Sunday, November 23, 2008


I've been working on the first episode of Enthalpy for how long, now? The first file I created for the Flash, a poster meant to go on the wall in a dental office, was apparently created on February 25th, 2008. I'm not actually using that poster in the final animation, but that counts as working. I didn't start any actual animation until May 5th, though. And from then on, my progress has been rather sporadic.

After animating over a minute of this ~three-minute pilot episode, I started reading the blog of John Kricfalusi. Why? I don't remember. I believe I was searching for something in particular, but I can't remember what. Regardless, I started reading his blog and learning a lot about animation techniques and such. I became fascinated by it and read quite a bit within a couple of days.

Of course, this led to the feeling that I was doing everything wrong. I felt like I should trust his judgement, as a lot of what he was saying made sense, and his animation style is quite possibly my favorite out of all cartoony animation. On the flip side, I disagreed with him on so many things. For example, he absolutely hates Animaniacs and, in fact, wrote a kaibunsho* for the cartoon shortly after it started. I hadn't realized it was possible for anyone (anyone who likes cartoons at all, anyway) not to like
Animaniacs, and it seemed rather inconceivable that anyone could actually hate it. But Kricfalusi hates everything about it. Though I certainly wouldn't say the animation quality compares with classic Looney Tunes, I laugh way more at practically any given short from Animaniacs than from Looney Tunes.

There's the "Cal Arts" style as well, which he dislikes... as well as pretty much every Pixar film (it's possible to dislike Pixar films?!), CGI in general, and fake pathos. And, of course, his appreciation for certain Hanna-Barbera cartoons that I find really boring to look at... The Flintstones literally makes my eyes hurt to watch for too long. And what exactly is his opinion on anime? He appeared to outright dislike, if not hate the umbrella of anime drawing styles, but made a whole post about how great anime color is and gives quite a bit of praise to FLCL (which is admittedly pretty cartoony as far as anime goes). And I don't quite get his hatred for the Fairly Oddparents drawing style; while simplistic, 2D and geometric, it's fresh and different in a cartoony way. I'd hazard to say that I'd find a freeze frame from FOP more interesting to look at than a random freeze frame from a traditional "rounded" cartoon.

Am I ignoring most of what he writes while animating? Absolutely not. I'm taking a lot of his advice. Would he still hate what I'm making? I'm pretty certain of it. Enthalpy isn't really all that cartoony as far as cartoony cartoons go; although the drawings are heavily stylized, I like to keep the drawings as on-model as possible, even at the expense of expressiveness. And I find pop culture references funny (that is, if you're making an actual joke with the pop culture reference and not just throwing it out there for the sake of throwing out there, which is the only problem I've ever had with Animaniacs).

*A suitable English equivalent for the word didn't come to mind, so I left it Japanese.


At 7:46 PM, Blogger Kasey said...

I don't like Animaniacs (I find it rather irratating) but I don't HATE it. Given my love for the medium, there are very few that I can bring myself to truly hate. Same goes for Hanna/Barbera's TV work, as I at least like the Yogi Bears Mike Lah worked on.
John K. overall, is an arrogant Clampett-worshipper who's even more close-minded than I could ever dream to be. He doesn't even like Tom & Jerry! :O


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