<em>Donkey Ollie</em> <em>Donkey Ollie</em>

Donkey Ollie

If nothing else, Animation Magazine serves as an entertaining repository of all the awful ideas that animation studios try to produce nowadays. In the latest issue one of the properties being pimped by this studio is called Donkey Ollie.

Donkey Ollie

It probably wouldn’t be so disturbing if the same company hadn’t taken out a full-page ad on the facing page honoring a certain animator named Ollie (see below). What’s sadder perhaps is that having a crappily animated CG ass named after one’s self is a higher honor than many animation legends have received.

Donkey Ollie
  • Sam

    And such a characterless and uninspired caricature of Ollie.

  • Zeke Reno

    I don’t think it’s supposed to be a caricature but it’s so awful who can tell? Follow the link through to the clip and you’ll see the show appears to be about a little donkey who’s to chosen by the messiah. For what isn’t clear. No guess from here. Ouch.

  • Dave (Odd)

    I was going to call you on the “crappily animated” thing since it doesn’t appear in your post, Amid, but, uh…


    Yowch. I’m not sure Mr. Johnston would’ve liked it. But there’s one good thing about earnest Christian-core stuff: Endless possibilities for satire. “Famialy” values live on!

  • I’m surprised you didn’t comment on that Disney typeface used on the words “Donkey Ollie”. Not that I’m at all protective of the Disney corporation, but I’m really surprised that the monolithic company doesn’t seem to control the rights to the lettering style that’s been used as the Disney “signature” for decades. I’m see the typeface cropping up every now and then in distinctly non-Disney usages, most recently in the window “menu” of a Vietnamese nail shop in a Sherman Oaks mini-mall!

  • Uli Meyer

    That caricature is a disgrace and embarrassing, how could they?!

  • Leland Holmes

    Right you are in that the animated ass is more than many animation legends receive in eternal tribute. When Ashton Kutcher cashes in his chips, they’ll probably shut down Los Angeles in his honor for ten minutes.

  • DQ Entertainment is one of the bigger studios (commercially speaking) here in India. The fact that they lack discretion and taste is obvious. But the notion that they do not mean what they say is slightly scary. Animation studios or communities that feel the need to ‘honor’ someone, just because he was someone famous in the animation world, should really just not take the effort. To me, it only reeks of self-promotion through the demise of someone truly great.

  • Polly

    YES!! Thats the studio that did “The Barbie Diaries”. I worked on that at a misguided studio in New York and I watched that production move along like a train wreck in slow motion. I finally parted ways with them but the final project is so horrific that its hilarious:
    I was told later that the studio lost $1 million on it and more than one career was flushed down the toilet.

  • Manimator

    Zeke, I totally agree with you about the typeface. Especially the use of that capital “D”, which before even reading “isney”, or in this case “onkey”, you immediately associate that signature “D” with the Disney Company. So you know, or think you know, it reads Disney before even reading it.

    It sounds to me like it was just a bad coincidence that the page of Ollie Johnston’s remembrance is right next to the ad about a different crappy 3D donkey named Ollie.

  • Riza Gilderstern

    My word, this whole studio is planted in the Uncanny Valley!

  • Lurch Poiuyt

    DQ? Isn’t that a place where Americans can buy ice cream? :P

  • Hulk

    I just watched the clip. Good lord! (No pun intended). According to Jewish and Christina traditions, the Messiah will ride to Jerusalem on a white donkey. So I’m guessing this is a show for TBN or some other religious network. BTW I’ve been to Jerusalem and there are lots of white donkeys around…they’re not rare at all…and certainly not as badly designed or animated as Ollie. These characters look the bastard children of retarded versions of Rudolph the red Nosed Reindeer and Donkey from Shrek. I would watch this show but only to laugh at it with friends… and preferably after smoking a joint. RIP Ollie Johnston. Don’t spin in your grave too much. They meant well.

