Thursday, October 04, 2007

What's Not To Love About Insanity?

What is it about insanity that so delights our every pore and follicle?

Insanity works great in entertainment.

Whether we are talking about actual clinical forms of insanity like schizophrenia, solipsism, amnesia or made up ones, they all make for great fun on the screen.

But then there are the common every day forms of insanity we all experience: when we argue about politics, deal with executive logic, fall in love, get jealous, have road rage, practice religion, try to discipline the kids and expect them to obey us. The kind of normal common sense we apply when we use tools to fix a faucet or solve simple problems goes right out the window and we become irrational chemically controlled lunatics.
This is considered offensive today. Insane or what?

Everyone can identify with the crazy intense emotions these normal everyday human experiences grip us with.

Modern cartoons don't tend to exploit intense emotions or insanity, but I always thought the animated cartoon was the perfect medium for it.
Mike Lazzo (CARTOON NETWORK GURU) called some of my cartoons "Psychodrama" about 12 years ago and that was the first time I heard that label, but I liked it when I heard it. (I'm not sure whether it was a criticism or a compliment!)

My own life has been filled with psychodrama and I have taken real events that I've witnessesd (or caused!), and adapted them in my cartoons. Whenever someone goes nuts in front of me, instead of being scared, I usually zone out instead and go into intense study mode, so I can use the material later.

This scene in Sven Hoek was inspired by a real life event. Ren's line delivery is an imitation of someone who had an episode in the original Spumco studio - in my office. After it happened I ran to get my Sven Hoek storyboard and changed a whole scene to make it more intense and real. That's what real life events are for! Many of them are much crazier than anything you can imagine in a cartoon, so I take advantage of them when they happen.

One complaint I get from many executives is that my cartoons are too unrealistic. They don't know how wrong they are.

Here are some great movies to go insane with if you ever get the chance:
Beware My Lovely
Beast With 5 Fingers


TOMORROW'S MIGHTY MOUSE PISS-SHIVER-PACKED EVENT: Go Insane with cartoon psychos John K., Ralph Bakshi and Tom Minton!