Seth MacFarlane launches Cavalcade of Comedy

Seth MacFarlane recently launched his new ad-supported animated shorts series “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” through SethComedy.com. The show is structured through Google’s Content Network with sponsors such as Burger King. As you can tell by the embedded episode, the reason for discussing this on Cartoon Brew is clearly not because of the content (left-over Family Guy gags that demean both the terms “cartoon” and “comedy”) but because of its novel online distribution model, which could open doors for other filmmakers. According to Ars Technica, here is how money is made on the shorts:

The episodes are short, ranging from under a minute to no more than two, and so far, they only consist of a preroll sponsorship-type ad (which is animated in McFarlane’s style, so it’s not very jarring at all) before the actual video. For now, the two available shorts are sponsored by Burger King, and they are cross-posted to the “BK Channel” on YouTube…As with much web video these days, episodes of the Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy can be shared with friends and embedded onto blogs and websites. The interesting part of the deal, however, is the revenue distribution. The videos will be run on sites across the web, basically as both content and advertising. Each time a viewer clicks on a Cavalcade video or ad, advertisers will pay a fee that gets split between MacFarlane, Google, the production company partner Media Rights, and the site hosting the video.

No one has the solution yet for how filmmakers can consistently earn money by placing their work online and in fact there may be dozens of solutions. What’s not in doubt is that the integration of advertising and content has proven to be one driving factors behind the growth online short film distribution. Experiments like MacFarlane’s will only help everybody figure out the models.


  • http://mymedicatedlife.blogspot.com/ Bitter Animator

    So it’s just Family Guy-style sequences outside the framework of the actual show then. Oh, and trying to sell me cack in the process. Nice.

    Regardless of the content here, which I imagine I would have laughed at back in season one of Family Guy before they beat their own humour to death over and over, it pains me that animators, creators or whoever have to effectively become the equivalent of a door to door mop salesman in order to make a living. That’s all it is – selling crap to people who mostly don’t want it. That’s a hideous life for any sort of creative person (as opposed to people actually in advertising agencies, who just broswe YouTube and get production companies to copy what they find – the word ‘creative’ on their business cards must be post-modern irony or something).

    Creators deserve better than having to hawk fast food, or worse.

    Yes, even Seth MacFarlane, who seems like a nice bloke in interviews so I wish him no ill will.

    Where is the line legally drawn for parody, I wonder? I mean, shouldn’t Nintendo be charging for the use of their characters here?

  • http://www.nranimation.com James Nethery

    Lol that whole thing was just a throw-away Family Guy cutaway gag.

    That aside, I’ll be curious to see how these actually do… maybe there is a future in being able to sell your work online…

  • Cyber Fox

    Seth McFarlane epicly fails to be funny once again

  • slowtiger

    OK, it’s just very limited talking head animation, possibly done in Flash. Why is it that I prefer this style over that Spaceballs stuff? Or over a lot of Flash animation stuff which boasts with smoother tweens?

    Because more movement is not necessary for this?

  • Marc Baker

    As much as i admire Seth MacFarlane’s work on ‘Family Guy’, Bitter Animator brings up some good points on hawking useless products to the masses. As an artist, i’m only interested in telling stories that poke fun at certain aspects of society that the mainstream networks rarely touch on because of how big, and corporate they’ve all become. (‘God forbid we should question stuff like the overuse of advertising in our everyday lives, or bastardizing old movies into lame commercials, or plastering ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ pop stars over timeless cartoon icons.

  • P.C. Unfunny

    Every “joke” in Mcfarlane’s work is EXACTLY THE SAME. Starts off with a Pop culture movie, video game, etc. One character says something the other character dosen’t like or finds awkward, they both go into unfunny banter.

  • Celia

    That cartoon felt cheap yet indulgent: kinda like scarfing down two whoppers in one sitting.

  • MicahToons

    Ah! Like a breath of fresh sea air, it is! I love successful animation folks… celebrity successful. Let’s us as an industry show our colors. We love an underdog, but we really love to dislike that underdog when he gets to be a big dog.

    More to the point: Yeah, this is a neat experiment. I for one am not too proud to sling crap at people. The average smarter-than-you-think-they-are consumer will enjoy the cartoon without being driven to buying quarter pound mac and king cheese artery bruisers with bacon and bacon.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    What percentage goes to the Maniti’s?

    Seriously though, if this model of distribution was applied to something tolerable, they might have something here.
    I would gladly pimp my short films out with sponsorphip in this way, if it could seriously turn all those theoretical dollars I keep earning into real dollars – but one can’t help but feel that for this model to really work, requires enthusiasm and commitment from the sponsors, which in turn dictates offering something banal in the first place.
    Not everyone eager to approach this course, is going to be invited (ie payed) to bookend their animation with custom adverts in their own ‘wacky’ style – so in the end its no different to all those sites where movie trailers are fronted with incongruous toothpaste commercials. And I, like most people, avoid those sites for the alternatives.

  • Marc Baker

    ‘The average smarter-than-you-think-they-are consumer will enjoy the cartoon without being driven to buying quarter pound mac and king cheese artery bruisers with bacon and bacon.’

    I agree. I’m usually motivated to but a Big Mac when i feel like it. I just want to see if the shorts will bring about great comedy bits that’ll eventually catch on. That’s all i hope for with MacFarlane’s new endeavor.

  • Adam

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say this was ripped off from here: http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=xfIJHtbc5oM (NSFW language).
    I’ll let you decide which has better animation.

  • Karma

    I saw this godawful thing a few days ago.

    I literally stared at this incredibly unfunny drivel and it’s humiliatingly inspid blasphamy of a video game classic, with a glazed and cold expression on my face.

    There have been plenty of animated tributes and shorts about Super Mario Bros that i’ve watched over the years. Some bad, some good, some hilarious.

    This is not only the worst and most worthless slap in the face of Nintendo of all the Mario shorts i’ve seen, but there’s nothing remotely entertaining about it.

    As bad as Family Guy is, and for as worse as American Dad failed, this just absoutely polarizes why Seth McFarland is an embarassment to the animation industry.

    I am shocked that Nintendo didn’t explode, and Google didn’t shrivel up like a salted slug immediately upon it’s uploading.

    If this is the kind of animated entertainment that Google and Seth McFarland is teaming up to bring us, then for the love of god, DON’T sign me up.

    I’d rather have spam emails, spyware, and viruses please.

  • http://stephenchappell.co.uk William Chappell

    On top of this, there’s A COMPETITION to let you buy Seth McFarland, the highest paid screenwriter ever, dinner. At Burger King. Who the hell would actually enter that?

  • http://datboidrew.com Drew

    I actually liked this to tell the truth. It wasnt bad