motorcity-icon motorcity-icon

EXCLUSIVE: “Motorcity” Production Footage And Deleted Scene

Whatever happened to limited TV animation? For those of us who remember when Jonny Quest was state-of-the-art for TV adventure animation… this leaked footage (below) from Disney’s Motorcity is pretty amazing. The animation looks really slick for a TV production, and especially good for a show that’s digitally animated in flash.

Here is an eleven minute compilation of nine sequences pulled from upcoming episodes. These clips showcase the animation and compositing techniques employed in the series. Each sequence features the final composited footage, followed by the animation in it’s rough form.

Created by Chris Prynoski, Motorcity is produced by Robin Red Breast, Inc. (a subsidiary of Titmouse, Inc.) and Disney Television Animation. It premieres this Monday, April 30th at 9pm, ET/PT on Disney XD. The first episode is now available to watch for free on iTunes (there’s a free iPhone/iPad game on iTunes as well). More information on this clip reel after the jump.

The following information was provided by the studio. It corresponds to the footage in the clip reel:

Motorcity is animated with a combination of Flash, Maya and After Effects – with backgrounds and other elements created in Photoshop.

1) Mike and Chuck explore the auto parts store: This features some really subtle character animation by supervising animator Mike Roush. It showcases how the motion of the floating screen was animated in Flash, then used as a guide by lead compositor Steve Kellener to swap out with screens generated in After Effects.

2) Deleted scene from the first episode: This is a sequence that was taken all the way to completion, only to be cut from the episode at the very end. It’s features Jacob swooping in to save Mike and Chuck in his ride, Sasquatch. Character animation by Albert Pardo.

3) Taking down the Ultra Golems : This features a heavy integration of 3D vehicle animation and 2D effects. Having grown up on a steady diet of Japanese anime, Edward Artinian is our 2D effects guru. Keith Yan handled the complex integration of all elements in the composite stage.

4) Mutant HOUND attacks Mutt: Directed by Juno Lee, the sequence from this episode combines one of the most ambitious combinations of 2D and 3D animation in the series. The impeccable design hand of Brandon Cuellar brought not only the vehicles, but the HOUND to life.

5) Tooley Fight: Animated by Jeremy Polgar, this sequence showcases just how full the “tradigital” animation is being pushed in the series.

6) Texas confronts Kane: In this dream sequence, Texas finally squares off against Kane. Animator Sean Covernton, brought both incredible comedy and action to this sequence.

7) Electroblades fight: This sequence features incredible action animation by Ben Li. This is another sequence that had to ride the line between action and comedy.

8) Mushroom Runnin’: Animated primarily by Braden Poirier, this sequence showcases not only the animation department, but the incredibly talented background artists. The BG paintings were keyed by Anthony Wu. (With crazy jumping scene animated by Jeremy Polgar!)

9) Chuck vs. The KMG : Once again, Mike Roush brings incredibly full animation to Chuck. Marina Gardner animated much of the Mike action. This is another sequence that employed extensive composite techniques by the team of Tom McDonnell and Mike Newton.

  • Deaniac

    I watched the Motorcity pilot a week ago and was genuinely impressed by the aethetics. For an series animated in Flash, the animation is simply wonderful. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it was produced on a TV budget.

    Titmouse continually impresses me with their animation and what they can do with Flash.

  • If you’re animating in a traditional way, there’s little difference between flash and other programs. Combine it with after effects and you can very easily achieve television quality.

    • I disagree. Harmony eliminates the need for After Effects and you can do it all in one program. Harmony also has better line quality and control after cleanup.

    • Its definitely doable in flash as Titmouse has shown, wouldn’t say very easy though…

      • “Doable” yes. Efficient, no. You’re right.

  • Very impressive: kudos to my friends who worked on it. Here’s hoping there’s a second season and i’ll be available to work on it by then >_<

  • So this is Speedracer with monsters? Yeah, the visuals are quite nice, but the content really doesn’t interest me.

    • Superstarseven

      It’s none of that.

  • Crazy Horse

    As nick said traditional animation in Flash can look really great. Still, I imagine this must have cost a fair bit more and take a lot more time to do than your typical Flash show. Impressive!

  • Isaac

    Titmouse is THE animation studio.

