My brief was to make a cartoon aimed at a slightly older audience. I have never attempted to make anything for my own age group before...or rather I never attempted to make anything that I 'knew' people of my age would enjoy. But, so far my work has been met with mixed reaction. I have spent far too long making pieces of 'classic' animation, with no nob-gags or gross out references, trying to bring a touch of class and dignity back to the world of animation. But nobody is interested anymore and I have steadily begun to accept the fact that times have moved on and slapstick just doesn't have the same effect anymore. So its goodbye, Buster Keaton and hello, Chubby Brown! Bye bye, Ub Iwerks and hello, John. K!
Here is a quick list of things I am hoping to research and learn about whilst doing this project:
- Comic Strips - I have never really read comics. I don't know all too much about them. But they are animation's close relative and as such I think it would be a good place to start looking. I nabbed around fifty-comics from a car boot sale 5-6 years ago in an attempt to get into comics, but they ended up in the loft. They are now sat right next to me waiting to be read and analysed. Considering my project is about superheros, comics seemed a good place to start: nearly all of them are about superheros. I will be studying classic comics and modern comics for research.
- Classic Cartoons - I have loved cartoons since I was a kid. But after writing my dissertation, my interest in them has doubled. Classic cartoons like 40's Tom & Jerry's and Tex Avery pictures were always my favourite, but recently I looked back even further to the black and white of the late 20's & 30's and fell in love with them. Everything in those cartoons is alive. The cars are alive, the scenery is alive....often more alive that some of the main characters! This style and amazing sense of imagination and scale has really inspired me... I've even written a brief to do a whole project on it.
- Modern Cartoons - More than anything, this cartoons is an experiment for me. Will people be drawn to cruder, more vulgar jokes and animation? People seem to have long since moved on from the classic days of misunderstandings and two people carrying a sheet of glass that will inevitably get shattered. Jokes are harsher and cartoons seemed to primarily get used to achieve a sense of removal from reality that allows writers to get away with darker material. I want to see just how far you can push that before people fight back. This is truly a test. But I will also use it as a soapbox with which to comment on the lack of dignity left in television.