Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Pal, Pou

Sometimes it's fun to base a cartoon character off a person you know. This is Jose Pou - a fellow cartoonist and animator who worked with me on APC and other cartoons.
Cartooning real people in action is a challenge because they are much more specific in design and personality than most cartoon characters.
Jose Pou is a beautiful specimen of specificity. He not only has a very unique design, but he has a personality to match. He's a prime example of what we term "charisma". He attracts you to his persona.
When you animate a specific person, you have to break a lot of habits. Most animated cartoon characters are made of the same handful of simple shapes, but a real person has much tricker combinations of shapes and you have to figure out how to turn him around without all the features falling apart or "melting". You also have to create new expressions because the generic cartoon expressions don't fit around the design.
In one sense Jose is completely unique, but in another he can portray a broad range of cartoon types.
Jose Pou represents all ethnicities. He is the Anthony Quinn of cartoons. He can be a Hawaiian, a Mexican, a Dominican, a Filipino and any number of foreigners with rituals and habits we must respect, even though you would probably not approve if you caught your Mom doing them.
Jose is a truly in every cartoon sense a "citizen of the world" - a unique and specific instance of a beloved and widely-encompassing stereotype.
In Naked Beach Frenzy, Jose is a Hawaiian souvenir salesman and a very eager one too.
He'll sell you anything-even the rings off his nipples - as long as you pay in "American Pesos".

You'll never guess what he is offering Stimpy here.
But it's not what Stimpy is looking for at the moment.

Jose has anything you could ever ask for -even contraband.

His wares cause Stimpy to enjoy some of his own specific expressions in honor of his majesty, King Pou.

specific and asymmetric expressions
Oh, and these are drawn by Nick Cross who lived, breathed and succored Jose Pou all through the production.
Here's another reason to watch Naked Beach Frenzy:
Ren & Stimpy - The Lost Episodes