John Kricfalusi

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    I like him, =]

    but i'm curious to know why he rubs you the wrong way?

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    Yeah, I like him too and he has a great blog too. But I don't know him personally. What's your beef?

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    You must read his blog a lot.

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    I enjoy his blog a lot. He talks a lot of sense. Please enlighten us?

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    Haven't paid attention to him since Ren & Stimpy, but I love his art style.

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    Edit: I just took a look at his blog after many years and it's amazing how much he teaches

    Last edited by Kiera; January 13th, 2009 at 05:32 PM.
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    I read his blog daily. I didn't like Ren and Stimpy as a kid. But now I really like it.

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    This bit of the rabbit stammering is very uncomfortable for me to watch. It goes on too long and seems completely inane. I think what makes me like Warners animation so much more than Disney's is it's much more character-oriented. I can identify with the characters in WB cartoons. They have motivations and personalities that I recognize. It didn't hurt that they had Mel Blanc doing the voices - a keen observer and satirist of human types. All the voice talent at WB was better suited to cartoons than the Disney voices, and that gave WB another advantage over Disney in creating convincing characters that seem to really exist.

    Disney himself must have had a really naive ignorant understanding of human nature because his voices just tend to be silly and juvenile. His animators had to evolve a style of acting that wasn't very natural because they didn't have anything to hang any natural animation on. The voices and written characterizations just aren't very intelligent. It's like trying to wrap sophisticated animation around baby-talk.
    I agree with John Kricfalusi. Cartoons use to blow when I was growing up.

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    I don't agree with that last quote at all. Not every cartoon needs to be pessimistic satire. That may have worked for him, but it seems like the guy is just player hating Disney for being more succesful than him while having a different outlook on life and animation. The whole blog is him building his own hype, it's ridiculous.

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    Very true. I also know a few people who've worked for him who've said he's an asshole in person and treats his artists like shit. The guy honestly isn't even that talented himself. I mean he draws cartoons for a living and considers himself an artistic genius.

    Last edited by Sphyzex_9; January 13th, 2009 at 05:14 PM.
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    He's an opinionated SOB who's notoriously bad with deadlines. If you aren't in a professional relationship with him I don't see how either one has any bearing on your life.


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    passionate, knowledgeable and honest...great stuff

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    Elmer Fudd never struck me as any more mature of an "observation of the human condition ... (or whatever)" than Donald Duck. And I thought the voices in the Jungle Book were pretty good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    He's an opinionated SOB who's notoriously bad with deadlines. If you aren't in a professional relationship with him I don't see how either one has any bearing on your life.
    He doesn't have a bearing on my life I just know people that work for him who have the same opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sphyzex_9 View Post
    The guy honestly isn't even that talented himself. I mean he draws cartoons for a living and considers himself an artistic genius.
    You just lost me completely with this. TTFN

    It's a personal blog. Where else can you have personal opinions if not on your own blog. John K is passionate about a certain style of animation and cartooning, and this can make him a bit blinkered. It doesn't make everything he says right or wrong. But he writes entertainingly and I have learnt a fair bit about the history of animation from his blog. He knows his subject particularly when it comes to drawing expression.

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    Well, I agree with him that WB was good, however I think that he totally missed the point with Disney.

    Disney was amazing in how he brought animation up from being a parlor trick to being something widely acceped and viewed by the masses. His understanding of human nature was more in understanding an audience and giving them something that they would like to see, or at least trying to. Also, it should be pointed out that Disney was trying to find ways of making his characters seem somewhat like cartoon versions of the animals they represented, perhapse not succesfully, but then again, how do you make a mouse speak and be lovable, or a duck who is barely intelligible seem like he is emoting. WB chars were basically just people with accents or speach impediments with a costume or a prop. Bugs was a bunny only because he had ears and shouted "Duck Season" whereas Daffy was a duck because he had a bill and shouted "Rabit Season." Take that away and all you've got is a guy from the Bronx and another with a heavy speach impediment. But put those together the right way and its entertaining, so why not?

    I like thinking of Disney and Warner Bros. as being like Coke and Pepsi. Coke wasn't the first soda to exist, but it resonates as something classic and lovable, whereas Pepsi came along later and is instead marketed as being a bit more edgy and cool. Doesn't make one better than the other, just likable for different reasons.