  • Keith Paynter

    So, India has Bollywood movies (which I don’t think I could sit through for long), and (for lack of a better term) “Banimation”, which in quality rates slightly lower than Super Nintendo? Messiah, indeed!

  • greg m

    Ollie looks like he’s about to whup some butt in that drawing.

  • red pill junkie

    Man… this is wrong on so many levels, where could I begin?

    Yes, Disney’s lawyers are going to have a field day with those guys over the use of that typeface.

    I’m also seeing they are going to make an animated series of Iron Man? Considering the success the movie had, is it wise of Marvel to let them handle this project?

  • Dan

    Look at that corporate PR photo on their homepage. You see, this is what happens when the suits make artistic decisions. At least that image of Ollie is shall we say, “off-model”. But, it’s sad nonetheless.

  • Brannagin’s Law

    This is why I haven’t read Animation Magazine in years, they’ll print anything for money. I find this ad to be pretty disrespectful as is the creepy religious freaks’ donkey animation.

  • Not to mention that caricature of Johnston sucks big time.

  • I agree with Uli…so SO very shameless. You put out a tribute to a great animator, a man who just passed away…only to use it as a sales hook for your own project. Disgusting.

  • Tom

    I’d bet anything that the original development of ‘Donkey Ollie’ had NOTHING at all to do with being an homage to the great animator — but that, just because of an “opportune” death and coincidental first name, the DQE marketing division dreamed up the use of that Disney font and attached the shameless Ollie Johnston “honor” association for convenient publicity. Absolutely despicable exploitation of the passing of a beloved artisan.

    (Even if Ollie J. WAS an inspiration from the beginning, then, out of respect for his recent passing, the piggy-back marketing promotion should have been withdrawn from their publicity campaign.)

  • A reader

    That image of Ollie was swiped from a portrait photograph on either the Disney legends or official Disney obit page in the trades and elsewhere. It was clearly traced, then tweaked and overdrawn in a weak attempt at a “caricature”.
    I’d think it isn’t meant to be disrespectful, it’s just unfortunately not very competent or appealing.

  • James N.

    Heh… what do you expect from the makers of “Casper’s Scare School” (I caught a clip of that on Cartoon Network last year around Halloween… it was simply awful)?

    I took a look at the clip on the website and to top it all off the sound was completely out of sync so it was (even more) unwatchable.

  • not only that but the ad for ollie is written really crappily. theres numerous grammatical errors and incomplete sentences!

  • Altred Ego

    Ugh. Looks terrible.

    BTW, there is BOLT footage online!

  • I know why that illustration looks so familiar. It’s not Ollie — it’s the actor, Jack Elam.

  • I wasn’t gonna say anything, but I think that’s a disgrace. Even using the Disney signature font.

    What’s wrong with that company (meaning, how come they suck so much)? And how did they get a gig as big as a Marvel series?

  • PCUnfunny

    That drawing of Ollie is slightly less ugly then that Donkey thing.

  • Tommy E. Brierly

    Long time Brew reader, first time poster.

    Why in the world does that Ollie caricature looks like it came from a marvel comic?

  • You know… the name “DQ” sounds just one syllable off from another animation studio you may have heard of… DiC. Their animation style is extremely similar. With shows like Winx, go figure, right?

    I don’t think it has anything to do with Ollie Johnston, but putting it next to a donkey with the same name done in Disney typeface is a huge mistake. I know Animation Magazine has had some embarrassing ads and articles, not to mention contests, but this is just terrible.

    What bothers me most is that I know there are moms who think this is “quality” children’s entertainment. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s true.

  • Andrew

    Animation Magazine is good for other things! Heck, I was thinking of getting a subscription.

  • Paul N

    I kinda liked the clip of the cat and the vacuum…

  • Helen Twelvetrees

    Animation Magazine is good for one thing if you own a parakeet.

  • Why am I reminded of Tom Hignite and Miracle Mouse?