    • cjseaton

      titmouse is an animation studio. Madhouse is THE animation studio.

  • Azz

    yea i agree, for flash based animation this is pretty good

  • Lola

    Lots of cool animation with sweet visuals but as slowtiger put it, the content doesn’t interest me. Just a bunch of glorified greasy teens driving cars and… Driving more cars I guess.

  • Ben

    Wow, it looks a lot more impressive here than the teasers I’ve been seeing on Disney XD. It’s weird though, it’s an instance where I’m interested in the design, but the show’s concept does nothing for me.

  • Anonymous

    This is an amazing show, and it was an honour to work on it, but too bad we all basically got minimum wage.

    • You crazy

      please dont act like this is a “we all” thing, i got paid well (QUITE well) and so did every one else i know working on it. Speak for yourself.

    • Your friend

      I feel you man, though its farworse if its sent overseas. but pay comes with experience and we all have that mountain to climb. dont let that stop you from becoming a great artist.

      • That doesn’t even make any sense. If pay came with experience, the overseas animators would all be the best paid.
        Pay comes when you ask for it. If you behave like a professional and ask for and expect a good days pay for a good days work, you will get it. Every other creative industry knows this. Most other kinds of media professional are OVERpaid. If you think you need to climb some creative mountain to earn it, you won’t. Nobody with any money to give you cares about your creativity, they care about you doing a job for them that they need doing and can’t do themselves, and they will gladly pay you for it if you put yourself in that position. Thinking otherwise, or working for anything less, is everything that’s wrong with animators and has created every problem the animation industry has.

        Meanwhile, this show looks exemplary. Does it really keep this level up past the pilot?

      • Braik

        Why isn’t this comment thumbed up into space?

  • Looks amazing!

    NOT surprised at all, there are some very talented cats working on this! ;)

    Nice character designs, and everything is moving nicely… the environments/BG’s are beautiful… have a really cool almost 80’s feel, in a GOOD way… like Rock n’ Rule or something?… Very, very nice.

    I also thought of the earlier Gorillaz videos in terms of quality… That’s a very good thing to be compared to!

    Go Titmouse!

  • Responding twice, haha… :)

    Just took a look at the entire reel…

    Absolutely stunned at the level of quality, across the board. Just beautiful!

    SO heartening to see THIS level of love being put into something. As it should always be, but alas…

    I think we have a REAL treat to look forward to with this series.

  • Joe Cappabianca

    YEAAHHHHHH JERMEY POLGAR! Dude is outside of his head. Great work everyone!

    • BL

      Nailed tat jump sequence it like a BOSS! and that Toolie fight! GO POLGARRR!!

  • Okeydoke

    One of the above comments says a great deal though…people working on this did not get union wages or benefits (“This is an amazing show, and it was an honour to work on it, but too bad we all basically got minimum wage”). The honour of working on something won’t pay your bills. Can anyone confirm this? Thanks Disney, for finding ways around paying people what they’re worth. And if this is true, studios like Titmouse should be ashamed…you folks coming into the industry…if you take these jobs that pay nothing with no benefits, you hurt everyone in the industry and lower our wages and benefits. If the big studios see that they can get this kind of quality for low pay, which option do you think they’ll choose? Paying people to be Disney employees with a wage that you can live on, or subcontracting it out to a company that won’t? Again, if this is the wrong assumption, I would like someone to contradict me. But the main point of this is…the people that worked on this have definite talent, and should be paid accordingly.

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely false. That article cartoon brew did a while back was about entry level cleanup positions. Robin Red Breast is a union-based subsidiary of Titmouse and they handle the animation.

      • coug

        the brew article was about titmouse NY. not about titmouse LA or it’s subsidiary robin red breast. and i know for a fact that it was accurate.

    • VFletcher

      This is a union show. The artists at the main studio get union benefits and rates (and on this show, that actually includes animators,) the sub-contracted ones do not, as it is with every other union show.

      I can’t find it at the moment, but the last TAG breakdown by employer showed Titmouse with more union employees than Cartoon Network. Blew me away. It’s somewhere on the blog, maybe someone else has better searching skills than me and can find it.

      I am interested to see how they grow as a studio over the next couple of years. I do not work there, I know some who do, all this stuff has already been said, but yes, those mentioned in the article and a lot more are in the union.

