Fester Fish by Aaron Long

Fester Fish must watch his bratty nephew, on the same day he’s supposed to have a date with his girlfriend! This may not be everyone’s cup of tea… but its the perfect thing for a Saturday morning on Cartoon Brew! Animator Aaron Long writes:

“I conceived Fester as an early 1930′s-style character, but the cartoon as a whole is really more inspired by Tex Avery than Ub Iwerks. Which sort of clashes with the more 30′s-esque ‘dancing buildings’ and ‘bobbing rhythmically” bits, but oh well. All the animation was done in Flash, and the backgrounds were drawn in Flash but coloured in Photoshop. Then I put the scenes together in Premiere Elements, and added some VERY slight blur and film grain effects over top, that are probably not noticeable.”

(Thanks, R.A. MacNeil)


  • http://matthewharding.co.uk/ Matthew

    I enjoyed that. “Today I got a date with a ladywoman” made me laugh in particular.

  • Akbar Shahzad

    I really like this. It’s got fantastic timing–the throwing-out-the-door bit could have been done by Friz Freleng. What really impresses me, though, is the full animation. It feels so good to see a cartoon character’s entire body move and distort, it reminds me how little we see it.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    That mostly works. I enjoyed that quite a bit.

    I think more solid inking would have helped sell the overall gag . The modern squigglevision lines seem out synch with the main intent.

    “Girlfriend” sounded like she phoned her part in. On an actual phone.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    Loved every damn thing about the cartoon. Ink line reminded me of ROCCO’S MODERN LIFE. Voice recording disparities actually increased the appeal. Made me laugh.

  • http://www.buenothebear.com Pen

    haha! Awesome work Aaron! Man.. your drawings are great. The drunken girlfriend head wobbles were phenomenal.

  • http://www.andrewchesworth.blogspot.com Andrew Chesworth

    Aaron, this is brilliant! What an accomplishment. Perfect way to start my Saturday morning! I love how you reconciled modern aesthetics and humor with classical sensibilities. Totally worked for me. I didn’t mind the looser ink style, especially since you pretty much did the entire film. Good way to get the thing done and out there (and looking great!) without killing yourself over fine-toothed stuff. Plus, he’s a fish, so it sort makes it feel more gooey. I love the homages in the design – the Donald Duck nephew. Also made me think of Rocko’s Modern Life, too.

    Fantastic, hilarious work! Congratulations!

  • Roberto Severino

    This is hilarious!!! Lots of Tex Avery/Jim Tyer esque animation in this one. It’s pretty much represents what cartoons can really do in creative hands.

  • Wolf Lahti

    Good pacing, and the animation style worked well enough – but we’ve seen this situation and every single sight gag many times before, and the resolution was flat and uninspired. I wouldn’t say the ending was predictable, because I was – ya know – expecting something to happen.

  • http://www.copernicus.ca Murray Bain

    lots of funny stuff in there, I’d rather watch this than family guy any day. great job Aaron!

  • http://www.pitchbibles.blogspot.com Steve Schnier

    Great stuff!

    I like the way that Fester sometimes speaks in rhyming couplets. It makes a nice juxtaposition with his ‘earthy’ vocal style. Funny.

    Promote! Promote! Promote! This is very good stuff. Good luck with it.

  • Adrian Edson Dean

    Bravo! I thought this was very well done. Amazing. I love the creative ways of moving Fester. I also love the world that Aaron created. It’s a fun through back to that 30s style and just creepy enough, too, that I want to hang out there myself!

    A great way to start a Saturday!

  • http://signorestudios.blogspot.com/ Christopher

    If you thought this was brilliant, check out Aaron’s other animated mini-series, “Space Goose”, lurking about somewhere on his YT account! This guy is a bloody marvel and a good bud! :D

  • http://www.pitchbibles.blogspot.com Steve Schnier

    Set up a YouTube channel and FaceBook fan page for Fester Fish.
    Start generating hits and fans. Then keep pumping out episodes.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    “What’s up… pier!” lol

  • http://brockorama.blogspot.com Brock

    It looks like you had so much fun making this. Great job man! Make more!

  • vineet

    “…gasp…” that made me laugh out loud.

  • http://kazrocks.blogspot.com kazzer

    this is great, I love it! “…and the occasional MURDER!”

