Monday, August 27, 2007

Observation, Creativity, Influence, Stealing, Blind Absorbtion of Styles

Here are a few approaches to creativity. Not every way of making a cartoon is strictly "creative". Literally, to create means to make something up out of nothing, which is almost impossible. Most things good creators do are either inspired by life or other artists - or a combination of the two.

Observation:
Sullivant observes the way things really look and then caricatures it in his own way. Of course it's creative as well, but solidly inspired by the real.

Creativity:
Pure cartoons lean more towards pure creativity. The characters, ideas and stories don't reflect how things really are. They are fantastic and made up by whimsical free-thinking creators.
These animals don't look anything like the way animals really look. You can't even tell what some of them are.

Does this look anything like a real girl? It suggests girl and it's really cute but it takes a huge liberty from reality.Does this look like a cat and mouse?

Here's Bill Hollman's Spooky the Cat:
Does your cat look anything like this? Yet we know it's a cat.


Creativity and Observation:

This is my favorite recipe for creativity and entertainment. Eyes wide open, always on the lookout for new inspiration.
These humans are not realistic at all, but they are far more observant of humanity than say ....this:
These are neither realistic nor inventive. What is the point?

Milt Gross really looks at life and studies it. Then he takes big liberties in portraying it. All his people seem as varied as real life people. They just aren't "realistic". He has a huge knowledge of how things look, street scenes, trees, landscapes, interiors etc. He knows what they really look like and then creates super cartoony versions of them.


Influence: (Observation of other artists)


Influence can be good or bad. If you have a wide variety of influences and you have skills and you observe life, then it's good. If you are only influenced by one style, or a current trend, then you have limited resources with which to say anything original.

This lion is influenced by Sullivant. Subsequent Disney Lions were influenced by the Disney Lion and gradually got more and more toned down.
Clampett's cat on the left is influenced by Spooky, but taken much farther and put into an insane context. Clampett had a really wide set of influences, not just from other cartoonists, but from movies, Musicians, stage personalities, radio. He mixed and matched lots of inspirations with his own personality and observations of the world and created some of the most original and lively cartoons in history.

Probably most artists in history get their ideas from other artists, rather than from life or their own imagination.

Great artists get their ideas and styles from combining life with the ideas and life interpretations of their heroes.

Most entertainers and artists follow the trends.

In the 30s up till today, feature animators imitate Disney.
In the 40s, everyone shamelessly imitated Warners.
The 50s, UPA.

60s to 80s, Saturday Morning cartoons.
Most people imitate whatever is around, whether it is good or bad.



Stealing:


Stealing is when you actually take someone else's idea on purpose and rip it off - and you don't really add anything to it. It's not an accident. It's bold and usually done without conscience.
Blind Imitation or Absorbtion:

I think this is the most prevalent form of art and entertainment.

Not a lot of artists analyze what they like. They just grow up surrounded by media and subconsciously pick up superficial traits of things they are surrounded with.

You can really see this in American animated features. They almost all stem from Disney and no one seems to be able to break the mold.
People who loved Disney as a kid grow up and try to recreate what they've absorbed into their creative selves, rather than observe from life or create new imaginative ideas and styles and characters.

They are trapped (or the execs are trapped) by the severe restriction of never looking outside at the world or at other artists besides Disney and its imitators.





Conservative Unthinking Decadence (FEAR of making a creative statement)

Art that is this narrowly conceived, that does not look outside its closed doors to either the real world or a wide assortment of other artists has no humanity to it. There is no opinion, no comment on the world. it's just product. Product made under the guidance of pure fear and distrust of anything remotely creative.

When a whole era and society degrades to the point where everything is blind absorbtion or stealing, then the art and culture gets more and more primitive.
Eventually everything degrades to no style or substance at all.


Skill declines and is replaced by superficial imitation or sheer nondescript blandness, ideas disappear, humanity dissolves.

Stuff just happens arbitrarily, blandly at great expense so that corporations can feed the masses with ground faceless product until the executives eventually bankrupt their companies and retire with giant bonuses.


