Monday, March 30, 2009

Goodbye, cat-bear-rabbit thing?

Looks like I spoke too soon. Chowder creator C.H. Greenblatt writes on his blog:

You might have seen the press releases of the new shows coming to Cartoon Network. There's a big shift in what this network will be next year, and we don't know if we'll still be a part of it. There will be new Chowders airing until the end of the year, but right now we're winding down production. People get laid off starting at the end of next week. We could still be picked up, but it would be hard to reassemble the crew in its current form. If this really is the end, then it's been a good run and we've had a lot of fun. I hope you all continue to enjoy the show.

Well, whatever's the network decision, thanks for at least giving me some hope in TV animation, Mr. Greenblatt.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More on Chowder and cartoony animation in general

I don't know why, but my stat counter says that alot of people have been viewing my blogpost on Cartoon Network's animated series Chowder lately. I'd figure that I take the opportunity to write more about it.

If you follow animation blogs, you'd notice that there are complaints over how so many of today's television animation are "stylized". The fake UPA stuff, popularized by Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls. Nothing against stylized cartoons (if my posts on Deitch's cartoons indicates) but there is a valid point into this, since there seems to be a dearth of loose, cartoony shows pioneered by the people at Termite Terrace.

This is where Chowder comes in. Unlike most of what Cartoon Network has been introducing, Chowder actually has a loose, cartoonish style. The character designs itself are fun to look at. This provides the show's artists an opportunity to do funny drawings, resulting in animations that are fun to look at.

Chowder seemed to be the first of many shows debuted by networks that are cartoony by nature. Not long after the show debuted, Nickelodeon began The Mighty B! While I'm not a big fan of the show, I admire the show's staff in their attempt to bring cartoony animation back. Cartoon Network last year began The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. The show has a touch of stylizations, but also plenty of cartoony features. Even adult animation got into the act, when Adult Swim debuted Superjail! (although the pilot aired on October 2007, one month before Chowder began)

Most of these shows was a hard-sell. Chowder in particular almost didn't get past the pilot. However, despite the network executives' doubt over the series, the show has turned out to be a sort of a hit, getting a DVD release less than a year after the show debuted, and even expanding the first season order from 13 episodes to 20 (as well as ordering 29 more episodes for seasons 2 and 3). Flapjack and The Mighty B also gained following. I guess my point is that there are people out there who loves funny cartoons.

Even if you don't like any of these shows, I'll say this: the networks made a risk picking those shows up (well, in Flapjack and Chowder's case, at least), and as you can see it paid off. So if you want fun, cartoony animation back on TV, then you'd better pray that these shows will continue to be successful. It's the only way to ensure that the executives will pick up more funny shows in the future.

(all images copyright Cartoon Network)


I love the digital media and all, but there's something neat about 16mm film. Occasionally I like to collect cartoons on film.

I recently recieved another addition to my very tiny collection: Springtime for Clobber. It's a 50 year old film print, but the color is bright and beautiful, due to the Technicolor processing. I can only imagine that it looks great when projected (my film projector's in Japan at this point, although it's being packed for shipping).

Anyone here likes to collect films? Or other weird stuff?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gaston Go Home

Another Terrytoons.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Terrytoons

Here are some more Deitch-era Terrytoons.

Incidentally, I recently won a CinemaScope film print of Springtime for Clobber on eBay. If I can have it transferred to DVD (re: I need cash), I can have a widescreen print of the cartoon available on YouTube.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cheap Thrills

Been going through some of what I have and came across this.

I'm selling the original "Cheap Thrills" vinyl for $25 (shipping included). I don't have a player to test the record, but judging by it, it is in good condition. No signs of warping at all.

A must for fans of Big Brother & the Holding Company, or Robert Crumb (he drew the cover).

Email me at cbrubaker-at-gmail-dot-com if you're interested.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Brilliance in television animation: Wacky Delly (1996)

Opinions about anything are subjective. No one can't agree on what's the best book ever are. Same thing with what's the best film, song, etc. You probably don't agree with me on this very sentence.

But we all have ideas on what's the best thing ever are in our heads. It's no exception for me.

So what do I find to be the best cartoon to ever air on television? The answer may surprise you...well, maybe not. The "Wacky Delly" episode of Rocko's Modern Life.

Everything about the episode is perfect, from the behind the scenes look at the making of Rocko's show, the actual result of the film, and Ralph's attempts to sabotage the show. And the ending, of course.

In another words, this is a perfect satire on the television animation business. And it's actually pretty relevent today, too, in more ways than another.

So here's the episode for your viewing.

If only they release the entire Rocko series on DVD. (you reading this, Viacom?)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's the FUTURE!!!

Tom Tomorrow has always been a mixed bag for me, but this week's This Modern World is pretty amusing...and true, too!