  • Zoran Taylor

    @Wolf Lahti – What are you smoking, jack? The ending is unbelievable. I assume the total deconstruction of cartoon story resolution flew right over your head. It goes like this: In the middle of a light, frothy piece of pure entertainment, a grim, violent resolution suddenly clashes with the established tone. Astonishingly, this seems to have no effect on the cartoon’s reality, as if the cartoon is designed to absorb realistic violence the way a cushion absorbs a shock. It reminds me of a scene in The Last Action Hero in which a swear word written on paper is offered as proof that apparent reality is really a PG-rated movie – If you read english perfectly, yet can’t process a demand to read a four-letter word out loud…well, you get the picture.

    Anyway, the ultra-casual reaction of the girlfriend further enforces the creepily surreal sense that the gunshot NEVER REALLY WENT OFF, even though we all heard it perfectly clearly. She then makes a comment that obliviously points out how ridiculous and, yes, OBVIOUS AND ANCIENT the concept behind the whole cartoon is, prompting Slightly Smaller Fish to blurt out a line so preposterously incorrect in it’s construction that it could ONLY have been made that way on purpose. And everyone laughs….but in a way that could not possibly have anything to do with what was actually funny about what just happened. THE END.

    Every single time I’ve shown this cartoon to anyone, the biggest laugh came at the exact moment the “THE END” card pops up and the theme music reprises. The pacing of this monumentally absurdist ending is so perfect that it ends up instantaneously reconstructing the very craft it just deconstructed.

    So, in brief, just as you said, NOTHING HAPPENED.

  • http://thebighook.blogspot.com Louise F.

    That “What’s up, Pier!” had me in literal stitches. Great cartoon!

  • http://www.ronimation.com Ron

    Teriffic. It’s made of stuff that made me want to be an animator as a kid and that executives think “no longer appeal to modern audiences”. Thanks for proving them wrong Aaron. Great Job.

    I have a few questions:

    A. How long did it take to make this?

    B. What was your budget?

    C. What do you plan to do with it? Enter it in festivals? Pitch it as a show? World domination? :)

    Again- congratulations. Great work. I wanna’ go make my own cartoon now!

  • http://tequilawhisperer.com Lippy

    I’m impressed by the “shaky line” technique. Doing that in Flash means at LEAST twice as much work. Looks organic. Nice work!

  • Polyvios Christoforos

    That cartoon is so f’ing funny. Especially with that satire on Rocky and Bullwinkle. it’s called cobdoddle and boodad.

    =) oh I love it.

  • http://aalong64.blogspot.com Aaron Long

    Thanks so much for featuring me on Cartoonbrew, Jerry! It really means a lot to me! And thanks to everybody else for the kind words and feedback!

    To answer your questions, Ron:
    A – I started working on it at the beginning of January, during my break from school (I go to Max the Mutt in Toronto), and then I worked on whenever I had time until I finally finished it at the end of May.

    B – No real budget, cause I just did everything myself. I guess if you include the cost of the programs it’d be somewhere around $1000?… Apart from myself, the only voice actors were my sister and my cousin, who worked for free.

    C – I’m going to try to submit it to festivals, and probably make more cartoons with Fester, but nothing concrete. My main goal was just to have fun and work on my animation.

    @Zoran, it’s okay, I didn’t expect everybody to like it. I’m really happy with the reception it’s gotten. And Wolf Lahti raises a fair point– many of the gags are pretty generic cartoon ones.

  • Mitch Kennedy

    Hilarious! Fun cartoony animation and fun timing! Great werk.

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    I think Aaron Long is going to have a bright future in animation.

  • http://youtube.com/chipCHIPLEY Mike Hollingsworth

    Zoran is crazy! This cartoon is amazing. And you know how I could TELL he’s crazy (besides his opinions)? Because he wrote such a long ass post. Sane people write posts that last exactly this long riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight HERE.

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour

    This was excellently done! Wonderful! It definitely inspired me to get crackin’ on my animated projects, which have been moving at a snail pace for years!

  • Zoran Taylor

    @Mike Hollingsworth -

    A. You realize I was defending the cartoon, right? Because your first two sentences combined make no sense whatsoever.

    B. I assume you’re not the same Mike Hollingsworth who writes/directs those wacky, kabuki-style Canadian history plays that run at the Cameron House in Toronto? If so…..I’ve met you! You know my Dad! What the hell happened to you, Man?!

  • http://aalong64.blogspot.com Aaron Long

    I think the confusion may have come about when I said “Zoran, it’s okay, not everybody has to like it”. Mike may have interpreted that as “Zoran, it’s okay if YOU don’t like it.”