You can apply this same concept to not just design, but to movement, acting, story, direction, color and on and on....

54 comments:

Rodrigo said...

For the most part, I agree with you that this day in age, there is a horrible gaping void where funny cartoons should be. Everything is so safe, and trying to go for universal appeal. Boring shit.

However, you make it sound like the folks at Disney are talentless hacks. That's really severe.

And Tiny Toons isn't stealing. It's overt, so how can it be stealing? They aren't trying to get away with anything. And for the record "Tiny Toons: How I Spent my Summer Vacation" is fucking hilareous. You should give it a watch.

JohnK said...

>>
And Tiny Toons isn't stealing. It's overt, so how can it be stealing? They aren't trying to get away with anything.<<

It's in style to overtly steal today. Maybe it used to be more sneaky.

You actually get good reviews if you use a lot of "Pop Culture References", which is the ultimate bold-faced form of stealing.

I didn't say anywhere that Disney animators are hacks. Rodrigo, you love to reword many of my posts and then argue with something I didn't say.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Well said!!! Now I have to hold my head under the tap to get some of those drawings out of my head.

Emmett said...

All of this makes perfect sense. Mr. K, I love it when your posts make perfect sense.

What most commercial animation needs today is less reference to existing animation, and more focus on other forms of art. That's whats great about a lot of independent stuff, is that they are trying to create new ways of drawing stuff, without too much reference to modern animation.

Unfortunately, blind absorption may be a natural instinct. Yet if the artist becomes aware of it, maybe they can change it.
Very informative. I should check out more of Sullivant's stuff.

Paul B said...

Oh man... youre right!

that makes sense to me, thanks john, now I will devote myself to look more at the world.

your pal Paul

Rodrigo said...

>>I didn't say anywhere that Disney animators are hacks. Rodrigo, you love to reword many of my posts and then argue with something I didn't say.
<<

Well, touché in this instance. I suppose I felt more than I read that particular connotation. I'm an admirer of skillful animation in general, so I suppose my feathers got a bit ruffled.

Making references to pop culture isn't a new idea however. How many times did Bugs quote Bogart? How many times did characters break out into the trendy songs of the 30's? And how about, "BABBIT!! BABBIIIIT!"

Termite Terrace did it a lot, but they were also geniunely funny. Why can't Buster Bunny play the banjo ala Deliverance?

It only bothers me when the humor is bad and relies too much on references. Case in point: every goddamn Shrek movie.

JohnK said...

Or every Goddamn Tiny Toons.

Chris said...

This is a really great post. It has helped to make concrete a lot of the more abstract points and critiques in your discussions. I especially like at the end where you start to juxtapose all of those screencaps that show cartoons really haven't changed much in the last 50 years.

For me, posts like this are really important. When you're learning, especially in school, it's all about getting down the correct techniques. And then for big projects you'll usually be copying someone else's style. These are great foundations, but the one thing they almost never teach is that you have to go out and make your own observations and develop your own style and viewpoint.

JohnK said...

>>but the one thing they almost never teach is that you have to go out and make your own observations and develop your own style and viewpoint.<<

They shouldn't teach you that at all. They should teach you skills.

The last thing you should worry about is style.

Rodrigo said...

>> Or every Goddamn Tiny Toons. <<

Hahaha. Well, it looks like I can't argue against your tastes in funny.

Kris said...

I don't really understand how Tiny Toons or that cockroach game count as "stealing." It seems more like general style imitation to me, the same sort of case as the companies that make Disney-style animated features. Tiny Toons tries to imitate Chuck Jones's later Warner style, and the bug game looks like it's imitating a combination of Clampett and the thicker UPA-style of design (Spumco?).

Is it stealing just because Tiny Toons or the Clampett/UPA/Spumco imitator are copying specific styles rather than generic ones like Disney's?

Chris said...

So when is a good time to start worrying about style, or is that a moot point? I know fundamentals are number one, but do you ever make a conscious decision to focus on your style or should it just come out naturally without your having to think about it?