  • Scott and the others who commented on the font.

    Take a good look at the circle Donkey Ollie is in and then at some of the circles around it. Almost a bit Mickey-ish there, wouldn’t you say?

  • Proof positive that any kid with a laptop and a CG program can take any animal, steal elements of Disney and create crap that he labels as a “family fun movie”.

    Next up: “The Adventures of Larry the Lice” with MUSIC! FUN! ADVENTURE! And CG animation so crudely created it makes the bathroom graffiti at McDonald’s look like Picasso . . .

  • Celia

    I finally read their Ollie tribute: it’s awful!

    The chosen font deterred me from reading it the the first time. Don’t they have proofreaders in India?

  • DanO

    “It’s not Ollie — it’s the actor, Jack Elam.”

    No its not. Its Lee Van Cleef.

  • PorkyMills

    How does a studio like this get such an profitable and big license as Iron-Man? Sad state of affairs for the television animation industry…

  • Mark McDermott

    Well, more than a couple badly-conceived “religious” movies have come from clueless chop shops and sank like stones. Remember the “family friendly” animated “Passion?”
    But that figure standing next to the hideous donkey… is that supposed to be a _blond_ Jesus?

  • Ben

    Ugh…this is so ugly. The tribute to Ollie is totally cancelled out by the awful donkey model next to him. I have no idea if they named that donkey “Ollie” before his death, or “in memory” of him…but I did find many “Donkey Ollie” clips on Youtube…(shudders). I was also very surprised they had the nerve to use the Disney font and now get in trouble for it.

    Oh, and this whole “biblical story” about a small donkey helping Jesus/family/whoever…wasn’t this done by Disney in 1978, called “The Small One”. Even though that short wasn’t the greatest example of Disney animation, it’s still lightyears beyond “Donkey Ollie”….

  • The quantity of wretchedly animated, unwatchable shows which this studio has produced, is truly astounding. This is just another failure in a long line of failures. What a shameful way to market their product, too.

    One more reason to ignore them.

  • Brad Constantine

    Donkey looks more like Ward Kimball…hehe
    And the drawing next door? Ollie Johnston, Bounty Hunter!
    Don’t *uck with Ollie!! He’s an animator on the edge.

  • Paul N

    The irony of using the Disney font is that some fundamentalists have managed to find the number “666” in the swirls of the ‘y’, the ‘o’, and the dot on the ‘i’. Of course, that only works if there are at least three of those letters in “dOnkeY ollIe”…

  • If they’re not stealing Disney’s typeface, they’re stealing lyrics from the Spice Girls. I thought the lyrics from their song were eerily familiar… or maybe it was just the animation that was eerie.

    And that tribute to Ollie could have been written by a robot.

    To demonstrate my point, read the following passage:

    Ollie was responsible for creating “amazingly beautiful characters portraying HUMAN emotions of kindness, friendship,” etc.

    It’s as though they only understand emotions as an abstract human concept. Uncanny Valley indeed.

  • Steve Wojcik

    I also love the blatant disney font rip-off that the stupid donkey cartoon throws in its ad.

  • The Drawing of Ollie looks like he’s going to fight Aliens with super powered girls with large boobs for the delight of horny 14yr olds.

  • Celia

    take a look at this Donkey Ollie fansite: http://www.donkeyollie.com/blog/2005/10/images-from-donkey-ollie-better-than.html

    I purposely chose the post where they state, “Images from Donkey Ollie better than Disney.” What else is there to say? I’m speechless.

  • Dan

    If I had done that ad, the Mouse would crucify me. Let’s see what happens next, it should be interesting. Those are some of the most blatant and kitschy infringements on Disney I’ve ever seen. I can’t help wondering if it was truly well intentioned (the tribute page) amplifying our cultural differences.

