Saturday, November 27, 2010

Smart




Here's a picture of the person who wrote it

76 comments:

Steven M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven M. said...

John, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Billy Sajdera said...

It's like theme park guests who ask caricature artists to draw them, "not funny, more realistic". Instead of a genuine, funny caricature that looks like them, you end up drawing this super conservative "stamp" face for them and they LOVE it.

Of course, you know that it's 100% not realistic at all. Why do so many people call that realistic? It makes me wonder if the average American equates "realistic" with "bland", somehow. This movie critic apparently does.

People love bland.

Billy Sajdera said...

It's like theme park guests who ask caricature artists to draw them, "not funny, more realistic". Instead of a genuine, funny caricature that looks like them, you end up drawing this super conservative "stamp" face for them and they LOVE it.

Of course, you know that it's 100% not realistic at all. Why do so many people call that realistic? It makes me wonder if the average American equates "realistic" with "bland", somehow. This movie critic apparently does.

Martin Juneau said...

Even the guys from Toonzone did a powerful comment vaunted this film. I swear, they take too seriously!

Luke said...

I haven't actualy seen Tangled yet, but from the preview I've seen, Stock Disney hits the nail on the head. Why spend all that money if youMre just going to make the same handfull of expressions over and over again.

Olivia said...

Those sentences and paragraphs are so realistic I would swear that I was reading an actual film review.

ardy said...

Real people with enormous flat eyes and no foreheads.

Elana Pritchard said...

That movie is for flat-earthers.

HemlockMan said...

Long story short: This movie sucks ass.

Erik Johnson said...

I heard someone once say the same thing (so photorealistic you'll think they're real) about a pair of cheap theme park animatronics a few years back. I'm guessing that person either had horrible vision or in the very back row of the attendees.

While Computer Animation has made some major leaps in the past decade in terms of rendering realism, its hard to take one look at those big eyes and wonder how anyone could make such a statement.

Tony DiStefano said...

John,Do you remember the fractured fairy tale version?Those were great.
I watched your Quisp commercical.
You really captured the flavor and yet still were able to do your own thing.

Tim L. said...

Yep, Glen Keane and his animators are all complete hacks. Isn't that right?

Scrawnycartoons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Aw, BURN!

Also, they couldn't be less photoreal if they tried to be.

So, are you saying the writer was stupid for making that amature claim, or are you tearing the writer for giving a good review to Tangled?

Thiago Levy said...

I just looked at my animation mirror and I realized that I also look very much photo-realistic.

SandraRivas said...

I saw that crummy movie.

To quote Mr. Horse (if you don't mind), "No sir, I didn't like it."

Trevor Thompson said...

If real people looked like that, no one would reproduce.

kurtwil said...

Stupid person may be rolling in money (and new teeth) soon as Tangled's bumping Harry Potter out of this week's B.O first place (it's 25+'ers doing it):

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2010/11/27/box-office-harry-potter-tangled/

Hopefully, JK, your cartoon school teachings produce enough talented people to someday reverse this trend.

Isaac said...

Maybe you're misinterpreting. It says "physical characters." This post is probably what he's referring to: it looks like Rapunzel is really holding the pan, it looks like her sleeves are really creasing. Their feet stick to the ground.

There's actual art direction and animation in this one.

Guy said...

Tim, I thought this post was about photorealism. What does that have to do with anyone being a hack? Honestly, looks like everyone just says the same things every single time around here. Someone should say something about how insulted they are by genericism, and how you're a FOOL if you don't think 2D and 3D are equal, and all those other things.

I saw people who looked just like them walking down the street the other day. A true tale!

C said...

Realistic? But the horse has a sword in its mouth...

Culiau! said...

Critics... they just weren't breastfed.

Joey Lee said...

Just came back from watching, Tangled. I liked it.

Alison said...

gotta love how someone pulls the "but real people made this man you gotta respect them" cop-out every time there's a post like this

D.W. said...

