Archive for the ‘john kricfalusi’ Category

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Animation: Stimpy’s Invention Storyboard

Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy

In his blog, John K Stuff, John Kricfalusi has been discussing how he structures his stories.

Here is an excerpt from the original storyboard to "Stimpy’s Invention". Most of this board is by Bob Camp; supplemented by a few xeroxes of layout drawings by Chris Reccardi. Take a moment and read John K’s notes on how he constructs his stories… (Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four and his post on Outlining Stories) and then take a look at how the theories are implemented in this section of board.

Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and StimpyRen and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy
Ren and Stimpy

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Design: UPA Done Right

UPA Done Right

John Kricfalusi’s blog, "All Kinds Of Stuff" continues to be the most information packed and eye opening animation resource on the internet. If you haven’t visited it lately, you’ll want to check out the series of posts John has been writing on the impact of UPA on animation. I guarantee that you’ve never heard these sorts of opinions anywhere else, and once you digest the concepts, you’ll never look at a UPA cartoon the same again.

UPA Done Right

Here is just a sample of what John has to say…

If you don’t know cartoon history and you just grew up watching Cartoon Network, you might think that this flat stuff is something new and “hip”. It’s not. It’s much older than UPA, and the more graphic styles in cartoons before UPA didn’t come with the wimpy trappings. Because of our association with UPA’s beginnings, we assume that when we do something in a graphic style, we have to also carry over all the other attributes that came with UPA’s particular cartoon vision- the blandness, the wimpy world view, the snootiness.

UPA Done Right

People usually don’t analyze or break apart the elements that make up something they like. If we like it we assume that every ingredient in it is equally good. Then when we develop our own styles, we copy the bad with the good. That’s what we need ANALYSIS for!

Like many artists, I have tons of influences. There are lots of things that inspire me. I try to figure out why they do and I break them down into their separate ingredients. I then decide which ingredients are the ones that are useful and discard the others that might have just come along with it, but don’t actually add anything. There are good things about UPA and Disney- Tex Avery combined them and added his own world view to them and made cartoons more entertaining than either style.

UPA Done Right

John’s comments cut like a sword through the “design for design’s sake” school of animation. He cites Tex Avery as the one cartoon director who was able to incorporate modern design sensibilities, while still maintaining the entertainment value and humor of classic cartoons. He’s dead right. This post reminded me of my favorite series of commercials… which were directed by Avery at Cascade studios and animated by Rod Scribner.

UPA Done Right

Not only is the character design modern in the "UPA style" but the movement has been stylized in a complementary manner. Why don’t the current "Flat" cartoons move like this?!

UPA Done Right

KoolAid Spots (Cascade/ca.1960)
(Quicktime 7 / 6.8 megs)

UPDATE: I was browsing through Cartoon Modern today, and I found a post that Amid did last Summer that perfectly encapsulates my thoughts about the importance of animation even in stylized cartoons…

The Importance of "Animation" in Animaton Design

One of the hardest things to get across when discussing animation design is that it’s not just about character designers, layout artists and background painters. The animator is a critical member of the design team….

The primary reason, in my opinion, that so much of today’s stylized animation rings hollow is because nobody ever follows through on the animation. Regardless of whether a show is animated traditionally overseas or if it’s done in Flash, most contemporary TV series creators think their job is done once they’ve created a pretty model sheet and slapped on a bit of color styling. These few stills illustrate however that model sheets are often the least important aspect of stylized animation– what the animator does with those designs is what truly counts.

Exactly! Great animators like Bill Littlejohn, Rod Scribner and Grim Natwick moved these kinds of designs in unique and stylized ways.

This post is causing quite a ruckus over at Michael Sporn’s blog. Check out Michael’s post titled Aaargh. In particular, read the comments. Here’s a real doozy…

Not everything has to look or move gorgeously to be good or artful. That’s one of the dumbest, scariest suggestions I’ve heard anyone make in animation circles.

Yow! Do people really think lousy animation is artistic?!

