Saturday, November 15, 2008

1984-85 layouts - Lynne Naylor Jetsons Crowds

Most animators dread crowd scenes, including me. Lynne Naylor jumped in and did these impossible tedious scenes and made them look great!
She designed all the characters too and made each one different. Not only that, they all have slightly different poses, yet all their poses balance well against each other.
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I could stare at these drawings for hours. Every litle detail, each leg, belly, face has such unique and subtle stylish shapes.



This is great cartooning and thinking. She not only captured Ed Benedict's style; she added a lot of her own style to it - she brought that kind of cute appeal that only girls seem to be able to do.
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Even her actions really fit within the Hanna Barbera style but come off as lively and fun. And in the 1980s!...the era of "don't dare have fun making cartoons".
These scenes show a lot more than mere raw talent, which Lynne has a ton of. They show knowledge, skill and a great deal of thought and planning. To be able to combine so much control and and so many elements, yet still have it come off as so light and fun and easy is pretty monumental.
I'm envy work like this.


Lately I've been a bit down because every year the whole idea of control, fun and skill seems to vanish further into the past. It gets harder to produce the simplest cartoons. When I dug these up the other day, I couldn't believe what was being done in the 80s - under the worst possible conditions. We should be much furher than this by today, but it doesn't look like control or clarity is ever coming back - let alone appeal.

47 comments:

Hans Flagon said...

Thats sounds like it might have been a writer driven show to some degree, rather than animator driven, with the easily tossed in script line, "Huge Crowd forms" without the thought that someone would have to draw and animate that crowd.

Seems like classic Flintstones episodes a crowd would have been represented by 3 to five people.

Who called for the crowd, John?

oppo said...
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Mattieshoe said...

Well, Shows like "The Mighty B" and the upcoming "Gorge Liquor Program" do give me hope for a better tomorrow.

Warner Brothers animation is bringing Bugs Bunny back into their logo http://www.cartoonbrew.com/old-brew/new-warner-bros-animation-logo (of course, he DOES look like some modern artist's bad impression of what the "Classic" style is.)


But there's something in the air lately. The new president, Shows like "Mighty B" and even "Flapjack" bringing visual fun and invention back into the minds of Cartoonists and, to a lesser, more naive extent, executives.


I feel like we're starting another slight upward spiral that might turn into something like the 90s Animation boom in the next 3 or so years.

Mattieshoe said...

>>And it seems a real shame that there are only about two or three competent animated projects out there, and even those are not 3/4 as good as the ones 5 years ago, and even those aren't even 3/4 of what was going on 10 years ago, and so on.<<

Well, I don't think it's true that things have been getting nothing but worse since the mid 60s.

there were times when Clarity, Logic and fun seemed to be all but thriving again.

I don't know if I'm being superstitious here, but if you look back, you'll see that the most innovative and progressive times in American history (That includes cartoons) have all been eras of Democratic rule. (1933-1953, or even 1993-1996)
true, the late 70s had a Democrat, but by that time, things had gotten so horrible that nothing would be able to fix our country.

Whit said...

Forget the U.S. economy. The animation industry needs its own F.D.R.

:: smo :: said...

i used to watch this cartoon. it made me really like the jetsons.

these crowds are intense! crowd scenes ARE hard. it must be great working on something where you get to have FUN designing the characters for these! it's so much harder dealing with a crappy starting point and having to make more crap. starting with the jetsons is a really exciting prospect!

one of the issues i had growing up with this era of cartoons though [not with the jetsons per se, but more the cartoons mimicing it] was that cartoon characters were either made of concrete or mush. things like a pup named scooby doo that took a number from this would just slide around and there felt like there was zero weight or form. then other cartoons were so stiff it was almost painful.

i like my cartoons cartoony, and i enjoy off model characters, but i don't like watching characters constantly morph and float and slide and bounce. over animating and over wonkyness are *almost* as bad as under animating. it's weird. i feel like if there were dynamic designs at play in this cartoon, the characters still felt grounded and solid.

i really loved this cartoon though, it was definitely a light in the darkness, and being a kid at the time i was getting this and the classic jetsons at the same time. it was really cool and even when i was little i definitely noticed there were more things at play here than in a lot of the older jetsons, which was really cool. more dynamic crowds, more fun animation, etc. i think i may even have more childhood memories of this than of the original which is crazy!

i also really liked the interactions between rudy and george! i can't remember anything in particular now but i remember rudy's weird voice really well.

oppo said...
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oppo said...
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:: smo :: said...

"Forget the U.S. economy. The animation industry needs its own F.D.R."

yeah Whit...or a John K, a Ralph Bakshi, or a Richard Williams!

Mattieshoe said...
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BlackCrow said...