  • bones

    I bet one character’s build file would crash my computer.

  • What a great looking show! Great integration of Flash and 3D, fun designs and beautiful color work. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this.

  • YouTube Partner Animator

    Looks cool, but it’s not just Flash. can anyone say what the workflow was? Character anim in Flash? Bgs in Photoshops. Effects in Flash and AE? and all composited in AE? Those cam moves are def. not Flash.


    • Yup. This show did the Adobe shuffle for sure, and some Maya. Good to see 3-d vehicles mixed with the 2-d characters.

  • Was My Face Red

    I love adults who criticise TV shows aimed at nine year olds because ‘the content doesn’t really interest me.’

    • Depends on the show. Johnny Test, Kim Possible, and similar shows are deadly dull, but Yo Gabba Gabba, Aquabats, Spongebob (the good years) and so on reward many repeat viewings for the discerning grown-ass audience.

      • Funkybat

        I must protest the mentioning of Johnny Test and Kim Possible in the same breath.

      • Yeah, I agree. No show deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as “Johnny Test.” “Johnny Test” is truly noxious.

  • Peter H

    This really is nice work, and congrats to all of you who were part of it!

    I remember being so disappointed with Jonny Quest (and I mean the ORIGINAL series) because it promised so much and failed on so many little things – too many bland layouts, and oh! those dreadful cartoon effects! (I guess it took AKIRA! to demonstrate that it was possible to animate action comics the way they were drawn!) I suppose Hanna-Barbera was too much of a sausage factory to develop new techniques.

    So this looks just the way it should do and will inspire a new generation, I’m sure.

    Mark you, being an old fuddy-duddy I have to make a few negative comments (or I’d forfeit my miserable-old-git club membership).

    A lot of the action was too fast and hard to read for me: though thanks to the ‘rough animation’ clips I could see the problem was that sometimes the final composition colours and effects tended to obscure what in the rough animation was clear and readable.

    And a character whose entire dialogue seems to be lifted from the “Shaggy in trouble” file of the Scooby-doo soundtrack clips library – I could do without!

    But younger and sharper eyes and minds than mine will have no such problems – I think this may be the start of the new golden age!

  • Was My Face Red

    Good to see Shaggy’s reinventing himself too.

  • It’s great to see the components in progress.
    Looks good. Cool moves. Punchy impact.
    Show doesn’t seem very compelling as a work of actual watchable entertainment, but that’s not the animators’ fault.

    • BL

      i think its great. but thats just me and all the kids watching.

  • Brad Constantine

    Great Stuff all around!! snappy fun timing and great camera.The designs read well and reminds me of the edgy Gorillaz style,Which is good for this type of show.Can’t wait to watch with my kids!!

  • Nicole

    I read about Motor City in the Titmouse article of the latest Animation Magazine. Chris P mentions that the production was done at Titmouse West, some CG studio in Asia, but no mention of Titmouse East. What’s the deal?

  • Hand drawn animation will never die! Long live the pencil (and stylus)!

  • Fact Check!

    WHOA WHOA WHOA! Anonymous please don’t go acting like this is a “we all” thing, i got paid well (QUITE well) and so did every one else i know working on Motor. So you can just put that little fire you’re trying to start out… thanks.

  • Visually this show looks fantastic.
    Story wise, not so much.

  • I’m so excited about this. This is some future ish

  • Baron Lego

    I’d hesitate to categorize this as Flash animation since it’s not just flat, digital cut-outs being slid around…

    • That’s the point, Flash animation doesn’t have to mean “cheap-looking digital cut-out animation.” It just means animation created in Flash.

      • The_Animator

        Well, digital-cutout animation can be done well. It doesn’t have to be “cheap looking”.

        If you have good timing, appealing designs, and actually attempt to apply the principles of animation to it, cutout animation can look just as good as hand-drawn animation. Even better sometimes.

        A perfect example of a great “cutout” show is “Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends”. It had great designs, really good animation, and fantastic timing… all done with pre-designed assets and “cutout” body parts.

        The animation was on par with, hell, even BETTER, then a lot of the hand-drawn shows on Cartoon Network at the time.