Cartoon Brew has jumped into… The Great UPA Debate. Will Finn (check out his great new blog, small room) writes…

I see Steve Worth’s point about Kool-Aid ads and such, where perfectly admirable work is overlooked because it wasn’t in the service of "Art witha a capital A". Animators who want to evaluate work on a technique level should be able to appreciate that wherever they find it and not just where the intelligentsia have enshrined it with a golden frame.

Let the debate continue!

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.
TheoryTheory

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit entitled Theory.

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Animation: John K on Flintstones Animators

Meet The Stars of the Flintstones
by John Kricfalusi (from The Flintstones laserdisc set)

Flintstones Animators

When I grew up, I used to watch "The Flintstones" in syndication every day and I began to notice that the characters would look different in each cartoon. I eventually figured out that they must have been drawn by different animators, each of whom had their own individual traits.

Flintstones Animators

Comic book nerds like me have always been able to tell the difference- say, between a Steve Ditko Spiderman and a Todd McFarlane Spiderman; but in animation, the tendency for most studios is to force all the artists to try to draw the characters the same way. This is called drawing "on model".

Flintstones Animators

Ed Benedict, who designed the Flintstones is really mad that all the animators drew the characters in their own style, or "off model". Luckily for us, Hanna-Barbera didn’t have time to have the animators learn to draw the characters before they started animating!

Flintstones Animators

I love cartoons where you can tell the animators apart. Bob Clampett’s Warner Bros. cartoons are like this. And so are the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The tricky part is figuring out what names belong to what drawing and animation styles! "The Flintstones" when it runs in syndication, has a stock set of credits on the end of each episode. They list four animators. And, if the names ever agree with the persons who actually animated a particular episode, it’s sheer coincidence. And get this… In the early days of Hanna-Barbera, one animator would animate a whole 25 minute cartoon by himself!

Flintstones Animators

So, this is what we’ve done for the likes of you- Henry Porch (my sound editor) and I have assembled clips of each animators’ work so you can finally figure out who’s who! I know that each and every one of you is licking your lips in anticipation as one of life’s more succulent mysteries is about to disrobe and reveal its undergarments for you. –John Kricfalusi

KEN MUSE

Ken Muse
Click on the image to see a movie of Ken Muse scenes.

Ken Muse’s style is easy to spot when you see it, but hard to describe in words. That’s why we put the clips together! An obvious trait of his is the way he draws Fred’s eye bags. The line under his eye is parallel to it. Also, he draws upside down smile lines. He generally puts less expressions and poses into his cartoons than the other animators do. He’s sort of the bland one, although some of the coolest drawings ever of the Flintstones are in "The Swimming Pool". Check out Fred driving his car in the beginning of the cartoon. Or Fred lying down and staring out the window. This is before he got used to drawing the characters and began drawing "on model". Muse worked on Tom & Jerry before Hanna and Barbera opened up their own studio.

DON PATTERSON

Don Patterson
Click on the image to see a movie of Don Patterson scenes.

Don Patterson is a very funny animator. He loves to do wacky walks and runs and goofy eye takes. He never seems to repeat expressions and actions. He custom designs his work to match what’s going on in the story. He draws the characters "off model" when they need to act. He sometimes give the characters "Smurf eyes"- the two eyeball whites joined into one. Patterson came from Walter Lantz’s studio, where he animated Woody Woodpecker and Wally Walrus and all your other favorites.

CARLO VINCI

Carlo Vinci
Click on the image to see a movie of Carlo Vinci scenes.

Carlo Vinci is the master of Flintstone. He handles him clean, smooth, without shame. Here’s how to spot him… Carlo loves drawing crooked poses with the characters’ appendages- the head, the hands, the pelvic girdle- all pointing different directions. Keep your eyes peeled for socially unacceptable (in some circles) wrist actions. He likes to flip the wrist around- have the hand up, then flip down, then twist around, fingers wiggling, taking turns sticking up- it’s truly a joy to watch.