Skun said...

If to be creative you only suggest reality and exaggerate, then can someone who is really bad at drawing be considered creative?

If so, i am really creative!

pinkboi said...

Absorption is rampant in music! In music it's even harder to avoid since when we musicians create, it's more automatic and a tad bit of something we heard inevitably sneaks in. Analyzing recordings of your jamming seems to remedy this: as a drummer, I ALWAYS find blind copying of beats and change it up to make it unique and interesting. The result is pretty consistently good!

I know I bore you (all) with analogies to music, but I can't help it! What you are saying in this post is even more true of the music industry than it is with animation. Also, I'm not a cartoonist, but I find many of your insights to be applicable to other art forms, naturally.

Matt Greenwood said...

don't really understand how Tiny Toons or that cockroach game count as "stealing."

I could be wrong but I assumed that cockroach thing was a Spumco rip-off completely. Same basic construction as Jimmy the Idiot Boy and Stimpy's bulbous nose.

Great post, some really interesting stuff to consider.

Will Finn said...

John this is something i worry about constantly and for the record i know you mean no particular artist ill will on this issue. It's a real problem though and hard to discuss (especially in print) without being misunderstood. "Kid-gloving" the problem will not solve anything either, tho.

For me the issue is "Imitation vs Emulation." To emulate our heroes takes much much more than learning how to master their superficial gimmicks.

I want to post on this a bit myself because i have my own theories about it. I will hold off for now for fear of appearing to imitiate you!

David Germain said...

I think you might have gone over a bunch of this before. I think it was a post made last year. Or maybe earlier this year. Or did I dream it?

On the subject of Tiny Toons or any other show that relies heavily on cultural references, some of the jokes/scenes are classified as "homage" which makes them exempt from being accused of stealing. The Simpsons did that very thing to your Ren & Stimpy sometime in Season 4. I certainly don't mind when shows pay "homage" to things from the past and/or present (Hell, Bob Clampett did that all the time), but yeah we definitely need more original concepts these days in order to balance things out.

Oh, incidently, John, you never did tell us what you were getting at with your Professor Von Drake post from before.

Bruce said...

"Literally, to create means to make something up out of nothing, this is almost impossible. Most things good creators do are either inspired by life or other artists -or a combination of the two."

Since I work at Wal-Mart, I get to see some of the most varied, funny looking, although rather rude and obnoxious people. I always carry my small sketch book or note pad when I'm working or on lunch to study the people around me, and to caricatures of them and take notes of their habits, etc.

Take one such example:
When I was coming back from a carry-out (helping a customer with a large item, such as a washing machine), there was an old, obese, and rather impatient Asian-Indian Woman, who needed assistance in what fridge to purchase. However, since there was only one person working in the House wares department, and she was out to lunch.

So another girl, who had little experience in that department, tried her best to help out the old wind bag, but, alas, the old bird patience was wearing thin, so she lost it, and yelled out to the girl, saying "YOU ARE COMPLETELY USELESS TO ME." The girl was trying to calm her down, but then the old woman had given the final blow, yelling to the poor lass, "IT'S NO WONDER WHY YOU AMERICANS ARE SO FAT AND STUPID!" and then the old lady stormed out. (The girl who helped her was neither, and she broke into tears. She then quit the very next day).

John said...

Although For the most part your right everybody does seem to Just copy everybody else's Lame cartoon I Have to say Courage the Cowardly Dog Seemed Pretty original to me I’ve never seen anything quite like Courage the cowardly Dog before. And I really thought it was a good cartoon.

Marty said...

That picture of the Sultan guy from Aladdin has made me wonder, did Disney (or someone in charge of Aladdin) make a conscious decision to STEAL so many of their designs from The Thief and the Cobbler, or would you say it was more a blind imitation and absorbtion from the artists that had worked on both projects?

