Thursday, October 15, 2009

BG Painting - Jetsons 85 Backgrounds

Believe it or not, but this look was revolutionary in 1985.

Because before those images above, 80s cartoons looked like this:

Everything was pink, purple and green - and had balloon highlights.It was the oddest color combination imaginable, yet that's just about all anyone did when I came into the business.

I can't even believe this stuff.
So when they sent me to Taipei to supervise the layouts on some new Jetsons, I took it upon myself to also take over the BG and color department.

When I first looked around the BG department, I thought it was weird to see Chinese painters painting all these sick American cartoon color combinations and I asked them to paint more like traditional Chinese and Asian colors.

And to use some neutrals like grays and browns to balance the more primary, secondary colors.
I also wanted her to use more limited palettes.
Or to use related colors rather than having every object in a room be a screaming pink or purple.
I had a bunch of fights with management trying to find somebody who would paint in a style I liked. One day they had an art show of all the Chinese artists' own work, and I found one artist (unfortunately whose name I can't remember) who had beautiful traditional Chinese paintings on display. I went to the head of the studio and asked him to put her on the show. After a fight, he agreed and I started working with her. I showed her Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom, some original Jetsons and some Disney cartoons and Italian fashion magazines and asked her to combine elements of those with her own style and these BGs are the first ones she came up with.I always liked cartoons with mood and here were some first attempts at it.

Purple kept sneaking in there but not so garishly as what I was used to seeing in the 80s.

These were radically different than the other Jetsons being made at the same time in other countries and I stirred up some trouble back in LA because of it. Wanna hear that story? I gave Bill Hanna a great excuse to yell at someone.