Unconventional or unpopular opinions you have (re: animation)

Dantheman

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Okay, but still, someone had to convince Charles Schultz that Snoopy as Jennifer Beals was comedy gold worth mining.
 

Pooky

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Wasn't trying to contradict you, just mentioning as a bit of trivia.
 

The Overlord

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When people complain about evil villains in animation, they conflate villains who say they are evil, but are all bustler and villains who are actually evil. That is the difference between 1987 Shredder and 2003 Shredder. One is actually evil, the other is a pretender.
 

matbezlima

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When people complain about evil villains in animation, they conflate villains who say they are evil, but are all bustler and villains who are actually evil. That is the difference between 1987 Shredder and 2003 Shredder. One is actually evil, the other is a pretender.
I personally don't complain about evil villains. Like everything, it can be done well or not.

On another topic, I'm quoting the text below from the book "Anvils, Mallets & Dynamite: The Unauthorized Biography of Looney Tunes". Maybe Pepé Le Pew wouldn't have been so controversial and particularly unremarkable if the humor hadn't been so repetitive and based on the same creepy motivation, even though there was probably no malice intended.



"Pepe was considered one of the weakest Warner Bros. stars even before it became common to notice the creepy subtext of his cartoons. His problem was that he was exactly the same, entirely predictable, each time out. With just his third cartoon, “For Scent-imental Reasons,” Pepe won the Academy Award. He deserved it, and if he’d never made another film, he would be remembered for one of the studio’s most perfect films. But he did make many more films, and his creator, Chuck Jones, paralyzed by the success of “For Scent-imental Reasons,” repeated its plot and gag formulas every year until no one could remember why Pepe had been popular. Joint ownership of Bugs ensured that no Warner Bros. director would settle into a formula quite so soon. Each was free to find his own way with the character and put his own stamp on the studio’s new star."
 

matbezlima

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I've been reading the book a lot. The author talks often about how the original Looney Tunes emerged entirely organically, by the right people at the right place in time, and were given all the time they needed to create and find their style, with no baggage of expectations hanging over the original creators.

He is a purist, but also open-minded. He says that any attempts of doing Looney Tunes today have to deal with a self-awareness, pressure and set of expectations that the creators of the classics didn't have to deal with. Ultimately, he points out that the biggest problem in Warner Brothers trying to make Looney Tunes new big hits is that Warner Bros. keeps trying all sorts of things and cancelling them. He says that the Looney Tunes Show had some promise, and could have evolved into something genuinely great of its own, but was axed before it had the chance.

He likes the new Looney Tunes Cartoons, finding them a good balance of the old and new. He says they are inconsistent, but have their moments. And that if Looney Tunes Cartoons will have any chance to evolve into big classics in their own right, Warner Bros. needs to stick with this direction, let the new creators slowly grow and find themselves, and not cancel it.

He writes:

"Looney Tunes Cartoons, at its best, manages to find that sweet spot where they’re not rehashing things that worked before, while not doing things the classics would never have done.

The big question that will remain unanswered long after this book appears is whether Looney Tunes Cartoons will turn out to be a long-term approach, or just another retool in an endless series of retools. What we can see in the history of Looney Tunes in this century is that there is something worse than a bad series, i.e., an inability to commit to an approach. Every failure has been followed by a complete change of course: new designs, characterizations, and target audiences come and go, and we rarely get to see how an approach could be refined and eventually evolve into something really new.

If there’s one thing the classics teach us, it’s that a style doesn’t arrive fully formed overnight, or even in a year. It took the original studio a decade to find the star who would turn them into the top cartoon studio in Hollywood. And if it took ten years to find Bugs Bunny, it may take longer than one or two development cycles to make him a superstar again."
 

Pooky

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I've been reading the book a lot.

Have you read Of Mice and Magic by Leonard Maltin? If not I think you'd really enjoy it. Hollywood Cartoons by Michael Barrier and That's All Folks! by Steve Schneider are also really good.
 

matbezlima

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Have you read Of Mice and Magic by Leonard Maltin? If not I think you'd really enjoy it. Hollywood Cartoons by Michael Barrier and That's All Folks! by Steve Schneider are also really good.
I don't like Michael Barrier's insanely over-critical, harsh and humorless tone of his book. Amazing research, we are indebted to him, but there is so much of his comments that I really don't like. Both in the book and in the blog.
 

Pooky

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I don't like Barrier as much as Maltin for sure, but it would have been wrong of me not to say it's a significant book.
 

Classic Speedy

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Fun fact, the author of the aforementioned "Anvils, Mallets & Dynamite", Jaime Weinman, was a former member here (he wasn't banned, he just stopped posting). It's always great when someone I "know" (in the sense that we quoted each other a few times) gets his name out there.

Here's his blog (which hasn't been updated in a decade) in case anyone's interested. It's not always about animation though.
 

