Thursday, May 10, 2007

Soupy Sales - Pookie sings "I'd like to know"



Now watch super expensive puppet "acting" - at the end of the clip below:

Even with hundreds of millions of production dollars at our disposal, we still have trouble making animated characters act convincingly.It looks like the animators and renderers are so busy trying to make the stuff look expensive that they have no time left to think about making it entertaining. It's shiny filler. (By the way, you should see Eddie act out this style of "animation-acting". Now that IS entertainment!)

So why not be funny instead? It's easier, more natural to what we do and a lot more fun.(And doesn't cost as much!)

BTW, I know a lot of those animators and have worked with them. They have huge talent, but I think this kind of stuff is not taking advantage of their capabilities and it's a doggone shame.


John Pannozzi said...

John K., could you please give us a hint as to when the Ultimate Ren & Stimpy set is coming out, please?

Craig D said...

Wow - that was pretty AWESOME the way they were able to freeze-frame that mouse in mid-air like that!

Please post video of Eddie F busting some CGI moves!


JohnK said...

Hi John,

sorry, I don't know if they are going to release it for awhile.

If I hear anything I will definitely post about it.

gloopgleep said...

John. You and I have ridiculously similar tastes. Clampett, Honeymooners, Soupy. Saw Soupy at a recent NYC comicon (Not the big one) and he perked up and grinned for a photo...otherwise failing health. Speaking of...when are you coming to NYC?

peldma3 said...

That rat thing looks really bad, the color and design isn't even interesting, it doesn't even look like a disney thing.

one problem with the CGI stuff is everything looks like the same surface, the hair on animals are shiny, the trees are shiny , everything looks like it's made of the same stuff, ..and it's shiny, too shiny!

Why doesn't anybody do something different?
If I had the means and money today... I'd take chances and innnovate!

Sean Worsham said...

Animation is becoming more streamlined and less interesting everytime. We live in an age of videogames where action is repeated all the time, where every movie also has to have the same Milt Kahl and Milt Kahl wannabes (Bluth)acting everytime as well. I guess people either find it cute or the execs just wanna shove it down our throats because they think it works. I dunno, I'm stumped nowadays, I ran into a brick wall creatively recently. It's like I meet more and more people who only want to see formulaic cg movies, animation that only moves on ones and on top of that they only want to see "TOONS W/ TUDE."

The only cartoons that are going to be creative nowadays are the independent films. "SIGH"

John S. said...

I love all the Soupy stuff John. Thanks for turning me on to a really cool show.
I just discovered "Froggy the Gremlin" from "Andy's Gang". You familiar with him? He's good too.
Gotta disagree with you on the Ratatooue stuff though. I found it super entertaining. The acting is theatrical, but I like it.
Okay, let the dogpile begin!

lastangelman said...

I can almost imagine you, Eddie F, Eric Bauza, Katie and rest of crew animating Soupy and Pookie a la Beanie and Cecil only ten times funnier. Hurry, secure the rights, before some schmuck at Viacom beats you to it!
(BTW, did you base the story of Boo Boo Goes Wild on H.G. Wells' Island Of Dr. Moreau? I just realized Boo Bo's refutation of the Man ways is a brilliant parody of the Laws the man-creatures recite in Wells' book.)

JohnK said...

>>I found it super entertaining. The acting is theatrical, but I like it.<<

what was there that you haven't already seen in every other animated feature?

I.D.R.C. said...

I love CGI, in theory, and I'm really a sucker for stereoscopy. I used to get geeked at the technical developments. I remember being excited when a computer first rendered a cone, sphere and cube in 3d with shading! Then, TRON. WOW! The biggest use of CGI yet. Then, rich textures! Just think of the possiblilities.

These things were all exciting because one day fantastic new kinds of movies would be possible. Now I've seen the movies and it's no longer very exciting.

This rich rendering CGI stuff has a high ogle factor as your brain deals with how to process a highly convincing pseudoreality. That can be entertaining in itself, as can stereoscopy, but those are very different ways to be entertained than the classic cartoon way, which is an emotional way.

A good, hand-drawn cartoon is enhanced as much by what it leaves out as by what it puts in. Your attention is hyperfocused on the right things because everything has been calculated that way. Even the medium itself is selective. there is only so much you can draw. That's not really a limitation, it's a unique feature that can be used to great effect.

As much as I love them theoretically, neither pseudoreality nor stereoscopy has ever really made a better cartoon. They can even draw your attention to the wrong details. They can't substitute for good characters, story, exaggeration, timing, layout, acting, subversiveness, or any of the things I loved about Clampett, Jones, or Avery.

Dungeon Warden said...

