New George of the Jungle in Flash New George of the Jungle in Flash

New George of the Jungle in Flash

Here’s a sneak peek at some finished footage from the new Flash animated George Of the Jungle, in production by Studio B in Vancouver for Cartoon Network (U.S.) and for various other toon channels around the world. This clip is from cable’s G4 Tech TV network in Canada. Producer Kevin Gamble and director Jayson Thiessen do a good job of explaining the basics of producing animation in Flash for TV. The actual GTJ footage starts around 1:16 and was animated by artist Emmett Hall.

  • Neat piece here. It’s cool to see the process actual studios go through. What alot of layers! Man. Usually in interviews, you dont get to see that far into what the animators are doing with the software.

  • Why’d they make him ugly?

  • Chris

    Wow. That is hideous. I don’t know if it is because I spend most of my time watching old cartoons but I am constantly amazed by how terrible new cartoons look. I frequent a lot of animation blogs and I know there are character designers and animators out there who can draw. Are we ever going to see a decent looking tv cartoon again? I can’t even remember the last exceptable looking one I saw on tv! Camp Lazlo, Squirrel Boy (or whatever it’s called), Loonatics. Spongebob is about the only thing I don’t have to call the cops to report an eye-raping from. This repulsive thing looks even worse design wise than Fairly Odd Parents!

  • Daniel

    So they turned George into Spongebob?

  • Nic Kramer

    Those guys, didn’t even get someone who could imitate Bill Scott’s original voice. Me think this show will have a very short run.

  • Stephanie

    Ugh. Steph not like. George not broke, no need to fix George.

    Aside from the “let’s make the designs look like Spongebob” aspect, the backgrounds are too busy, the direction is hideous– even though the character is in the dead center of the shot–you visually lose track of him because the background is as busy as a moire pattern.

    The “reimagining” (gah, I hate that word) doesn’t work either. The original premise was the “dashing hero who is incompetent, but good hearted” ala his Mountie predecessor. If he’s a incompetent dweeb who actually LOOKS like an incompetent dweeb, where’s the funny?

  • fishmorgjp

    Oh God. Phew.

  • Sean

    Despite what he said, this still has the “Flash” style. Uniform line weight, heavy pose to pose with very little in-betweens, solid color fills, really obvious animation layers (head moving separately from shoulders in that special 2D puppet way)…

    The manic-ness of this really bothers me, but I personally don’t like “jumpy” animation (that’s 95% of all cartoons put out there now days). The voice acting isn’t so great either.

    I’ll ask same thing I ask with any project like this: They could have called it anything, so why did they name it after an existing property? If they called it, say, “Wild Zeke” or “The Wacky Misadventures of Tarzan the Cartoon Man”, people wouldn’t get pissed off one way or the other, right? Why the constant need to tread over pre-existing art?

    Great to get a peak at their process though, and the BGs look great!

  • Wow. I can’t believe all the negativity over a very positive spot which not only highlighted what can be done with a simple piece of software, but that its being done on OUR SHORES as opposed to being outsourced. It never ceases to amaze me how critical people get over maybe 10 seconds of actual footage. Again I reiterate: this was a POSITIVE outlook on our art form and it drives me nuts that people just love to piss in the punch bowl.

    Personally, I thought the designs were nice, the BGs looked fantastic, not to mention the actual character animation looked really sharp. I don’t know where all this “Sponge Bob” stuff is coming from because I don’t see it.

    To me, if they can keep up at that pace from what they showed on that spot, i think it looks like a hell of a quality show.

  • What the heck?

    George is a SURFER DUDE?

  • Don

    Poor Jayson…..surrounded by people who don’t have any knowledge of animation ;)

    All kidding aside though, if he’s supervising, then it’s going to have some really great animation. Just wish the design was better. It’s not an improvement from the look of the original cartoon.

  • Charles

    I probably wouldn’t watch a whole episode of this. There is a lot not to like about it and it’s been mentioned in some of the above posts. But I thought the animation in that short clip was really good.

  • Richard

    You know, I’m REALLY starting to get annoyed with the A.D.D. inducing, Picasso inspired, Camp Lazlo, El Tigre, Gym Partner is a Monkey design template the big cable networks seem to be madly in love with these days. I don’t think anyone on here that is blasting that design has anything bad to say about the Flash process as a whole. Flash is most assuredly a huge, intricate part of the future of animation on tv (and in the U.S. as opposed to overseas), but that doesn’t automatically equal this type of weird, awkward character design (hell just look at the amazing stuff put out by Bernard Derriman or Adam Phillips, or even the Happy Tree Friends). Although, it sure seems like a lot of flash animators are progressing with that sort of assumption… or at least the producers are. Which is sad, because it’s crap like that that makes me lose interest in most modern cartoons and keep trying to find old ones to appreciate.

  • DanO

    i still don’t see where all of this “saved time” is from working in Flash. with the effort expended to piece together all of those layers, an animator could traditionally animate the scene and composite it in After Effects.
    maybe Flash saves time in theory. the theory that the show can re-use images that are saved in a digital library, which drastically cuts the quality of the animation in every respect. besides the disturbingly flawless vector graphics that scream out to the viewers eye that they are watching a computer rendered action, are any of these animators taking notice of the line quality?!?… or more specifically how jarring it was for the lines to be three times as think during that close up of George’s eyes? how much time did they save by re-using that drawing of his head – or more to the point, how much quality did they sacrifice? i’d say a lot.
    this Flash animation boom is breaking my heart. its inferior plain and simple.

  • Chris

    I’m lost as to where the Spongebob comparisons are coming from as well! Spongebob occasionally has dimensional, funny, original drawings from the likes of Aaron Springer and Vincent Waller. If this show looked anything like Spongebob it could only be an improvement over this unskilled fake UPA style the big studios want to force on every show these days!
    I’m sorry but those are some of the worst looking backgrounds I’ve seen in a while. They are made up of a lot of arbitrary angles that instead of composing around the characters and helping them read, simply make a visual mess on the screen. No hint of composition at all.
    I don’t mean to be so harsh but I’m also tired of seeing crap on tv when I’m positive there are talented people out there not getting to produce a show because this atrocity is on the air! I’m not really a fan of the original so it’s not like I’m a fanboy scorned but simply an animation fan scorned by the low quality sludge the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon are saturating the market with. I mean is it a rule that you can’t use any artistic skill or design principles when you work on one of these shows?

  • tom

    Nice job and all, but I wonder why they messed with George’s whole character and design so much. Why license the name and concept and change everything else? Especially since the original would probably have translated to flash without many tears.

    Best of luck with this project, though.