The Overlord

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A lot of people rag on Flimation because their cheap art style, small voice casts, and overt censorship, like what you see with He-Man, but I think they underrated sometimes. The production values are low due to wanting to animate their shows in the US, rather than outsourcing to another country.

Also some of their shows are decent, like their 1970s show and movie about Flash Gordon, with the Ming the Merciless being far more menacing than Skeletor and has less censorship than He-Man. It even has an ongoing story, which was rare for the times.

I will even go to bat for the Flimation Star Trek series, which had a lot of duds and was plagued by low production values, but did maintain some of the spirit of the original series and had some great episodes like Yesteryear that developed Spock's character.
 

matbezlima

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I don't like Barrier as much as Maltin for sure, but it would have been wrong of me not to say it's a significant book.
Sure, his research is impressive. We wouldn't have even half of our knowledge on classic animation if Barrier hadn't done such a fantastic and through research of everyone he could interview and everything he could find.

On another topic, I will ask now to @Pooky, @Fone Bone, @Zanneck and @Mostezli what do you guys think about this comment (link below), and about what I quoted there from the book "Anvils, Mallets & Dynamite: The Unauthorized Biography of Looney Tunes".


I personally agree. Warner Bros. should stick with the direction of the Looney Tunes Cartoons, and allow the creators time to fully sharpen their skills and find their identity. The cartoons' heart is in the right place.

Also, for how anarchic and violent classic Looney Tunes is, they are also masterful examples of immaculate timing and rhythm. It's hard to "objectively" explain, but so many of the gags wouldn't be half as funny if it wasn't for the razor-sharp timing (and the fluid expressive animation). A delay of a few frames, or just a few frames earlier, can change so much how funny a gag is, make it feel really off. But it took years before the original creators' skills grew until they were able to sharpen the timing and pacing so well. To the point that making a great Looney Tunes cartoon in the 40s was like a science.
 

Dantheman

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A lot of people rag on Flimation because their cheap art style, small voice casts, and overt censorship, like what you see with He-Man, but I think they underrated sometimes. The production values are low due to wanting to animate their shows in the US, rather than outsourcing to another country.

Also some of their shows are decent, like their 1970s show and movie about Flash Gordon, with the Ming the Merciless being far more menacing than Skeletor and has less censorship than He-Man. It even has an ongoing story, which was rare for the times.

I will even go to bat for the Flimation Star Trek series, which had a lot of duds and was plagued by low production values, but did maintain some of the spirit of the original series and had some great episodes like Yesteryear that developed Spock's character.
There was even the episode where Uhura gains command of the Enterprise. Nicelle Nichols probably was surprised when she got the script for that episode.
 

Mostezli

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I personally agree. Warner Bros. should stick with the direction of the Looney Tunes Cartoons, and allow the creators time to fully sharpen their skills and find their identity. The cartoons' heart is in the right place.

Also, for how anarchic and violent classic Looney Tunes is, they are also masterful examples of immaculate timing and rhythm. It's hard to "objectively" explain, but so many of the gags wouldn't be half as funny if it wasn't for the razor-sharp timing (and the fluid expressive animation). A delay of a few frames, or just a few frames earlier, can change so much how funny a gag is, make it feel really off. But it took years before the original creators' skills grew until they were able to sharpen the timing and pacing so well. To the point that making a great Looney Tunes cartoon in the 40s was like a science.
I'll be reiterating my previous posts. The writing pales in comparison to what directly came before.
I care less how well the technical or "iconic" aspects look when the interactions are so clunky to sit through.
I don't know how many more years/seasons this show needs to improve on an issue that's persisted in Peter Browngardt's career.

I'm fine with what WB was in the process of doing - concurrently branching beyond a single series/direction.
WBDiscovery will hopefully take that even further because this IP is expansive enough.
 

Pooky

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A lot of people rag on Flimation because their cheap art style, small voice casts, and overt censorship, like what you see with He-Man, but I think they underrated sometimes. The production values are low due to wanting to animate their shows in the US, rather than outsourcing to another country.

I'm not particularly a fan of any Filmation shows, but I agree Lou Scheimer doesn't get enough credit for keeping his Animation mostly in house.

I would have liked to have seen Bugville, one of the shows they were working on when they went under, a spin-off from Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night.

I personally agree. Warner Bros. should stick with the direction of the Looney Tunes Cartoons, and allow the creators time to fully sharpen their skills and find their identity. The cartoons' heart is in the right place.

Also, for how anarchic and violent classic Looney Tunes is, they are also masterful examples of immaculate timing and rhythm. It's hard to "objectively" explain, but so many of the gags wouldn't be half as funny if it wasn't for the razor-sharp timing (and the fluid expressive animation). A delay of a few frames, or just a few frames earlier, can change so much how funny a gag is, make it feel really off. But it took years before the original creators' skills grew until they were able to sharpen the timing and pacing so well. To the point that making a great Looney Tunes cartoon in the 40s was like a science.