Adele K Thomas said...

come on John, dont you find Prince Adam (He-man) just a little hunky? Especially with those sparkles and rainbow bg behind him...he he he :D

diego cumplido said...

simple question: exactly where was "Oggy and the cockroaches" stolen from??

I've my theories, but I don't feel convinced of them.

Callum said...

Really interesting post, and really helpful as well, it'll allow me to convincingly argue with my friend who says that if a cartoon looks realistic it "must be good".

Kyle said...

"The last thing you should worry about is style."

what? why? if style is what separates one artist from another, why shouldn't we worry about it?

Operation GutterBall said...

Awesome!!!

Joel said...

http://www.confederate.com/

The above link is an example of what Johnk is talking about, but in the motorcycle manufacturing industry.

They used to have a mission statement on their site, but I couldn't find it to link to it.

Basically it said that they were going to rebel against the corporate designs of harley, and the 'in the box' designs of most short run custom cycle builders.

Their designs are creative takeoffs of older designs such as the 1920's boardwalk racer.

Brad said...

kyle said:

"what? why? if style is what separates one artist from another, why shouldn't we worry about it?"


If you focus hard on making your own style I think you are trapping yourself in a place where your observation suffers because you are now looking only through the lens of your "style". Instead of thinking "How could I portray that fat Asian-Indian woman that Bruce mentioned?" you think "Hmm, I wonder how that woman would look in my style?"

That's pretty restricting. I don't think style is something that you consciously cultivate. When style is your master, the subject takes the back seat. Subject should ALWAYS be master.

When kids say "Oh hey that's just my STYLE" its just because they suck at art. Its an easy shield to hide behind.

Adam said...

>> what? why? if style is what separates one artist from another, why shouldn't we worry about it? <<

The reason you don't have to worry about style is that you'll develop your own style without any effort with experience. It's inevitable. Your brain does all the work of developing a style subconsciously by connecting your drawing experiences in its own way.

If you worry about conciously deciding what your style will be you are limiting what influences you. You will end up giving your brain less unique drawing experiences to connect in it own way, and as a result you won't be as original.

It's sort of strange how this works, but really by trying to be more original you'll end up being less orginal.

I've only been serious about drawing for about 2 years now, so maybe somebody else will want to correct me if I'm a bit off about this. But I have noticed since I realized this I enjoy drawing more, which means I do it more, which means I'm getting better faster than if I was still worried about developing an original style.

Charles Oines said...

"if style is what separates one artist from another, why shouldn't we worry about it?"

Your style will develop on its own as you keep drawing, playing, cooking or whatever your creative outlet of choice is. Don't force it and don't worry about it.

Tool said...

"what? why? if style is what separates one artist from another, why shouldn't we worry about it?"

style doesnt seperate one artist from another. the last thing unique to an artist should be 'style'. you should strive to have real skills and employ 'styles' at will, however you please, however appropriate for the project, not because of a personal limitation.

being a different human beings and all that entails seperates artists from another.

PCUnfunny said...

yblogdammit
"what? why? if style is what separates one artist from another, why shouldn't we worry about it?"

It's more important you learn about principle first. Trying develop a style first is like trying to run before you can walk.

Dume3 said...

Mr. K,

I'd like to know your opinions on these things, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Maybe this could be future post:

1.What is the best Disney feature?

2.The worst?

3.What is your favorite non-Disney animated feature?

Also, do you have any thoughts on Richards Williams work?

Dume3 said...

If you can't draw well, you have no style, just different types of bad drawings.

Da Vinci said let nature be your guide--that is, let the real objects be your guide in drawing, and THEN attempt exagerration. Look at Da Vinci's drawings of old men--they all have these grotesquely exagerrated hawk-noses and rotten teeth. Brilliant cartooning if you ask me.

Steve Buccellato said...

Great Post, JohnK.

And great answers to the "style" question, from all you thoughtful posters. Hope people take this one to heart.

Kali Fontecchio said...

This is a really good post, but I'm sure though people nod their heads we're not all actually practacing the things we agree with. It's easier to agree, and say this and that, but to actually do it seems to be a whole other story.

ted said...