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    I think something to remember about John is he is talking about a very specific way of doing things about a very specific form of animation, the cartoony cartoon, which to him is the highest expression of animation.

    even his admiration of WB animation is very specific, preferring the work of early warner brother cartoons by certain directors and animators.

    at the same time he promotes pursuing a strong understanding of fundamental skills and knowledge applicable to all artists (something we can all relate to?) as a vehicle to the cartoon.

    he gives props to those artists which embody those ideals and decries those artists which don't as teaching examples.

    he still acknowledges the skill and artistry of Disney animation which represents the ideas which he is trying to communicate ( http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2008/...abbit-fox.html ) and even sometimes when they don't (as an artist recognizing the skill of another artist) but his primary intention is continuing the tradition of cartoony animation.

    Last edited by German-s; January 13th, 2009 at 06:50 PM. Reason: added a link which illustrates point.
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    In the 30s, Disney introduced the idea of non-funny animation and hired illustrator types and trained them to animate. "The Illusion of Life" brags about how the original animators like Freddy Moore and Bill Tytla couldn't keep up with the more illustrative type of animation that the feature animators developed in the 1940s. I won't argue the contradictions in this. That's for another post.

    These drawings have inspired the Cal Arts style for decades. Everyone is still stealing these expressions, only without the solid construction.



    By the 1970s, there were no cartoons in animation anymore. Not on TV and not in the movies.
    No one really aspired to grow up to draw the likes of Scooby Doo or Fat Albert. (Actually a couple did, and I wish I had a picture of them to show you.)



    People who wanted to be "animators" only had Disney features to look at and really decadent ones at that. This led to the "Cal Arts style".

    John Kricfalusi
    How many times have you seen this character stolen for modern animated features?

    These are what I call "Cal-Arts expressions". They aren't funny, and they don't reflect any observation of or comment on humanity.


    This is a style that is the opposite of cartoony. It's about moving things smoothly and using the poses and expressions you have seen a million times in Disney and Bluth movies. These types of artists don't have cartoonist personalities. They aren't wacky or zany. They aren't hard-bitten sarcastic men who take a grim realistic view of life and then make fun of it in their cartoons.


    The Cal Arts style looks like it's drawn by suburban kids who had a normal easy life and don't have anything to say about the world except that their Mom is pear shaped. You see the same stereotypical vacant characters in all their cartoons, whether 2d or 3d. When they get to write their own cartoons, they tend to have scenes where the Mowgli descendants marry their normal bland suburban pear-shaped Moms. (Treasure Planet, Iron Giant).


    John Kricfalusi
    This character is technically well-drawn by a talented artist, but is not very fun or cartoony and the expressions don't reflect anything identifiable. They are Cal-Arts expressions.


    In 25 years of me meeting and hiring Cal Arts students I have only met about 3 or 4 "cartoonists". Aaron Springer, Jim Reardon and Jeff Pidgeon spring to mind. Somehow these guys emerged after 4 years and a hundred thousand dollars wasted with a style of their own and their own unique view of the world.

    Cal Arts often rejects super talented cartoonists just because they are cartoonists. Katie Rice and Matt Danner, 2 of the most talented artists and quickest learners I have ever worked with were both rejected on the basis of their portfolios which when they were teenagers were already better than most Cal Arts graduates. Cartooniness is now a crime amongst animation people.



    A real cartoonist is a contradiction. It's usually someone who sees life realistically and has a sarcastic view of all the hypocrisy and insanity in the world, yet he (she) draws in a really happy lively, funny style.

    Don Martin, Tex Avery, Virgil Partch, Bob Clampett, Grim Natwick, Rod Scribner, Irv Spence, Carlo Vinci, Milt Gross.

    Mike Fontanelli, me, Eddie Fitzgerald, Mike Kerr, Nick Cross, Katie Rice, Bob Jaques, Vincent Waller, Jim Smith.

    Unfortunately for the very few existing modern cartoonists, there is no cartoon industry anymore. Cartoons are no longer mainstream. Not because the audience doesn't want cartoons, but because the executives don't understand and fear them; cartoons are "written" now by idiots, rather than drawn by funny artists with life experiences and a funny world view to share.

