<em>Hornswiggle</em> <em>Hornswiggle</em>


Well, imagine my surprise when I sat down to watch Saturday’s installment of Random Cartoons (10:30am/1:30pm on Nicktoons Network) and up popped my own cartoon Hornswiggle. Had I known it was going to run this weekend, I would have let you all know.

I was very disappointed I couldn’t give Brew readers advance notice. The good news is that someone posted the broadcast on YouTube – not quite the way I wanted you to see it, but it’ll have to do. Enjoy!

  • Ted

    My DVR didn’t catch it because the channel guide listed the episode as a repeat of last week’s installment, and I had it set to only record new episodes…

  • Keith Paynter

    Since we don’t get it in Canada, thanks for the post. Nice job, and Merry Christmas!

  • Michael Rosenberg

    Great cartoon, Jerry! Can’t wait to see it on DVD!

  • Wait, was Hornswiggle trying to kill him?

  • I personally liked the silhouette gag at the end.

  • Cute and fluffy. Reminds me of DePatie-Freleng’s Aardvark.

  • Joel Brinkerhoff

    I liked the Martin Denny style music at the opening. Hornswiggle reminds me of “Sick Sick Sidney” by Gene Deitch.


  • mark c.

    Same thing happened to our cartoon. It played at 2:30 am or something like that. You’d think those guys would have enough consideration to let us know when the result of our hard work will air.

    Great cartoon by the way!

  • Awesome short, Jerry! This is actually better than most of the newer stuff Nickelodeon keeps throwing at our faces!

  • Ooh, that final wink.
    What an unmitigated pleasure—Hornswiggle and Sidney together could bring the entire jungle to a standstill.

  • Asymetrical

    Nice job Jerry!

  • It is a fun cartoon, but I have to take make a backhanded compliment. This may explain why JB liked Kung Fu Panda so very very much while I found it pretty with a tolerable story. Both Hornswiggle and KFP really like fat jokes. A lot. ;-)

  • Kyle Maloney

    Was that intro with the rhino sitting on the bird intended to be an omage to that scene in the Lion king? I cant help but think it was.

  • Austin Papageorge

    Hey Jerry, didn’t you go to school with Tom Sito, one of the storyboard people on this?

  • Dash

    Did the end credits misspell writer Earl Kress’s name? It looked like it said “Carl Kress”, which would be wrong.

  • Dash – Earl’s name is correctly spelled… the type is so tiny I can see how you’d read it that way.

    Austin – I first met Tom at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan way back in the mid-1970s.

    Joel & David – Sidney was a direct influence for this film – in fact the project was originally pitched as an attempt to revive Sidney (which Viacom owns).

  • Austin Papageorge

    Ah yes.

    Since it says that you created this wonderful short, I was wondering: did you help develop it visually in any way? Because on that interview you posted a while back, you reveal that you took cartooning classes at The School of Visual Arts.

  • Austin – I did what every good producer should do: I hired artists who were more talented than I to develop the visuals (I suggested what I was going for and approved every design). As creator I was involved with every decision, good or bad. It was my baby.

  • Austin Papageorge

    Good to know, Jerry, good to know.

  • The short was pretty good. Loved the backgrounds (who did them? The credits are too small for me to read).

    I wish I get Nicktoons Network. I would love to see Random! Cartoons. Hmm, maybe it’ll be on iTunes someday…someday…

  • Austin Papageorge

    Frederick Gardener is the backgrounds.

    Full crew is found here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0497382/fullcredits

    Jerry wrote the plot synopsis on the page, so I would guess that the information on Hornswiggle is accurate.

  • The roll out of these shorts has been less than stellar. It’s nice to see them on TV at least (finally).

  • GREAT short film! A joy to watch….

  • Congratulations, Jerry. Hopefully, Nick will get “Hornswiggle” and the rest online soon.

    Mark C., there was a SNAFU with programming this week. Apologies to Jerry, Diane and Dana, Greg and their cast and crews. However, if you created any of the other nine Random! cartoons that’ve premiered so far, I’m pretty sure you were told.

  • Wonderful little short Jerry. I’m very grateful for the chance to finally see it BUT… “Ham-lick Maneuver” ? Shame on you :)

  • Hey Jerry. Fun little cartoon, I like the part when the monkey gets sat on then he has bandages on in the ambulance. Funny.

  • OM

    …Two joints, Perr….er..Two points, Jerry:

    1) 30 years ago, Hornswiggle would have been voiced by Joe Besser.

