Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bio In Progress

I just started working with a commercial rep and they asked for a bio, so
this is a rough draft. I'm going to add links and then transfer it to my demo reel blog

John Kricfalusi is the animated cartoon’s modern pioneer.

Early Days
Kricfalusi started his career during the dark-ages of cartoons. In the 1980’s he worked on such ‘crap’ as he calls it, as The Smurfs, Laverne and Shirley In The Army and other Saturday Morning Cartoons being churned out by the animation factories. During this depressing period he and other disgruntled cartoonists developed and pitched his own cartoon creations. His frantic and extremely sweaty pitches terrified network executives.

The New Jetsons
Hired to train layout artists in Taipei, John took a young crew of inbetweeners and tried out a production experiment. He requested audio tapes of the voice recordings for The Jetsons and played every line for the artists and then customized each pose and expression to match the voice tracks. This was the beginning of a new TV animation production system and characters started to show some life again.

John also directed his first TV cartoon episode: High Tech Wreck.

Kricfalusi Teams With Bakshi to Develop TV Shows
Harlem Shuffle- Rolling Stones Video With Bakshi

Bakshi’s New Adventures Of Mighty Mouse
Ralph Bakshi discovered John in 1987 and hired him to direct CBS’ “Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse”.
This was the cartoon that started the so-called ‘Creator-Driven’ revolution. Kricfalusi hired a crew of artists that, like him, were dissatisfied with the formula cartoons they were forced to work on at other studios.

They made a witty, satirical and wildly imaginative show for CBS that delighted critics and kids alike and immediately influenced the competing studios.

New TV Cartoon Production System
John not only revolutionized the style and content of modern cartoons, he created a new production system that allowed it to happen.
He first introduced the Director-Unit system for Ralph Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse Show, and then went on to refine it for his own Spumco studio and The Ren and Stimpy Show. Kricfalusi developed a production system based on the classic cartoon system of the 1940’s but adapted it to the realities of TV production.

Bakshi’s Mighty Mouse became the foundation of not only the creative revolution that followed, but also gave the industry the mechanism that would allow it to happen. It put the artists back in charge for the first time in 30 years. 2 years later, Ren and Stimpy debuted and the revolution was in full swing.

Ren and Stimpy Smash Success Sets Trends For Years To Come
With his landmark 1991 TV series "Ren & Stimpy," featuring the demented, wildly anti-social and hilariously inappropriate antics of the two title characters, Canadian-born animator John Kricfalusi (b. 1955) kicked modern cartooning in its underpants, starting a myriad of trends: the gross-out subversive cartoon (Beavis and Butthead, Southpark, Sponge Bob), the thick-lined flat retro cartoon (Dexter’s Lab, Fairly Odd Parents etc.)

Every major studio today features styles, looks and humor that are highly influenced by John’s cartoons and ideas.

The show also made a fortune for Nickelodeon and enabled them to open their own animation studio.

Consultant For Hanna Barbera - Cartoon Network
When Fred Seibert took over the Hanna Barbera Studio in the early 90s, he hired John as a consultant. His first question was “Why are old cartoons so great and the new ones suck?”
John went on to exlain the history of cartoons and pointed out that the classic cartoons, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse and many others began life as short cartoons. Old cartoon directors constantly experimented with new characters in shorts and when certain characters clicked with the audiences, they would then make many more cartoons with their newfound stars.
Fred said, “Then I’m going to make shorts from now on at Hanna Barbera and see what characters click.”

This led to Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, PowerPuff Girls, Ed Edd and Eddy and many more popular Cartoon Network series.

All the other studios quickly followed with their own shorts departments.

Ranger Smith/ Hanna Barbera Parodies
John started a caricatured revival of classic cartoon characters: Boo Boo Runs Wild, a Day In The Life Of Ranger Smith and other extreme versions of classic Hanna Barbera characters.

Father Of Internet and Flash Cartoons
After revolutionizing TV cartoons, Kricfalusi followed up by introducing and popularizing internet cartoons in 1997 with The Goddamn George Liquor Program and developed the techniques for Flash animation that are used at practically every studio today.

The Ripping Friends
John’s Spumco studio produced a low-budget kid series that has aired for years on Teletoon. It is a very popular show with Canadian kids.

Adult Party Cartoon
Spike TV contacted John in 2002 and urged him to make an extreme version of Ren and Stimpy.

Along the way, John suggested to Spike that they should license the Ultimate Fighting Championship and make a reality show based on the fighters. This became Spike’s most popular show and helped to further popularize the UFC.

John has created characters for popular and award winning commercials for Old Navy, Nike, NBC and many other major brands, both for TV and Internet.

Music Videos
Popular Musicians have asked John to make animated videos for their songs.
Bjork, Weird Al and Tenacious D have made popular videos with John.

John produced some high quality toys of his own characters and The Three Stooges. He has also made t shirts, comic books and other merchandise using his characters.