Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Lost Ranger Smith Cartoon

We did a storyboard for another half hour Ranger Smith cartoon called "Ranger's Retreat" which was about just that.
Ranger Smith's nerves are shot and the Jellystone Park Doctor tells him he needs to get away from the bears for awhile: "Go on a retreat, get back to nature with all the other Rangers who have also lost their minds."
Smith goes to the retreat - which is like a real-life TV executive retreat - where everyone gets back to nature. They bury themselves up to their necks in compost, beat Indian drums, have sensitivity classes and learn to get in touch with their inner women.

It's a beautiful allegory of the relationship between creatives and authority. The Rangers take lessons in how to deal with the beasts (who represent the cartoonists). They learn the art of patronizing, attempt to speak in the vulgar language of the beasts and find ways to trick them into doing what they want. - None of this has anything to do with what the animals would do if they followed their own God-given natural instincts. Man is the rightful meddler.

I think the story works well for these HB characters, because that's what the whole Yogi Bear series was about. Ranger Smith was always Man butting his nose into the wilderness and making its legitimate occupants obey unnatural laws. This basic conflict made the whole concept of the Yogi Bear show funny to me and your average Joes because we can all identify with the situation.

These drawings were my first scribbles of Ranger Smith and the other rangers in their back to nature outfits. They're real crappy 'cause that's how I draw when I'm thinking up stupid ideas. Fast and ugly.

Vincent Waller did the storyboard. Here is a sneak peek...

38 comments:

Kali Fontecchio said...

Yes, more- especially the Michael Fontanelli character!

Niki said...

Yes indeed!

vhpayes said...

Absolutely I want to see more. If we can't see the cartoon, then at least we get to see the storyboards. Actually, to me it's quite a treat to see the rough drawings and the creative process.

Brian Churilla said...

Yes. More please.

Draconis said...

Add another to the yes train. :D
-Steve

craigp said...

yes.
please do a post about He-Hog in th future if you can.

Ironbob said...

Sure know how to bait a hook. Yes, more, please, thank you.

Vermaquale said...

more stuff would be goodly to see

Alain-Christian said...

I wish you never showed us this. The idea and illustrations are too funny.

It's unfair, John.

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

Of course! I need a two headed turkey hat and Bambi pants!

Shawn said...

>>Wanna see some more? <<



YES!

Ric said...

More More More!!!

[Moth] said...

Always good to see how good ideas take form.

Please, post more, John!

Matt J said...

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!!

ArtF said...

yes, more please!

rhcomics said...

yeh please!

Leslie said...

Please more Ranger Smith ! I'm still laughing at the premise. Also, do you have any finished animations?

Scandy Tangerine Man said...

I couldn't agree with vhpayes more. Yes, please!

iin-indrayani said...

wow..cool!

pappy d said...

Yes, please!

"post hippie corporate escapades"
post hippie corporate escapades

I've been waiting for someone to connect the dots for me.

Chickens and Beandip said...

It's funny and I like it... But it totally butchers yogi bear and what it was. This is worse to the legacy of yogi then Horton in 3D.

It would be freakin amazing in an original cartoon, but theres no sense trying to make a cartoon "updated" and hip, when the foundation was set so well.

JohnK said...

I disagree. It totally fits into the Yogi Bear premise 100%.

No one is out of character and it all takes place in a park.

Unlike say Yogi's Space Ark or Yo-Yogi or many re-imaginings of old characters, I keep the personalities and relationships the same.

Elana Pritchard said...

It's better than Robot Chicken where they just slaughter old HB characters and call it funny

Ted said...

Lots of Ranger designs on your watch. There were 5 on "The Ice Goose Cometh", however many in A day in the Life, plus these... Did you design them all yourself (granting that ADITL was borrowing pre-existing designs for the most part) or does everyone just like designing new Rangers?

Chickens and Beandip said...

That maybe true, but there are other areas that can be strayed from. I mean if all that matters is staying in character and the park then that leaves a world of possiblities open. But would they be true to the integrity of the show? I don't ever remember Yogi Bear being a trip down LSD lane. Because if cartoons were really in this vain then Ren and Stimpy would never have been as new and inventive as it was.

