Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Raketu - Bobby Bigloaf

2 main pencil drawings:

This cartoon was to be very limited indeed. Only 2 keys.





Lip Sync:


...and some mouth positions


..and a ton of recorded dialogue.

I had to figure out a way to keep the cartoon moving and interesting while drawing attention to the important verbal points in the message.

This is not my favorite way to do things, but it was all that the time and budget allowed for. I Haaaate having to rely solely on words to get a message across, but here I was stuck with the problem.



inked by Brian Romero, colored by John:

Then I remembered one of my favorite cartoons from my childhood-Roger Ramjet!

Roger Ramjet was an extremely limited animation show. Almost no animation and no inbetweens.

But it had hilarious dialogue and acting by Gary Owens and other radio personalities of the time. The stories were funny and fast paced.

And on top of that, Fred Crippen and Bob Kurtz figured out a way to make the visuals funny without actually animating anything!

First, they designed and posed the characters funny.

Then they devised a style of cutting that made the show even funnier and drew your attention to the jokes and vocal acting.


Roger Ramjet - cutting theories:





Roger Ramjet is the funniest TV cartoon ever. It has clever writing, acting, drawing and cutting. It is very low budget but that didn't stop every creative talent on the team from making the most of every creative opportunity! No one said "Only the words can be funny!"

Roger Ramjet clip:





Roger Ramjet is sort of Jay Ward done right.

Now, the words in the Bobby Bigloaf Raketu ad aren't as funny as Roger Ramjet, because after all, it's meant to be a commercial not a story, but I tried to use the cutting technique to make it funnier and make the meanings clearer.

















Also, Eddie does the voice of Bobby!

56 comments:

Kali Fontecchio said...

Even though this was done without much time, and on budget, it is one of the funniest things I have ever watched.

Roger Ramjet is great! The cutting! His girlfriend, I can't remember her name... she's hilarious. His rival too, who his girlfriend sometimes dates, haha!

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

I can see the video, but I can't hear the sound on any of your clips. Is it being saved for the release, or is it my computer? Anyways, the Roger Ramjet clip is hilarious...rather like Rocky and Bullwinkle..very fast paced and ridiculous.

William said...

I think the sped-up bravado of Ramjet made it really funny to me as a kid.

And looking at it, Bobby looks great moving, but the stillframe of his tonuge makes me feel...dirty. Can't explain it, but somehow I feel you're a dirty bastard and you meant it that way. Shame on you!

I Can_Not wait to hear the whole gang's voicework on this deal.

Brian Romero said...

That shot of the ape in the box cracked me up. I've never seen Roger Ramjet before. Looks like I'll be buying another DVD boxed set...

I can't wait to see the finished Raketu pieces!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

I didn't get sound on either clip.

Kali Fontecchio said...

I think that's on purpose Eddie, as to not give away too much before the release.

Timothy Merks said...

These adds look great! I'm also not getting any sound when playing it back.

I love Roger Ramjet. Those robot aliens are hands down the best aliens ever! Also Noodles Romanoff's gang cracked me up when they talked.

Jordan said...

That Roger Ramjet clip is great. It does however seem to be what has been referred to (and chastised) as "Illustrated Radio."



-Jordan

JohnK said...

If the visuals didn't add anything to the funny soundtrack, then it would definitely qualify as "illustrated radio". The visuals add a lot.

Most cartoons today have neither a professional soundtrack nor interesting visuals, so they would have to work their way up to qualify as "illustrated radio".

NateBear said...

Roger Ramjet is now the top candidate for my possible porn alias if i ever choose to enter that industry.

NateBear said...

OmiGORSH! If only everyone making low-budget flash animations took their cues from Roger Ramjet rather than cramming the animations with all those cheesy tweening effects!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQTbMGbfI1U

Hryma said...

Man that's cool, I thought I'd never hear you say you liked Roger Ramjet because of the limited animation. It has a bit of a cult following in Australia, well atleast my friends.

By the way I've finally done it!!!
I've posted my animation "Sound Scrap" on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKgTNoudnB0

It has a scene in it inspired by Roger Ramjet, among others.

It was created from scratch in ten weeks in the summer of '05.

Hope people can go check it out and give some good even bad feedback, I need some inspiration my day job is slowly making me dull lifeless and angry all the things I hate to be with know inspo.
Someone PLEASE SAVE ME!