Not only is what u say true for cartoons, its true for every product that comes from the mass media culture. From WalMart to McDonalds, all the commitee-created, incestuosly-referenced, cannibalized second rate "product" is designed to last just long enough to turn a profit and then be wiped from the public conciousness, so it can be replaced in 5 years with something EXACTLY the same. Big companies have no souls, therefore, no creativity. Time to take back our culture!

Raff said...

>> If to be creative you only suggest reality and exaggerate, then can someone who is really bad at drawing be considered creative? <<

No. The important ingredient to have, when deviating from reality in drawing, is understanding.

There's nothing random in Betty Boop. There are distinct nuances and details that very vividly convey a girl from the 1920s, cuteness, and silliness. Nuances like these are what an artist practices to get right, even if a drawing style seems childish.

The term "realistic" is used to mean that the drawing matches basic measurements and facts, 7 1/2 heads tall and all that. It has little to do with choices that aim for specific kinds of appeal.

A photo doesn't have it all. A drawing has tremendous potential to fill in what a photo leaves out or better yet, convey more interesting aspects of a live experience, adding its own appeal along the way, making for an experience unto itself.

>> [Schools] shouldn't teach you [style] at all. They should teach you skills. <<

That's right. Making something unique and calling it yours has nothing to do with knowing what you're doing. You can make a distinct mess and call it your mess. It's still a mess.

If you come out of school a clone, it's a)your lack of self-preservation and/or b)you originally just wanted to rip something off anyway, and started off by getting it wrong in your own way.

R said...

Part of the problem is that our culture has transitioned into the Postmodern worldview. For those who are not familiar, a worldview is the lens through which people perceive everything.

Almost all of the animation we admire from the golden age springs from the Modern worldview. That worldview looked at the world through the lens of fact. They valued observation, technical skill and logic. The animation was great because it was based on the observable reality around us and we could all relate.

Postmodernism is a pendulum swing away from Modernism. It rejects observable facts and embraces intuition and feelings. It will utilize technology but disdains science, dogma or truth. The idea that something can be true to you but not true to me is pure Postmodernism.

Postmodernism is tribal. It views civilization with skepticism– especially Western civilization. For example, look at two animated movies. Disney's Jungle Book of the 1960's was Modern. Mowgli was in the jungle (sorry, rainforest) and he had to get back to civilization which was the place for Man. Fast forward to the direct-to-DVD sequel which is thoroughly Postmodern. Mowgli is dissatisfied with civilization and needs to return to the jungle. The two worldviews stand in stark contract.

Postmodernism elevates personal experience and perceptions over shared experiences and perceptions. Everything is arbitrary and subjective. There is no good or bad, right or wrong. Everything is equal.

So when John exhorts us to return to observation and creativity, he is going against the prevailing spirit of the age. When he cries out against declining skills, he is railing against Postmodernism. Is it any wonder that so much crap passes for "art"? There is no standard in Postmodernism.

Every worldview is like a train on a track. Its going to a logical conclusion. The only conclusion for postmodernism is a train wreck because its very nature is to dismantle both the train and the tracks as it hurdles along.

If we desire to have a real renaissance in animation and every other endeavor, we must take off the lenses of Postmodernism and put on some other lenses that can see truth, objectivity and shared reality.

Jim Rockford said...

This has to be one of your best posts ever.
I agree for the most part it really appears that everyone today just blindly absorbs and imitates whatever the current style or trend is,rather than coming up with something more genuine and creative.
As you pointed out with the Disney example..when a certain style becomes accepted as the standard which others are judged,it becomes blindly embraced and copied by others all seeking to bask in the glory through association.
So all creativity stops until someone finally breaks the routine and does something new and different and it gets noticed.(like Ren & Stimpy)
then everyone rushes to copy that without understanding what made it a sucess!