Now that's the way to handle crowd scenes!!
I wonder how differently the crowd was coloured compared to the main characters in the shot.
Thanks John for posting these.
I'm sad too with the way animation is going. I was lucky to have the opportunity to work at Hanna's in Sydney with some great animators and even got to meet and party with Bill Hanna!
Now I work on a computer all day the only joy being reading your post while the bosses are out!

oppo said...
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JohnK said...

Can we get off this Animaniacs crap?

You're scaring away serious cartoon lovers

oppo said...
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Rudy Tenebre said...

Keep fightin' the good fight, pops.

Hernán G. Fuentealba said...

I think thwt what you where expresing was admiration not envy , but whatever...because envy means a hatred toward the other , based on the fact that other has something you dont , and admiration means to enjoy something that the other have got ,or do.
admiration is productive, envy is destructive.

HemlockMan said...

Sorry to hear that you're so despondent over the industry. That seems to be the way of most of the visual entertainment industry.

I have a lot of friends who either are, or were comic book artists. Some of them have completely abandoned comics for many of the reasons you mention in relation to animated cartoons.

Mattieshoe said...

John, what DO you think of "The Mighty Bee!"?

It's Written by "Sketch Comics" like Animaniacs was, so is the writing just too bad to overlook?

Well, if you muster up the strength to watch an episode or two anyway, I think you'll find that some of the more recent episodes have a level of visual imagination that might rival that of some (SOME!) Ren and Stimpy shorts. Too bad the timing, pacing, and voice acting still suffer from some of the same problems that have plagued the industry for about 12 years, and the same meaningless cliques that started with "Fairly Odd Parents"

Mike Gorman said...

Really, really nice drawings.

I'm a huge fan of looking at and drawing crowd scenes, actually. This grew from my love of the work of Jack Davis - you want to be floored by a crowd scene, take a long look at Jack's work.

He did some backgrounds for Little Annie Fannie that kill me.

Another great artist to look at is Ruebens. I don't know how he constructed such fluid, clear compositions.

I concur with what others have said- it's sad to hear about the animation industry. I work mainly as an editorial illustrator, and it's been dead for a while now. Very frustrating... not only in the lack of work, but in the current trends towards these horribly executed collage/Photshop illustrations. All you need to do is run 2 Photoshop filters on a photo and add some neon colors, and suddenly your illo's on the cover of TIME magazine... sigh.

Flash seems to be the Photoshop of the animation world.... I dig Flash, but man, the squash and stretch is nowhere to be seen in it.

Mr. Semaj said...

I don't know if I'm being superstitious here, but if you look back, you'll see that the most innovative and progressive times in American history (That includes cartoons) have all been eras of Democratic rule.

Cartoons must have missed the boat during the 60's, but you do have a good point.

Following this past Election, maybe some of today's cartoons will finally kick the Bush-bashing habit and focus on better things.

BadIdeaSociety said...

Can we get off this Animaniacs crap?

Agreed. I would credit the WB studios for the continued deterioration of their classic material. Their game plan for success seems to be running a comic book series, a horrific homage to their golden era (Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain, Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries, Baby Looney Tunes, etc), and some other rubbish (Earthworm Jim, Freakazoid, etc.) then praying for a hit.

I will give the 80-era Jetsons credit, even now, I have a rather difficult time dating the episodes. I know the older episodes have the sequence with George walking Astro on the treadmill and the 80s-era ones have the basic placards... and of course, Orbity. But, I'll give the crew credit, there isn't a lot of rubbish updating (or rather, dating) in the series.

The one question that is stuck in my mind about your material, John, however, is if George Liquor is timeless or, rather, an isolate of its own era (the early 90s).

Bruce said...

These layouts are wonderful. This Lynne Naylor gal must have been something to work with, no?

I can tell that I have a lot to live up to, so I can only work hard to achieve such a level.

Anyway thank you for sharing these, Mr. Kricfalusi!

Have a good one, and I hope your feeling better.

From an aspiring animator/ artist

Mattieshoe said...
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JohnK said...

>>I will give the 80-era Jetsons credit, even now, I have a rather difficult time dating the episodes.<<

actually there were episodes being made by at least 3 crews, one in spain, one in argentina and the one Lynne and I worked on in Taipei. We only did about 15 episodes and they look totally different than the other ones being done in other countries.

I actually got a lecture from someone at HB to not try to improve the episodes. Otherwise the others might look bad by comparison. They were big on "consistency" in the 80s. You couldn't ever evolve or improve anything because if others didn't then the episodes would not be equally bad.They also thought that kids would notice the differences and be mad.

I had to get Bill Hanna on my side to allow me to make our episodes different (meaning more like the originals).