  • Kyle Maloney

    they talk about staying on model as being an advantage. it’s not imo. staying on model tends to get too boring. they need to go off model depending on the pose to emphasize a gesture based on the context. I think that’s the problem with flash. it makes it too easy to copy and paste your poses. whereas drawing forces animators to redraw their poses more often, creating more interesting animation. there’s way too much recycling going on these days. if they’re trying to emulate traditional animation, they’re not doing a good job of it.

  • I just wanted to add that we do our stuff in Flash too and it does not have to look “Flashy” We dont use the “UPA inspired” hard outlines style either. Now I’m not a big fan of Flash cause the drawing tools still suck big time, but we do work a lot faster with it and I think we can pull of a pretty descent movie using it.

    You can see a little test animation we did for our up coming short on our movie site ( and the character animation was done in Flash with backgrounds handdrawn and then painted in Photoshop.

  • Sorry. If it’s George of the Jungle shouldn’t it look like George of the Jungle. It just looks like everything else on Cartoon Network and it also screams like everything else on Cartoon Network. Flash has destroyed animation for TV cartoons.

  • uncle wayne

    I’d have to hand it to the John K. people who did Beany & Cecil in the 80s! They, at least, stuck true to its original style (& voices!) Is ANY thing sacred anymore!?

    I agree with Daniel & Nic!

  • murray

    just want to point out this cartoon is for children who were not alive when the original show was even shown in umpteenth rerun on TV.( NOT adult age animation aficionados) An elvis type probably didn’t test well with the kiddies, Who are familar with brendan fraser version, if at all. Being a tarzan parody, The tarzan they would know would be disney’s.

    The original George of the jungle was a crude looking, barely inbetweened saturday morning jay ward cartoon, not the “classic” people here make it out to be. The voices made that show, and the jungle backgrounds look pretty busy to me.

    This show is funny, but it’s hard to judge it on a 6-8 second clip.

  • from Sean:
    They could have called it anything, so why did they name it after an existing property? If they called it, say, “Wild Zekeâ€?…

    Sometimes making money on TV can actually be a hard thing to do, even if Flash is a time saver. (Regarding budget, Flash helps, but the real time saver is making accurate and correct decisions BEFORE you draw. Note in this video they mention how much easier it is to make corrections. 5th and 6th round of corrections blow any budget despite the technology used. If your vision is exploratory, so will be your budget.) Anyway, to kick start their audience, they used familiar material. You say “Wild Zeke” and people go “Huh? Who?” You say “George of the Jungle” and people watch.

    Whether or not they CONTINUE to watch depends on the actual quality of the show. This really only backfires for big fans of the material borrowed. If I created the NEW Led Zeppelin, no matter how good, no matter how great, even with a genetically cloned younger Jimmy Page, I’d bet most Zep fans would hate it…. That is of course after they bought a copy… which is the producer’s goal in the first place.

  • Cyber Fox

    Jay Ward must be rollin’ in his grave right now

  • Bentos

    Wow, feel the Flash hate!

  • Shmorky

    The only good Flash studio I’ve seen is Augenblick and that’s really sad. There need to be more Flash studios that draw keyframes AND in-betweens, not “flash tweens.”

  • Adam

    Sad. Very sad.
    I’m preparing my ears now for the themesong. *reaches for gobs of cotton*

  • Dang guys, calm down, it’s actually a good show, made by good people.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > this Flash animation boom is breaking my heart. its inferior plain and simple.

    I often mistakenly want to call it ‘cut ‘n paste’ since that’s all it is to me if they went that direction. You just draw everything needed in advanced and just pose them in their places to what is called in the story. It takes away the challenge of creating something new in the layouts or getting the most out of a drawing if done by hand on paper. And yeah, those uniformal outlines does get a little obvious whenever they do have a close-up of said character without feeling like they have to draw an even bigger size of said character in that case.

    And yeah, as one guy put it, this show is aimed at those children who have never seen the original cartoon at all. Still wouldn’t it seem more a reason to show them the Jay Ward original instead? Oh well.

  • Wow, looks like murray got it right. This “flash animation boom” sure is murdering animation, isn’t it? Where are all the beautiful “classics” like spiderman and scooby doo? We should throw out our computers and make more crap like that… I mean, get other countries to. Kids don’t want to see smart stylish designs do they? I guess that’s why cartoon network is going under. I heard from these comments that a lot of kids are upset because their style hearkens back to old UPA cartoons. Some children cry because they can’t see real pencil grit. Kids don’t want talking either. I’m certain they want to read black and white vignettes while a strange man plays piano in their living room. Thank goodness people get old and die.

  • Bill Field

    Message to Murray- You strike me as either, someone who worked on this, explaining your defense of this abomination of animation, ormay be a studio exec that thought “re-imagining” George was a great idea.

    ‘just want to point out this cartoon is for children who were not alive when the original show was even shown in umpteenth rerun on TV.( NOT adult age animation aficionados) An elvis type probably didn’t test well with the kiddies, Who are familar with brendan fraser version, if at all. Being a tarzan parody, The tarzan they would know would be disney’s.The original George of the jungle was a crude looking, barely inbetweened saturday morning jay ward cartoon, not the “classicâ€? people here make it out to be. The voices made that show, and the jungle backgrounds look pretty busy to me.’

    ABOMINIMATION, is a perfect title for this genre of taking worthwhile, historic, well developed, written and animated shows and thinking they can IMPROVE the original, all the while destroying everything that made it “classic” in the first place. No one I can find in animation circles feels as you do, that George was animated badly, Bill Hurtz was a true genius, and I can tell you the following because I own storyboards from the episode- Big Top Flop, these are crisp well executed drawings with clear direction, as funny as the terrific scripting. The three cartoons in the original, George, Super Chicken, Tom Slick– are usually hailed as Ward’s best animated work on a series, arguably his ads are brilliantly produced, to a higher standard, because he made about 10 times more money than the same amount of animation for a series.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Kinda like ponting that they still call it “G4 TechTV” up there, since the Canadian channel is co-owend by G4 Media and a Canadian firm up there, but they haven’t changed to the branding we use. Still, for what it’s worth, the channel sounds far better than what we’ve got down here.

