Thursday, May 20, 2010

Time's Journey From Appealing Design To Ugly

Marching backwards through time



I'll fill this in later and you can see a cute style metamorphose insidiously little by little over a couple decades.

21 comments:

top cat james said...

Is that a layout drawing or publicity art from "Abbott and Costello"? Wish the actual series had been as much fun and well designed as this single drawing suggests.

georgeliquor said...

I have an article for you, Mr. K.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/movies/20looney.html

I take all remakes with a grain of salt as for their "quality". We shall see how this turns out. At least it's not another ANIME LOONEY TUNES OF AWESOMENESS!

Space Fontana said...

Hey John - I'm a mighty big fan of your work and your blog.
Wondering if you saw this in today's paper:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/movies/20looney.html

... I could use a good old fashioned John K rant. Unless you know that any of the animators involved are good, in which case I would love to get excited.

But if WB wants to make the world more aware of Looney Tunes, why bother remaking them? Why not just put it back in syndication? Let the work that made these characters famous speak for themselves? ... It all seems a little silly.

Juz Capes said...

Check out these 'appealing' expensive characters.

2012 Olympic Mascots

On the BBC News everyone kept saying...

'well we have to remember they are designed for children'

Which of course means they can be crap and sell a lot of merchandise.

Roberto González said...

The animators involved in the new Looney Tunes are good. I suspect that's why John hasn't criticized it already.

Personally I don't think it has to be Bob Clampett's or Chuck Jones' quality. It just have to be decent and fun. Duck Dodgers series weren't brilliant or anything but they did little damage to the characters and provided some entertainment.

Mickey Mouseworks is not something I'm usually excited to watch but I watch the occasional episode once in a while and I think it's a decent show for kids. And it's also respectful with the characters.

Maybe if they managed to get the best team and they give them enough time to make theatrical shorts they could do something brilliant, but in a tv animated show it's pretty difficult to make something great in both animation and story. It only happened in Ren and Stimpy and it didn't last more than a couple of seasons.

I'm not sure how this new Looney Tunes show will turn out, but it doesn't look very bad, and it will easily be better than most of the things Warner has recently done with the characters.

On topic, I think that last prehistoric kid is a very appealing design.

Roberto Severino said...

I have a strong feeling that Iwao Takamoto had a lot to do with this, both good and bad consequences. The last three drawings definitely look like his style.

Roberto Severino said...

And oh yeah, I also noticed that most of these character designs all have tall, human proportions. I wish Ed Benedict had never left Hanna-Barbera. Maybe HB cartoons would have still looked appealing for a longer period of time.

To me, Iwao Takamoto just never really understood about what made a design appealing. I was never that much of a fan of his work (his early stuff looked pretty decent, but overtime, it got very ugly. Scooby Doo looked terrible). Just my thoughts.

RooniMan said...

Time marches on...

Luis María Benítez said...

When did this happen? I suppose with the manga/anime crap and all the bling bling involved with a lot of flashes and explotions, having characters with almost no nose, empty faces, boring bodies... I don't know. I'm still shocked by the "appeal" of the 2012 Olympic mascots. I'm glad I had my childhood before this.

WEIRDY said...

You might enjoy this link!

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/London-unveils-creepy-looking-mascots-for-2012-O?urn=oly%2C242206

WEIRDY said...

You might like this!

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/London-unveils-creepy-looking-mascots-for-2012-O?urn=oly%2C242206

WEIRDY said...

I thought you might enjoy this link John...

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/London-unveils-creepy-looking-mascots-for-2012-O?urn=oly%2C242206

Zoran Taylor said...

I guess you're assuming nobody searches for this type of post, right? To me this just feels way too recycled, but maybe new visitors will learn something from it. There is similarly informative and useful DEVOlution analysis here already, and after "If You Can't See It, It Doesn't Matter", this is kind of anticlimactic, but then this isn't a book. Am I being too selfish?

Zoran Taylor said...

Also, share if you can - what's your favorite hippie lure? I'm a jig man myself, although I'm still kinda partial to spinner-bait, but I'unno...

Marsh said...

Speaking of appeal, here's a soon to be classic of design:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_74M2MuUCY

J Lee said...

I have a strong feeling that Iwao Takamoto had a lot to do with this, both good and bad consequences. The last three drawings definitely look like his style.

This 1964 clip shows the danger ahead -- Ed Benedict-styled bears (one at one point looking like Ed's Butch design for the MGM CinemaScope Droopys) doing a production number before being greeted by an Iwao Takamoto human who could have fit in perfectly with any 'angry male authority figure' from H-B's 1970s TV stuff.

EalaDubh said...

I wouldn't even call the top drawing 'ugly', it's just... nothing. Formless and featureless.

At least in stills the Globetrotters look as though they're trying to give them some life and movement, but then you watch an episode and realise the limited manpower and resources available in 1970, when this kind of 'realistic' character design was still relatively new at HB, were woefully inadequate to the task. There's more animation in the title sequence than you'll ever get in the following twenty minutes.

jeffreyJack said...

Hey John K!
Big fan here. Saw this funny dog on Reddit and wanted you to see it. This guy is as close to a real life cartoon as I've seen. Best wishes!

http://i.imgur.com/hckue.jpg

EalaDubh said...

I think by far and away the best character design Iwao Takamoto ever did was Dick Dastardly. Everything that sums up the character is there in the sharp, angular shape of the face - the nose, the chin and the hard stare all point in the same direction, so coupled with his height, he's perpetually looking down his nose at everyone he talks to.

bunnywabbit said...

I,m a great fan of your work and what you teach Mr. John < You got me interested in diff. things and one of them is here. Hope you like it.

http://runninkool.deviantart.com/#/d2opy5a


regards,

Varun

Pokey said...

I liked the Abbott and Costello designs pretty well, but by a few years later HB had really, as others have said, gotten ugly..