    Zoran’s post was actually a defense of the cartoon against someone else.

    Anyway, that’s hopefully cleared up now. Thanks for the interest, people!

  • http://Siskavard.bloodspot.com Corey

    I’d pay to see more episodes.

  • http://www.bobrob.blogspot.com Bob Hilgenberg

    >”Aaron Long says:
    In case anybody expects me to show my work as a defense, here’s some animation I’ve done:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq-CllhoZBk
    (I realize that it’s not Disney quality, but I think it’s more entertaining than this movie (Tangled) will be).”<

    This should be an interesting contest. Nice work, Aaron, the challenge worked out quite well for you. Interesting how an a trailer cut for The Disney Channel, has gotten such attention.

    Pretty funny cartoon! Congrats.

  • Chris S

    For me this short has gestalt. The animation is good, the designs are cute, and the humor is there and timed well. All the elements are working together really well. I feel like the end just happens unexpectedly, kinda caught me off guard, and that is what makes me love it!

  • Zoran Taylor

    Yes, the confusion arose from not actually reading the thing you’re responding to and instead reading the other response that was shorter and didn’t look like it was going to hurt your brain.

    I’m not bitter. I just find it remarkable that anyone would think their own inability to read more than one paragraph at a time could simply hide in plain sight. Like an incontinent hobo pleasuring himself in the middle of the street in a pristinely manicured suburb at four in the afternoon. With a full brass band playing behind him. Sorry, is this comment getting too long? I sincerely apologize.

  • http://brianmorante.blogspot.com Brian

    I thought this short was great. Congrats Aaron. Some people have brought up the generic cartoon scenarios. I assume that was the whole point of this short. To have all these classic cartoon gags or scenarios (the nephew coming to stay with the main character etc.) but shown in a modern/adult/funny way. Looking forward to seeing more.

  • http://www.toonhole.com Chris Allison

    Cool short, Aaron! Can’t wait to see more. Keep that pacing fast, it feels really nice!

  • http://youtube.com/chipCHIPLEY Mike Hollingsworth

    I stand corrected. (<— very short post)

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    Great short. Of course it could be tweaked at some points, like timing some movements more tightly, have the voices recorded in better quality, and get better colour contrast for the BGs. But it was so much fun to watch, such a believable character, completely alive from the very first take.

    Two points I like to praise:
    1. Funny movements. This short really inspires me to try this much more often because sometimes I feel stuck in that “must be a realistic movement” approach.
    2. Body language which goes with the dialogue. “Do you always talk to buildings? – “Always.” (nods) – it’s the nod that made me burst.

    Thx for this, it’s entertaining and inspiring!

  • Dave O.

    Very nice. The gags and characters were familiar, but fresh. Even a grim gag like Fester rushing his nephew upstairs to shoot him was paced so well, that it just blended in with the other ‘get rid of nephew’ gags. The design of Fester’s date seemed a bit off, but overall this was great. Good job!

  • http://gavinscartoons.blogspot.com Gavin

    Great short! I love when he puts the kid in the fish bowl, then the book. lol. Very simple and well put together. Love to see more..

  • http://rodtoons.blogspot.com/ Rod T.

    Finally a cartoon made in the 21st century which REALLY captures the anarchic spirit of Tex Avery´s shorts… It´s people like Aaron Long that give me hope in mankind ;-)

  • Akbar Shahzad

    Wow. Aaron Long is good at cartoons. You did this in four months? I, too, would pay to see more; that single short is better than virtually anything new I’ve seen on TV in ages. By the way, I’m sorry I have no idea what you mean by “Max the Mutt”. Surely it can’t be a real name for a sch–

    Oh. Google enlightens me. Amazing name.

    It shouldn’t be too difficult for the bunch of us to make this go viral in a week or two–most people have blogs. I’m starting a new one today. This is goin’ right up there.

  • Polyvios Christoforos

    Aaron Long, did I say that right? Clobdoddle and Boodad?

  • Polyvios Christoforos

    From now on, I would watch that cartoon every Saturday!

    That is great!

  • http://aalong64.blogspot.com Aaron Long

    “Gobdawdle and Boodad” to be precise, Polyvios. You were pretty close though, considering that the names are gibberish.

    Thanks for being interested enough to ask! :)

  • Gerard de Souza

    That was great. It’s been a while. I see alot of animation but not so much animated CARTOONS! That was funny!

  • louise

    Fester, can I be your ladyfriend?