Now That’s Some Animation-y Animation

There are plenty of gems to mine in this AWN article about the new live-action/animated Cartoon Network series Out of Jimmy’s Head. Nothing however tops this enlightened description of the show’s animation by CN exec Michael Ouweleen: according to him, the animation in the series is “more animation-y, more out there.”

Now, I’ve been in and around the animation business for a number of years but I honestly have no idea how anyone could make animation more animation-y. If it’s already animation, then it can’t be any more of that technique than it already is. Enough of this silliness, my head hurts just thinking about it. I think a little music will soothe my mind. Let’s just hope it’s music-y enough.


  • http://www.nancybeiman.com Nancy Beiman

    What can one say. First it was ‘cartoony’ then it was ‘toons’ and now it’s ‘animation-y’?
    Quick, bring the smelling salts.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    The animation in the commercial for the show looks like a Flash cartoon from 1998. It’s lack-o-movement-y. Crap-y. Unenjoyable-y.

  • http://dekku.blogspot.com/ DeK

    Maybe, the animators are animated characters themselves. Maybe, Mr. Ouweleen has been himself animated by them. That would explain a lot of things.

  • Nic Kramer

    I don’t think Ouweleen knows anything on how animation works.

  • uffler mustek

    when you complain about CN’s lack of cartoons, and then make fun of a cartoony word made up by a cartoon executive and then complain about the quality of the cartoons within their new series about cartoons… the more i realize that animators (me included) are a bunch of whiney cry babies.

    i actually think we need executives to hate just to keep us alive. it’s our nature to get shit on… and you all LOVE IT, DON’T YOU!!!

  • http://blackwingdiaries.blogspot.com Jenny

    I guess he meant “cartoony”.

  • Andrew

    Sounds like he’s tapping into some higher level of thought, like, a New Age theory.

    Nah.

  • red pill junkie

    Sheeesh…

    Well, it’s obvious this guy had to seek a job in the entertainment biz, because teaching English in some highschool would just… NO.

    DeK, I thought exactly the same thing. Maybe it would be something similar to this

  • Daniel

    Sounds like someone admitting that they intentionally hold back on how far animation is being pushed on their “regular” shows.

    question is, why hold back at all?

  • Arlo

    sound like a comment that would be made by someone who rose up the ranks in advertising… wait. oh.

    I miss Linda Simensky more every year.

  • Richard

    Cartoon Network hasn’t been animation-y for some time now, and I don’t exactly think it is going to be animation-y ever again.

  • tom

    That show is about as awful as any of Nickelodeon or Disney’s ‘shitcoms’ for kids. The have an unerring eye for unappealing male leads on those shows, don’t they?

    The animation was attractively designed, but ultimately clumsy and unfunny. There you go.

  • http://kitschensyngk.deviantart.com/ Kitschensyngk

    I had pizza for dinner tonight. It tasted very pizza-y.

    I watched a TV show last night. It was most TV show-y.

    I started reading a book this week. It’s not really book-y so far.

    I hope this comment was comment-y enough for you to read.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > I had pizza for dinner tonight. It tasted very pizza-y.
    >
    > I watched a TV show last night. It was most TV show-y.
    >
    > I started reading a book this week. It’s not really book-y so far.
    >
    > I hope this comment was comment-y enough for you to read.

    If I have to hear one more about how someone’s aping a Japanese cartoon style in their work, I’d say it was “anime-y”. really, this is why I stopped watching TV, I just don’t want to know what’s happening out there!

  • Joseph Nebus

    I could justify describing some animation as being more animated-y than others — for being very animated-y: the Tom and Jerry short “Mouse Trouble”. For not so animated-y: oh, how about those Filmation Tom and Jerry shorts from somewhere in the 70s with nearly eight bars of music?

    Granted that “cartoony” would seem to be an adequate word for roughly the same meaning, but … I could see wanting to emphasize the degree to which things are alive and moving, since “cartoony” also suggests things about story logic and sensibilities. I’m sure whatever the Cartoon Network product under discussion is will fail this site’s general opinion for bringing animation to the screen, but the word could be used to represent something meaningful.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com Robert

    cartoony –>animationy

    I guess it’s kind of like how someone had to come up with “idiotproof” to replace “foolproof” after that had become meaningless and insufficiently degrading from overuse.

  • matt

    I think you know exactly what he means Amid. I think you also know what John K. means when he complains about cartoons not being ‘cartoony’ any more: Not doing the impossible, intrinsically ‘cartoony’ things that define the medium (for him) and cannot be done in any other. Like the best Avery and Clampett shorts. Sure these may seem like inarticulate words to describe the unique visual acrobatics of an inherently animated style, but has anyone come up with something better? Have you?

    The point is, as great as say, King of the Hill or Simpsons (with a few exceptions) are, there’s generally not much in them that can’t be done in live-action for example (still worthy though as they’re better than most from a straight sitcom p.o.v.). Even the Mask movies aping Avery and Jones don’t actually do exactly the same cheats that cartoony 2d cartoons allow, with facial features maybe ‘sliding’ into a pose or say the lion pulling himself inside out etc. Then there’s cartoon logic like Daffy (or was it Elmer?) lifting up the pond water to look underneath and so on.

    - I’m not going to get into it much more as I know someone who wrote a book like ‘Cartoon Modern’ has much more knowledge than I of the advantages and differences of a stylised medium. I just think you’re being disingenuous once again (it’s happening a lot lately). I hate a lot of suits too and have to deal with them but it’s ironic how you yourself become less articulate when your bias gets in the way. You know what the score is but keep doing things lately that are beneath you. Sure the direction CN are going may suck, sure what he says sounds stupid and being enthusiastic about CN’s direction means he probably IS stupid, but taking him to task for such a slight reason as a funny word he used just looks like you’re desperate for ANY excuse to berate and belittle them. Suits say moronic stuff all the time! Show a bit more class, man. He may be a fool but you’re coming off like a snob with this petty stuff. Most of the time I really enjoy your writing and genuinely appreciate the amazing stuff you bring to light that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. So I hope you can tolerate me being a bit irked (and not delete me) from time to time.