I've seen better. Should've let your bed partner PIXAR do the work for you Disney.

Mr. Kupo said...

Seems pretty nitpicky to pick on one critic. And he's not even a very good one.

Carmine said...

I am a fan of Disney animated features, so I almost went to see it a few times this weekend, but what stops me is how it reminds me of a "Teen People" magazine. I've never seen a Disney movie pimp "pretty" characters or even "sex appeal" quite this way before.

Am I wrong for thinking this??

Marc said...

I don't think they mean photo-realistic in the sense of the characters looking like real humans, more to the fact they look real, like real puppets, claymation models. I recall watching the trailer and thinking at points - that looks real, all down to rendering and lighting, not the models etc.

spøf said...

The sad thing is that Disney movies obviously have a lot of really talented people working on them and there's potential for so much more. I think if movie companies allowed their employees to be original and have creative new ideas everyone would be pleasantly surprised.

The reason that movies are so samey (and not just animation) is because movie companies need to make every movie appeal to as broad of an audience as humanly possible. They need to justify the amount of money they spend on a movie, which is usual about equal to the GDP of a small nation. This is why they want a successful formula. Movie ticket sales have actually been declining though. I think this is because they don't realize is that people like to see things that are NEW and ORIGINAL.

Mike said...

bland, soulless garbage, but the guy who created this wasn't stupid, THE AUDIENCE who paid money to watch this crap was stupid.

Marty Fugate said...

The crushing irony is: the best live-action comic actors have always been living cartoons.

Marty Fugate said...

Re: blandophilia.

Billy Sajdera says "People love bland." With respect, I don't think so. I think it's an internal audience problem.

I.e.: when people actually see energetic, subversive, fearless original vision, they like it. John K's "Ren and Stimpy" being one example, the early Warner Brothers cartoons being another. The external audience loves fresh work -- when they get a chance to experience it.

But the internal audience holding the purse strings --various editors, producers and money people -- THINK people won't like edgy stuff. (Or will like their idea of "edgy" which is really a cookie-cutter formula.)

This internal audience kills the good stuff and funds the bland stuff based on their idea of what the external audience wants.

I know in my heart, soul and bones that they're wrong.

Silly-Stungun-Millie said...

You'd figure that, by having pupils the size of a nickel while standing in a well-lit room, her retinas would burn out.

As for proof of blandness, the recent commercials for the Barbie doll product tie-in feels like a rehash (sans 90's fashion) of the Totally Hair Barbie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlsk2xACwqc

Marty Fugate said...

Having recently been fired from a print cartooning gig, it's incredibly frustrating to know that your audience loves you, but you've lost your job anyway because the phantom audience in your editor's brain doesn't.

Aw, poor me. Yeah, I know, I know. Shut up.

My point is, with a few exceptions, the editors and producers and bean counters are the enemy. They believe that people want bland crap. When you agree with that, you're agreeing with the enemy and lose heart. More importantly, the enemy's assumption is wrong.

People want the good stuff. Keep fighting to create it.

Roberto González said...

That's a extremely stupid and generic review (then again it's too short to say something insightful), but I think Tangled looks good. Granted, it doesn't look very original but I like Rapunzel's design, she looks cute and feminine, not the action-hero kind you (and I) usually dislike. She uses a frying pan but Tex Avery's Red did that too.

We won't see this movie in Spain until February, but I think it looks more entertaining than Princess and The Frog.

This Disney fairy tale formula is not the only type of animated film I'd like to see, and it was definitely overused in the late 90s, but when it's well done it can be better than BlueSky or DWKs formulas. Or even Pixar, which makes good films, but they kind of use the same sappy morals of Disney and sometimes it lacks some of the strengths of the best Disney movies.

To sum up, being original is great, but if Tangled entertains me I'd rather take the same old ideas done well than the kind of different trainwrecks (Chicken Little) or completely unmemorable films (Meet the Robinsons, Bolt, Princess and The Frog) they have been producing lately

Roberto González said...