Personal observation is important if you are to create anything of value.
If all you are doing is mechanically copying a trend or style,and bringing nothing introspective or of substance to the mix,how can the characters have any enduring resonance or humanity?
Its all artificial and contrived.
I am sick of knock offs,imitations and outright steals.
Enough with the remakes and clones!
How about something even semi-original and entertaining!
We arent creating any future "classics" for other generations to make bad knock offs of!

P.S.Yes,as rodrigo pointed out,Yes there were pop culture references in the classic cartoons as well,but they werent the sole vehicle of humor for the show,as they often are today. (Family Guy)
and those cartoons were visually entertaining, inventive AND funny as hell.

Dume3 said...

To "r",

I agree with you. The only thing I would suggest is that the label of modern should also encompass "classical", "enlightenment", and renaissance". All of these periods and the wonderful ideas associated with them are essentially the same thing.

Vanoni! said...

This is a really good post, but I'm sure though people nod their heads we're not all actually practacing the things we agree with. It's easier to agree, and say this and that, but to actually do it seems to be a whole other story.

I can't tell you how many times I've started to reply to something on John's blog, only to stop midpoint and think, "All I'm posting is a reaffirmation. John doesn't need that."
As you say, it's easy to agree (or disagree) but to actually analyze what John is saying, figure out how he came to his decisions, and apply it in your own way requires. . .you know. . .effort.

The drawings on someone's blog say more about their skill than what they agree or disagree with on John's blog. :)

R said...

to dume3,

I think Modernism started in the early 1500's, includes the Enlightenment and Renaissance. It ended (if we can assign such a specific date) around 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Of course, there are some overlapping grays but an era can be discerned by the predominant worldview.

pappy d said...

Great post, John. It really helps to have a recap because the dots all connect.

What amazes me more than the similarity of design in features is the fact that it's the same damn king, same damn dog, same damn prince, same damn princess! Swap the dialog & you'd never know the difference.

Tiny Toons doesn't seem to be stealing so much as applying market testing to the original WB characters(+cute, +colorful, etc.).

Just to embroider your point about realistic characters:

Naturalism is more value-neutral than cartoony. There is less imagination involved. It calls for less subjectivity from the artist.

Cartoons emphasise contrast in everything & exaggerate agents of expression (eyes, mouths, hands). These are things by which we recognise & distinguish each other as individuals & express ourselves. They speak stronger & more precisely of the human condition.

Live action or found-object meat photography, as I like to think about it is irreplaceable in the genre of porn. In a drama, it can capture subtleties magnificently but it can't caricature them like animation.

There may be a commercial motive in using naturalistic characters, be it to avoid the expense of expressive acting in a show that's 60%+ stock artwork (He-man) or to invest a romance with subtle undertones of pre-teen lust & convince people that you are treating your subject seriously (Pocahontas).

An homage needs to be spelled in French or it's stealing (hommage). It's like poseur.

chris & kyle:

viewpoint first, style later.

Drawing teaches hand-eye coordination & how to SEE.

NathanS said...

On the note of imitation and cartooning this site takes an opposite view and well I don't fully agree he does gives some interesting why. (He's dealing with comics but I think his feelings on "art" approach to drawing transitions to animating.):

http://www.emaki.net/blog/labels/Iconic%20Bias.html

NathanS said...

On the note of imitation and cartooning this site takes an opposite view and well I don't fully agree he does gives some interesting why. (He's dealing with comics but I think his feelings on "art" approach to drawing transitions to animating.)

http://www.emaki.net/blog/labels/Iconic%20Bias.html

Nick said...

r, I'm afraid you're at sea with your talk of Modernism and Postmodernism, as your own attempts to define your terms makes clear. If anything, the pure product cartooning is like the rag-end of Victorian art that crept into the 20th century, with its sculpted fireplace renditions of Classic Art. Then came the avant-garde, and then came avant-garde cartooning.

And DVD Disney is pure, decadent product, built for competence: the He-Man lineage is nauseating, and brings back memories of that rotten decade of dull.

But that raises the question of when the drawing may be derivative, but the animation is less so. I'm thinking of R&S contemporaries like Animaniacs, which is late WB in drawing style, but animated in a way that's mindful of contemporary live-action film and TV editing techniques.