He utilizes the butt generously. Remember the old Yogi Bear cartoons? The ones where Yogi bops up and down to bongo beats? That’s Carlo. He’s always thinking of you. In Carlo’s hands, Fred’s butt is a sensative emoting creature. He also draws quite a few meaty expressions on the characters, whereas some other animators are stingy with their expressions.

Carlo came from Terrytoons, where he animated for about 30 years. He did Gandy Goose, Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle and all your favorite New York cartoons. His specialty was singing and dancing. Hey, get this! Carlo met young Joe Barbera back in the ’30s at Terrytoons and taught him how to animate. Carlo did great stuff for Terrytoons, but I think he was made for Hanna Barbera. His animation style combined with Ed Benedict’s designs created a whole new entertainment experience. Count on Carlo to deliver a quality package to you.

Read more about Carlo Vinci

GEORGE NICHOLAS

George Nicholas
Click on the image to see a movie of George Nicholas scenes.

George Nicholas draws really well. When I was a kid I’d see his cartoons and say. "There’s the good artist." He’s the one who draws really solid, almost "pretty" designs. He’s also great with the girls. He makes them look cute and sexy. Another Nicholas trait is he likes to have the tongues flop around in his characters’ mouths. Like Carlo Vinci and Don Patterson, he custom designs new expressions and poses to fit the characters’ moods according to how they feel in the context of the story at each particular instant. This is unlike many animators, who strictly draw their expressions off the model sheets. This model sheet approach is what most cartoons use today, which is why everything looks and feels so generic now. The characters always make the same expressions, rather than act according to the situation.

Mark Kausler, the world’s greatest animator, says, "Nicholas has the richest, fullest looking dialogue animation on the early Flintstones shows. Instead of using just a straight up and down ‘head bob’ formula, he varies it by shaking the head ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the mood of the dialogue accompanied by a shrugging gesture. He also uses a special sarcastic head rotation in perspective for some lines. He uses a unique ‘beady eyed’ expression on his characters, drawing tiny pupils in Fred’s eyes when he’s getting an idea or when he’s hypnotized by something. He draws big, fat fingers on Fred’s hands, especially in pointing gestures, like in the Frog Mouth episode."

Before Hanna-Barbera, George worked for years at Disney, where he animated for Charles “Nick” Nichols’ Pluto unit.

ED LOVE

Ed Love
Click on the image to see a movie of Ed Love scenes.

Ed Love’s most obvious trait is his real cool "upside down curly mouths". Watch when his characters talk. The mouth is also a little bit to the side. His action style is very ‘springy’. Mark Kausler says it’s because he ‘slows out’ of everything. That’s hi-falutin’ animator talk. He has a way of making limited TV animation look like full animation by the way he does his timing. It’s very smooth.

Before Hanna-Barbera, Ed had a quite varied career. His first animation job was on Disney’s first color cartoon- "Flowers and Trees". He animated Mickey getting stomped on by brooms in "Sorcerer’s Apprentice". He animated for Tex Avery in the early 40s on "Screwball Squirrel", "Red Hot Riding Hood" and other classic cartoons. From the mid to late ’40s, he worked for Walter Lantz. He animated a Woody Woodpecker cartoon, "Drooler’s Delight" completely by himself.

In the early 50s, he did commercials for Ray Patin. A really cool one was for General Mills’ Corn Kix. Ed animated the Kix Man, who is made of corn balls. He animated the Trix kids before there was a Trix Rabbit. He animated some of Hanna-Barbera’s best commercials from the late 50s and early 60s- the Kelloggs’ cereal commercials starring Huck, Yogi, Quick Draw and all your other wonderful cartoon pals.

Flintstones Animators

Recently, John Kricfalusi has been elaborating on these musings at his blog, All Kinds of Stuff. Check out these posts…

Pluto Animator Animates The Flintstones- George Nicholas
>The Flintstone Flyer- Carlo Vinci Part One
The Flintstone Flyer- Carlo Vinci
I Want You To Love Carlo Vinci
Carlo Vinci Dancing
Ed Benedict 1912-2006

Flintstones Animators

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources