What We Call The News What We Call The News

JibJab’s What We Call The News

What We Call The News

What We Call The News, the latest JibJab effort, premiered last night at the Radio and TV Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, D.C. and then later on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The short, which lampoons the inanities of contemporary TV journalism, can be viewed online at JibJab.com.

Now here’s what we call the news: normally JibJab charges $1.99 for a high-quality downloadable version of their films. However, this time around, JibJab studio founders Evan and Gregg Spiridellis have graciously given CartoonBrewFilms a 1-month exclusive on the high-quality download (640×480) of What We Call The News. And even better, they’re making it available for one cent to BrewFilms users. It’s a great way for everyone to sample how easy CartoonBrewFilms is to use—and to obtain the latest JibJab masterpiece for your iPod or to look at frame-by-frame on your PC/Mac.

Remember, this deal is only good through April. After that, you’ll have to fork over your hard-earned money at JibJab’s own website to get the downloadable version.

  • Gregg and I think that Cartoon Brew Films is one of the greatest services ever to be offered the animation community. Not only does it offer the audience the opportunity to discover hard to find films, but anything that supports the independent animation community is A-OK in our book! We wanted to offer WWCTN as a freebee as a way to get people to interact with the site and see just how easy it is. As part of this community we hope that people cough up there 2 bucks for the other films on the site as a way to show their support for their friendly neighborhood animators! 2 bucks aint a lot to ask and if it can help turn independent productions into a viable business I think we should all chip in and support one another. Kudos to the Brewmasters and we hope you enjoy our film. Thanks!

  • Richard Wilson

    I met Evan in 2000 at the FIFI in Lille, France. Everyone, from all over the world, was bursting with ideas but no one had a clue how to make a dime. Congrats, Evan, on helping to lead us indies out of the wilderness. [ remember the pinko-commie bar? ]

  • Lee

    This is one of my favorite JibJab cartoons. Love the collage style on the faces of the characters.

  • I’ve always enjoyed JibJab films wholeheartedly…especially as filmmakers that can parody everyone and offend no one. This is a great way to share their work and I’m glad they’re doing so. I’ve watched them for years and I hope they continue to make animations for a long time!

  • tomN!

    “masterpiece” Really? I call it formula: take a public-domain song and re-write some clever lyrics about current events while apolitically skewering everyone. Then do it again… and again… and again… I believe this would be the 5th or 6th using that formula? It’s boring.

    I think the JibJab guys are very talented and have the abililty to do good cartoons, but it would be nice if they did something different once in a while.

  • David Smedberg

    What a great idea! Giving us a chance to test out the service at no risk (which I just did – and it worked perfectly for me!) is crucial.

  • I also tire of JibJab. They take a familiar song (typically one that has already been parodied to death) and replace the original text with a laundry list of recent events yet without adding even one original insight into the topic. It’s like “Family Guy” where merely referring to some mass media item is presented as if that were humorous in itself. All of it presented by cut-out heads that tilt back and forth in time to the music.

    But I can’t argue with success. The middle managers, administrative assistants and PowerPoint artists will be chortling about this at the office for days, even unto the third and fourth viewing. It’s safe, pre-digested entertainment made just for them.

  • I mean this in the most respectful way, as I have enormous respect for both of you, but this is a good example of why you need to be a little bit careful being both commentators and content providers. If you start hyping slightly amusing JibJab shorts as masterpieces (and I grant the comment is probably meant fairly offhandedly), you risk losing all moral authority when you criticise things like Family Guy.

    I mean, it’s just one word of the above post, and I don’t want to blow it out of proportion. But I think its better to be conscious of this kind of dilemma early, to nip in the bud the perception that a relationship with BrewFilms will influence the coverage of the Brew itself.

  • Stephen – Jerry has called JibJab’s previous works “masterpieces” as well, and I’ve written glowingly about their work too. Whether you agree with those sentiments is purely up to you, but the stuff that we ‘hype’ on BrewFilms is the stuff that we’d be hyping on CartoonBrew if we didn’t have the new site.

    Let me make something else clear about Brew Films: we will never, and I mean NEVER, sell a film that we don’t respect. The whole inspiration for starting BrewFilms is to bring greater awareness to animation that we feel is worthy of that attention.

    There’s plenty of other sites out there that just gather whatever animated shorts they can get their hands on without any specific criteria. We’re sharing the films that we’d be proud to put on our iPods and to carry around in our personal collections. (In fact, one of the first films I ever put on my video iPod was a JibJab short.) Also, to help deliver an even more diverse collection of films to audiences, we’re planning to open up BrewFilms to well-known guest curators from the animation world who will be sharing their personal favorite works. It should be a lot of fun.

  • tomN!

    I don’t think that including a JibJab film on CBFilms in any way detracts from what you are doing. I didn’t intend my negative comment towards Cartoon Brew Films. I personally didn’t care for the new JibJab, but I do aplaud their success and their willingness to help promote CBFilms by offering the new one in this format. Hopefully it will push CBFilms to a wider audience. I have liked a lot of JibJab stuff in the past. They are very talented and deserve their success. I only hope that they will break the mold and come up with something new. But I don’t think that this effects the integrity of CBFilms at all.

  • I’m not too fond of JibJab myself – I tire of political commentary being shoveled in my face – but I must admit that their video for Weird Al’s “Do I Creep You Out?” was nothing short of amazing. So all you people who keep complaining about them? Go and see that.

  • Amid, fair enough. “Masterpiece” rang false to me, but you’re absolutely right in pointing out Jerry had used the term re JibJab before, so that’s fine. I still think it was worth flagging a hazard for you guys to negotiate. And I might add that I don’t think there is anything wrong with you guys distributing films you don’t care for, either – it’s not a healthy thing if distributors become the arbiters of taste. My issue is purely with how your roles as distributors and commentators intersect. But again, since that does seem to be your genuine view, I’ve got no problem.

    I’m afraid I concur with TomN’s and Robert Holmen’s view re the merits of JibJab – I liked their “This Land” video back in the day, and agree visually they keep getting better, but the satire is pretty toothless and predictable.

  • Points well taken Stephen! We’re definitely navigating into some uncharted waters here. I think you’ll find we’ve thought about the whole thing very carefully but it’s always good to hear perspectives from people who have a bit more distance than we do from the project.

    Also, regarding your comment, “I don’t think there is anything wrong with you guys distributing films you don’t care for,” I completely agree. That’s why I was very careful to say, “We will never…sell a film that we don’t respect.” It’s not about liking a film, but respecting the quality of the work, the quality of the filmmaker’s vision. There’s plenty of films that I don’t necessarily like, but which I have a lot of respect for and recognize that a lot of other people may like.

    Also, tomN!, thanks for clarifying your thoughts. I didn’t take any offense at the original comments and understood where you were coming from. There’s a really wide range of films coming up and I’m sure everybody will find something they like…as well as something they don’t like.