3 Dog Band by Paul Rudish

Worth checking out: a hi-res version of the Cartoonstitute short 3 Dog Band directed by Paul Rudish (Dexter’s Lab, Star Wars: Clone Wars). I wanted to like this short because there’s a lot to appreciate about it, including funny character movement, moments of visual inventiveness (the dj who flips his turntables into a bike), and a solid track at the end that is probably the best piece of music to ever accompany a Cartoon Network product.

At the same time, the characters have vague unappealing personalities, there’s little chemistry between the leads, and the attempts at humor fall flat (was the ending even supposed to be a joke?). It’s also a shame they couldn’t figure out what to do with the music. The last couple minutes come across as a fetishistic exercise in design and art direction that offers little in the way of entertainment value. By comparison, this is an example of how to properly end a cartoon with a musical sequence that rewards its audience.

In a shorts program, not every cartoon is going to be a homerun, especially when they’re produced in the completely nonsensical manner of allowing each director to only make one short. But when all is said and done, even the weaker shorts that I’ve seen so far from the Cartoonstitute program have their moments, and few appear to be offensively bad as so many TV animation pilots tend to be nowadays.


  • Doz Hewson.

    “Thank you, GEORGE CLINTON, for having had AN OBVIOUS HAND in this cartoon’s extended musical sequence.”

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

    Out of the Cartoonstitute shorts I’ve seen so far, this is my most favorite. Paul Rudish is a super-talented artist, and maybe it’s because of his character and background designs that this reminds me most of what Cartoon Network was about from its original World Premiere Toon Show.

    After watching this ten times (I really think it’s THAT good!), I pictured this as a music video. The first five and a half minutes was merely exposition, introducing us to the main characters and their lives as band artists, before getting to the song, which really was terrific.

  • ArthurF

    Meh. George Clinton / mid 80s references aside in the music, it can’t break out of a slowwwww 70s visual sensibility. Background designs and composition are style-wise ok, but look like they copy a period. The overall flow is so slow and in general leads to no payoff. Whatever happened to the generation watching PPuff and Dexter – it never was so slow. Presented a dog “melting” onto the floor and then immediately other dog walking over that same spot with the noise of walking onto some “mess”, do we really need to see him then slowly lift his foot up to look at it, make expression, and and ? I was expecting a “slow burn” next… Timing. We got it. How about just jumping to the expression already?

    Finally, I don’t get the (ab)use of accents and ethnic types anymore. Really, German-esque = stiff and have pseudo-goose-step? Is the dog supposed to be giving commands somewhere between karate-japanese and German-authority? That’s humor? or voice-artist? Dexter’s accent added to the funny because it made one only incidentally wonder how did the kid end up wtih an accent in the family, and it was almost Peter Lorre like at points, you couldn’t really place it and just became normalized. Accepting something odd. But it had nothing to do with his character (i.e. ethnic characteristic like German=stiff commands and goose step.) Honestly, in re-runs this would age so fast, rather than introducing some new perspectives, which is what CN needs now.

  • http://www.guttamind.com Christopher Perkins

    This was the best pilot to me. They need more cartoons like this. This has an unfulfilled genre.

  • matt

    Yeah! Bring the P-Funk!

  • Jason

    Why would ANYONE think kids would want to watch this?

  • Lance

    Talk, talk, talk, loud, talk, loud, talk, talk, talk, talk. Can there ever be SILENCE in any of these cartoons? Can there ever be suggestion? Does everything have to be spelled out, re-stated, and always on the nose? How ’bout some respect for the intelligence of the audience–which is not cartoon executives who indeed need to have things spelled out for them? And this is one of the LESS OFFENSIVE ones.

  • http://www.animationapocalypse.blogspot.com Baron Lego

    Funky but pointless.

  • Isaac

    The animation is great, the gags are great. Whatever’s up with the characters can be fixed easily.

  • Hulk

    I agree with most of you and most of your criticisms but let me point out: Amid you posted a link to a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It took at least five or six cartoons for Bugs’ personality to solidify in to what we now know it as, and at least another few years for the creators to hone it and give Bugs a lot of his trade marks that we have all come to associate with him.

    You all seem to be making the same mistake as the executives here. You want the creator to get it exactly right on the very first try. A lot of us commentators are creative types and should know better. That’s not how the creative process works. It’s a lot of trial and error until you get it right. Even the Power Puff Girls and Dexter’s lab didn’t find their groove until a few cartoons in.

    Imagine if they’d dismissed Bugs Bunny outright. He was just a white rabbit with no voice or personality at all so it would have made sense for them to dismiss him. If he hadn’t been given the chance to evolve in to the Bugs we know and love, our lives wouldn’t be what they are today.

  • julian chaney

    NOW! thats what im talking about !! music ,posing ,really nice paul .looking forward to more .!!!

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

    WAY better than most of the trivial mindless crap cartoons on TV recently. But yeah, I agree with Jerry. There isn’t a whole lot to fall in love with either.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    Well, I liked it! Great job, Paul!

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

    I like the designs, but yeah, not great either. And I hate the sound effects here.