I'd like to add to my previous commentary that I completely agree with you about the CalArts style/ cliche poses, though. Especially in the guys characters.

I think Disney's princesses look generally good but the princes should get rid of the stock 'Disney tude' expression (a kind of tude that is less smug than the Dreamworks tude but almost equally annoying). Those blank teeth and raised eyebrows need to go. Maybe they should try to go back to something more similar to Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty. Not that I find that design extremely interesting either, but at least he doesn't look too arrogant.

That said, I think the guy in this movie can be charismatic. Didn't like most of his smug moments but he looks kind of funny in other parts of the trailers.

The Nerdy Duo said...

Another review written by a critic who doesn't understand the process. Like how Manohla Dargis doesn't understand that HD is smaller than cinema.

@Billy Sajdera

When you consider that art is an interaction between the artist and the viewer, it makes sense why people like bland. Bland is easy. It takes strength of character to face one of your fundamental flaws exaggerated and laugh at it. And the truth of this matter is that the audience (and that critic) is failing on their end. They don't want to think or feel or even experience. It's sad that there are so many people who miss the point of caricatures (and art) entirely.

Iron maiden said...

this film is nothing compared to what i saw the other day , the new trailer for a cgi disney film mars needs moms

http://www.animationmagazine.net/features/trailer-images-drop-for-mars-needs-moms/

It makes me wonder If there trying to make it cartoony or realistic too me its all ugliness

Tim L. said...

@ Guy
"Tim, I thought this post was about photorealism. What does that have to do with anyone being a hack? "

I was being sarcastic. I think Glen Keane is a wonderful animator and the animation team at Disney is made up of some of the most talented animators currently living.

Does John think that? Judging by his dislike of the recent Disney films... no.

As for me, I thought the movie looked wonderful. The designs, I felt, were appealing and the animation was wonderful. And no 'tude' to be found anywhere. The movie is very very different then the godawful marketing campaign.

I have problems with the story, but I have no problem with the "look" of the movie itself.

Is it "photoreal"? No. Appealing? Yes!

JohnK said...

>>Does John think that? <<

Yes.

Tim L. said...

@John "Yes."

Awesome! Glad to hear it. I've always liked Glen's work a lot. He, Ken Duncan, and Eric Goldberg really stand out to me.

Fabián Fucci said...

OK, does this movie contribute something in the end? We should focus on that, even if it is less than a 10 per cent.

Taber said...

Jeeze so much hate in the comments! I liked this film, but then I went in expecting the typical Disney formula executed very highly. What did you guys go in expecting?

But yeah, that article is hilarious.

Sven Hoek said...

The big studio execs think they know what people want, photorealistic cartoons. People, therefore must like oxymorons. But what the execs fail to realize is that they could spend a fraction of the money they are spending on these "films" and people would still flock to the theaters. Disney and Pixar could squat down and take a huge steaming dump and people would still flock to throw their money at it because they are easily entertained and dont know what they want. They want to be told what to like and the big companies come through every time.

The audience is the problem. They just keep throwing their money at this crap and the studios just keep squeezing out more, thinking they know what the morons want because the last one made so much. As soon as a few of these overly-expensive turds finally flops hard and loses a lot of money, then you will see things slowly change. But they are gonna have to lose a lot to get them to change course, they have been on this same path using the same old expressions and movements using the same old tired cliches and tude for so long it may never change. The audience is going to have to change.

Long Live John K.

kurtwil said...

For those who wonder about weekend BO's, wand outdid hair:

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=12260396

Another stock reuse example: Disney's recent 3D Mo-Capped CHRISTMAS CAROL. Scrooge's fate at the hands of the third ghost (dangling inside his grave awaiting fall to death) is remarkably like the earlier MICKEY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL.

Kyle said...

While this movie was very by the numbers in its posing, character design, etc, I still enjoyed it. largely because this was the first time we've seen this in 3D. And while I'd never use the term photo realistic for any of this movie, I was surprised at how believable one scene felt in particular: there's campfire scene with quite a bit of dialogue. the gestures felt surprisingly real to me. but never mind me, please, continue the Disney bashing.