  • well well well. lookit all the comments. I agree with many of them, good and bad. As a cartoon afficionado myself, seeing the show being made from the ground up, I too was wondering “why are they fixing an un-broken product?” there were designs done that were much closer to the original, which i thought looked great… But we have grown up with very different influences on TV than the kids today. They are influenced by Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh, the NEW ninja turtles, and various other cartoons which i find very un-appealing. BUT kids seem to love it. They are brand new to George having only been introduced to it in live action form (which i thought was wrong… NO cartoon translates to live action… just take a look at the new Underdog movie). It was a network decision to “Update” the show, they spend umpteen dollars market researching what will be successful. They would never make a show that they don’t think will be successfull with kids TODAY. 20 years from now those same kids will see a new new george re-done and say “that george is wrong…why did they change it?” never knowing that their george did the same to us.
    On the animation side…(truth be told i was animation director for the first 2 episodes only…i had to move on to co-direct season 2 of Pucca. i have to mention James Wootton, Sean McCarron, and Denny Lu as the new animation directors…doing a bang up job) It takes 3 animation directors because it’s a tough show to animate, being as classical as we can muster. we’re trying for the best quality we can on a TV flash budget. I assure you we are all lovers of classic cartoons and are working our fingers to the bone to make it something to be remembered… wether or not we succeeded is up to the KIDS to decide. …i’m sure Hanna Barbara’s limited animation invention hurt a lot of animators of the day too. :)

  • Ugly is ugly. Doesn’t matter if it is animated in flash or if it’s traditional.
    Ugly is ugly.
    We’ll discuss funny later.

  • LNG

    Most kids today indeed know only the Disney Tarzan design, which is absolutely why this series chose to go with a skinny looking protagonist. Had Disney’s Glen Keane not redesigned Tarzan as a lithe being for their feature, there is little doubt that a Flash production done as a wannabe Spongebob clone would have had the guts to even consider going in that direction. And the main difference between any Jay Ward show and this thing is that Jay Ward’s writing was always FUNNY. This example just has ‘tude and the wrong voice for Ape. The joke is that ape doesn’t merely speak, but that he’s a friggin’ mental genius, cultured out of the park in stark comparison to the dense hero. The kids watching the original George in the late 1960’s didn’t know who the hell Ronald Colman was but the vocal impression of his aristocratic voice worked like gangbusters for the big gorilla. It was an original idea at the time. Why bland it to poi forty years later, in the name of global branding? And where does that putz TV host get off thinking using FLASH is a NEW idea in animation? He’s about eight years late to the party. And he’s fat. Sorry to come off negative but corporate garbage by any other spin is still excrement and it adds to the pile of crap. And by keeping animation ‘on these shores’ you mean Canada, then you’re correct. Sending Flash shows to Vancouver does not save United States cartoon jobs. But it is cheaper.

  • I sit a few chairs away from the person who animated this, and I work on this show as well. Look, I love classical animation as much as the next person, and, well, to a point, yes, I’m not the HUGEST fan of flash animation.
    The thing is, so much effort and love is going into this production. I’m sorry that this show isn’t the next Ren & Stimpy, or whatever, but we’re all working hard to make a great cartoon.
    Believe me, I would love to see good, hand-drawn animation back on OUR shores, but until then, try watching a full episode BEFORE you tear into it. You might find it remotely enjoyable. :)

  • LNG

    Exactly the point, Cadychan. It takes one hell of a lot of work to make even a bad cartoon. I know. I’ve worked on plenty. The point is to aim higher. Jay Ward’s studio never had high budgets but their pictures were bites rather than licks.

  • David C

    Even though it’s a short clip, just about everything seems derivative:

    – George’s poses @1:20: The Emperor’s New Groove
    – The book-reading gorilla: My Gym Partner is a Monkey
    – The “watery eye look” @ 1:30: Spongebob Squarepants
    – Vacant eyes @ 1:46: Fairly Oddparents
    – Hammock morphing into sloth @1:50: Every cartoon, The Gold Rush

    Even the plot is recycled. But the original George of the Jungle wasn’t exactly the epitome of production values either. The video murray linked to is pretty much just a shaggy dog story, mostly filler with the threadbare plot hinging on a single pun. The designs were dated, even then.

    This cartoon looks good enough to entertain my kids, probably around the level of “My Gym Partner is a Monkey”. Compared with the original, I can’t find anything to get worked up over.

  • istya

    Looked pretty decent to me. Would have been a cooler interview if the host didn’t keep cutting into them while they were talking, though.

  • Long live Flash!! Another show that pushes the traditional animation side of Flash… We all know Flash can hold ground for some cheesy animation, but if done right you can see the beauty it can unleash to the world of cartoons. Embrace technology, Aaron Simpson says it best,

    “Don’t we all see the irony here? Flash is helping usher in a new era of limited animation, something Jay Ward helped instigate. Beyond that, the animation in these new series is far better than what Ward and his team could manage on those smaller budgets. Technology has advanced, but it appears that our standards have as well.”

  • Mel

    The episode Murray linked to of the classic “George of the Jungle” holds up, despite the expertly delivered, deliberately square puns. Jay Ward’s stuff was never visually brilliant but the writing was first class. This very episode also has a subtext about the stupidity of selling out to big moneyed interests. When’s the last time a contemporary, ‘cutting edge’ corporate-backed piece of cartoon crap dared seriously broach that subject?

  • Joelski

    Dear Flash-Haters,
    I don’t know where you find the time to write such lengthy opinionated responses. Shouldn’t you be all be busy creating some of the most classical, stylistically pleasing, engaging content for television? Your time management is exceptional.
    I find it ridiculous the amount of criticisms that are solely based on style and software used. When was the last time that a painter was reprimanded for doing an oil painting instead of a water color? I think the same holds true when regarding stop motion, flash, classical or CG animation. The tools used are just vessels to tell a story, and by judging this short clip so harshly seems a bit negative.

    BUT hey, …. lets just keep hating stuff.

  • YEAH! Feel the love! I love listening to all the old, angry artists who pine for the “good old days”. It’s like hearing my great-grandfather shake his walking stick at traffic zooming by complaining that he can’t take his horse and cart out for a Sunday stroll because of all these “damned punk motorcars”.

    Guys, seriously. Like it or not, “Steamboat Willieâ€? doesn’t really keep the kids of today glued to the TV. They like different stuff now. They’ve grown up with anime and video games and the stylized Flash of the Internet, not with Mad Magazine & Drew Barrymore movies like we were. What’s “cool” has changed. Just because things don’t look like “they used to” doesn’t mean it’s bad – I mean, half of you probably wore Acid Wash at one point. Do you want THAT to come back again? Was that “the good old days”? Shit, I don’t. I’m still burning the photos.

