Saturday, October 31, 2009
REVIEW: Angora Napkin
Teletoon's adult cartoon block, DeTour, is doing a pilot project of a sort. They ordered 10 pilots and are putting them online one at a time, giving viewers a chance to vote on their favorite. Basically their own version of the "U Pick" thing Cartoon Network did years ago. Since I don't even live in Canada, I don't plan on voting, but on a whim I decided to view their 2nd offering called "Angora Napkin", created and directed by Nick Cross (see his blog here) and Troy Little.
"Angora Napkin" is based on Troy Little's graphic novel. Having never read it, I have no clue how different it is from the animated pilot, although the style is the same from what I've seen. Animation and art direction-wise, it's a delight. The character designs are very fun to look at and the visual style on a whole is pretty enjoyable. The animation is expecially good considering that it was done in Flash. Which goes to show that if it's in the right hands Flash can be used for good.
One could compare the style to Spumco, which is not surprising since co-director Nick Cross worked for John K. on the "Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon" show. Much of the animators listed also worked on the show as well, so the similarities are to be expected.
The voices aren't bad, too. The girls can be annoying at times, but every other voices are pretty good. I like the Dolphin Boy's voice (provided by Dwayne Hill). Unfortunately, everything else falls apart really badly, and I do mean badly.
It has become a trend for cartoons to be really bizarre as possible, and this is no exception. Please note that I have nothing against cartoons with bizarre stories. There are recent examples of such shows that I find to be genuinely enjoyable, such as the off-beat "Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack". The difference, however, is that the weirdness in "Flapjack" has heart and is not just for the sake of it. "Angora Napkin" unfortunately suffers from this, where random things just happen because they can. I'm honestly tempted to compare this to "Family Guy" with better drawings.
The first story is a good example, where zombies attack the three main characters. Towards the end they discover that the undead were after the medallion one of the characters were holding. Where did that medallion come from? It just out of nowhere came, with one of the characters explaining that she stole it from another adventure. Wait, what? That was forced.
The second story is no better. After they invertedly kill the royal seamonkey family (don't ask) the guard explain that the royal power is now given to the Dolphin Boy who was in the story throughout. Well, that's just convenient. I know cartoons aren't supposed to make sense, but when good cartoon do it they try to make it seem plausible. Even in something like this it just wasn't it.
So yeah, this was a disappointment. Which is a shame because I think Nick Cross is a talented animator. I liked his "Yellow Cake" short he did not so long ago. And I also think that Mr. Cross is more than capable of doing a good weird, non-sense cartoons that's becoming a trend lately. Maybe he's better off doing independent animations?
You can watch the pilot here.