One thing that really stuck me as I was watching the making of "Ratatouille" was the comment that they went to a lot of effort to make everything look realistic so that people would find it easier to suspend their dis-belief. That's just crazy. The more real something looks, the easier it is to spot the flaws and realize you are watching a movie. The more unrealistic something is, the easier it is to forgive the flaws and just enjoy the craziness. I hope once animators have made things as realistic as possible, they will finally go back to making anamation crazy again.

I'm actually a pretty good 3D animator, maybe I'll take the time to show everyone has funny 3D animation can be if done right. We need more original thinkers leading the charge to show that expensive doesn't mean good.

Anonymous said...

John, I find it interesting that you've spent the last couple of years complaining about cartoons not having enough "funny" unrealistic motions, and now you're complaining about today's cartoons using too much funny unrealistic movement.

Personally I've been following Ratatouille and I like what I've seen so far. Sure, the actual physical "acting" is nothing groundbreaking (though I do think it's somewhat clever how the CG rat puppet becomes the puppeteer of the CG human puppet) but it's not trying to be realistic, which is a big part of why it works so well (for me).

If they wanted completely realistic movements, they could have gone the mocap route, and been ranted at for making such soulless mechanical "animation" instead of having their characters act. (Of course, it's actually possible for mocap performers to get a good performance out of the characters, too — Conan O'Brien did a fantastic job (especially compared to professional actors who supposedly specialize in good mocap performances).

But regarding Ratatoiulle, would you have preferred the movie done as a 90-minute sockpuppet show? What are your thoughts on Sifl and Oly?

JohnK said...

>>you've spent the last couple of years complaining about cartoons not having enough "funny" unrealistic motions, and now you're complaining about today's cartoons using too much funny unrealistic movement.

I am?

Where did I say that feature animation acting is funny?

If it was funny, I would love it.

I said it's trying to be realistic, yet it's not realistic. It's in limbo.

For all that keyframing it looks exactly like bad "mocap" to me. Might as well mocap it.

It's typical bad stylistic repetitive formula actions that you see in every animated feature, yet there's no attempt at entertainment.

All that money for nothing.

Where's the magic?

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

True, so true. The Ratatouille clip is technically innovative and intelligently executed, and it looks like someone put a ton of money into it, but there's no comedy and no real acting. Why oh why won't any studio commit to a comedy?

Pseudonym said...

The term "production value" used to be production manager jargon, and it meant something very specific: It was the effect that you get minus the money that you spend.

In that sense, Pookie is quite high production value, whereas Happily Never After is quite low.

toxiccrusader said...

I agree John the whole point of animation is the break the boundaries of real life and not just be animated Hollywood blockbusters that could be some dick weed like Dane Cook playing the mouse, and also What do you think of the TV show married with children?

Soos said...

It doesn't help that the dialog is nigh unbearable.

It's bizarre how every movie Pixar makes is like a stereotype of everything they've done before.

I.D.R.C. said...

Personally I've been following Ratatouille and I like what I've seen so far. Sure, the actual physical "acting" is nothing groundbreaking...

...So we know that whatever you keyed into, you keyed into in spite of the acting.

I've never seen a film --let alone a cartoon --that could be completely salvaged by its other qualities, but CGI cartoons are regularly salvaged by overly forgiving audiences, not becuase the films are so great but because they are starving for fantasy entertainment. They settle for color and eye-pop.

I'm not sure that's a bad thing, entirely. If nobody liked bland CGI cartoons then the motion picture industry would probably just assume that cartoons are no longer entertaining to modern audiences and we'd have nothing at all.

This way there remains at least the minor possibilty of correction, or at least expansion of values.

America Loves Crap said...

John, where do you keep getting the Soupy Clips? THEY F'ing ROCK!!! Oh, and just the fact that Disney has to spell out RataTouille Phonetically is just another example of how America is spoon-fed their entertainment by the mass market merchants.

Rob said...

I agree the gap between animation acting is too far from either funny cartoon or realistic, but I don't know how well realistic acing, even emulated perfectly, would translate onto the screen as a CG rat.

John, Just curious to know what you thought about Chris Landreth's Ryan. Granted its not exactly a comedy, but don't you think it breaks past the cartoon acting and into the realm of realsitic acting? Would this kind of acting really work in something like Ratatouille, a narrative with comedic elements?

Roberto González said...

Well, I would agree more with Eddie. I think Ratatouille is technically innovative and intelligently executed. I know it's not innovative in its designs but they are perfectly ok IMO, it might be Cal Arts, but the only problem with that is that it's not innovative, not that it's not skilled, isn't it?

I don't really see how is so different to the traditional Disney film, apart from the fact that it's 3D instead of 2D.