        Cutout animation gets an unfair bad rap from a lot of people. It’s seen as “crude” and “cheap” when it doesn’t have to be that way at all.

    • Without hesitation I would call something animated in flash, ‘flash animation’. Broaden those horizons, I promise it doesn’t hurt

  • Billy Batz

    These guys did it! you Can make a show entirely in-house! Just look at the difference in creativity. Kudos Titmouse!

  • Mark Attark

    Way to bring it back to America Titmouse!

    I will buy ALL THE TOYS.

  • R E E

    Are you “story/content” complainers so cerebral that you can’t recognize COOL for COOL’s sake?
    Were you ever CHILDREN?
    This show isn’t made for your overly rational and critical adult minds.
    Creative people made this for the NEXT generation of young creative minds.
    If was a little kid in 2012 and I saw this cartoon…
    10-15 years later I would be citing it as a major influence in my life.
    Hell, speaking for myself as an adult, I can say this cartoon is an influence on me right now.

    But, clearly some people are too heady to allow themselves to sit back, RELAX and just be entertained by the ART FORM.

    • Mark Attark

      I like this comment a lot.

    • Lib

      If you were a kid in 2012 and grew up to be an adult with a good head on your shoulders, you’d eventually realize that the show was garbage and probably not consider it something inspirational or influential.

      Treating children like retarded adults will always be the wrong approach, as movies and TV shows designed in such lazy way tend to be forgotten. Therefore, it’s unlikely that any future generation of creative minds will get anything useful out of them. If anything, many will regret ever liking it.

      And it’s pretty hard to sit back, relax and enjoy something when it’s plain obvious that there’s virtually no storytelling effort or elegance behind it, which can easily be translated as having little respect for your audience.

      • Some Girl

        Don’t mind me asking, but what cartoons do you think kids (aimed at pre-teens or perhaps younger) should be watching? What are you comparing it to? If you are comparing this to the cartoons of the slap stick days, then those weren’t any better for the kids then than they are now. Highly entertaining, yes, if you prefer that.No one can make you like anything, or this, for example. But if you want to let your kids watch something more “intelligent”, let them watch Dora or Discovery Channel. ( I do happen to like that channel by the way). As I am about to turn 18, I watched Pokemon and many cartoons people may not find “inspirational”. BUT, I am a 4.0 student, college bound and hopes for a future in animation. I think I turned out fine, to say the least. And as far as I remember, cartoons, known as animation for t.v. aimed at children, wasn’t supposed to be influentual or inspirational. Just pure escapism. You don’t have to like this show, and not forcing anyone to, but calling the viewers retarded adults is sort of an insult to me. And not that it matters, but I am a Christian, if that adds anymore to this. I should be the one making this sound like we are dumbing down our kids…but I am not. I love cartoons. And this show looks pretty dang awesome if you ask me.

      • THANK YOU, @Some Girl for standing up for YOUR generation. The NEXT generation.

        For everyone else, here’s some highlights of @Lib’s response to my response about MOTOR CITY and my immediate thoughts after reading:

        “the show was garbage” – so I guess you’ll be watching old dvds/torrents of…?
        “treating children like retarded adults” – innocent until PROVEN guilty.
        “many will regret ever liking it” – I doubt that, Nostradamus.
        “it’s pretty hard to sit back and relax” – Then get a MASSAGE.
        “no storytelling effort or elegance” – Ouch. Your last story editor job was…?
        “little respect for you audience” – Angry adults aren’t the audience.


        so my last question to you is…


      • Lib

        Sure, be sarcastic and make fun of my comments. That way next time I won’t even have to bother answering because you already do a great job making yourself look totally clueless and puerile.

        Also, I’m not here to prove what my storytelling skills are, and bringing that up certainly shows your lack of understanding of what a solid argument is. For all we know, I could be a Lithuanian milkman and still be perfectly able to tell a good story from a bad one. Same as I don’t need to be a chef to know when my steak is undercooked.

        Some Girl, you misunderstood me. I don’t think that watching weak shows and films will lessen the chances of someone ever becoming a great storyteller. But the impact of those products is going to be somewhat irrelevant in the long run, and very little positive will come out of them. If anything, they might able to excite children, but so can better stories. And that’s my whole point. We shouldn’t be accepting something subpar just because it works at the most basic levels. We should be demanding quality work in every department.