I convinced him by asking him if Tom and Jerry looked the same in all the episodes, or if they lived in the exact same house with the same furniture every time. He said "Goddamnit, you got a good point there! We just did what we thought worked and changed all the time! Then he yelled at he guy who was arguing with me and told me to keep doing what I was doing.

Elana Pritchard said...

don't be sad! I know I am at the very beginning of all this stuff (sometimes it even seems like i'm further back than that) but i promise you i will work very hard at being a better cartoonist, and i won't be lazy, and i definitely won't be boring- just know that for whatever it's worth!

Niki said...

Well I'll be animation's WWII!

EVERYONE DON'T SETTLE FOR JUST DOING THE ANIMATION ITSELF! LEARN EVERYTHING YOU CAN!

And Mr. John, there is a girl on the fourth picture, second from the left on top (she has curly hair)she looks really nice. I really hope I can learn to make these kind of crowds someday. I tried alot when I was younger but I always messed up, do you know how she learned these?

Raff said...

>> Lately I've been a bit down because every year the whole idea of control, fun and skill seems to vanish further into the past. <<

Aren't you working on a cartoon right now with your own hand-picked team who agrees with you artistically?




P.S. does Lynne naylor have a blog or website?


P.P.S.: >> Ralph Bakshi was Hitler.<<
The cat's name was Fritz. Fluke?

Niki said...

Oh Mr.John!

I found this and I like it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f2Vgo5wdHY

I can't say on the animation cause I don't really know yet but it shows that they were trying.

The Butcher said...

This stuff doesn't even really look "off model" like you've been accused of. I remember watching this as a kid and I could tell they were newer episodes, but I didn't realize it was a completely new series.

BadIdeaSociety said...

I hope you know that you're really contradicting yourself there.

I certainly am not. My point is that the WB has been following the same bland path since 92. It might help their financial overview, but I haven't smiled at new WB cartoons since Roger Rabbit... (and I know it was a Disney production).

The Earthworm Jim thing is more, or less, an error in understanding the branding of the series (I was fully aware of the video game).

actually there were episodes being made by at least 3 crews, one in spain, one in argentina and the one Lynne and I worked on in Taipei. We only did about 15 episodes and they look totally different than the other ones being done in other countries.

I'd be interested in comparing the shows.

Were you responsible for "Robot's Revenge" episode?

trevor thompson said...

Wow, John.

That's kind of a downer.

- trevor.

nagyaron said...

yep. Lynne Naylor does have her own website. Better take a look at it!!!
http://www.lynive.com/

Colter said...

I completely agree things have gone down the tubes for the cartoon industry, but despite all of that I (and probably 80% of the people that blog here) would still enjoy a full time job doing this, no matter how crappy the cartoon is.

We'd just like to work full time in a studio using our talents in some way, and get paid for it. The other stuff, and working to change the industry can be done on the side in personal projects.

I'm envious of the people that have work/worked in a studio full time enough to complain about it and have some substance to back it up.

smackmonkey said...

"Animation already had its FDR. That was Filmation. Ralph Bakshi was Hitler.

(Meaning that WW2 did more more the economy than FDR did.)"

Wrong. WWII put the brakes on the growing economy big time. Check the U.S. economic growth rates for the decade leading up the war with those during the war. We ran up tons of debt that took most of the 1950's to undo. You must be an animation exec the way you rewrite history.

John - The wheels of time grind more slowly than we might wish. Though few of us live long enough to see how our efforts help shape the world, rest assured that your tireless mission to save an entire art form has not been without merit.

From the black days of 70's and 80's hackimation to the supernova that was Ren & Stimpy and now with this blog, many (including myself) have been inspired and benefitted from your presence within the animation community. Remember: From the seed grows the tree. On this site I have witnessed the fostering of new standard bearers and I still expect great things from you in the future. Hang in there , baby. Your pal - Smackmonkey.

John A said...

I could never get through an entire episode of the new Jetsons. As soon that damned Orbity would show up I'd turn it off. (who's idiotic idea was THAT?) The family already HAS a pet- His name's Astro.

trevor thompson said...

The other stuff, and working to change the industry can be done on the side in personal projects.


I wonder how true that is.

Because, statistically, there have got to be more enlightened people than just the Spumco crowd, and we've all seen their side projects ( not on television, of course ).

I'm of the skeptical opinion that even if ten different animation teams made ten outside projects that did everything classic cartoons did well with the advantage of modern technology, I bet only one would get bought, and then it would die in developmental death.

I'm working on a puppet / cartoon show to pitch to Cartoon Network when I get to LA, and I'm already prepared for the neigh-sayer notes coming my way. It seems like there's a conspiracy throughout the industry to purposely lower the standards systematically thereby making anything unique appear so foreign that new audiences don't understand and therefore hate it.

John's right. What's the point?