Mad Taylor said...

Nice to not include sound because I was enticed by the visuals alone.

Why did you decide to break the 180 rule and reverse Bobby on the one cut?

Eddie's voice will accompany this character really well. I'd love to hear Eddie's super laugh come out of this guy!

What a great character, Bobby Bigloaf, ahahaha I love it!

Roberto González said...

This is the first time I have seen Roger Ramjet, it's only a short clip, but I don't see so clearly that the visuals add more here than in something like The Simpsons. I can see the face expressions and body poses of the characters are slightly more cartoony and less limited (I say slightly cause the characters seem to keep quite on model-even the size of their eyes), but I could get everything that's happening without the visuals.

Of course the visuals make it funnier, but I don't see how different is that from The Simpsons, sometimes there are fantasy sequences with a different type of drawing (that's something FG wouldn't do), especially in the old days, and some really funny Silverman animation. The very last trailer of the Simpson movie included a lot of merely visual moments.

That said, I think they probably could make Simpson characters a little more expressive like those in Roger Ramjet, especially the eyeballs and the line of action.

Anyway,it seems Roger Ramjet is funny indeed, it seems to be kind of Rocky and Bullwinkle-style. I enjoyed that show a lot. I guess you like it too, hence you ended original Ren and Stimpy episodes with a similar message to that one in Jay Ward's series.

Bobby Bigloaf has a very funny design. He really seems like all computer nerds out there. Not me, I mean, the really fat ones.

msmarg said...

I really like that angle where we get the reflection in the screen. Its going to be a funny ad.

Oh and that top pencil sketch looks like a homage to Kali's old avatar!

mdouglas said...

The ads look great! Thanks for posting the "in progress" stuff... Its interesting to see different techniques. Man, I never noticed this before, but Roger Ramjet's voice has an uncanny resembelance to Powdered Toastmans!

Mike said...

I like the elasticity of the mouth. It adds to the softness of this nerd.

Rafi said...

RAMJET RULES!!
I remember loving the reruns shown on british TV in the 80's - and I loved them! Now I know why - it's such a perfect example to show the important role editing and cuts have in delivering entertaining albeit "limited" animation.

The choice of poses and eye darts within a pose make it SO great to watch. gonna dig out the DVD and analyse some more - THANKS AGAIN JOHN!

Jennifer said...

Sweet! Vocals from my favorite uncle make it even sweeter (although I can't hear the vocals, either)!

I think that once your students finish the basics series, the next series of lessons that you should post is how you do your Flash animation (if you have the time). Your cartoons on Flash do not look "Flash-y". They're very smooth.

abwinegar said...

I ordered the box set. I'll study the cartoons. My teachers at the school where I was going to, incised using the tween features in Flash.

I'll do better and draw every movement instead of relying on the computer to do it. Once again thanks.

abwinegar said...

...and no more Lord of the Rings. hehehe

R2K said...

: )

TP said...

180 degree rule John, 180 degree rule... that aside, the drawing is hilarious! Great stuff!

Jorge Garrido said...

This is SICK, player!

chucky said...

Very bad mouth animation.

It's all over the place.

Totally distracting and it doesn't look good particularly on a sexy girl drawing.

Why are the fanboys/girls eating up this shit??

Charlie J. said...

Eddie does great voices!

I have a theory that you have to have an interesting speaking voice to be able to do good cartoon voices. Every great voiceman I've known met has had an interesting speaking voice.

Lori said...

His reflection off the screen is great. I wanna chat with Bobby!

Mebbo said...

I grew up with Roget Ramjet and loved it. The way the jets would take off just with a flashcard saying 'BOOM', the way Roger's girlfriend's doorbell played 'La Vie Parisienne' at VERY fast speed and all the rest.

The animation is almost non-existent - it's about as close to a TV comic strip as you can get, but it works with that awesome awesome voice-acting.

JohnK said...

Chucky, I think you are in the wrong post, but I agree with you.

I'd sure like to see your girl lip synch, though so I can do it better next time.

Eric C. said...

Wow John, I'm surprised that you'ld like something like that show you were talking about Roger Ramjet since you usally critisize about the modern cartoon disign and such.

It looks like modern cartooning.

