Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Yogi's Ground Game

From 1997, an early tribute I did in honor of the UFC.

When I first turned in this scene to CN, they wanted me to cut it because they thought Yogi and Ranger Smith were having "relations". I explained that, no, this was an MMA style of fighting popularized by first, Royce Gracie's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and then built upon by Mark "the Hammer" Coleman's "Ground and Pound" combination of wrestling and strikes. This scene has never aired in its entirety on TV as far as I know, but now that UFC is popular everyone understands what "the guard" position is, so I'm guessing it's safe to finally show it uncut.
Todd White, famous cartoonist and illustrator has a black belt in Machado Jiu Jitsu. He helped me plan out all the poses. It's animated by Anthony Agrusa.
WATCH YOGI GROUND AND POUND RANGER SMITH
what this scene really needed was Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan to do the commentating

I've been a huge fan of UFC since almost the beginning and even pitched the idea to Spike TV to do a reality show based on it back in 2002. I wanted them to follow Tank Abbot around to bars and watch him start fights with people. We even wrote Ken Shamrock into a Ren and Stimpy episode playing Stimpy's Dad. At the time, Spike had never heard of UFC but thank Jesus (and Dana White) it's mainstream now. There was a time when it looked like it was going to disappear forever.

I think it's the best show on TV (the live Pay Per View events) and possibly the last purely human entertainment.


29 comments:

Roberto Severino said...

I must be very ignorant then. I didn't start hearing about the UFC until you suddenly started bringing it up on your blog and doing these homages to them in the form of caricatures. I didn't even know what it was until you explained it. Silly me...

Those drawings are beautiful, but were Bill, Joe, and Ed okay with this scene at all or with the whole cartoon even being "off-model" in their eyes? It never seemed to happen in any of the original Yogi Bear cartoons.

Luis María Benítez said...

I remember watching this scence tons of times and pausing and playing again and again... it's wonderful.

Guy Cx said...

Awesome cartoon translation of the "ground and pound", John! It's hilarious when Yogi tries to pierce through Ranger Smith's defence, trying to find the right spot and right time to punch Smith's face, for it happens all the time in a ground and pound situation. It's a shame this scene never aired...

By the way, speaking of Mark Coleman, if you haven't seen this one commercial of him, then prepare to be disappointed, John. (I disappointed myself with Wanderlei, who also appears. Big disappointment):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJlSAj4H4tg

Thiago Levy said...

Don't you miss the good old days when there were no rules, no time limit and no gloves? It was like the world cup in Brazil when Royce fought Severn. I grew up with Ufc and Ren and Stimpy, Oh God what a horrible monster I became?

SparkyMK3 said...

Nice fun fact. Too bad my idea of entertainment really isn't big sweaty guys beating the snot out of each other.

By the way John, are you ever gonna do a breakdown of "Porky in Wackyland" or "The Timid Toreador"-the latter being a great team up effort with Bob and Norm McCabe? Just wondering.

JohnK said...

Thiago: Yeah I miss head butts and stuff, but the fighters keep adding new skills to their game and it never gets boring.

Roberto: In the original HB cartoons the characters were never on model - especially Ranger Smith who looked totally different in every cartoon.

Yeah that made Ed mad at the originals and at mine. We had a big argument over whether animators should be allowed to draw in their own styles or not.

Shawn Dickinson said...

And a damn fine scene it is too!

Roberto Severino said...

I was actually talking about the fighting scene in general with Yogi and Ranger Smith, not necessarily about how it was off-model, though I thought it was cool of how the ranger, Yogi, and Boo Boo never looked the same in any of the cartoons on The Huck Hound Show before they got their own series. At one point, there were even multiple rangers in a few of the cartoons with different voices!

You added a lot of character to Yogi and made him do things that he would never do if Bill and Joe had directed this same cartoon or if Warren Foster or Dan Gordon had written it, and I wondered if that made them mad. I apologize for not being clear with what I said.

JohnK said...

I'll bet some people tried to get Bill and Joe mad at me, but I made some cel-painting kits for kids with off-model HB characters on them and put masks of Bill and Joe on the backs.


I presented the kits to them and they loved 'em. Bill cried and ordered me an extra cheese sandwich.

I also drew big marker portraits of Huck and Yogi and wrote sentimental notes on them to both their creators.

They were really excited about the fact that someone was inspired by them.

Martin Juneau said...

"Don't you miss the good old days when there were no rules, no time limit and no gloves?"

I asked a similar question about characters with gloves last year in my old Deviantart account. It happen that my characters have gloves a lot of times in their model just to make it cute but of course when i started, i thinkin gloves was used only for the contrast in old black-and-white cartoons but why they keep it in colour cartoons in the 40's?