      • Superstarseven

        [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Be considerate and respectful of others in the discussion. Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

    • You may call me a grumpy old man, I’m turning 50 this year. And I never got the concept of “cool”, ask my girlfriends.

      But I will always criticize something wich isn’t anything else but “cool”. Hey, they have these top-notch animators. They have a budget. They have these great designs (in the “Gorillaz” direction whch I like). And all they can do with it is to, well, not even tell stories, but show kids racing around and fight imaginary impossible monsters. I’m disappointed because so much good work went into this, only to create just another “let’s sell them plastic cars” show.

      I mean, there’s more stories to tell in this world. It’s 2012, and the average 9-year-old may know even more about the world than I did when I was 19. You could use the same car races but tell stories about boys (oh, it’s only boys, right? No girls in this world. Disney must’ve thought of Saudi Arabia when designing this world, where only boys are allowed to drive a car?), but make them bring used european cars to african markets. Lots of adventures on the way, and no need to even make up a tiny little monster.

      Or you could set the whole thing into the world of crowded californian highways, where no car is moving at all anymore, and have the characters ride with something else. Or set it up in Detroit: where cars once where made, but now it’s much different – I don’t need to tell more. Hundreds of story ideas and each of them more interesting than what they did with it. Yes, it’s entertainment only – but it doesn’t necessarily need to be dumbed down like this.

      • If this show came out when I was 12, I would have been thrilled. It looks like a solid action cartoon. As for your criticism, you must not have been watching if you missed the CLEARLY female driver. Plus, this is only a small sample of a larger series. You’re condemning a series based on a series of preview-clips showing action scenes which are only parts of larger episodes. You have very little to work from to actually make assumptions of the series’s worth. It would be like saying The Lord of the Rings films were crappy action films just by watching a clip of a Legolas fight scene.

        As for your ideas… I really don’t see them working for an ACTION cartoon. It seems what you really want is some sort of big issue narrative, when what the creators really wanted is a fun cartoon with monsters, cars, and cool designs.

        But hey, if the actual episodes themselves end up being bad, I’ll be one of the first to gripe, but at least I have enough sense not to judge the entire package based on a collection of action clips that are PARTS of the actual story.

      • You’re right, I missed the female. Still – it’s only one?

        Aside of that: I somehow don’t believe that the rest of the show would contain all the story elements I’m missing right now. Sure, there will be non-action sequences with all the talking – but do you really believe they say something that matters in those scenes?

        And I still stand for my point that you easily could do an action series which costs the same amount of money but has a more realistic approach. Doing just another show with cars and monsters – what for?

      • Mark Attark

        Dude, the show does take place in the Detroit. That’s why it’s called “Motorcity”. Where cars once were made, but now it’s much different…

  • christy

    fucking amazing looking show-congratulations to titmouse and everyone who worked on it!
    it really raises the bar big time- its refreshing to see something so exciting and fresh looking.
    its interesting-i love the boarding/action of this-but the beautiful comping in AE giving it such a rich atmospheric look is what really sets it apart from everything else to me. no one is doing this except anime. i recently have been watching alot of the comic book animations on netflix like ‘avengers’ (im excited for movie to come out -haha) and they really look so primitive, flat and dated compared to motorcity.
    i hope MC inspires/pushes other studios and shows to raise the bar and produce some stylish hot new shows for us to enjoy.

  • btw…how is this limited TV animation…what more do you want?

  • Chris

    This looks like hand drawn animation done in Flash using Flash symbols (cut out animation) for the head. Please don’t confuse Flash animation to hand drawn animation. This looks more 85% hand drawn, 3D animation and 15% of what we like to call Flash.

    • I don’t know why are the main characters heads are not traditionally animated?

      • I think they were, as one of the first things they did, then sorted into the library to be re-used throughout the series without having to worry about staying on model. Makes a lot of sense, and doesn’t even feel wooden in the finished animation.

  • Jez Hall

    How do you get deleted scenes in an animated show? Don’t you nail it at animatic?