    So why’d we change George? Good question. Well, back to what the kids like and watch nowadays (and that’s what we’re making here, a show for kids!). Both our networks told us to “young George down” and make him more kid-relatable. We read stuff about why a great shows like Johnny Bravo failed to get the eyeballs it deserved – because nine year olds don’t link the “V” shape of Johnny to a “strong” character, for example. So we made George young and energetic, like a kid who’s got his “off/on” switch permanently stuck in the “on” position. We leaned him out so he’s more relatable. He’s energetic, says what he thinks, and lives for fun. We made “Ape” more of a buddy character and added a couple of bunch of extra characters to round out the cast. George feels kid like, relatable, and is a guy you both root for and laugh at rather than some big dumb brick that you just roll your eyes at.

    Our scripts are solid, with some great writing. Seems a little early to be bagging on the writing when the show hasn’t even LAUNCHED yet! Have a little faith! We had some really great writers & editors – most from AMERICA , even!

    Some of you guys talk about the “flash tweening”. Watch the show! Most of our keys are hand drawn, and every single animator works with a tablet, sketching out the scene by hand. Our entire design department was done on paper and with pencils. Characters never even SAW a computer until they was approved and then it was just traced in Flash. The BG’s look great, drawn on paper and colored in Photoshop. I’m really proud of the show and think it looks great, and the initial feedback has been excellent. YES, it’s a TV show, and we do it on a TV budget and schedule. But even with those inevitable constraints, we managed to make something that we’re all quite proud of. But ultimately the kids will decide.

    Oh, and the bit about “Ward rolling over in his grave�? You’ll be happy to know that Tiffany Ward, J’s daughter, loves the show and has been a consultant from the start, and is also one of the exec producers.

    Some of you guys need to remember this: Cartoons are for the kids of TODAY. Not the kids that WE used to be. Stop being the two old grumps from the Muppet Show who hate everything – doesn’t that routine just get tired?

    ANYHOW! If you want to see more “George�, I’ll have an episode or two of it on my PSP and I’ll be kicking around the Platform Festival in Portland on Saturday & Sunday. If you see me, come say hello!

    THAT, or come kick me in the nuts and tell me I don’t know shit about decent animation and then go grumbling back to your cave to work on your next show bible so it can be rejected as “outdated and not kid relatable� five minutes after it hits the desk of Peter or Heather.

    Kevin Gamble,
    Producer, “George of the Jungle�.

  • I know we are all scared. Angry even. Defensive of what we have held dear to our hearts for nearly a century…but people…I think we all realize what we have all just experienced here. With these few seconds of animation, the art form has been taken to a new level. We’ve reached the sun and our wings did not melt. This may be the greatest animation of all time. It’s frightening…I know…maybe the most.
    Trite design, story and medium discrepancies aside… the sheer explosion of pure visual joy from watching this animate.
    The exquisite rhythm….intense emotion…palpable beauty..culminating into a divine dance…The animation in those fleeting scenes are more than an illusion of life….Emmett Hall has actually Created Life! We did it! All of us…years of exploring this art form…experimenting…toying…questioning…why cartoons? for what reason? For these brief seconds of pure Triumph! Through the history of cartoons…together we created Emmett Hall…the perfect animator…Prometheus of a new age. Pat yourselves on the backs. We should all be encouraged by this new Dawn of possibilities.
    Your welcome.

  • tom

    I love seeing the way new young Turk artists talk about the new cheap, easy, ugly technology, and carry on about the way older artists just “don’t get it”. Go back to animating your Punch the Monkey banner ads, you mutt.

  • Adam

    Hey there insiders: will Jay Ward’s name appear anywhere in the credits?

  • Kyle Maloney

    for the record, I don’t hate flash. I just think people aren’t trying hard enough to rid their work of the flash look. cartoons don’t have to look like flash. but its takes a lot of effort. otherwise it looks like everything else on tv.

    and whats this about the “its for kids” excuse? that is the worst excuse for just about everything. don’t kids deserve better? they wont know there’s more impressive animation styles out there unless people show them.
    cartoons that appeal to kids can be just as appealing to adults when done right. don’t downplay kids intelligence. I loved Johny bravo just fine as a kid. I don’t Want to relate to every character. I just want to be entertained. and Johny bravo was hilarious to me then and still is.
    are kids that watch this show really going to care about this show when they get older? I’m guessing no.

  • Kevin – just for fun let’s assume that you’re correct and everyone here has completely missed the point.
    Your defense still doesn’t justify why it is ugly.

  • For your information, actually, yes, Mr. Ward’s name is the first credit. We may not make cartoons to everyone’s specified tastes, but we’re not cruel. And hey, Tom? Why don’t you help us out and bring hand-drawn classical back to North America, and make sure every one of us gets a job? Problem solved. I don’t mean to be rude, but yikes….this is an all-out war for what – about 90 seconds of a show that no one has ever seen?!

  • I don’t care that it doesn’t look like the original GOJ, but I do care if it is hard to watch because it is poorly designed.
    (We read stuff about why a great shows like Johnny Bravo failed to get the eyeballs it deserved – because nine year olds don’t like the “Vâ€? shape of Johnny to a “strongâ€? character, for example. )

    This is patently ridiculous. Johnny Bravo A great show? Failed because of his V shape? Who writes this crap? How much money was wasted to have someone study Johnny Bravo and decide that his shape was what drove people away from that show?

    I’m not sure you can say JB failed. Didn’t it run several seasons? But if it was a failure, how about it failed because the show was poorly designed, and had the same three jokes retread over and over. Crimeny, I’m happy to wait and see if the new GOJ show is funny, but please don’t try and tell me that kids prefer to watch ugly drawings over good drawings. I realize bad drawings are easier to animate than good drawings. If only because they require less skill. But they’ll never ever be more fun to look at.

  • Don

    I think Kevin does deserve a kick in the nuts. Using kid’s tastes today as a scapegoat for bad designs is atrocious. Regardless of video games or anime or the “Cartoon Network” style, it is still possible to create appealing well designed characters. Poor art direction is poor art direction….it’s that simple.

    Also ….Jay Ward’s daughter’s approval?? Does that mean anything? Artistic taste isn’t genetic. Of course she’s going to give you the thumbs up. She stands to make a profit from her father’s hard work. If she had any regard for her father’s legacy, she should never have been involved.

    One last thing….your knowledge of flash animation was demonstrated very clearly in the earlier video. Please leave the flash talk to the professionals, like Jayson.

  • DanO

    Kevin, this statement of yours:

    “Cartoons are for the kids of TODAY. Not the kids that WE used to be. Stop being the two old grumps from the Muppet Show who hate everything – doesn’t that routine just get tired?”