    In TV we have fake cartoons, imitation Spumco cartoons or "designy" angled Cal Arts stuff. In features we have Cal Arts CG or we have Dreamworks executive bad taste numbskull CG. No cartoony vision anywhere. Now that they have almost eliminated classic cartoons from television I fear there is nothing to inspire nature's next batch of potential young cartoonists, so they will just find some other field of work to get lost in.

    It's ridiculous and criminal, because cartoons are the perfect artform for regular folks. Cartoons are the folk and rock music for the unwashed masses. They are every democratic person's birthright and the modern world won't give people their due.

    Cartoons are supposed to be FUN and creative.
    http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/search?q=1950+comic+book

    I just like how he goes off.

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    I don't know enough about Kricfalusi to have much of an opinion, but in the Disney/WB debate, I always felt like Disney provided me with a kind of 'moral' anchor, whereas the WB stuff provided me with an historical one. In fact, the more I think of it, basically everything I know about the history of America (the 20th century especially) can be traced back to an episode of Looney Toons or Merry Melodies. I'm positive that I learned more about 1920s-1950s Americana from the WB cartoons than from any other source. I still think it’s weird that I knew who Humphrey Bogart and Vivien Leigh were, well before watching either of their films. And just the broad strokes on The Civil War, WW2, Communism, Organized Crime, Music and the like. Or how about the more abstract stuff like Anglo/French or American/Mexican cultural tensions? It was all there and making an impact, even if I had no clue at the time. Essentially the WB stuff picked up where Big Bird left off, and covered so much ground at a formative age, that I'm still making new connections even now. Like for example, just a few months ago I was reading that book "The Worst Hard Time" about the Great Depression, and finally realized the connection between Bugs Bunny and Dust Bowl rabbit drives. That’s what I get from WB I guess, an appreciation of shared history, especially with my grandparents generation.

    When I think of Disney I think of the raw emotional stuff. They were better at making me tear up, and at instilling a sense of love longing and of the necessity for romance, which is basically impossible to shake once you’ve got it. Even with the Disney shorts, I still got that impression, so it’s hard to for me to draw a direct comparison between them and the WB shorts, because they had such a different effect on me when I was growing up. The Disney style seems more timeless and detached from reality than the WB style, more bright tragedy than dark comedy, but no less resonant on that account.

    The closest I ever came to pitting them against one another head to head, was the Daffy vs. Donald dilemma (who’s better?) that occupied my attention for a brief period between the age 9 and 10. It was never resolved though, and I still can’t say which Duck I like better.

    Sometimes I worry for the next generation... all those kids growing up without Looney Toons and Michael Jackson songs. The only contemporary cartoon that even comes close to the WB material (in terms of sophisticated satire) is the Simpsons, but I don’t know how many people are watching that with their kids. They should start though… Good animation at a young age is the key to a well rounded education later on.






    Last edited by Jasonwclark; January 13th, 2009 at 10:27 PM. Reason: toons, spelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    ...but it seems like the guy is just player hating Disney for being more succesful than him while having a different outlook on life and animation. The whole blog is him building his own hype, it's ridiculous.

    The motion and control in these scenes is amazing. Ultra smooth. Lots of squash and stretch, overlap, secondary actions - a million things happening at once while at the same time having to keep the audience focused on the story.

    I think the pure Herculean task of keeping all these elements under control is what impresses so many animators and cartoonists - including myself. It's very humbling.

    Look at those great hands! They are 40s cartoony style, while at the same time suggesting some knuckles and anatomy underneath the cartoon-skin.
    Taken from the exact same article the earlier quote was taken from. [link]

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    I'm not talking about the technical part of things, but the outlook on what the themes and messages of it are... thanks for taking things out of context, though.

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    Discussing Disney vs WB is already out of context. I´ve seen him talking about how Disney was great a lot of times, especially about the techniques. The thing he really hates are 60´s and 70´s cartoon, wich in his oppinion aren´t cartoony at all. And he shows clearly why he thinks of that.

    Now, i realize he has some tough oppinion on every subject he can think of. That´s why it may be hard to like him sometimes. But the fact is that he is discussing the industry and the animator profession with a lot of fundamented (is there such a word?) reasons. Few people are doing that, and it´s good that he is making people think about it.

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