Monday, November 09, 2015

Treehouse Opening Pt 4 - Dire Consequences of Trick or Treating

Believe it or not I really wanted to do some straight story stuff with the Simpsons. By 'straight' I mean a narrative story (as opposed to a song or strictly abstract visuals). I was dying to do a caricature of the Simpsons characters' personalities as well as their design. - like what I do with the Hanna Barbera characters.
I think Abe is a fun character. Old and cantankerous, I figured I'd make him older and more cantankerous. I thought I'd throw in that he'd also be very religious and superstitious as many old timers are.

*An animation history irony:

People tend to think of cartoons as exaggerations of reality - and that was pretty much taken for granted up until the 1960s. 

 In 1960, Hanna and Barbera created the first prime time animated cartoon - the precursor to the Simpsons and every other cartoon sitcom that followed.

The characters and situations in the Flintstones were inspired by the live action "The Honeymooners". So you would imagine that the animated show would be much more exaggerated than its live-action counterpart.  

While I love the Flintstones, the irony is that it is really a toned-down version of the Honeymooners. The live characters in the Honeymooners are much more exaggerated than the cartoon. They have more depth to the personalities and a much broader range of expressions and gestures.

I don't know how this came about, but the Flintstones' animation style must have seeped into the consciousness of generations of TV watchers all the way to today. Every animated sitcom that has been ever made is less exaggerated than characters in live action sitcoms - and even less exaggerated than real people in general (and even less exaggerated than Hanna Barbera cartoons).

So I wanted to do an experiment and reverse the trend by animating the Simpsons using their same basic personalities, but adding more range and expression to the acting - by caricaturing what is already there in a milder form.

Alas, Matt, Al and I came up with so many ideas - including a song, that we couldn't fit them all into the minute and a half slot. Maybe they'll let me animate a whole episode one day.