    …is one that you may want to revisit in years to come.

    for its fitting that you mention the Muppet Show, a show made over 20 years ago that can still entertain people of all ages today as much as it did all those years ago. the primary reason is that it never tried to cater to “Kids of TODAY”, and it never invested in executives market research or focus groups. i may be proved wrong, but i’m willing to bet the house that your myopic angling to those “kids” with a manufactured “kid mentality” that is “more relatable”(talk about corporate buzzwords *groan*) is first big nail in the coffin of your show.
    why not make a show that funny to you, me, and kids. because really good comedy appeals to people no matter what their age and that the kind of comedy cartoons should strive for – period.

  • Captain Sparkles

    1) Why are middle aged men and angry virgins arguing over what kids like?

    2) Flash doesn’t suck. The animators suck if it looks bad. Flash is just a tool. Some of the animators are also tools.

    3) Why don’t you let the show actually air before making comments about it being funny or not.

    4) Everyone who said that the animation sucks really should post a link to their demo reel so that it can be dissected as well.

    5) Soup is good food.

  • is Mr. Bean a model? is Angelina Jolie funny?. i laugh at kramer…not Scarlett Johanson. samurai jack is a beautiful, amazing, eye-candy show.. that has never made me laugh.

    i may not agree with the design.. but it’s how the characters act and how the story is told that makes the difference. judge it on that. i hated beavis and butthead cuz they were the ugliest thing ever… until i watched the show.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > for the record, I don’t hate flash. I just think people aren’t trying hard enough to rid their work of the flash look. cartoons don’t have to look like flash. but its takes a lot of effort. otherwise it looks like everything else on tv.

    This is pretty much what I want to see happen one day. I’d want to watch something that was so good, the technique used to make it like Flash would not be the first thing that came to mind, as I thought this was the best hand-drawn thing I’ve ever saw. If I was told later on how it was made, I would be stunned since I would’ve associated Flash with what I knew before, and thought that there no was limit to what could be done with the technology as long as it was handled effectively.

    As someone pointed out earlier, I had to go over and check out Augenblick’s work a bit, never realizing they worked on Wonder Showzen at all, and it’s pretty much sums up what I stated above how I want it to be like. Doing the keys and ‘tweens should be as important as the tool used for the outcome. Some of their work looks more like it could’ve came from any 2D program outside of Flash, and it doesn’t have that “flash” look we often associate in these productions.

    And yeah, having to use the “it’s for kids” mentality has been done to death before (let alone the mentioning of focus groups and other studies which gave us the shows we see today). Rather people were making cartoons that entertained themselves as much as the target audience and not be something they’re doing just because they’re getting paid.

    Glad to see both sides on this issue presented in these comments (the flash naysayers and those who worked on this show and others that see the potential for Flash to shine). That’s what makes coming back here great personally. :-)

  • Claire

    Hey, it’s the best it can be within time and financial restrictions. YOU guys try animating 30 seconds a week (the average quota around here in Vancouver) and make it look slick enough to be completely hand-drawn. Forget sleeping!!!! I think George looks pretty good for a Flash show. It’s more animated than most.

    I am sad too that better animation is not on TV. But the people with money and airing power won’t let us do anything creative or interesting. They think kids will be ok with crap.

  • Matt Wilson

    You guys are bordering on the most stereotypical of internet rage. I mean you’re teetering on the edge of hysteria. Like all cartoons, I’m going to keep an open mind until I watch the show and resolve never to watch again — but notice I do that AFTER I watch!! There were things I liked and things I didn’t like in the footage, but it IS just a small sample. On TechTV of all places.

    Did someone seriously say El Tigre looked ugly? Seriously?? Are you really being serious? Seriously serious?

  • Oh man! Holy smokes, this is awesome. An network friend of mine just emailed me and said “you are a brave man to step into that shark pit with your real nameâ€?. Look at all these responses! This is awesome! This is like a nerd gang fight. Waaaarriors, come out to plaaaay!

    And they’re off!

    Mel says: Jay Ward’s stuff was never visually brilliant but the writing was first class. This very episode also has a subtext about the stupidity of selling out to big moneyed interests. When’s the last time a contemporary, ‘cutting edge’ corporate-backed piece of cartoon crap dared seriously broach that subject?�

    REPLY: We don’t, Mel. And we probably never will. That’s the point. A story about big bad corporate interests? What nine year old wants to watch that? None of them. Because they don’t give a shit about corporate finance structures. BECAUSE THEY’RE NINE.

    LISTEN UP, GUYS. You all drone on about how evil I am to use phrases like “kid relatable� and how I’m a horrible corporate monster or how I use “myopic angling� (whatever the hell that is). Here it is in plain, easy to follow, angry artist terms:


    How’s this for an example: If Kellogs made a Breakfast cereal for kids that was an amazing fusion of 12 year old Bourbon and limes, I would leap out of my pants and buy a dozen cases. But guess what? the cereal would fail in 2 months and be taken off the shelves, and the guy who green-lit it would be fired. So Kellogs is probably never going to make that cereal (much to my chagrin).

    “why not make a show that funny to you, me, and kids�. Because if I said that in a pitch, I’d never sell a show. Shows that run on kids channels have to hit hard with kids. It has to appeal to 6-11 year old kids. Anybody else it attracts a fun bonus. Kids first. Everyone else a way, WAY distant second.

    Elliot Cowan says: “Kevin – just for fun let’s assume that you’re correct and everyone here has completely missed the point.
Your defense still doesn’t justify why it is ugly.â€?

    REPLY: Come on Elliot, surely you understand that art is subjective. Some people think Basil Wolverton’s stuff is amazing. Some people think it’s a slightly nicer version of what you’d find doodled on the inside cover of a 9th Grade math textbook. Who’s right?

    The art director on my show, Josh, is AMAZING. He’s got a clothing line that he does on the side that sells in Toyko, London, New York and Paris. Apparently some people think he has talent. Man, I took my 5 year old neice to see a small Monet showing here in town and she declared all the paintings as being “messy� and “outside the lines�. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    Vincent says: “This is patently ridiculous. Johnny Bravo A great show? Failed because of his V shape? Who writes this crap? How much money was wasted to have someone study Johnny Bravo and decide that his shape was what drove people away from that show?�

    REPLY: I was trying to be nice. I’d say Johnny Bravo failed to get a big audience because it’s about a 30-something guy who spends all his time trying to get laid and has no success in doing so. Me? I love the show. Because I’m a 30-someting guy with a similar success rate! I can totally relate! But to Skippy Skipperson, age eight, Johnny Bravo is a big fat guy with no friends because he’s fat and a poo-poo-dum-dum head. Skippy would rather watch Fosters, which has a funny blue character named Blue who says really funny things and does funny stuff. How is that so hard to understand? Our show’s main character hits trees. A LOT. It’s big and funny and goofy and it’s designed to make kids laugh.

