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CGIFeature Film

“I Want Your Money” trailer

This is the trailer for I Want Your Money, an anti-Obama political documentary that opens in theaters this Friday. Like countless documentaries nowadays, it uses animation to help communicate its message. The film’s director Ray Griggs made no secret about why he inserted animation into the film, explaining in an article that, “I promised myself if I was going to make a documentary, it would be one that I’d want to watch and hold my interest, which is a big reason why we have the animation.”

I’m not sure who did the CG animation, but the bobble head-style politicians, who include Reagan, Obama, Clinton, Schwarzenegger, and Sarah Palin, are based on designs by Tom Richmond of MAD Magazine. Richmond apparently isn’t overly impressed with the results. He posted images of his original designs on his blog and commented, “Unfortunately Ray [Griggs] had a lot of trouble with the animation companies that did the CGI and frankly the final results leave a lot to be desired. I think the modeling and basic characters look fine, but the talking animation part is rough.”

  • The Brewmasters

    As we’re fond of pointing out on political posts, please refrain from off-topic back-and-forth political discussions in the comments. Keep comments focused on the animation aspects of the production. We know how to use the delete comment button and aren’t afraid to use it.

  • i could be wrong but i think the CG work was done by a guy named Cal, he’s a political cartoonist for the economist, but i recently saw a lecture by him at MICA ,and mostly talked about how he has been doing a lot of motion capture shows involving political heads.He’s a real nice guy, i encourage everyone to check him out if you ever have time.

    • Kal

      The animation above was not done by my team at Kaltoons.com

  • Mark

    If they’d started off with stronger designs, and if the designer had stayed around to supervise the final work, maybe it would have looked OK.

    • For the record: I was hired to do turn around caricature designs specifically in a big head-little body/bobblehead proportion of a number of politicians. That was where my involvement in the animation process stopped. I’ve got no experience at all in animation, which I explained to the director, so I delivered exactly what he and the animators asked me for.

      In director Ray’s defense, the original animation team dropped the ball having never delivered anything past some rough 3D designs until way past several deadlines leaving him in the lurch. Eventually a company called SO Animation did the work, with the results you see… awkward movement, no shadows from the characters cast in the environment, terrible mouth syncing, weirdly glowing inner mouths.

      The bottom line here is that these animated segments were done with very little budget and not meant to be quality animation, and were produced by people who know nothing or next to it about animation. It is what it is.

  • Daphne



  • I am so very proud to say that
    I did NOT work on the animation for this film.

    Michael Moore – call me.

    • David Breneman

      And the difference in rhetorical quality between this film and the average Michael Moore film would be… ?

  • FP

    No shadows cast by the characters? Illuminated inner mouths? Looks like 1994 Saturday morning animation.

    • TheGunheart

      I distinctly remember ReBoot having far more charm than this.

      • Cyle

        Heck, the baby in Tin Toy looked better than this.

  • I like the animation of Nancy Pelosi-so life-like! As for the rest? I don’t like the premise of the story. Seriously, what is there to say about the “animation”? That wasn’t animation worthy of criticism.

  • They made a whole feature film of this? More will be less I think.

    The animation. It appears its only purpose is to put words in the mouths of people that they never really said, things the producers desperately fantasize they said.

    Is it really a documentary after that?

    Or is the animation a tacit “Chortle Here” prompt for the audience? Perhaps to relieve the tension of the “Worry About Black Helicopters” live action segments?

  • pappy d

    Nice sculpts, though.

  • Norty A

    Had it been done in 2D, more people would hate it. Even terrible CGI is more appealing at this point, because it never holds and it’s so very colorful.

  • T

    “I learned from real life…” funny!

  • Steve Menke

    Griggs’ previous credential: One of the most-lambasted movies ever on Rotten Tomatoes:


    Although one reviewer says, “The movie’s only strength is the fabulous comic book/MAD magazine cartoon imagery by humorous illustrator Tom Richmond.”

  • Saw The designs on Mr. Richmond’s blog.
    Great as usual caricatures.
    Granted, my knowledge of CG is mostly theoretical, would it have helped if the models initial expressions were extreme (mouth opened wide, eyes as wide as possible) and then neutral expressions created as blend shapes after that? (sorry, my terminology may be way off)

  • David

    Is Obama talking to a ghost? Why not just go ahead and use Lincoln?

  • timmyelliot

    The animation was terrible. I can’t believe he kept it in. The cg just brings down the quality of the whole thing. Production values for the live-action part were actually passable.

  • I totally understand the “rules” of caricature, (exaggeration, parody, humor, etc) but I completely miss the point of using it here in CGI form, specially considering it is a supposedly serious subject… 2D (see Bill Plimpton, John K or many other great caricature influenced animators) and even Claymation (see Will Vinton) would have had a much more powerful visual impact that using lifeless bobble head characters, that on the other hand look awful… Guess I fail to understand HOW the big head+tiny body design works beyond the more apt context of printed cartoons, and if people actually find this actually appealing (perhaps it appeals to certain conservative sensibility?)

  • Toonio

    Despite the tongue in cheek animation I cannot think of a better way to show politicians for what they really are: buffoons.

  • David Breneman

    The animation sucks with a quality of suckage seldom seen. Liberals seem to have the better animators.

    • Great comment. And, it’s TRUE! Maybe there is a reason that Hollywood is supposedly liberal: we’re the creative force behind the MAN’s money.

  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    Uh, no guys, this isn’t CGI. This is animated with stop-motion dolls.

    Oh, wait.



  • Dustin

    It looks like crap, but I do like the Reagan caricature design, it makes me chuckle. It remeinds me a lot of that Genesis music video with the puppets. It’s amusing that they’re using him as a prop for their message because if I remember correctly, he spent a wallop of money himself and so did his two predessors.

    • Yes, I thought of the Spitting Image puppets to whic you elude (and Canada’s Noreen Young’s puppets) , too, and how more effective puppetry may have been.

  • so is it damning with faint praise to say it is no worse than the “instant” cgi animation of tawainese news service? It’s a political cartoon so really crudity isn’t a problem as long as you see Clinton touching a woman’s balcony.

  • MichaelDair

    My eyes!!! They burn!!!!!! Oh crap.. So do my ears.. AAAAAAAAAAAGH!!

  • John Webber

    I saw the movie at a special screening in Savannah, GA. A little long in parts, but I enjoyed it! You can tell it was low budget stuff, but I didn’t expect feature quality for something like this. What I am excited about are these types of independent films being made outside of Hollywood and finding some success. I expect more in the future and may animation continue to be a big part of them!

    • So how much of this film was CG and how much was live action?

  • Steve Remler

    Another example of political figures in 3D.
    Pretty decent lip sync and no illuminated mouths!!! :-)