't a good example of a show with horrible backgrounds, at LEAST they're painted and have brushs strokes and variety and stuff. Fairly Oddparent's backgrounds always look like the characters.

Camp Lazlo, a horrible show and horrible succesor to Rocko and SB, has GREAT HB style backgorunds.

Samurai Jack and Clone Wars has AMAZING bg's too.

That's honestly all I can think of.

Oh, wait, KORGOTH. Bill Wray can do no wrong.

Mr. Semaj said...

1. Vomit-inducing Video-Box-Colors (Yellow, pink, blue, purple, etc.)


2. Most of the cast acting like kids (Rember the Golden Age stuff? Bugs, Daffy, etc. acted like adults)

What's wrong with that? That's part of the show's whole appeal; getting in touch with your inner-child. There's a reason why so many adults watch SpongeBob.

3. Exec-driven brainwashing (Always on-model, entirely outsourced to Korea, stiff, uncartoonlike movement, lack of Line-of-action, up-downy layout, no poses that are extreme or full of life)

I can understand the outsourcing issue, but I can't see the lack of extreme poses for a character like SpongeBob. The characters contort their bodies in so many Tex Avery-ish ways, especially in the time Kaz and Sam Henderson were working on the show, that many other cartoons won't even touch.

4. Some stealing from John's "style", sorry, I mean the "style" of piss-poor Ren & Stimpy imitators and putting it out of context.

I've seen toons that directly rip-off the Spumconian style, but is it always a bad thing if they do?
It's like what John was discussing earlier with outside influences. The SpongeBob crew took what they learned from Rocko's Modern Life, and used a bit of Spumco, as well as Hillenburg's knowledge of marine biology, to adapt their very own style.

5. No rhythmic dialogue what-so-ever.

I can see that. There are a few episodes that use superfluous dialogue.

6. So popular (like that Family Guy atrocity *shudder*) that other people are ripping this show off now.

In this case, that would be a good thing. While SpongeBob is now the only thing Nickelodeon has going for them anymore, before that, we were groaning about how Rugrats had overstayed its welcome.

Ted said...

You used the established character of Ranger Smith as you describe it (well, it's in a different font; perhaps you're quoting someone else, but you at least endorse it in this post) in A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith; but Yogi never really had much of a chance to show his character as you (or the quote, whichever) describe it in the 3 Spumco yogiverse cartoons, and Boo Boo only had a chance to use his established traits in relation to Smith and Yogi for a brief time in the frame of Boo Boo Runs Wild (I don't think it's going out on a limb to say the overall humor of the idea is based on explicitly reacting against the established character of Boo Boo). Doesn't that make you guilty of altering the characters yourself? I like the Spumco yogiverse cartoons, and presumably you thought it was a good idea, so doesn't that tend to launder the simple concept of changing the original characters, even if some other changes which did occur were bad ideas?

Mr. Semaj said...

I keep looking at the Hokey Wolf backgrounds, and I still can't believe how much it changed in a short amount of time.

Pink-purple wood? Urine yellow sky?! What happened?! Are the last examples REALLY from 1960?

Steve Carras said...
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Steve Carras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Carras said...

[Regarding Jorge Garrido's comment]
Many studios have tried to copy Hanna-Barbera successful orginal Yogi format of captivity, notably Leonardo-Total Television with "Tennessee Tuxedo".

But here's the Hanna-Barbera studio's own self-rip-offs as it were of Yogi:

In order of elements and within that, of debut:
Animal pairs trying to get food
"Hokey Wolf"[On Yogi's own show!, 1961]
"Breezly and Sneezly" [1965]

"Wally Gator" [1962]
"Magilla Gorilla" [1963]
"Squiddly Diddly" [1965]
"Hair Bear Bunch" [1971]

Steve-blog retitled Your Pony Pal, Pokey, too

Pokey said...

"Anonymous" is right, the one about how increasingly inferioir HB got through the later 1960s.

Besides J.Seely-B.Loose, Geordie Hormel, and Jack Shaindlin, there was Spencer Moore, Phillip Green, Roger Roger,Emil Cakdin, Jack C. Cookerly, Harry Bluestone, H.Krasnow, Harry Lubin, Lou De Francesco, David Buttolph, Clarence Wheeler and other stock composers whose music was used in early HB.

Steve C. said...

Jorge Garrido, my friend, they did three if you recall Yogi was really Bilko with a Carney voice! [And Ranger was the "Paul Ford"[Bilko's nemesis; a longtime character actor who was in the ill fated Gilligan wanna be "Baileys of Balboa" in 1964;I've forgot his onscreen alter-ego's name] and "Officer Dibble"-Top Cat's nemesis] of the Yogi series; Ford was imiated by H-B's own John Stephenson for years to come, most notably on "The Flintstones" and as all those poor "Scooby-Doo" villians, the ones who got caught by them "meddling kids". Guess which party Scooby haters probaly sympathised more with?].

Of course it dates back to Bugs BUnny, the Three Stooges, and such, Bilko himself.

Steve AKA Pokey

Pokey said...

Mr.Semaj said:
It's scary to think that the same studio that could come up with The Flintstones and Top Cat could also contribute to the decline of the medium."
Not to mention coming up with other classics that came before the Flinstones!!

Pokey said...

Lots of folks have used terms like Hanna-Barbaric, Hanna-Barberians, or [for those who with poor memory] Hannah Montana.


I have my own term for Filmation:
[I mentioned it before]

Pokey said...

Mr.Semaj said:
"..The same studio that came out with The Flintstones and Top Cat.."
anmd Huck, Yogi, Quick Draw, The Jetsons and Johnny Quest..and styuff as diverse as that, then as you sdaid.."they sold out".. they copied the Archies format. Then they started trying mix and matchups, Smurfs, robot cartoons - Transformers stuff [yes, I know Marvel Producitons/Sunbow/Claster/Hasbro did that one, they were WB through DFE] like GoBots..

Steve C.

Pokey said...

Hey, what's Honey Boo Boo?

Boo Boo Bear eating honey with Yogi..okay, dumb but smarter than the average joke about early HB carotons (what's everyone's take on CINDY bear now?:) S.Carras

Pokey said...

I enjoyed Peter Potamus and still like to watch the YouTube showings, and the Ogee-less Magilla's (at least those before the final season); Punkin Puss and Mush Mouse are a near-cult favorite of mine, and I sometimes loike to revisit Ricochet Rabbit and the Goofy Guards (Yippee, Yappee and Yahooey), but by the next few years I started to stop watching. (The longest ever series of cartoons in the entire 1960s ENTIRELY made for television for multiple seasons back to back, "The Flintstones" by H-B themselves, had their own slide by Season 4-6 that can be discussed on another entry devoted only to the 'Stones.)

Oh. The only reason for me to watch Scooby-Doo was to *beep* * over Daphne Blake.(shoots himself)

(Gumby and myself had several series over 50s and 60s..the inferioir one in the 80s isn't even worth mentioning...Sorry Boss aka Mr.Clokey (1921-2010).


*"beep":Internet Moive Database vernacular