- trevor.

PS: Good story about Bill, btw John!

ari said...

think it would be sweet to have a post on what your perfect modern cartoon set up would be. with character design reference and colour palettes the whole deal as so we can take your awesome fondations steal them and make our own cartoons

Fabian Gordillo said...

GUUUUUAUUUUU!!!!!! sencillamente genial, altamente inspirador.

Fabián.

Bobby Bickert said...

"I will give the 80-era Jetsons credit, even now I have a rather difficult time dating the episodes. I know the older episodes have the sequence with George walking Astro on the treadmill and the 80's-era ones have the basic placards...and of course, Orbity."


The colors are brighter in the newer episodes, and the ink lines aren't as thick as the ones in the original episodes. Also, Jane doesn't wear bracelets in the newer episodes.

RetroCucumber said...

I had nearly lost hope for animation until Mighty B and Flapjack came onto the scene.

They embody all that is awesome about animation and what's been lacking in the animation of today. I've missed the fluidity and well timed humor that was in cartoons from the 90's. And I've really missed those gross out cut scenes they always showed in cartoons like Rocko's Modern Life and Ren & Stimpy.

Another show I enjoy is Chowder, although I think it has a few kinks in it that it's yet to master. But hopefully it will improve in later seasons.

PCUnfunny said...

Nice to see Naylor's stuff. At least she got to shine a little bit in her pre-Spumco days.

OT: I was watching an episode of Animaniacs with my friend a few days ago. It was called "Slappy Goes Walnuts", it's always painful to hear Sherri Stoner's grating voice. Anywho, they so ripped off your work John. Long story short, the other Squirrel Slappy was screwing with became crazy, the first sign of a rip off. She barricated her self during the winter in her tree and when she saw Santa in her fireplace, they ripped off your classic painted reaction shot. Of course it was a thousand times worse because I bet you a million bucks the stupid writer's script must have said "ala Ren and Stimpy". God that show sucks.

PCUnfunny said...

"We ran up tons of debt that took most of the 1950's to undo"

That is 100% true. FACT: The US economy went into a resecession after WWII ended. That's all out of me.

John Pannozzi said...

"Though, I wish I could see the designs that Lynne Naylor created for the show. And the ones by Dan Haskett and Ken Boyer."


You can find some of them at
http://www.toonzone.net/romey/modelsheets/

"She barricated her self during the winter in her tree and when she saw Santa in her fireplace, they ripped off your classic painted reaction shot"

To be fair though, there was a scene in a Tiny Toons episode (which was storyboarded by Bruce Timm, BTW) that used a pianting of Elmyra's face for one shot, and this was BEFORE Ren & Stimpy.

I'll shut up about these shows now.

Brubaker said...

"Another show I enjoy is Chowder, although I think it has a few kinks in it that it's yet to master. But hopefully it will improve in later seasons."

Funny you brought up Chowder on this post. Lynne Naylor is the art director for the show (starting with episode #17)

Mattieshoe said...
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Pokey said...

Here's another piece of malarkey, not personally e-mailed to me, from a youTube user on an 80s cartoon entry.
stads24
1 month ago 2 My God, the 80s really had the best cartoons. And we actually played outside and weren't on the internet or cell-phones... no wonder kids today are so behind in school and general learning. he 80s and early 90s were really the last eras of quality youth where kids were really kids and cartoons were actually drawn by hand!"

LOL!!! Hand drawn animaiton gave us Elvis worshiping shit like Lilo & Stitcvh and those eighties show.s and if you're tired of the internet,m DON'T go ON! [Note my tactfulness in not repeating the troll's name.:)]

As for cartoons under Democrat rule, well, Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips and others during WWII, again, even with President FDR being Democrat,m even too liberal aka Hilary Clinton for that time, with FDR's "Day of Infamy" declaration* all of that seemed positively conservative and Republican today! I mean, can ya imagine even in post Sept.11 era somebody getting away with an animated cartoon that racially makes fun of the enemy [and I actually in 1976 saw that "Nips" shorts on TV!].

*"Day of Infamy" legendary Pearl Harbor declaration: Come on, would CLINTON or OBAMA say the same thing? Of course 9/11 happened under Bush, and whatever you think, he declared war--still Clinton as a politican and as a then-desposed EIGHT TERM president [as W. Bush himself was] had the oppurtnity to say 9/11 was a sad day, even if his equally malinged conservative counterpart "Dubya" was now the chief of the country.




"

rodineisilveira said...

Johnny K.,

I was seeing the layouts which Lynne Naylor drew for the Jetsons 80s version - more exactly these ones, which involve crowds -, and I could notice that she's a mistress in drawing crowds, so as another Hanna-Barbera layout artist who also was master in drawing crowds: Walter Clinton.