The Execs at dreamworks know what they did that was successful and try to apply it to every movie they do. They saw Shrek was an edgy attitude driven show, so they tried to apply it to Horton, You knew Ren and Stimpy was successful for you, it's what you are comfortable with and you tried to apply the bizarre insanity to Yogi. Daffy duck didn't start as a space man, neither did porky pig. But duck dodgers is a classic cartoon that many love. It made updated characters out of daffy and porky, put them in a new environment and let them play out in this supposed settings. The characters did change. Daffy actually had a story and character development, he worked WITH porky now. Back in the day daffy would just jump around and hit stuff. He was a one dimensional character.

The Horton cartoon Chuck Jones did has Jones's stamp all over it. It was a Seuss story done by Chuck Jones. Why? Because Chuck Jones is Not Dr Seuss.
Horton tried very hard to maintain the integrity of the original, and quite honestly I think they did very well at it. But you must remember that they aren't Dr Seuss. I don't really like the movie myself, but as far as the movie looked and played I think it was a very good take on it, One of the better adaptions in the last 10-20 years. I mean even when you consider Disney movies. Even the golden age ones. They are nothing at all like the stories they were based off of. They changed stories completely, added characters etc etc.

I'm certain there were dinosaurs at the time of Chuck Jones' adaption that were protesting his design choices and character development. Dr Seuss was a 15-20 page book. Chuck Jones needed to fill half an hour, so he made things to fill that time. Dreamworks need to fill an hour and a half, so the need to make things to fill that time. But an important thing to keep in mind, is that the Dr Seuss foundation (widow and family) was apart of making this movie and they approved the final result.

I'm starting to ramble now. I leave it at that for now.

Matt Shepherd said...

HEY WHOA!

I did this Tenacious D animation,

http://animationreel.blogspot.com/ check it out!!!

Maybe you can get me on board the George Liquor animation! I'm already in halifax anyway...

Caleb said...

I think the story is hilarious and perfect. I can picture a naked Ranger Smith running in the woods, getting in touch with his inner "Yogi". What if the tables got turned and he started stealing Yogi's lunch to answer his primal urges? Anyway, I'd love to see anything having to do with this idea.

Chip Butty said...

Oh boy yes please! I LOVED the Spumco Yogi and Jetsons cartoons. Any chance for a DVD someday? I really hope so but probably not since Hanna-Barb hasn't even put out stuff like Dexter's Lab or Cow and Chicken yet...

Alain-Christian said...

I's not Robot Chicken that calls things funny: it's the viewers. The show is hit-or-miss with me but when I do laugh it's genuine.

Gabriele_Gabba said...

Bloody hilarious John! I love the concept! I'd also love to work on this! Damn these long distances! Thanks for the good laugh!

ArtF said...

Hiya john. i tried my hand at cleaning up one of the ranger in costume sketches 'cause they're so awesome!

click here

Sven Hoek said...

Oh, I'm oozing with anticipation..OH PLEASE can we see more, huh-huh, can we huh?!?!?

OH PLEASE!!!!!!

Oh how I love your reimaginings of great cartoons. Yogi, Jetsons, Mighty Mouse. If you re-did the Flintstones I think I would die of a Joygasm.

thank you sir, may I have another?

Trevor Thompson said...

Wanna see some more?

That's a rhetorical question, right?

- trevor.

Hans Flagon said...

Yes of course I want to see more.

What I would really like is to find a source for the Yogi Cartoons you did. Have they shown up as extras on any DVD package? Are they ever aired?

Last time I looked almost all JOhn K yogi had been removed from YouTube.

Ted said...

BBRW aired Halloween 2008 on Adult Swim.

HemlockMan said...

Oh, my. How I would love to see that cartoon!

Chris E. said...

What you pointed out about Ranger Smith always enforcing ridiculous laws in Jellystone is true--nonsensible things like that can make a cartoon funny.

That had me thinking about what people would always tell me about King of the Hill--They believed that the show was actually funny because it was "based on real life." That made me frown in disgust because I believe that cartoons shouldn't have to be based off of real life.

Forbidden Hippo said...

Funny idea. I wish I could have seen these civilized men grunting and hooting while wearing ridiculous crap all over themselves.