Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Depressing Studios 3: DiC

Do I even need to say anything?

I will anyway. In terms of sheer ugliness, it would be hard to beat this stuff. DiC came out of nowhere in the 1980s and seemed to have no rules or standards as to what made cartoons work. So they just made it up.
The combination of the worst character designs I'd ever seen, with sending all the creative work to the cheapest service studios around the world added up to a style that makes Filmation look like 40s Disney.
When I went to work in-house for DiC, they had not even heard of what a layout was- let alone an animator. They had storyboard artists that had never animated, and believed that any camera angle and any number of characters in a scene was no problem to animate- because they didn't have to do it. They drew storyboards with downshots of characters they couldn't draw themselves even in a straight on pose and then sent the storyboards to some poor nation across the globe. 6 months later, finished cartoons would show up back in LA and everyone here would slap each other on the back for the magic they had achieved- not knowing what miracle made the stuff move- when it actually did once in a blue moon.

A visual style that developed out of poor taste, uncaring business men, ignorance, shoddy design and cheap production values later developed into the style adopted by studios that could afford to make movies that cost 20 times the budget of Pinocchio. Go figure.

The influence of DiC