President Obama’s First Day by Ted Rall and David Essman

Animator David Essman posted this piece he animated on the Cartoon Brew Facebook group. The humorously animated film pokes fun at “liberal Democrats’ fantasies of how an Obama Administration would instantly change things for the better.” It was written and designed by political cartoonist Ted Rall.


  • Nicolas Orizaga

    besides the part where Gee Dubya is in Guantanamo, I didn’t find the film very humorous at all…the animation sickened me to watch…it was like a genenric looking Mike Judge cartoon…and for a political cartoonist his depictions were waaaay off…lame…

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

    I adore Rall’s Generalissimo El Busho strips and his humour in those is wicked and wonderful but, even though this was written by Rall, I don’t think his strengths have quite survived the translation. Certainly the visuals in this don’t do him justice.

  • http://www.tonycanepa.com Tony C.

    Pretty week overall. Jib jab did more with the same idea in only 10 seconds of “Time for Some Campaignin’”.

  • John McCain

    Wow, that was horrible. Not only was it not funny, but the animation was hard to watch. Yikes!

  • Paul N

    Jeez, if this is the best the right can do, no wonder they get all annoyed when things like the Sarah Palin clip show up…

  • Oscar Grillo

    Come on. Be honest. Who can you like this crap? It sucks. No excuses, please.

  • Marc Baker

    This short was okay, but overall, it didn’t quite grab me. The way they designed Obama was a bit off. Especially the hair, which isn’t suppose to have a big ‘afro’ cut. Some of the ideas, while attempting to poke fun at liberal ‘solutions’ for change, weren’t executed well enough to be truly funny, or remotely skewing.

  • http://www.growdesignwork.com Bran Dougherty-Johnson

    Hated it.

  • http://jmac.org Jason Mcintosh

    Paul N, Ted Rall is so not a part of what anyone would call “The Right”. I think this was an attempt to poke fun at the perception that hardcore Obama supporters perceived their guy as transcending presidential politics somehow, which is a fair topic for cartooning by anyone.

    Rall’s comics have become rather bland, too, so that this animation is kind of meh doesn’t surprise me. I loved his work in the 1990s, when he wasn’t doing exclusively political cartoons. But then the 2000 elections, 9/11, and the Iraq War transformed him into an angry, angry cartoonist. I find his work now to alternate between fits of barely controlled rage, and being exhausted and tired. It feels like he’s burned up a lot of his subtlety in the process.

  • http://jmac.org Jason Mcintosh

    Of course, as soon as I post the above comment, I follow Amid’s link to Rall’s comics and am clicking through all the recent ones, and find myself chuckling. And hey, he did one about Facebook a week ago! He’s still pretty angry, but seems to have downgraded from “apoplectic” since I last paid attention to him, which is good…

  • J Hobart B

    Well, there you go, folks. It’s not that Cartoon Brew never posts politically-minded material from right-wingers. It’s just that right-wingers aren’t funny.

  • Paul N

    Jason, I’m familiar with Rall’s work (and I agree with you about his career arc). Whatever Rall’s intentions were, it’s easy to see this making the rounds of conservative email chains. I’m currently timing how long it’ll take my uncle to send me a link :0)

  • Kelly

    Ted Rall… right winger? I don’t think that’s quite right. At any rate, I think Rall’s style could make for some truly fun-to-watch animation, but this particular piece didn’t take advantage of it at all. Should he take some time to explore styles of animation that would compliment his art, (timing, direction, leave out the weirdly misplaced 3D) he could have something really fun on his hands.

  • http://www.lippy.com Lippy

    I enjoyed it. Especially the way it moved actually. It was a nice break from Flash-O-matic animation..

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    The problem was the lousy animation timing and bad voices and audio. Otherwise, it’s a feel-good video. Seeing Georgie in orange was nice.

    Muslim ladies wear high heels under their burkas? Cool, I guess.

  • Bobby D.

    Wasted opportunity to be remotely funny or clever. I can’t imagine even the rightest of right-wingers, thinking this was funny. You betcha, Go you Mavericks!