Honnestly, i don't understand the point to make gloves to characters if you can't try to draw a darn hand. Maybe it was a trend 50-60 years ago but i will look silly if i wearing that in public.

And oh yeah, those punchlines between Yogi and Ranger Smith. I really like it. They have a lot of solid actings and a great sense of wrestling that my generation ignore so much. Thanks for sharing this with us.

RooniMan said...

Now I know why Yogi has Ranger Smith pinned to the floor like that.

Kali Fontecchio said...

I love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove your Boo Boo voice more than anything in the world!

Sometimes Nico and I do impressions of you doing your impression of Boo Boo, this can last for hours too. Some of my favorite quotes:

"No easy! No easy!"

"Yogi, there's a MAN in the shower."

kurtwil said...

I keep wondering where SPIKE TV and other outlets are for this kind of animation (which is far more fluid than anything else I've seen done with Yogi and R.Smith ! ).

What about the UFC broadcasters themselves - might some animated bumpers or segways prove of interest?

As I mentioned in another blog here, video gamers eat this stuff (and physiological thrillers) for breakfast, but so far almost entirely in 3D.
Should TV or internet prove a dry hole, JK, you might consider gameing as a new frontier (then again, I may have missed a title you were instrumental in creating - feel free to correct my memory!).

Severin said...

Have you ever tried martial arts yourself? For fun or exercise? Or maybe for study?

Paul B said...

this is one of my favorite scenes of all time!
It was weird the first time that I saw this scene because I had never seen a cartoon fighting! It was a combination of fun and realism.
I liked it very much.

I put some study on the College Blog

Thanks!

thomas said...

You really have to laugh that Spike thought Yogi and Smith wrestling was suggestive...

Like UFC isn't.

Maybe it was the suggestion of beastiality.

The fighters seem to mostly have a good sense of humor, like the guy retiring before the last Fedor match. He said something like "its been my pleasure, all these years, to fight for you, to entertain you, and break my bones for you".

Those Yogi and BO Boo cartoons are among my favotites too.

Ryan G. said...

Yer the man John.

Carwin almost took down the Vanilla Gorilla last Saturday. I was a little disappointed.

Next month's card is stacked.

You should create a fake MMA league cartoon with meathead inspired characters.

-Ryan

thomas said...

Oh, it was CN not Spike that rejected.

My bad...

Chloe Cumming said...

Ryan G- 'Vanilla Gorilla' I hadn't heard that before, that's great.

I love this scene too. I'd love you to be allowed to make cartoons with violent physical fights between cute well-established characters. Not in a nintendo kind of a way, in more of a Bas Rutten kind of a way.

Scrawnypumpkinseed said...

Great drawings John. I've already read Slabs first fist and memory serves, it was pretty sweet too.

Dammit, I really wanna see Boo Boo runs Wild or any of the other Yogi bear cartoons John made, does anyone know where I can watch them? Are the on any DVD's?

drawingtherightway said...

I've never watched UFC before but I used to watch WWE wrestling (not anymore). I notice that two of the names you mentioned (Brock Lesnar and Ken Shamrock) used to be in WWE years ago. I guess they got sick of fake scripted kicking the crap out of people in WWE and wanted to do the real thing in the UFC! Though I think Shamrock was in UFC before he was in WWE so I'm not sure why he wanted to go into fake fighting...probably the money!

HemlockMan said...

Damn, I would love to see that cartoon! With the fight scene intact!

GoldDarkShadow said...

i just love that fight scene with Yogi and Ranger Smith, I love the entire cartoon in general. There were so many things that you wouldn't see in a Yogi bear cartoon. And i just love how Ranger Smith just changes appearces every 10 secs. Was that because he had different appreaces in alot of the Yogi Cartoons?

Craig Wilson said...

I love it!

When I look at the one where Yogi is elbowing Ranger Smith in the face, I can't help but recall the end of Jon Jones fight with Brandon Vera.

Now I feel like trying to draw Japanese MMA legends Genki Sudo and Kazushi Sakuraba.

BUH Studio said...

Squash and stretch fighting is always awesome lol. I can't wait for the day cartoons go back to more oftheir roots like this again.

Shannon Hoek said...

I know this has NOTHING to do with this post but there's a rumor going around that Adult Swim is considering adding APC to their lineup. Is this true?

Tony W. said...

I haven't seen the whole cartoon but is the pacing of the dialogue and jokes supposed to be awkward like it is?

MrGoodson2 said...

We watched this episode a lot at the Neverhood. Mike Dietz, Doug T, everybody loved it. Most of us were also UFC fans so we really dug the rolling, sweeping, pounding attention to detail.

rodineisilveira said...

Yogi (at the moment in which he'd spank Mr. Ranger): "Sorry, sir, but this is for Boo Boo!"
Ranger Smith: "NO, YOGI, NO!"