Monday, August 27, 2007

Amid's Gift To You

Amid Amidi sent me this clip and a note:

hey john - i think this is a perfect example of the generic stock
acting we see in cartoons nowadays. i wanted to punch somebody after
watching it:

hope all's well,

I didn't think this was as bad as a cartoon as Amid did. It looks a lot better than the last one we looked at- that furry-grafitti style cartoon.

I found this cartoon very interesting. Yes, it has the zippy bounce from every pose to pose acting style we've been discussing, but strangely they've combined it with a big dose of Ren and Stimpy influence (and some Klasky Csupo). It's weird to see surface elements of my style but performed with modern cartoon acting zip-style.

The design, the gross stuff, abstract backgrounds and the gritted teeth are right out of Spumco cartoons. This is somewhat flattering but a mystery to me at the same time.

The one thing that I thought made Ren and Stimpy truly different than other cartoons was the detailed and convincing personalities.

These were conveyed to the audience through the:

Voice acting
Large amount of varied Expressions - In context to the story
Variety in acted timing- they didn't just bounce from one stock expression to the next, they thought about everything they were doing and saying

For some reason, the layered and human acting in Ren and Stimpy stuff hasn't seemed to influence anyone. Personality and Acting seem to remain formulaic and simple in cartoons of every budget and climate.

You know, it's actually fun to observe people's personalities and gestures and expressions in real life, and then to try to get some of that into cartoons. Or sometimes, to just make something up that you've never seen before.

I think that the main reason so many cartoons don't do that is because of extreme conservatism. Fear of breaking the habits. Every human endeavor has traditions and arbitrary rules.

Many people think . "Well a cartoon can't move like that, or make that kind of expression. It has to move and look like what we have been doing for so long."


Because that's the way it's done.