Plus were can you see the character acting if it's flat?

_Eric ;)

mike f. said...

Dear upchucky,

You're stupid.

Love,
Mike

P.S.

"...eating up this shit"? Maybe you meant "eating this shit up" instead.

Doesn't that better sound, Yoda?

abwinegar said...

"incised" I ment to say, "insisted". I sware, I is edukated.

xtracrsP said...

John Kricfalusi, I know you're not going to like my criticism ( as over these past few months you have come to look upon me as a father figure), but I feel compelled to guide you to the right path. Your first Raketu ad on the side of your log had completely crappy sound quality. You over-compressed it, or recorded it using two tin cans connect via string, and weren't getting enough tension on the string. There, I said it. Don't be disheartened. My child. Here is some free advice (unsolicited as it may be):- compress your sound first to an acceptable ratio of quality/filesize, then import into Flash as mp3. Word on the street is that Flash doesn't re-compress compressed audio, so you get what you expect.

lastangelman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan G. said...

Bobby Bigloaf is Awesome! I noticed that you broke the 180 degree rule John with your camera movement. My storyboard class was vigilant against this. Theories?

Bob Harper said...

John, could you be more specific to why Roger Ramjet gets it right where Rocky and Bullwinkle doesn't. Also what's your take on Underdog. These three cartoons are what made me want to be a cartoonist and hopefully I will get to use their techniques in my work.

Sean Worsham said...

Nice Voice Acting on Eddies part! I remember Roger Ramjet very fondly as well. However on Cartoon Network awhile back in the late 90's they did a whole new opening (w/ a generic rock soundtrack and cut-out clips) that made me want to switch the channel. Thanks for the memories John, and thanks for the funny voices Eddie! :)

Cayen said...

not to sound stupid but that's the 180 degree rule?

katzenjammer studios said...

Hey John!

How about a post on directing voice actors? That's something I think you've done really well with, and I'd like to know how you approach that.

Thanks!

patrick said...

he broke the 180 degree rule because it's funny.

it's a sort of caricature of roger ramjet style editing.

mr. k, you're a clever fellow. you got me to laugh at talking head cartoon no sound, and very little animation.

abwinegar said...

If I remember correctly didn't some older studios. Like Hanna/Barbera reuse animations of a character walking one direction and then they would reuse the same animation by flipping the drawings the opposite direction. It was a time and budget thing too. I see nothing wrong. He knows what he is doing. Trust the master, young grasshoppers.

David Germain said...

John & Mike, chucky is obviously a troll. He only signed up to blogger to be a pest here. Therefore, his/her words and opinions mean nothing and none of us should give that individual the time of day. Ever since I turned off the anonymous comments on my blog I've two trolls like this. I actually responded to both of them, but in hindsight I should have just deleted them outright. "Don't feed the trolls" as the saying goes.

As for the clips, all I get is a red X so I can't comment. I enjoy the still shots though. I'm hoping that you broke that 180 degree rule for a bit of that Eisenstein-ian editting style and not just as a mistake that you missed.

lastangelman said...

MY first comments made as much sense as an emu on acid ( couldn't tell exactly what the hell I was commenting on, and I wrote the damn thing!) so here we go again:
When I was younger, I didn't care for Roger Ramjet very much but after my teen years, I pretty much got into it, first just listening to it while doing homework(it sounds like it was written by very funny and talented radio guys, as opposed to unfunny corporate nobodies who think anybody can write a funny cartoon), then I noticed it's not such a bad cartoon to look at as far as limited animation goes. It has a lot of energy, too. Lot of cuts, close ups, funny cartoon figures and visual gags (anyone catch "hero asleep" sign on doorknob in John K's example?) and storyline is hip for adults. I'm not sure it appealed to young kids, even though it was a Saturday morning cartoon on CBS (I remember seeing it in syndication either on WPIX-TV or WNEW-TV in New York).
I like that Bobby Bigloaf (my brain initially played a trick on me I though it was Big-a-loaf) character, I have to say, the animation on that mouth is way way expressive. Much better than ol Roger Ramjet's mouth, Bobby's mouth has a lot going on, it's interesting and funny. The people at esurance should be hiring you, Katie, Marlo, et al., to make their commercials.
For everyone who is having Roger Ramjet nostalgia pangs, you can catch an episode at Toon Tracker website, then click on appropriate button to buy the entire season of Ramjet episodes.
http://www.toontracker.com/ramjet/ramjet.htm

Gabriel said...

way back in filmmaking class i learned about the 180 degree rule too, and i've read it in lotsa books, and i've seen it broken in lotsa movies without the catastrophic results we've all been warned against. I guess it's not a very strict rule...