  • http://thezoo.comicgenesis.com Nate Birch

    The writing wasn’t that sharp…

    …but I’m surprised to hear people bashing the animation. I thought it was great. Loose and smootly animated and funny. I laughed more than once, although amost entirely at the funny drawings…never because it made any particularly sharp political observations.

  • http://www.enclothe.com Derek M

    Needs more rainbows and unicorns.

  • http://www.grotto11.com/blog Brian Tiemann

    You know what I think? I think it’s so unfunny and weird that it’s Rall’s impression of what a right-winger would find funny. It’s like he’s trying to do a token piece of work to make people think he’s unbiased. It’s like The Colbert Report acting like conservatives are too stupid to realize it’s supposed to be a parody.

    Trouble is, right-wingers won’t find this funny either, and they won’t be forwarding it anywhere. I know I sure won’t, except to point and rub my chin and go “Uh”.

  • Jon H

    I think it was funny in places, despite disagreeing with Rall in almost every way possible, but I have to say that this film is the worst paced I’ve seen this side of a high school student film festival. Brevity is the soul of wit.

    Also, people thinking Ted Rall is a right winger is funnier than this film in every way possible.

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour Meyer

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fluid, surreal, and what I’d expect of Rall’s work set into motion.

  • Ranan Panavision

    The last political print cartoonist to cross over into animation with intact satiric and graphic authority was Winsor McCay.

  • http://justforspite.blogspot.com Gene Hole

    here’s one for people on both sides of the aisle.

    http://www.bullwinklestudios.com/boris/boris.htm

  • Masten

    About as subtle as a tire iron to the head.

    Man, Ted Rall is a hack.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/elastic_spam Jenny

    Ted rall has said that he’d rather have Edwards running than Obama, he’s pretty progressive and didn’t seem happy about what he sees as him pandering to the right.

  • TomTom

    I chuckled when Obama used a bike lock on his flying donkey. But the pacing doesn’t work for me either.

  • Corona

    The original Thief And The Cobbler made more sense. The first Tracy Ullman Simpson clip has more edge. Bring Me The Head Of Charlie Brown has more love. This POS could’ve been better animated by a monkey with no arms.

  • Gummo

    While it was interesting to see Rall’s style translated into animation, the pacing was way too slow, the voices utterly generic and unrelated to their subjects, and the writing — surprisingly — not very sharp.

    Rall has been criticizing the centrist Obama from a left-wing perspective for some time, and that’s what I was hoping to see here. Instead, I got rainbows and some pretty lame and generic reflections on feel-good politics.

    Final verdict: C for content/B for style.

  • http://andrewatteberry.blogspot.com Andrew Lee

    Gene….that was freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://asteriskpix.blogspot.com Richard O’Connor

    This looks like it was created by a marginal talent and poor thinker.

  • http://www.rnc.org/ Osama Biden Laden

    I thought it was spot on! The anim was a bit rough but it got the point across.

    It’s like a mirror in front of Liberals faces! heh heh

  • http://www.brandoncordy.com Brandon Cordy

    After watching this, I really couldn’t do anything but make this face:

    http://i33.tinypic.com/11l7pye.jpg

  • http://cupojo.net Joanna Davidovich

    The style and pacing remind me a lot of National Film Board Canadian cartoons..like the kind Cartoon Network used to show on “O Canada”. A lot of “whah..? ok…” moments. But I did like the part where the TV anchor says “We love you again, America!” and hugs the camera.

  • vinllo

    This is the same Ted Rall that said

    An Army of Scum!! American troops occupying Iraq have become virtually indistinguishable from the SS.

    Described Pat Tillman as an “idiot” a “sap” and a “hero” for abandoning his NFL career to enlist in the armed forces.

    Depicted mentally disabled children as classroom teachers in an attempt to make an analogy to American voters who reelected Bush, drawing complaints from advocates for the disabled and led to his cartoons being dropped from The Washington Post’s website

    YEAH!!! HE’S A CLASS ACT .

  • http://www.cementimental.com Tim Drage

    Don’t give up the day job Ted Rail! No wait, you’re terrible at that too.