Cristian Avendaño said...

Well, I do agree with Kyle in the sense that I like 90's disney a lot (more because of nostalgia than anything, I admit!), and I know that they have some really skilled animators and sometimes they pull off impressive stuff.

I don't think this post in particular is "Disney Bashing". If anything, it's "Generic-and- incredibly-expensive-cartoon Bashing". Perhaps some of the comments are meaner, but it's not like you or I have to agree on everything with everyone all the time.

Remember that this movie was in production for like 9 years or so, just to end up like... well, like any other Disney movie all of a sudden. That was a big letdown for me and for many others.

Sven Hoek said...

Here's an interesting article on US patent laws breeding mediocrity.

http://blog.mises.org/14779/the-effects-of-patent-and-copyright-on-hollywood-movies/

Mykal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yawn said...

so much talent unnoticed and wasted making these disney movies,its a crying shame.

Mykal said...

I just saw Tangled and thought it crap: The same long-faced, toothy male face with the same haircut and the same feisty princess-type female doing the exact same expressions (A catalog of eyebrows and huge glassy eyes). The story is middle of the road pap that is neither good nor bad, designed to appeal just enough to both the stupid and the smart to guarantee ticket sales. It has the prerequisite animal character that is, of course, than any of the humans. The voices of the characters are very lively and completely nondescript, possessing absolutely no character at all and making me long for the days of Daws Butler, June Foray, etc.

It seems very sad that this is the way it is now with “animation.’ With each new movie our “lifelike” animation seems more remote – possessing less and less actual life. Each movie seems more and more the product of some alien race sending us transmissions of their best imitation of “cartoons.”

Wasn’t the cool part of cartoons the fact that they created a universe that was alive but not lifelike, with characters that were funny and not a bit like “real life”?

Chickens and Beandip said...

This blog should be renamed, John K Burning Bridges and stuff. I swear any chance of getting a new series is probably thrown down the pooper with this blog. You can't call the man a hack or an idiot executive and then expect them to fund your project... And while the peanut gallery here is very vocal I highly doubt the actual professionalism of half of them. Aspiring doesn't exactly count. While I have not seen the movie and it doesn't look the greatest to me, I can look at it and know what it's strengths will be. But more importantly I don't think anyone here actually understands the limitations of the medium and just how far it's coming. The industry is only 15 years old as far as filmaking goes. As compared to the 80-90 Traditional has had (more when you take into consideration the actual art world and it's impact on the animation world). And there will be others who say the art world impacts CG as well, but computers haven't been around that long either, while the pencil has been around for hundreds.
Basically what I'm saying is make it better. If you guys know whats wrong. Make it better. Start a new show and make it better. But from what I understand the George Liquor show has been pitched longer than the CG industry has been alive. Maybe "other" people need to realise what does and does not work. Simply making a play on words and then drawing a funny picture doesn't count as a pitch. IE. He hog instead of He haw, or two dirty pussies and the catch is it's two cats. If you are going to demand substance, show a little yourselves.

kurtwil said...

Chickens and Beandip, the entertainment and animation industries remain two of the weirdest politically intense work environments in the world, yet their practices infect scores of other businesses including software development. JK's told many stories about it, and I've lived a few like them.

But no matter how much one wants to go back to "dem good old days", CGI's roaring along its 20 year old path, now capable of visualizing pretty much anything provided artistic talent and money are available.

Meanwhile, where's the independent 2D "breakthrough"? In 2008, Ralph Bakshi said how great it was having 4 artists and a computer helping him do LAST DAYS OF CONEY ISLAND for $500K, yet surpassing the quality of AMERICAN POP. LDOCI was never finished.

This blog's posting of artistic tips and appreciation is helping the next gen of artists (and some of us older folks) learn and appreciate classical techniques.