    Maybe it’s just me folks – I don’t find it half as offensive (when John K says it anyway – like Amid he’s also very biased but also knows his stuff) as morons who use the astoundingly redundant ‘fantastical’ when fantastic will suffice and means exactly the same thing. Often in reference to animation.

    Also, I once designed and illustrated a book cover for an author (!) who insisted 3 times I put “sophisticatingly” in the blurb!

  • Steve Gattuso

    Every day, and in every way, TV executives get stupider and stupider.

  • Watery

    I read the article, the guy seems like he’s not too thrilled about it. It’s like someone wanted him to bullsh*t about why the series should be on a network called Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network is a kids network and those Disney/Nick shows do well, why shouldn’t they do a live action show to get some more viewership? It was the highest watched Movie on the network so why shouldn’t they cash in on that.

    But, yeah this guy does come across unknowledgeable on the history of animation. Animation-y.

    Oh and cartoons and animation aren’t the same thing I think that’s what Amid is pointing out. Animation is the artform, it can’t be more of that. Cartoon is more of a style/genre of animation. It’s like if something was draw-y or as what Amid said music-y, you can say it, you just sound kind of dumb.

  • http://educatedmetalhead.blogspot.com/ DanO

    “Cartoon Network is a kids network and those Disney/Nick shows do well, why shouldn’t they do a live action show to get some more viewership?”

    -because on one level, it’s not their forte. so they have the odds stacked against them.
    -on another level, they are chasing after the success of another station by parroting their programming, which has never been a blueprint of success. real successes chart their own course, they don’t play catch up to others who excel.

    but mostly, it’s money and attention that they turn away from the animation community. a community JAM PACKED with talent and creativity that Cartoon Network constantly fails to tap into. they are so wrapped up in focus group results, chickenshit conformity and remaking themselves after other networks that they aren’t willing to take even the slightest risk on the beautiful, crazy, and hilarious cartoons of independent animators.

    They have an unmatched record for consistently missing the mark on what’s funny, compelling and inventive. Look no further than Aaron Springer’s “Korgoth Of Barbaria”, an uproariously funny and imaginative turn at sword and sorcery that Cartoon Network passed on. it is quite simply: idiocy defined.

    they are a network perpetually chasing their own tail. they deserve heaps of criticism, and all we can do is hope that criticism brings about change.

  • matt

    Well in deference to Amid and to criticise Ouweleen I guess that’s true, but the question remains: why haven’t all the learned animation scholars come up with anything better? ‘Animation-y’ and ‘Cartoony” do sound like Homer Simpson came up with them!

  • amid

    They have an unmatched record for consistently missing the mark on what’s funny, compelling and inventive.

    Perfectly put DanO. Cartoon Network is following others because they have been unable to find ratings success by airing animation. But the reason for the lack of ratings is not because people don’t like watching cartoons. It’s because people don’t like watching AWFUL, BORING and UGLY cartoons. (Just look at Nick’s ratings success with animation for further evidence.)

    The switch to live-action is a clear admission on the part of CN execs that they don’t understand animation and don’t care to anymore. That animation artists continue to support the network when it has so clearly turned its backs on them is the biggest sign of concern.

  • Zach

    The article makes no sense:

    “[...]The characters hadn’t been out of the cartoonist’s brain since 1945. That premise isn’t integral to the series, however, so the characters can be stretchier and more modern in design.”

    Wait, what? “Modern” characters are stretchier? I’m sorry, but you can’t beat Clampett, Iwerks, Fleischer or Avery when it comes to “stretchy.”

    Leon Schlesinger and Fred Quimby may have known nothing about cartoons, but at least they backed off most of the time and let artists be creative.

    I miss shows like Toon Heads and The Chuck Jones Show. Cartoon Network could at least fund Platform Festival for a few more years… I have a feeling that won’t happen. They’re just a business now.

  • Tex Avery’s Ghost

    It’s been my experience that if something is labeled “Chocolatey” it will contain much less chocolate, if any, and leave me with a hard brittle waxy flavorless glob in my mouth.

  • alan

    I don’t think Amid should EVER pass up an opportunity to talk about the idiocy of executives – from the minute to the massive – any chance to shame them should be exploited.

  • http://www.thexbridge.com A Guy Who’s Very “Opinion-y”

    I am so sick of people calling Cartoon Network a “kids network.”

    It didn’t become a “kids network” until the Coup of 2001, when Kids’ WB basically cleaned house, got rid of everybody that mattered (Cohen, Simensky, and Connick-Perez), created and channeled all “mature” energies on a new block called Adult Swim, moved everything that was made before Clinton’s first term to Boomerang, and basically adapted a “ratings is king” mantra.

    And now, the abomination that is “Out of Jimmy’s Head” is heading to Boomerang. In the US. Of America. North America.

    See, this is why I feel that Cartoon Network should just start all over.

    Turn the current Cartoon Network into the kids network Turner desperately wants without the Cartoon Network name, shift the Cartoon Network brand and sibling networks from Turner along with Warner Animation, Hanna-Barbera, and the legacy animation titles from Warner Bros. Entertainment into a new, self-managed unit, the Warner Cartoon Group, and create a new Cartoon Network from the ground up and a redefined Boomerang as a classic Cartoon Network.

  • alan

    I don’t really care if Cartoon Network wants to become a kids network or run the occasional live-action show…
    …I just wish SOME of their shows were… I dunno… “good.”
    They need to be more “good”-y.