  • tom

    I have a strong dislike for that magazine, as it seems to be a house organ for the shit industry. What isn’t a barely-disguised press release there is a paid advertisement. Tiny, awful animation outfits will pay for congratulations and tribute pages just to connect themselves to bigger more established (talented) producers and animators. I’ve never looked through an issue of Animation Magazine and felt anything but depressed when I put it down.

  • Jack Hammerstein

    It’s amazing how Cartoon Brew loves to rag on Animation Magazine every chance it gets. They don’t mention the artist profiles or stories about upcoming talented animators in that same issue, but choose to criticize a tribute ad. Sounds like sour grapes to me!

  • tom

    Everyone- stop! Hammerstein!

  • Jesse

    I think the Brew should ask a few of it’s “subscribers” to submit their own Ollie caricatures so this guy could get a feel for what it is he’s missing. On a personal note, I have to say I’m not quite as bothered by the poor likeness as much as I’m annoyed by the lack of personality.

    If the caricature is as good as this gets, I’m probably going to steer away from the “Donkey Ollie” link. Sorry, Amid. But thanks for going the extra mile.

  • Jonathan Samuels

    Is this what it comes down to, rampant criticism? Maybe we should focus on the sentiment instead of reading all of this negative garbage into it. A wonderful talented artist passed away and his presence on earth changed us forever. The ad was a tribute to him, leave it at that. Also if is worth mentioning that Cartoon brew really mispresented the size and placement of these ads. The Donkey Ollie was a small part of a composite ad that had nothing to do with the Ollie Johnston tribute ad. I happen to love Animation Magazine as do all of my associates. It is the only publication that has been focused on all aspects of animation for 20 years. Try reading it.

  • Dan

    Jonathan, I’m glad you pointed that out. Context is everything.

  • William B

    Jonathan, these types of ads, although designed to look as if they are in tribute to anotehr animation legend, are usually more inspired by a studio wanting to appear as if they are peers and equals of the person or studio being lauded. I think that that is in part what folks here are mocking.

  • amid

    Jonathan: I didn’t misrepresent anything. In the post, I wrote “one of the properties being pimped” which implies that it’s not the whole page. I also wrote that they took out a “full-page ad” for Ollie Johnston. The only reason I didn’t include the full-page for Donkey Ollie is because it would have been too small to see and would have required an extra click for readers to enlarge. But the juxtaposition of Donkey Ollie and Ollie Johnston is readily apparent to anybody who sees it, and in fact, was first noticed by a friend who told me about it.

  • H Park

    This is what happens when business people try to make animation.

  • D Wilborn

    Ick. I hate the DVD – which I have seen too many times because it was given for free to my daughter at her club. The animation is terrible, but the voice acting is even worse – I can’t decide if it is the writing or the horrible actors. Probably both.

    An annoying example of animation gone wrong. I’m glad there are good Christian animators working over at Big Idea – even the veggies are ashamed at D O!

  • Pegasus

    I am an active NYC creative director of a large company and just happened on this page during a search for ‘OLLIE “dvd’s. I also have worked freelance designing characters for Disney over the years. The character did not seem attractive to me at first but the voices and characters were immediately appealing to my young children, whom this was designed for. Kids cannot get enough of him. The message in the story was delevered better than the message in many TV ads with huge superbowl budgets. The songs are sung in the preschool they attend by children freeplaying in the sandbox. More successful than some jingles I would say and on their budget. It was designed for kids and seems to work for them. It doesn’t seem as though any help is needed to hold their intended audience so I really don’t understand where they’ve gone wrong? Clean message delivered to rapt audience clearly? Perhaps the spelling and grammar in all of those posts threw me off. It wasn’t meant to appeal to you especially but is fascinating to their audience. Any of you who have kids who’ve seen this would know this. I will not bother back on this page. Hope you all find some claim to fame of your own, poor saps.

  • Bob

    Does anyone know who is behind the distribution of this free DVD. Nothing is for free. Who’s propaganda is this, what is the message, why are they giving to children. It is just one big commercial for Crosstianity.