    Don says: “I think Kevin does deserve a kick in the nuts. Using kid’s tastes today as a scapegoat for bad designs is atrocious. ALSO: “One last thing….your knowledge of flash animation was demonstrated very clearly in the earlier video. Please leave the flash talk to the professionals, like Jayson�.

    REPLY: Kick away, Don! For Christmas, my aunt bought me a puffy green sweater that has this massive reindeer head knitted on the front, and a red LED light on the nose that you power with a 9 volt battery. She thinks it’s “absolutely the funniest thing in the world� and declared it “the best design ever�. Do you have one of those sweaters? Why don’t we just agree to disagree and say we each have a different sense of style. Throw me a link to your work and show me what good design is, please!

    I’ll spot you the point on the Flash thing. I don’t know Flash to save my life. I can open a scene to view it, but that’s about it. This is my first Flash show, having come from 3D. I can’t even draw a stick man – I came from live action. But I’m not claiming to be an artist. I haven’t even watched the interview (it’s just to painful, I get about ten seconds in and just moan about how bald I look and close the window in disgust). Did I even try to talk tech on the show? I don’t remember doing so, but I guess I did. Eesh, that was a bad idea. Point taken, I’ll STFU next time!

    DanO says: “its fitting that you mention the Muppet Show, a show made over 20 years ago that can still entertain people of all ages today as much as it did all those years ago.�

    REPLY: Dan, I may be crazy here, but do you honestly think today’s 8 year old boys will sit still and watch a musical variety show featuring Crystal Gayle & Julie Andrews singing love songs? I don’t. I think they’d probably fall asleep, or more likely just switch over to the Xbox.

    Rose colored glasses, man. The show was great back in the day. American Idol, I guess, would be the latest incarnation of that genre? Which is a shame, because I’d pay good money to see another “Pigs in Space�.

    I’m 34 – when I was a kid, I LIVED the Transformer cartoons. They were AWESOME! My first gig in animation 10 years ago was as a coordinator on the CG Beas Wars series. Jackpot! I was so excited! So I went back and watched a bunch of the old 80’s episodes on VHS to get back in the groove. Know what? Man, the rose colored glasses didn’t just fall off, they EXPLODED all over my face. It’s old stuff, old style, old storytelling. It wasn’t at ALL what I remembered. The kids of today want different things. My neice won’t watch Totoro because she can’t get through the first 15 minutes because it’s too slow. Which is a real shame. But what can you do? Go all Clockwork Orange on them and force them to watch what’s “good for themâ€??

    We’re making cartoons for kids. If kids don’t turn on the dial and dig it, we’ve failed.

    My job is to make sure that for half an hour a day, when a kid turns on his TV and sees my show, that he forget about everything else. I want him to bask in the glow of the TV, and feels like my show is speaking directly to him, telling stories he relates to, by characters he understands and cares about. So for twenty two minutes he can tune out mom & dad fighting in the kitchen about the gas bill, and forget about that asshole bully who made fun of his goofy plastic backpack, and not think about how hard math is and stop thinking that he’s stupid because everyone else in his class seems to get it, and how unfair it is that Susy next door has a kick-ass brand new bike while he’s got a shitty rusty hand-me-down that his brother gave him before he went off to fight in some stupid war in a place he can’t even spell.

    That kid is going to watch my show; he’s going to see George hit a tree and he’s going to laugh. He’s going to watch a groaner of a gag that you and I and all the animation nerds have seen a thousand times before and he’s going to laugh too, because it’s new to him. He’s going to laugh and have fun and for twenty two lousy minutes, none of the stuff in his life that crap that grinds him every day is going to matter.

    Because I make stories for kids; for six to eleven year old kids. I make stories for those kids, which I think is the greatest job in the whole god damned universe.

    And I know my crew feels the same way, and we all do the best job we can with the time and resources we have at our disposal. Every episode of George ships to the networks still warm, having just coming out of the D-Beta machine. We’re busting out asses to make a great show for those kids, milking every last second out of every day until we are absolutely and completely out of time.

    And if some 30-something art nerd doesn’t like what we do, well, I don’t really give a rats ass. My team and I make it for the kids, and they’ll decide what sucks and what doesn’t.

    Kevin Gamble,
    Producer, “George of the Jungle�.

  • DanO

    Kevin, i don’t mean to carp on your show – i’m just carping on the idiotic reasoning behind the majority of todays programming, and you seemed like you were parroting in in your post

    i remember talking to an animator at Disney and he had a model sheet of extraneous characters next to him and it was like 35 different kids. i said “thats a hell of a lot of extra characters,” and he said “yeah, a lot of the show takes place in a school and in the hallways all of these kids are supposed to be walking back and forth.” Then he stopped and kind of looked pensive and said, “You know, if i was a kid and i spent my whole day at school, the last thing i would want to watch on tv when i got home is a KID’S EXPERIENCES AT SCHOOL.” & he’s right.

    yet, the executives and focus groups of today’s networks have the moronic rationale that a child won;t watch a show unless a child is the star of it and acts like a child. thats wrong. thats the opinion of focus groups and child “programmers”, its certainly not what kids want to see. there is a long long irrefutable history of successful cartoons that don’t cater to this “relatable” factor for kids. in fact, the one unsurpassed success story of television cartoons today is the ONLY cartoon where the star isn’t a child: SpongeBob Squarepants.

    in light of that how can executives still be towing that tired old line of ‘catering’ to children. children aren’t stupid – they have the same sensibilities and sense of humor as you and me. they are only shorter.
    the minute you start talking down to a kid, that kid will start ignoring you and the same hold true for entertainment, if you try to fashion in to a kids mind, you are shooting well below the bar.

  • Adam

    Kevin, this is the internet. We can’t read all that. ;->

  • A.P.

    At what point in time did George of the Jungle get such a rabid fan base that it became untouchable? Is there an official fan club? Do you guys hold meetings? Can I join?

    So you want the how to look just like it did 30 years ago? Why? Were Jay Ward cartoons know for their visual mastery or something? Are they classic designs akin to that of Mickey Mouse or something? Are we still flying the musclehead in the Macy’s Day Pirade?

    Guess what? Kids HATE old cartoons, with scant few exceptions. You show a kid something old, they will say: “Why watch that? IT’S OLD!”
    That’s how people are wired.

    Clearly “re-imagining” isn’t a word many have read before. This isn’t even re-imagined. He’s like, 5 years younger. Radical thinking indeed! Almost like kids relate to someone closer to their age! It’s not like he’s in space or has an epic story fighting the molten men or something.