    • Producers have a tendency to want to change things after they’ve been animated…

  • Dalby

    This kick starts the golden age of the Shaggy Archetype. In the manner that “Some Day My Prince Will Come” and then “The Flintstones Theme” became latter day jazz standards by young, talented players who saw only possibility, perhaps future meditations on this dubious late 1960s teenage character may mine real worth. Sometimes great animated characters aren’t created, they are revised. Next, some new creative individual needs to go back and take a serious look at Walter Lantz’s heretofore hopeless Woody Woodpecker.

  • Talita Fulumoto

    What you mean no Mickey Mouse?!

  • Maya

    Whoa, I am surprisingly impressed. I mean I was planning to check this show out since it’s by the same guys who did Megas XLR but wow. I was not expecting it to look that good. Well done Titmouse. Well done.

  • This fully raises the bar for Flash based TV shows. I thought it was Toon Boom but it looks like Flash, Photoshop, Max or Lightwave, and After Effects. This hard work and detail will excite the audience for many years to come. Applause all around!

  • I love seeing this kind of stuff… The integration of elements is done really well, and the rough pass is close to the finish… All I can do right now is just tip my hat… Great stuff…

  • Lola

    Watching a COOL show for COOLNESS sake. Okay.

    Yes. I was a kid once (not too long ago actually) and I was excited and influenced by almost anything I saw that was animated. Don’t you think that should mean that we pay a little more attention to the content of the stuff that kids are going to be watching? As you said, this kind of influence can stay with them their entire lives. They should be able to watch this as a kid and think “WOW AWESOME” then look back at it as an adult and think “wow I never noticed that. I thought these dudes were just a bunch of motor heads but they have some thought-provoking stuff in there”. And I did not see any of that in the pilot.

    It’s not a bad thing to be critical, especially if you plan on working in the industry and ESPECIALLY if it’s a project aimed towards children THE NEXT GENERATION. They deserve more than just cool looking flashy car cartoons.

    But sure I can relax and watch those ‘pencil’ tests all day. The animation is great. But I’m sure as hell not gonna give two craps about those characters or their problems. And if I have to have the intelligence and attention span of a nine year old to enjoy it then there’s something not right here.

  • quizzical

    it bugs me *slightly* that this show is very identical to Robert Valley’s style (along with Jamie Hewlett), and it has yet to be mentioned as a reference. When I first saw clips I got so excited because I thought Valley was actually attached. I am a HUGE fan of his. The animation still blows me away though. I just think reference credit should be given. (if there is could someone put a link in the comments, would love to see)

    • anon

      Robert Valley did initial designs for the show as far as I’m aware.

      • quizzical

        thanks- just got a chance to watch the pilot and saw his name in the credits. really great seeing his art be animated.

      • cjseaton

        I was wondering when the Gorillaz music was going to kick in.

  • Woosh

    Good job, Titmouse! Keep it in house, and keep it real!

    I was talking to the guys about this at CTNX2010, and I’ve been dying to see it completed. I’m not disappointed.

    Everything is pretty beautiful, in my opinion. We need some fresh animation like this. :)

  • Eddie T.

    i-tunes says its not available in the us!!???
    Argh! I wanted to see it:(

  • Tomm

    Looks amazing. What kind of quotas per animator per week i wonder?

  • This does look good for TV – nice fun action for kids and adults alike. I’ll definitely be checking this out. But that guy TOTALLY looks like a teenage Murdoc Niccals (I know, the Gorillaz comparisons have already been mentioned).

  • This looks extra great. So many complain about flash for some reason. Are all guitars crap because one was played badly or are all guitars brilliant because of Jimi Hendrix?
    Skill is skill. Pencils, after effects, chisels, screen printers, sculpy, maya … does using a particular medium automatically result in the best results from the hands behind it? I think not. The ‘down on flash’ view always comes across as some how elitist and often just plain snobby

    • Funkybat

      I think the “down on Flash” mentality is more accurately described as “down on Flash tweening/effects.” If an artist uses Flash as a “traditional” animation tool, there’s not really anything that stands out as different about it. It might as well be Toon Boom or even full-on paper and cels. What pisses people off is when there are noticable motions that are clearly computer-tweened, rather than done with additional drawn frames.