    2) You should have issued a warning before that “hamlick manuover” pun. As a result, you now owe me a new keyboard :-P

  • j.kraus

    I would like to hear Amid’s thoughts/ critique of this cartoon.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Great little short, Jerry. I definitely see the Sidney influence in the character.

    I’ve been curious to see how this short would come out when you first posted about it a while back, & now after finally seeing it, I’m very satisfied. Congrats to you & the rest of the crew on a great job!

  • Duane Fulk

    Funny, speedy and colorful!

  • Tony W.

    Was 3:37 a Ren and Stimpy reference?

  • Dennis S.

    Will constructive criticism be welcome or just praise and congratulations?

  • After watching this thing for 3 full minutes, I found myself wanting for this thing to go away. I really wanted to like it, but the most positive thing I can come up with is the nice siluettes on Hornwiggles body.
    The voices annoy me, the story isn’t there and and the visual gags don’t work due to sloppy camera-work. I hate to be the negative voice, but there you go. Now, Flame me :)

  • Heh, until Erlend I was beginning to wonder if any negative criticisms were being removed. Personally, I really liked the feel of the characters and the interactions and think there’s even more potential there to take these guys further. I wasn’t mad about the visual style at all, especially the three-feet thick black lines. Just not my thing, I know that’s a taste thing.

    But, in spite of any parts I didn’t take to, I know what it takes to make a cartoon and I really admire what you’ve done here, Mr.B.

    I’m curious about two things. Firstly, I’m curious about your creation and process. I went looking through the archives but couldn’t see the starting point. As you’re down as ‘creator’ and ‘producer’ but not under story etc, I’d love to know what stage you took it to and what you originally had in mind. Do you have sketches? Story ideas? At what point does it become a ‘creation’?

    Secondly, as a lover of cartoons and now that the dust has settled on Hornswiggle… what do you think of it? Are you happy with how it turned out? Anything you would do differently?

  • Dennis S.

    Mr. Jerry Beck, being the animation expert that you are I expect better work from you. I really like Hornswiggle’s design but nothing else. It was painful to watch. Maybe you should start over?

  • Mitch Kennedy

    HAHA I love it! Congratulations!

  • Bitter Animator says: I’m curious about two things. Firstly, I’m curious about your creation and process. I went looking through the archives but couldn’t see the starting point. As you’re down as ‘creator’ and ‘producer’ but not under story etc, I’d love to know what stage you took it to and what you originally had in mind. Do you have sketches? Story ideas? At what point does it become a ‘creation’? Secondly, as a lover of cartoons and now that the dust has settled on Hornswiggle… what do you think of it? Are you happy with how it turned out? Anything you would do differently?

    As far as creation and process… did you check my production blog? I’ve long wanted to revive the Terrytoons library that Viacom owns and I had worked hard on several pitches (going back to my time as VP of Nickelodeon Movies) involving Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle, and Tom Terrific. Gene Deitch’s character of a neurotic child-like jungle elephant was one I thought could work today for Nick, and its stylized jungle setting was perfectly contemporary. I wrote an original story with my writing partner, Bill Vallely (who recieved story credit). I pitched the project to Fred Seibert at Nickelodeon. When he expressed interest, Earl Kress (Pinky and the Brain, etc.) was hired to rewrite and polish and gets sole writing credit. When we got the green light, Rich Arons (Tiny Toons) was hired to direct. Tom Sito (Lion King, Aladdin) was brought on to the storyboards. I still have the early pitch boards (with drawings of Sidney) and sketches from our character designer Greg Guler. As producer I was involved in all creative aspects. Being a packrat (and historian) I saved everything! All this would be fun to post someday and perhaps I will. For a variety of reasons I won’t go into here at this time it was decided to change the project from Sidney to a new creation. Am I happy with it? Yes. Are there things I would do differently? Yes, lots of things. I learned a lot from the experience. It’s one thing to watch and write about TV cartoons – but unless you’ve been through the process yourself you don’t understand the compromises that must be made to get the film done. The script and boards were chopped and edited, the final film came in a minute too long so more editing… there was much else to this little film, and much more to explain – and that’s a long story for another day, another post.

    Dennis S. says: Mr. Jerry Beck, being the animation expert that you are I expect better work from you. I really like Hornswiggle’s design but nothing else. It was painful to watch. Maybe you should start over?

    I’d love to have the chance to more. Based on the experience I had with this pilot, I learned a lot. Being an animation “expert” doesn’t suggest that I’m a great filmmaker. I never claimed to be. I’m sorry if it was painful for you. Humor is subjective – I think it’s funny.

    I’d like to see your first film, Dennis.