That approach may be less visually satisfying from a creative standpoint, but it's an alternative when you're not an inspired artist, but want to breathe life back into a tired genre: Animaniacs was freshly-drawn, but Adult Swim's HB mashups are an obvious example of doing something with a familiar drawing-style that isn't redrawing Prince bloody Adam of bloody Eternia.

R said...

Nick, when I use the word Modern in the context of worldviews, I'm not talking about the modern movement in art (1890's to 1970's). That is someting specific unto itself although occured within the time span of the Modern worldview (1500 to 1989).

The Victorian era with all of its emphasis on technology and science falls within the Modern era.

pappy d said...

nick, are you going to let r get awawy with that?

Nick said...

pappy d: I think r's shifting terminology -- how postmodern! you might say -- speaks for itself.

If we're going to take a crit-theory approach, what about the intro to Cow and Chicken? 'Momma had a chicken, momma had a cow, dad was proud, he didn't care how.' That's spelling out the basic premise of classic cartooning: don't care how.

So, to pick up on r's ideological straightjacket:

The animation was great because it was based on the observable reality around us and we could all relate.

This is just daft.

Is this the observable reality in which Wil E. Coyote has a one-second beat when he flies off the edge of a cliff, then plummets like a stone, but climbs out with a few grazes?

Is this the world of fact in which Bugs and Daffy are obviously in drag when they wear women's clothes, but are otherwise 'naked'?

Cartooning is at its best when it sells its own conventions so well that the audience doesn't care how they're established.

Fast forward to the direct-to-DVD sequel which is thoroughly Postmodern. Mowgli is dissatisfied with civilization and needs to return to the jungle.

Um, I'm not going to defend the DVD sequel, but I suspect that The Jungle Book II: Mowgli Hunts For An Apartment And A Steady Job wouldn't really work.

bloggerasaurus said...

John, first off -- thanks for all your effort with this blog.There's nothing like it anywhere. If not for the fact that it was an ongoing class, it would make a tremendous book. I've learned so much here. But "Conservative Unthinking Decadence" was beyond anything I've read here before. It was exactly what I needed to read right now. You've made my arguement much easier with some people I'm working with at this very moment.

Cliff G.

metroidprime said...

you are so right. I had been thinking about this for a long time. Nice to see someone express it so thoroughly. Since I work in 3d art, I see those same trends happening. Everybody copies the styles that big-name games have (like Gears of War), leaving impressionable young artists left with no room for their own creativity. The result is the same Pocahontas-syndrome you describe: Shit that looks exactly the same but has very little substance - vacuous in all it's glory; spirit-less CG representing the overbearing technological aspect of the computer. I've seen simpler drawings that evoke a much more spirited approach to humanity.. such as the ones you've posted there. Thanks for the awesome insights! keep b-LOG-gging!!! :)

Jason Miskimins said...

AAAAAH! My eyes!!! It burns!!!

Those Pocahontas drawings are terrible! Animators should never try to do realistic humans. Even when it's done well, it's still boring. Totally pointless.

Bad drawing like that comes from a combination of rushing the process, and forcing people to animate something that they don't have the experience to pull off.

The studios today expect things to be done so quickly...Walt Disney may have been boring, but at least he gave his artists plenty of time to do good work. Studios today don't care about quality...they just want to crank it out as fast as possible so they can profit from it.

SparkyMK3 said...

John, i am a very loyal follower of your blog since 2009, but really, do the research (or at least give a quick look at Wikipedia if you can't bring yourself to even watch a single episode) before you accuse another series of "stealing", instead of just judging the whole series based off of some crummy video game boxart. Oggy and the Cockroaches is NOTHING like any of your cartoons outside of the pseudo-R&S-esque art style. It's a generic cat and mouse cartoon like Tom and Jerry, and the characters don't even SPEAK.

steve harman said...

Hi JohnK,
I appreciate your writing in this topic.





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