    Paul Rudish has potential, though. They should get him to make more cartoons.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    I felt somewhat in the same way Lance did about it. I wonder how different the short would’ve been without the dialogue personally, or just restrict the three main guys to being mute while you have the boss or someone else yelling at them to get started just so we might actually be a little more sympathetic to their situation.

  • Billy Bob

    The voices were good and the visuals were great. It is true that it is rather talky.

    Overall I liked it though.

    Also to Amid, I like your blog and critiques but wouldn’t it be better to keep commentary below the cartoon so people can figure things out for themselves first?

  • Omnitarian

    I largely agree with the assessment, but I still enjoyed this one a bunch. The characters desperately need fleshing out but the art/color direction were top-notch.

  • David

    Seems reminiscent of one of Bakshi’s “hipster” 60′s cartoons from Terrytoons or Famous/Paramount, wherever he did those.

  • http://realcanesugar.cc PCleland

    I’ve liked pretty much everything from the cartoonstitute so far. and I really enjoyed this.. I’d almost say that you could just have the last two minutes sit on it’s own and have something rather enjoyable. Also, the club owner begrudgingly uping the cover charge gave me a chuckle it’s not subtle or anything but it was a cute way to end it.

  • top cat james

    This was just all kinds of awesome! And the owner increased the cover price to pay for the damage to his club-surely I can’t be the only one to “get” the closing gag.

  • BarryJ

    I liked it a lot! Cool designs and fun animation. Great job Paul.

  • http://dltad.blogspot.com A.M.Bush

    I really like the way that looks. Didn’t I see the backgrounds from that short on here a few months ago?? I love any background that looks like a real place, and not some generic bs.

    I didn’t really think it was very funny though. but again, were it up to me, the dogs would have been farting the entire time instead of talking.

    also, that is clearly the Kava lounge

  • Rextherunt

    Hulk is so right. Getting it right takes time. You learn in public. I don’t like this that much but it’s a low blow to compare it to any Bugs Bunny cartoon except the first one. The creative process IS a process and few get it right right away.

  • Rextherunt

    P.S. Is it just me or does one of the main hooks of the muisc and sound like the front bit of the Wallace and Gromit theme?

    Hmmmm, ‘A Grand Day Out’ wasn’t perfect either.

  • TheGunheart

    I like it. I agree that it’s really more of a leadup and a music video, which in its own way is kinda refreshing. I actually prefer that the number at the end didn’t have a real joke to it.

  • http://torontoanimation.blogspot.com TempleDog

    Uhh, I dig the big-booty girls shaking their thang-thang, ya feel me?

    Seriously, I get where Paul was going with the german keyboard dude as straightman, but he shoulda dug a lil’ deeper, mebbe got some interviews of the dudes from Kraftwerk as source, make the character a lil’ deeper, seeing as he’s the ‘Daddy’ of the group. Oh, and better animation to music sync in the end peice. Other than that, I dug it.

  • http://mayberabies.blogspot.com Raven M.

    Hulk pretty much said what I was thinking when I read this post. Whenever I watch a pilot or a short or what-have-you, I try to consider the “warming up” stage. Sometimes it takes a whole season or more for a show to evolve and become something I love, so everything gets a grace period with me.

    About the actual cartoon though.. I didn’t mind it! But I do have a few issues: there’s the slow pacing which was already mentioned, though what really nags at me is that its such a low-stakes premise. The cartoon pretty much is “We have a gig, we play the gig” and nothing more. There’s not a whole lot engaging the audience in that sense. When compared to “Hillbilly Hare” that’s really the thing that sticks out to me. In that cartoon, Bugs’ song and dance shtick was actually integrated into the story. With 3 Dog Band, the whole cartoon just stops for the sake of the song. The credits could have been rolling half-way through and it wouldn’t have made much difference.

  • http://myspace.com/edel_illus edel_illus

    Wow… normally the discussions here I agree with. But all of the rants here are coming off as more snobbish than intelligent commentary. “HUR, they did it better back with bugs” …which frankly, to ME, is probably one of the more LAME music numbers to come out of the Loony Tunes catalog.

  • David Smith… 12 year vet in the industry that worked on cool and crap

    This is the last time I choose to read cartoonbrew.
    Amid and Jerry’s opinions are becoming more and more ig’nant!

    If there is anything I’ve learned from LIFE is that there is no such thing as a PROPER WAY to do anything. If one is looking to be happy with their own efforts… one should do whatever they want.

    To be fair… if Amid and Jerry want to just “critique” (and I use that word lightly… the hypocrisy is thick here… the hate for Dreamworks is quite clear… unless someone has written an “Art Of Book”… don’t make me laugh) and it makes them HAPPY… keep it up.

    Only Clampett, John K.,moving graffiti, and hipster toys are good pieces of animation?

    Like I said… Even if something is not my cup of tea(and 3 dog band is my cup of tea)… If it’s honest… I love it!

  • http://racattackforce.wordpress.com/ RacattackForce

    Do you really think a show can get a formula down on its first try? This was only the pilot: not everything can be perfect (and besides, everyone has their own opinion of what a “perfect” cartoon is). Very few pilots are able to get everything down pat: most can only express what the creator is basically going for.

    I think Paul did a very good job with this, even if you thought the ending was weak compared to what I believe was one of the weaker LT music numbers.