  • I must admit I was expecting a little more too, but it wasn’t bad at all. Hornswiggle is a little irritating but after watching Sick Sick Sidney I have to say the rhino is more likeable than that elephant. The classic cartoon looks better visually, but yours is not bad for modern standards. I’m not too mad about the thick lines either but the designs are kind of cute and it’s entertaining overall.

  • I don’t know everything about animation but I do know how to learn from the best and the oldest (or vicey-versa, if you like). The animation was definitely more fluid than the average FairyGOD Parents and the backgrounds had a nice blend of UPA/Depatie-Freleng. Oddsworth, I thought, would probably have been the one to hate Hornswiggle the most depending his first scene, but I was glad to see him as more of a supporting companion, more of a shoulder to cry on even at the rhino’s saddest moment. That’s something a lot of today’s cartoons are missing these days; sympathetic characters.

    As for Hornswiggle, I was amazed to see a lot of “Sick Sick” Sidney in this guy, especially in the voice. I had imagined him to sound more similar to Daws Butler’s “dopey” voice, with a hint of Stan Freberg’s Pete Puma thrown in. He wasn’t irritating but he did sound a tad feminine, which was oddly fitting for the final hospital scene! Mind you, it’s rather cool to know you did start out basing your character on someone else’s creation then rework it into your own.

    But in short, with its flaws, I found this a Hell of a lot better than what Nick/CN/Disney have been pumping out nowadays (the UK channels, sadly, doesn’t seem eager enough to premier the better shows across the water from the US), and given the second chance I wouldn’t mind seeing Hornswiggle “evolve” again to better his pilot. I just thought you’d like to hear a more helpful post amidst the negative air ’round here ^^;

  • Thanks for the info, Mr.B. I had found that there was a production blog but the link I got originally led me to the wrong place so I just went through it now with the link you gave here.

    As for the comprimises, I understand them all too well (who knows, perhaps even better as our budgets over here are far lower) and that’s why I can admire the achievement of not just a finished, but a polished cartoon.

    I’d love to see the work-in-progress stuff you gathered at some point. The US system of working really interests me as it’s usually quite different over here (one of the reasons I loved Joe Murray’s ebook). While in the US the sequence usually goes exactly as it did with yours (creator -> producer), over here the sequence usually goes creator -> director which, as you can imagine, often makes for an very different process. Hard to say which is better. I love that we are totally hands-on through every frame but I can see your system allowing for a real big picture view.

    I hope it does really well for you and especially hope you loved the experience.

  • Eddie Fitzgerald

    Haw! Nice work! Congratulations!

  • I will add the very first scenes with that fake look are really great. I didn’t mean to sound too negative. I mostly agree with Christopher, though I am not mad about the voice and personality of the main character he still has likeable and funny traits.And I also liked Oddsworth, I think the interactions between him and Hornswiggle could get very entertaining if you have a chance to do more episodes.

    One little nitpick, I think some dialogues are too explanatory. “You are sitting on my neck and causing me great pain”. But they still reflect the personalities of the character better than some other tv cartoons.

  • Well I do hope you get to do more. Ever since I saw the artwork for Hornswiggle a year ago I’ve been waiting for it to come out. I guess my expectations were a bit too high.

    Anyway if you’re interested in seeing a few clips from my first film (i no longer have a copy of the complete work), here’s the link.

    For what it’s worth, I do understand how difficult it is to do your own animation thing. I’ve been doing it for the past 16 years and I’m still in the process of learning.

  • Bugsmer

    “Humor is subjective – I think it’s funny. ”

    That’s all that really matters, Jerry. You made this cartoon for yourself, as the directors at Warners made their cartoons for themselves. Other people’s opinions don’t matter, at least not unless you try to make this a TV series, then a lot of changes will probably happen, and Episode 1 won’t resemble your pilot at all. This was a one-shot cartoon that aired on a pay TV channel at a strange time. Whoever saw it either enjoyed it or they didn’t, but you got to fulfill your dream and put a few animators to work for a while. It’s nice to try new things. I’m sure a lot of us who aren’t in the business would have liked to have their shot at making a cartoon. Thanks for sharing you experience with us.

  • Jay Kormann

    Very nice work, Jerry. I really thought that it was funny from beginning to end.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Just had a chance to see it now. Great work Jerry! Felt the voices and pacing were down pat (looked a bit more appealing than anything I’ve seen lately on the tube), wouldn’t mind seeing more of this if ever.

    Only a shame the channel couldn’t be more specific in those program notes. The only other reason I barely watch TV anymore is in the way it promotes itself constantly and those end credit sequences you can’t hardly read anymore. Nobody does TV the way I liked it before.