    So yeah, the idea of marketing a kids show to kids has been settled on as a bad idea.

    I LOVE the internet right now.

  • Captain Sparkles

    Um. Homer Simpson is an adult. He acts childish… he’s not popular at all, however, so please disregard that point… Obviously the very idea that George is an adult and acts childish can NOT work based on this.

    Again, I’m quite impressed that you and your Disney friend also know what kids want to see. Is this some way of reliving your childhood? Some people make their kids play sports, so I guess others could talk about what cartoons kids should like… I will leave you with 2 secrets…

    1) If the show is well written, does any of the other stuff really matter? No… likely not… ( since you haven’t seen an episode of George on the air yet we will leave this open for later discussion ).

    2) This one I would like to label TOP SECRET as I think some network executives might be upset to hear it revealed: If a show is NOT popular with the kids… it will… be sure to close the browser after reading this so big brother doesn’t notice… it will… GET CANCELLED!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I hear what you’re saying in that last post DanO. I ALWAYS flipped the channels when I saw a show with kids at school. I could NOT watch them for a second. I often rag on “Kids at school” cartoons myself. I just don’t see how George here is guilty of that; or pandering, or being pumped out by the focus group 4000 machine. From what I’ve seen, the show is fantastic. Maybe you should all wait till you see an episode. From what I gather though, most of you prefer to whine about cartoons on the internet rather than make or watch them.

    Cheers to the George crew for showing up with real names, credentials, and coherent thoughts. I can’t wait to see some episodes.

  • Onkel Chrispy

    Kev: I just showed this clip to a seven year old, an nine year old, and a five year old. I asked them what they thought of it.

    They felt he was ugly, and obnoxious (actually annoying was the word used.) I asked them what they would rather watch, and they told me Robin Hood.

  • george

    Kevin, I visited your studio web site and in the ‘in dvelopment ‘ section, there’s a show called ‘super villain’.

    Why does the main character look awfully familiar?? so similar to Squidward from Spongebob? with a brain bottle on the head? sure that’s what “today’s kids” want to watch!! what happened to being original and creative! ??

    after all, this is supposed to be art . not the art of money making . and here’s the link for you guys, look in the ” in development” section

  • Captain Sparkles

    Onkel Chrispy… Personally, I am relieved that these children would rather watch Robin Hood than Kevin Gamble. It restores my faith in the younger generation.

  • Flash did nothing wrong here. It’s cool they’re animating it that way. My problem is that I know what George of the Jungle looks like, and this character doesn’t look a thing like him. Doesn’t sound like him either. He looks like the generic badly-drawn characters on CN these days. People keep comparing this new “style” of cartoon to UPA…well, it’s NOT UPA. It’s just ugly, and drawn as simply as possible to save money. At least UPA’s drawings were pleasant to look at.

  • That’s the kind of comment that doesn’t warrant a response “george.” I’ll feed the troll though.

    Where’s your website? I didn’t see a link to your fantastic art that somehow feeds your children, elevates the mediums you work in and manages to use original never before seen shapes. I can’t wait to see the mind blowing new shapes you’ve invented. Also, I’m assuming you’ve created new character archetypes. The first man to do so since Shakespeare, it would seem. I’m so excited, I just keep clicking on your name, hoping that the lack of a hyperlink is simply some sort of exotic temporary DATABASE error.

  • Marc G.

    I tip my hat to you, Kevin, for valiantly defending your show against the swell of Nerd Rage. I think your arguments are falling on deaf ears, though.

    Anyone can say, “Yeah, my kids DEFINITELY prefer watching Bosko and Mr. Magoo rather than these new, colourful shows like Fairly OddParents”.
    Are these people reflected in the ratings? Hell, no!

    Obviously not all cartoons are for kids; but people shouldn’t seethe with rage when a show doesn’t bleed-though into their demographic.

    Some cartoons are just for kids.
    Let. It. Go.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    In some way, this reminds me of my childhood when “Alvin & The Chipmunks” on was NBC, and I thought it was a good show, but never realized the orgins of said characters until I saw “The Alvin Show” from a UHF station in ’87 (let alone went to a grade school that just happen to had those 60’s albums at their disposal). Needless to say I grew to enjoying the classic series more than the 80’s retread, though most people of my demographic would look to that as their fav toon of the 80’s.

  • DanO

    “Some cartoons are just for kids.”

    To me, thats the battle cry of mediocrity – and the rationale that has brought us to this grim nadir of quality in animated programming.

  • Chris

    Wow. Kevin Gamble is without a doubt everything that is wrong with the animation industry today.
    I also find it amusing how many people are so quick to toss around the term nerd and virgin. Real intelligent argument there guys.

  • Bill Field

    “And if some 30-something art nerd doesn’t like what we do, well, I don’t really give a rats ass. My team and I make it for the kids, and they’ll decide what sucks and what doesn’t.

    Kevin Gamble,
    Producer, George of the Jungle.”

    OK, where to begin. Four kids – ages 7-17 (3 boys, 1 girl)- were shown your version and then the classic episode Big Top Flop. Only the 17 year old boy knew the Brendan Frasier version, vaguely. They unanimously laughed throughout one of the cartoons, and told me they, by far, liked the newer George. Then they were told that the one they just saw, and laughed through, was the older, original, Jay Ward version. They gave audible gasps, telling me “no way”, that it had to be the newer one because of its look and story. Hands down they prefered the TIMELESS Jay Ward/Bill Hurtz version – the 12 year-old-girl told me the 1st one they saw seemed like it was from “way back” in the eighties.

    These kids all live in a Nielsen monitored home, 35,000 households they represent by ratio, so, are these people reflected in the ratings? Hell, YES. It’s not about the flash – it’s all about the George, a 40 year old cartoon that looks fresher now, more than it did then. Look, I’ve had to direct Jay’s characters myself, and I just did as good a commercial as I thought possible, that could sit next to one of his, and enjoyed as the same characters, just a different adventure, utilizing puns and visual gags, in a pacing akin to Jay’s. We’ll never know how well a more exact replica of classic GotJ would’ve done, we just have this -and to add insult to injury, we have you telling us
    we are all old (I guess regardless of age). Do you even realize you debate mute points with guys in this thread who have produced the fantastic Emmy Nominated show, “The Boondocks” (The MLK episode is pure TV HISTORY!), a guy who story boarded Ren and Stimpy, Ripping Friends, Harvey Birdman – including the Dabba Don episode – as well as a large amount of Nicktoons– as well as a few others I saw on my scrolldown. You sure took a lot of time and effort to excruciatingly berate our opinions, considering your own words “I don’t give a ratsass if a 30 something art nerd doesnt like it- I make it for the kids- they’ll decide what sucks…” OK, how about 35,000 housefuls of kids for starters?