It's a nice idea but it seems very idealistic. When is the last time a character changed in a US animated series to even a fraction of the degree Daffy did from the 40s to the 50s? The closest I can think of would be shows that started in the 90s like Simpsons and South Park, where characters like Homer and Randy have changed quite a bit, and many of the developments those shows have made have been unpopular.
 

matbezlima

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I'll be reiterating my previous posts. The writing pales in comparison to what directly came before.
I care less how well the technical or "iconic" aspects look when the interactions are so clunky to sit through.
The clunkiness in the interactions often comes exactly from the timing problems. Timing in the Looney Tunes cartoons is often what makes the writing of many gags seem good or not.

As the writer of the book said, Warner Bros. needs to stick with the current direction. As he wrote "What we can see in the history of Looney Tunes in this century is that there is something worse than a bad series, i.e., an inability to commit to an approach."

He says that the Looney Tunes Show had interesting ideas, but was axed before it could fully bloom. Now, all he hopes it that Warner Bros. sticks with the current direction, and stops flip-flopping what they want to do with the franchise.

There is a lengthy chapter talking all about everything in the Looney Tunes franchise in this century, and it's an insanely detailed and well argued read.
 

kirbygame

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i'm still baffled why Cheese has his own episode on one of CN's event: Invaded (2007) (and that was Chapter ONE of it for christ's sake!)

"GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO!!" - Annoying Yellow Bast- i mean, Cheese - 2007

seriously this is not how you started that spooky event.
UPDATE REFERING TO MY POST ON CHEESE/INVADED:

turns out, i'm not the only one who's disappointed with Invaded as well as the beginning of it.

Media Mementos made a great discussion video on CN Invaded and why the event itself failed..
 

Mostezli

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The clunkiness in the interactions often comes exactly from the timing problems. Timing in the Looney Tunes cartoons is often what makes the writing of many gags seem good or not.

As the writer of the book said, Warner Bros. needs to stick with the current direction. As he wrote "What we can see in the history of Looney Tunes in this century is that there is something worse than a bad series, i.e., an inability to commit to an approach."

He says that the Looney Tunes Show had interesting ideas, but was axed before it could fully bloom. Now, all he hopes it that Warner Bros. sticks with the current direction, and stops flip-flopping what they want to do with the franchise.

There is a lengthy chapter talking all about everything in the Looney Tunes franchise in this century, and it's an insanely detailed and well argued read.
No, the gags themselves are written as after-thoughts. Timing doesn't fix timid punchlines to poor-good enough set-ups.

Already this writer has lost me over his sensationalism for what could possibly be worse than something being bad and I can only imagine the nightmares he must be having over what's forthcoming. I don't have an issue with WB going off the beaten path or sticking to the original formula as long as it's actually good - we had one of each in the 2010s. If he needed The Looney Tunes Show to go on for longer than it did such that it harkens back to an era of this franchise, I don't think this writer wants to consider/appreciate the brevity.
 
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matbezlima

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No, the gags themselves are written as after-thoughts. Timing doesn't fix timid punchlines to poor-good enough set-ups.

Already this writer has lost me over his sensationalism for what could possibly be worse than something being bad and I can only imagine the nightmares he must be having over what's forthcoming. I don't have an issue with WB going off the beaten path or sticking to the original formula as long as it's actually good - we had one of each in the 2010s. If he needed The Looney Tunes Show to go on for longer than it did such that it harkens back to an era of this franchise, I don't think this writer wants to consider/appreciate the brevity.
There is a whole chapter about Looney Tunes, and James Weinman tries to be as open-minded as possible when talking about every project, even though he admits his bias as a Looney Tunes purist. He is very nuanced, anything I say here doesn't do justice to that nuance, and it would be unfair to make criticisms just based on such a few things I quoted. I don't agree with all he says, but he is a fairly open-minded Looney Tunes purist who I found myself respecting his analyses a lot more than someone like Michael Barrier.

I could make a whole thread on why I find Barrier so insufferable. His vicious, destructive review of Looney Tunes Back In Action in his site is just one of many examples. James Weinman actually makes similar criticism about the film, while coming across as much more positive, understanding and constructive than Barrier.

Barrier also has said in his blog that, unless it's sports or situation comedy like Seinfeld, TV is a bad artistic medium. He says Ren & Stimpy is one of the very few TV cartoons ever made worthy of serious artistic analysis and merit. I was able to find a small mention of him also praising Adventure Time. He praises The Simpsons with caveats (the writing and voice acting are what actually makes the show great), and that's pretty much it when it comes to TV animation he likes. He is so harsh with animation in general, and almost nothing outside of the American Golden Age (1930s-early 1950s) truly meets his criteria and standards, as if he wasn't stingy enough with praise even with the Golden Age cartoons.
 
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