      I find the best-looking Flash toons that use “limited animation” do so without using much (or any) Flash tweens. They look more like classic Hanna-Barbera animation; the movements are more abrupt and even jerky, but at least it looks no different than traditional limited animation. No awkward “computer-y” feel to anything. If that Mexican Top Cat feature had done that, it would have looked a lot better. Bill and Joe would have loved to have had Flash back in the day; no cel painting, easy re-use of “symbols.” Just skip the digital tweens!

      • I agree, but more often than not the sentiment is ‘flash sucks’ which is pretty narrow minded and indiscriminate. You rarely read/ hear ‘toonboom sucks’. They are both tools used some times well, some times not so well.

      • As a Flash animator for 12 years and a Harmony user, to compare Flash to Toonboom, it isn’t even in the same league. Flash is not animation software. Never was. I wonder how many times Flash crashed during the production of this show. Titmouse could use something way more efficient than having to use Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, and After effects for one shot on a production value of this scale. And yes…flash does suck and there is a reason why you here that. It crashes if you so much as look at it wrong.

      • I think the knack may be in looking at it right.

  • Stephen M. Levinson

    Wow looks awesome!

  • Funkybat

    After seeing those clips, I have a hard time calling this “limited animation” even though it obviously employs it in places. TV animation usually has no business looking this good.

    I’ve been a fan of Chris Prynoski’s work since the underrated/under-watched “Downtown.” This show is definitely more interesting to me than a lot of the more recent Disney TV endeavors. Congrats to the Titmouse team!

  • cjseaton

    Too much talking. I’d rather watch Tom an Jerry.

  • tredlow

    Stuff like this reminds me that Flash is a program, not a technique.

  • Rich Tom

    I love Speed Racer- as a concept and as an artifact from my childhood, but not as a show itself. It’s dated and choppy, in a familiar and adorable kind of way.

    I always thought that you might be able to do something more with that kind of a world, and this looks like they’re speaking directly to me.

    • tredlow

      Actually, I thought the concept between Motorcity and Speed Racer are very different from each other. Sure, they both center on driving cars, but from what I’ve seen in the first episode, Motorcity has nothing to do with racing.

  • Alyx Jolivet

    To all the naysayers that say this isn’t a show for kids of today:

    whuuuut? This show is perfect for kids of today. It features a very strong car culture, where two different worlds are at war: the corporate, squeeky clean Kane who will destroy you if you don’t accept his lifestyle vs the freedom loving, DIY, recycling individuality of the burners.

    The pacing was too quick for me, but this isn’t meant for me. THis is meant for kids who were raised with iPads, iPhones, and computers at a very young age. They are used to digesting a barrage of information, story, and visuals within a small amount of time. Their brains are equipped for that fast pace. So it clicks and works right.

    The moral I’m pulling from the story and characters is self reliance. And that’s a dang good moral to have, especially when a lot of these kids are growing up in a changing America that is still dealing with the dregs of unemployment, and they can’t afford nice shiny new toys on the shelf. They are encouraged to make their own stuff.

  • Anni

    I agree with a lot of the stuff you’ve said, Alyx, except one.
    I don’t think it has to be meant for just kids who’ve grown up with ipads and -pods! I mean, I grew up with radio and television and i can digest the pace just fine. I don’t think brainpower has much to do with that here. Kids today can be as slow or tired as kids back then.
    Then again, maybe it’s just that i’ve grown up watching american and other tv cartoons for kids and otherwise,observing them fluctuate between exciting for me and boring and interesting and boring again.
    This show was made by people probably older than me. Aimed at kids yeah, but tastefully executed so. Still, the things and motives that repeat seem from a generation ago, but I think that’s what makes it so much more layered? It’s food for thought, at least for me.

    The points about self reliance and changing conditions is good tho, I think this will be a good show for both kids and any young adults such as me?
    Who knows. Seen the first episode so far, all i can tell is that I like it :)

  • J.J

    I saw the first episode. I thought the Gorillaz stylings and animation were cool enough, but besides the COOL!, there’s little else here. Lesson for the creators, if you are going to make something as awesome looking as this show, don’t forget to bring a good compelling story.

    I used to enjoy the crazy cool of Megas XLR too (also short lived, for similar reasons), but Motor City is taking those stylings (cars n’ robots, yeah!) and not adding much more than better animation and some humour. If you can’t bring a good story, kids will just go back to watching anime, instead.