TP said...

when the 180 degree rule is broken, it is jarring, and it disorients the viewer. so when do you break it? when you want to disorient the viewer. i think in this piece, that is a negative thing.
if it's to be funny or something, it should break more than once and be upside-down and push the idea more or something because right now, it looks like a mistake.

Jason Barnes said...

oh my god, bobby bigloaf is rediculously funny. great voice, hilarious design.

chucky said...

Not a troll just someone who doesn't like lies and contradictions.

Fred Crippen claims that Rojer Ramjet was SCRIPTED BY WRITERS. There goes you theory on how funny cartoons can only be written by cartoonists.

talkingtj said...

i would love to be a member of your club! when i was a kid whenever any adult would ask me what i wanted to be as a grown up i would always answer cartoonist or animator, this would always be met with a look of horror and disbelief! THOSE PEOPLE DONT MAKE ANY MONEY!! THEYRE ALL IDIOTS AND HACKS! SHAME! PICK SOMETHING ELSE! by the time i was in my teens i had enough and started looking elsewhere!years of dead end jobs later iam a mildly depressed middle aged man who still loves cartoons! watching the ren and stimpy dvds(among others) makes me happy!always a fan of baski, hanna-barbara,filmation,these are just some of my better memories! this web site brings it all home for me! you guys really are immature idiots and god love you! i still draw, i think im very not too computer savvy though(dont own one) where can i send some of my stuff for review?

talkingtj said...

i would love to be a member of your club! when i was a kid whenever any adult would ask me what i wanted to be as a grown up i would always answer cartoonist or animator, this would always be met with a look of horror and disbelief! THOSE PEOPLE DONT MAKE ANY MONEY!! THEYRE ALL IDIOTS AND HACKS! SHAME! PICK SOMETHING ELSE! by the time i was in my teens i had enough and started looking elsewhere!years of dead end jobs later iam a mildly depressed middle aged man who still loves cartoons! watching the ren and stimpy dvds(among others) makes me happy!always a fan of baski, hanna-barbara,filmation,these are just some of my better memories! this web site brings it all home for me! you guys really are immature idiots and god love you! i still draw, i think im very not too computer savvy though(dont own one) where can i send some of my stuff for review?

Roberto González said...

I also learned te 180 degree rule, but I usually don't think about it when I watch a movie, except when it is too jarring. I think Scorsese's Bringing Out The Dead did it several times (I think on purpose).

Here it is very jarring but I guess John K. did it to make the visuals more interesting as he already explained, because he had to do only one shot with the limited budget and time. I don't think it disorients the viewer too much, cause it's a very simple cartoon, we only have Bobby and his computer and probably the important thing is Bobby's voice. It's not as if we have got six character in conversation and it were crucial for the plot to know where is every one of them.

That said, for a very pedestrian viewer it could look like an error. But I don't think that'll be so distracting anyway.

David Germain said...

Hey, I just remembered something. Bob Clampett broke the 180 degree rule in The Great Piggybank Robbery. It's right near the end when Daffy finds all the missing piggy banks. I remember that the effect was very jarring and also very Clampett.

bob kurtz said...

thanks ,john. the roger ramjet clip you showed, i designed,boarded,and directed. thanks again. bob kurtz

JohnK said...

Hi Bob!

I want to do lots more Roger Ramjet posts.

Wanna get together and watch some and tell me stories?

bob kurtz said...

hey john. love to get together and chat.by the way,thanks to crippen,roger ramjet was the first animation i ever got to direct.i would board and direct two shows a week which also included designing characters for the other directors episodes(whew)

JohnK said...

Hi Bob

how do I find you?

Captain Napalm said...

You could literally sum up Seth MacFarlane's drawing style by saying that it's what Roger Ramjet -the title character, that is- would look like if he was "corrected" by an overseas studio and then drawn that way every single time afterward until there was no personality left.