Also, rather than rant at Shrek and other examples of "modern" stories, it might be good to ponder __why__ that kind of humor and approach to stories has become so popular.

Guy said...

Chickens and Beandip: I agree. People like to talk about how pathetic the little kids who go to see things like Disney movies are and yet the alternatives are... uh, nothing. How about making something good instead of talking about how talented you are because you can imitate a 20's or 30's walk cycle really badly?

Alvaro said...

Stupid review is Stupid.

To be honest, I have read worse(And stupider) movie reviews than that one...

Carmine said...

Um, Mr. K. created probably the single best comedy cartoon tv series in American history. The "John K." episodes of Ren and Stimpy are extraordinary and as good as it gets, period. Nothing in the realm of comedic tv cartooning even comes close. How's that for "substance"? I just wanted to jump in with that.

Plus a lot of the "bashing" isn't even done by him, its the other posters. But when he does chime in with an opinion, its usually more than insightful. He has integrity as an artist and doesn't dance to the tune the fascist corporations play. If you work in the animation biz, great, but when all is said and done there IS a difference between artists and workers. He's an artist w/ a capital A. And I'm not kissing up, I'm simply being honest.

Martin Juneau said...

If you want a true example of good criticism from a excellent critic, i suggest you to read in french this crappy comic book review. Not just as crap that is, but because he make points to what we waiting but comes nothing when you read pages by pages. I like the nothing comment.

http://www.bdgest.com/chronique-4340-BD-Bambou-le-petit-cerf-qui-mangeait-tous-ses-amis-Tome-1.html

Josh said...

I'd just like to point out that the problem with the "Disney style" is not that it's bland or uninteresting. It's abstraction from life, as all cartoons are. This particular technique just happens to be a little less abstracted and more reality-based. Which is fine if the project calls for that.

The problem is that it hasn't changed. It's been used in 50+ films now, and, personally, I'm just tired of it. It's a cliche. That's what bugs me.

And this critic's (and many others') assertion that these films are, to paraphrase, "so good, they might as well not be animation," is both misguided and somewhat offensive. But it's not all their fault. It's up to the couple of really good artists and teams of artists to convince these critics that they're wrong.

Mykal said...

"Um, Mr. K. created probably the single best comedy cartoon tv series in American history."

This made me laugh. While a bit hyperbolic, I agree with Carmen in principal regarding John K's production of substance. I am through my second go-through of the Mighty Mouse stuff and it pleases the eye on a level that Tangled and its ilk never have or will. The R & S cartoons certainly rank up there in pure pleasure with the best of Terrytoons or Hanna-Barbera.

In addition, I have learned a great deal about both cartooning and comic book art from this blog. Hell, I even learned what a "walk cycle" is.

John K burning bridges? He's already crossed the bridge and is on the other side.

Carmine said...

@Mykal
Actually, that wasn't meant as a hyperbolical statement. I meant it literally, and again, I'm not trying to kiss-up, but it is truly what I believe and is a case which I think could be argued and won.

Mykal said...

Carmine: I am agreeing with you in the basic content of your comment. Your comment made me laugh because of the "um" that started the first sentence. Like you, I was a bit confused regarding previous messages about "substance."

I wouldn't attempt to argue against your premise that the author of this blog has produced the "best comedy cartoon tv series in American history." To do so might damage all the credit I've amassed by previous kissing up.

Guy said...

Ren & Stimpy was almost 20 years ago. But I wasn't talking about John K., I was talking about other people. Most artists in the community have only taken a few steps and they talk about how talented they are for it. Apparently they think repeating John K.'s words back at him is more important than making anything good.

Mykal said...

Guy: Hey! I've never produced anything worth a damn in the field and never will, so I'm off the hook. I don't have to choose. I can simply repeat John K's words back at him.

Lucas Neumann said...

Er... I'm gonna go back to the movie, ok?

The review posted was way WAY of. The Charactes do NOT seem "realistic" in any way. Heck, Rapunzel has a gigantc head and eyes, even for the Disney princess pattern.