    Now, you see that there Avatar: The Legend of Korra, that’s the kind way to go, Disney (yes, I know its not their show, its CN’s). Well designed world, well designed and brilliantly expressive characters that you give a damn about, and A DECENT STORY to tell, that isn’t about COOL CARS, Yeah! And the best bit, it can be better enjoyed by kids, and adults.

    So yeah, to summarise, Motor City is an animation step forward, but storywise, two steps back. You must do better.

    • The story behind Deluxe, the socialist society erected over old Detroit by ‘dictator industrialist’ Abraham Kane, is as compelling as anything else on t.v.. His daughter, Jules, daughter of Kane, and his betrayer (its complicated), brings the family dynamic. Everything he is doing is for her– to protect her from the evils of the outside world. Yet, she lives and breathes the rebellion against her fathers desire to expand on his utopian dreams.

      Where there are no ideal men to be found in todays societies, Mike Chilton is the supreme epitome of the gentleman rebel. He values his friends and trusts them, not without merit, and even when betrayed by other gang members, he finds the good in them, much like the optimistic Mickey Mouse founded by Disney. He is the hero for today, capable of defying gravity in his 500 mph car. And, Mike, once a protege of Abraham Kane, he has learned his nemesis’ weaknesses, that is, except that Jules is Kane’s daughter. Can you imagine the shock when this is discovered?

      The other characters are also interesting, and the backshots are in constant movement even while we concentrate on the foreground action. Getting to know the well rounded characters and their humor has been a welcome discovery of new friends, for me, and my children. Finally a show we can watch as a family, without any smut!! Children from age 8 up to age 18, and we all love the show.

      The girls are not underdressed as is usually the case for ‘boys’ programs. In this way the characters can be seen as equal, and the females are just as important to the plot as the males. Each friend brings something to the table, and each friend is valued by Mike Chilton. Mike Chilton is also handsome, and the first character that is interesting that is not a benevelent antagonist in the plot. Disney usually endows the evil characters with richness and depth. It is about time the good guys win. We need more of this positive message for our children.

      Of course Disney, in their shortsightedness, have failed to see the value in this show. Instead they prefer to promote smut t.v..

      Perhaps they are afraid of Motorcity’s message, not unlike our Abraham Kane and his utopian society, where he controls everything, including the citizens freedoms. Disney is also an expanding ’empire’, who control the environment they have created. Been there. Water $2.50 per bottle! Nearby supermarket, if your lucky to get a cab, buys 14 bottles for around $7.99.

      We are very upset that they have cancelled this fabulous show.

      I hope they return the I.P. to Titmouse, so they can find a network that will appreciate its value and the art therein. My daughter, as an artist and idealist herself, has been deeply hurt by the cancellation. Seeing it as a confirmation that great animation is undervalued. Especially as Motorcity has left so much unsaid. So much unfinished.

      Future episodes we may never see: 1) Mike almost discovers Julie’s secret identity. 2) Chuck, who believes he has no talent, plays the guitar and sings, of course….. screamo, and the Duke discovers him. 3) Texas finally removes his cap. Is it a mullet? 4) Chuck’s fear of kittens is explained– such an awful childhood and such giant kitties. 5) Jules recalls, as a child, meeting a small skinny orphan in Deluxe, who went by the name of Mike. 6) Clare smiles coyly at Chuck, but he doesn’t notice because he has awful timing (except while playing the guitar). 7) Dutch discovers his love of orange soda (those who know the actor will know why). 8) The Duke. 9) The Duke, part ll 10) A room filled with donuts. Who will win?
      Anyone else have any ideas for shows?

      The style of the show is face paced, funny, and it does have a story!!! It does!!!!!! We are given glimpses into non-essential characters that other animators would not bother entertaining; they too have a back story.

      This is an awesome show, and I hope it continues, or is rediscovered in the future.

      • Clevername

        Bit of a nitpick, but it’s not socialist if there’s a dictator industrialist. It’s facism.

  • If you guys are interested in listening to an interview with Titmouse animator Mike Roush from the Alt Animation Podcast.

  • I am surprised no one mention Titmouses amazing proprietary plug in they developed for this show called Facinator
    check it out and be amazed!