Ratatouille look doesn't make me crazy like Bob Clampett, but I like it similar or better than Beauty and The Beast. There are some old Disney films that look pretty boring or generic as well. And I think both Ratatouille and The Incredibles are a hell of a lot better than any CGI flick out there. I actually like their designs more than Toy Story one, even if it could have better acting. Incidentally I would like you to extend on that, what made Toy Story acting better than other CGI flicks. At least Brad Bird is using caricatures of humans that look a lot better than the weird human designs they are using in other 3D movies.

I also like Ratatouille plot synopsis so far.

What do you think of Aardman Animation and Stop-Motion in general?

I totally love the same stuff you like, John, I just think this is among the best things we have nowadays. It's ok to be critic not only with the most obviously bad animation, but I think you are a little too harsh with some of the best one we have nowadays. I mean, I think Eddie's way of explaining it was a little more fair, just that.

JohnK said...


Eddie sugar coats his message. I tell it like we actually believe because I want the message clear.

Even when I'm clear, people misinterpret what I say.

I'm not promoting "realistic" acting. I'm promoting non-blandness.

Do SOMETHING with imagination and/or observation of life. Some combination. Let's stop redoing the same films and same animation cliche movements we've already done a million times.

>>I know it's not innovative in its designs but they are perfectly ok IMO, it might be Cal Arts, but the only problem with that is that it's not innovative, not that it's not skilled, isn't it?<<

It's not FUN. That's the problem. The 3 Stooges weren't alway innovative, but they were always entertaining and fun.

Modern cartoons are against fun. The directors are ashamed to entertain you.


>>I agree the gap between animation acting is too far from either funny cartoon or realistic, but I don't know how well realistic acing, even emulated perfectly, would translate onto the screen as a CG rat.<<

How about FUNNY acting then? Or funny staging? Or funny gags. Or funny voices. Anything at all...

Jim Rockford said...

I hate cgi animtion with a passion!
but as long as Disney and others are making money on this crap,they will keep shoveling out the next one,same characters,same jokes,same personalitys and plotline,same idiots standing in line to fork over money and waste 2 hours of their lives.
real cartoons will always be hand drawn by real cartoonists (the few left that is)
technogeeks be damned,to remove the artist from the work to the extent they have isnt an improvement.Whats worse is that a whole new generation will be weened on this shit and use it as the formula for a "hit".
Most cartoons arent funny anymore,and the alternitive is the low brow,popculture reference every 2 seconds type of show that we've seen so many times now in South Park,Simpsons,Family Guy,American Dad,etc that any 'edge' that most people thought it had has long since burned out.
Cgi animation is bland expressionless plastic crap,for bland expressionless plastic idiots.
Millions are blow on hideous abortions like "Shrek" when someone with real vision could make something fresh and funny.

Jim Rockford said...

Yeah,what ever did happen to fun cartoony voices,nowadays every cartoon is voiced by some big name actor,who just uses his normal voice and stock entertainment persona,or on most television cartoons its justs unknowns using their normal bland voices to make smart ass remarks!
the result is boring,why is everyone lazy? be creative or entertaining,suprise us for a change dammit!
Wouldnt it be great is all those millions wasted making the newest shrek movie were used to make something interesting and funny like a George Liquor movie?

Kyle said...

While I know what most people's stance here is on CG, I think Ratatouille is one of the most skillfully designed animated movies in a long time.
So many animated characters aren't designed to be able to emote (eg. short limbs, non expressive eyes, etc). I would love to get my hands on these characters! Great volumes for squash and stretch, big expressive eyes. He sure looks like he's scared he's gonna get chopped to bits any moment to me.
If he broke out in a Clampett style face in the middle of that, it would ruin the world they're creating.

Neither style is better than the other, and neither style can truely do what the other does the best. That's why they both exist.

My two cents.

Okapi Figment William said...

Soupy was consistant with good solid bad jokes, that made you laugh, but you still knew it was a bad joke. Meaning he worked hard for his laugh's & that his show is very entertaining. Also at times his jokes were not for children. I wonder how his show went over with the parents of the kids watching at the time.

Ormondroyd's Encyclopedia Esoterica said...

Bland voice acting, too-- why do the accents, for a cartoon set in Paris, sound like an old NBC sitcom?

Kernon Dillon said...

Would anyone happen to know any info about the song "I'd Like to Know"? I'm trying to find anything about the artist or where I might be able to purchase the original song. Thanks!

Swim Mistress said...

Is this video on youtube somewhere? Where can I find it not in .mov format?

xynphix said...

Whether this makes you laugh or not and whether or not we've already seen this type of acting in every CG movie, it's still brilliantly executed. There's undeniably a lot of talent here.