As for rest of it, the movie is quite ok? I really cant' imagine what else you guys were expecting from it?

Sure, it has MASSIVE storyline problems, as pacing as well, such as an awful slow start and a rushed ending. But I don't really see any motive hate this movie. But won't love it either, it's a pretty forgetable piece of work, just like the rest of Disney's works in this decade.

And this might be one the last Disney princess, won't be long before they ditch the animation gig and just do movies with 20 something pretty people acting like teenagens faking at acting/playing music

Mykal said...

Getting back to the movie: "I really cant' imagine what else you guys were expecting from it?"

I guess I was expecting a movie that didn't have MASSIVE storyline problems, that didn't have a slow start and a rushed ending; and wasn't a pretty forgettable piece of work as is the rest of Disney's works in this decade.

Lucas Neumann said...

Yeah I know, Settling for mediocrity sucks. Still, if you go see this movie light hearted, it's pretty good actually.

ca60gregory said...

I dont think photo realism is the direction we should try to take anyway, we have living actors and cameras for that.

Rafael said...

I worked at Disney for years until leaving in 2008, and honestly the last animated movie of theirs I watched all the way through was Tarzan (1999.) Just don't care for these forgettable 3D films.

Dr. Irving Thaddeus Zissman III said...

I too am still upset about being fired from my own show.

Rob Mortimer said...

This reminds me of the Pixar vs Dreamworks comparison from a few years back

Khaki Hat said...

I never cared to know who was voicing what in a feature of any kind. The only exception I will make however is for Morgan Freeman, who sadly wasn't around to save Happy Feet.

I havent yet seen this movie, so I wont say a thing. But I fell that Disney Animation or Pixar Canada could easily produce a feature in the span of a year and produce a modest profit. Nothing earth shattering, nor something rockstar talent should concentrate on while imaginearing some new tech for the lonesome slave animator. Just some fun product that can take chances because brand mgnt was thrown into a lava pit during a 'presentation' by Chris Sanders.

Manda said...

Are you people serious? You can sit here and say that JohnK made one of the best American cartoons of all time and then call this film (which most of you have no seen) a hack job? Because overused, exaggerated and overextended expressions and movements are the keys to good animation? Maybe if Disney slapped in some more double takes and eye-bulges, they could save their poor animation company.

Marty Fugate said...

Hey, for all I know "Tangled" is the greatest animation since Lumiere poked the moon's eye out. Strictly speaking, it's CG animation, not a cartoon. CG has sucked all the oxygen out of the room and left traditional American cartooning flopping on the deck like a dying fish. Not to put words in John K's mouth, but I believe that's his major beef.

Marty Fugate said...

CG animation is its own media. Like any media, it imposes an inner logic. I.e., if you draw with a pencil, you'll draw differently than you would with a Rapidograph or a nib pen. I.e., the medium is the message.
The basic DNA of traditional cartooning is DRAWING -- everything starts with line. The DNA of CG is mass and form. Everything BEGINS as shapes in an XYZ axis with a virtual light source. Line, if it exists, is an afterthought.
Based on that digital DNA --
CG animation tends to result in (A) hyperrealistic digital puppetry, (which can be done either well or badly) (B) mega-stylized geometric forms (C) a combo of the two.

Marty Fugate said...

So -- consider, say, "Family Guy." It's 3D, CGI animation disguised as line art. Peter and Brian begin as oblate spheroids in a computer's brain. They're inhumanly on-model. As perfect as if a computer drew them. Because it did.
This tech allows a ridiculous level of perfection -- 3D turnarounds, etc. If Quagmire is flying a Mitsubishi Zero, it's perfect from all angles.
Digital animation makes this airless, inhuman perfection possible. Then the inhuman perfection becomes an aesthetic in its own right. The eye is conditioned to think that's what a cartoon looks like. Real cartooning looks "sloppy."
Full of "overused, exaggerated and overextended expressions," etc.