    Defend your work- just don’t demean us in the process.

  • Hi guys, I’m a 21 year old animator on George at Studio B, and I’ve also spent just under 3 years as an artist at Disney Toon Studios Australia.

    Maybe I was naïve (or perhaps just too young) , but I didn’t even know that there was a original cartoon version of the show; I had only heard of the live action movie! In fact, there was a poster of the original model of George in the foyer and I had thought to myself, “they’re weren’t gonna make George look like THAT were they?!�. I actually really like the design of the characters. It takes a great knowledge and understanding of true form before one is able to innovate and caricature it, and I believe this show proves so.

    As for the animation, all I can say is that coming from a award winning traditional studio in Australia, I am constantly humbled and in awe by the amount of talent I am surrounded by on this show and in Vancouver…and that the majority of the artists I work with everyday have had some sort of education/experience in traditional animation and principles really shows in the quality of work that I’ve seen produced.
    Good animation is tough to do, and this has been a tough show to work on.

    By the way, have you guys heard of a new movie coming out called ‘Transformers‘ or something? I cant wait because I like big robots fighting!

  • Isabella

    Wow. You have all taken this much too far. And by too far, you are insulting each other on an immature and personal basis.

    There is absolutely no constructive criticism here.

    We are putting our profession to shame. Right now, reading all these childish remarks, I am embarrassed to be in the same industry as you people.

    We all come across now as utterly childish, uneducated, obsessive, manic and mean spirited, cartoon making baffoons. We all reak of ego and are overdosing on it.

    Kevin and Jayson, there is no need to defend here anymore. You are great guys doing great things.

    I am so disappointed that I read all of the posts above, over such a small, subjective and unimportant 30 second clip. It is just a damn cartoon.

  • Matt Wilson

    Neither side is acting intelligently from what I’m witnessing. The hyperbole being bandied about is amazing.

    All this for a small Canadian production.

  • Mute Point

    Actually, Bill Field, if you could have my name legally changed to “Moot Point” I’d greatly appreciate it. :)

  • Lou Francis

    Wow. A main character who’s loud, spastic and not too bright. What a concept! Kids can’t get enough of such characters, and good thing too, because there appears to be a surplus population of them in toons right now.

    So George talks like Cosmo from Fairly Oddparents and Ape talks like Brian the Dog from Family Guy. Wow, “derivative” doesn’t BEGIN to describe this “new” show. Plus the jerky movement and stock character reactions Flash is known for. Whee! What a winning combination: a repackaging that will annoy purists and a retread of current stock types kids are already tired of. Can’t miss.

  • Mike

    Wow. I agree with Isabella. This is shameful to the animation industry and it tears my heart out to see what disrespectful miserable people there are amongst today’s animators. All this hatred must fuel a great creative environment.

  • I was under the impression that most of the hatred was coming from professional blog readers, rather than actual industry folk. The people who work on this show seem to be overly polite in defending it. Should they be respectful of people who insult their hard work without having sampled it properly? If I walked into a butcher’s shop, licked a piece of raw meat hanging on the wall and immediately started telling the other customers that the meat in this shop was terrible… I don’t think I’d expect any respect from the butcher. I don’t mean to compare animation to meat, but for crying out loud, this IS someone’s livelihood here. (You know, even though you’re on the internet and get to be anonymous)

    Lots of people are working hard on it, and without seeing more than 8 seconds, people are debating the quality of storytelling!! I think they deserve to be called out on it, and it says nothing about the people doing so except that they’re proud of their work, and dislike being wrongfully slighted.

  • Mike

    Designerwhite, I agree with you.

    I work in this industry as an animator and I can’t believe how unnecessarily harsh and downright disrespectful some industry people speak about each others work.

  • mark

    i work at a studio doing a traditionally animated show in flash…for disney…this is the 3rd flash television production ive worked on, not to mention additional tv commercial and internet work over the last 8 years. i like having a job, apartment, money..etc.

    i havent liked the design or story of every project ive contributed to, but hey you cant have everything.

    i hope they make more shows like this so i can keep paying my bills.

  • Gerit

    There is no shame to people venting here. Imagine the violence in the streets that would take place otherwise.

    Jay Ward’s product was pretty smart stuff often masquerading as standard TV animation fare. It was a trait that conveyed a sly subversion that Hanna Barbera would never have ventured into. I think people tend to unfairly downplay the original George of the Jungle’s style as well. There was a playfulness to it that was light and unpredictable.

    A re-do of George has to invite immediate comparison and criticism, of course. What annoys me most is the what is supposed to pass as animation “for little kids”. All kinds of little kids absorbed the original George of the Jungle and Bullwinkle, and Tom Slick, etc. The same people remember and love those shows from their childhood. But any show that essentially plays down to kids (without Ward’s redemptive smarts) is just lowering the bar for the sake of keeping with a misguided projection of a demographic and is angling for a show that will be soon forgotten.

    Maybe watching a full episode would make me a convert but all my senses read this as very routine and anemic, although there is certainly some formidable raw talent buried somewhere behind it all.

  • John F

    Sure, the show’s designs aren’t good, but it’s improved the use of flash. From what I’ve read, the guys behind the show had to change the show’s designs at the network’s demand. If the guys behind the show really want to prove their point they should post some concept drawings or something. The new GOTJ might introduce some kids to the original cartoons. They probably used GOTJ to get the kid’s parent’s attention too.
    Quit rambling about how the show sucks and wait until you’ve watched it. Besides, George Of The Jungle being turned into a (from what we’ve seen) badly designed kids show isn’t going to destroy the world of animation. You’re all over-reacting.

  • Bill Field

    Look, you can run for the Exits if you like, but this discussion is passionate, neccessary, and real. Kevin really does give a “ratsass” and so do I. I may disagree with Kevin mightily, but I’ll tell you this, he’s someone I’d sit down and have a beer with, and debate this and all manner of problems and possible solutions for the industry– I bet we’re not THAT different in the end. It’s mostly about respecting the attitude, style, and humor of Jay Ward. I’m far too close to this in terms of my love and respect for his work, it doesn’t take much for me to think somebody’s pissing on his grave if they attempt to rework any of his shows, I’ll try to be more thick skinned about this.

    We are not hateful as a bunch, animators- we, empassioned and loving is more on point. I wouldn’t classify myself as a 30 something “art nerd” nor a Disney producer, I’m a cartoonist/director- so, maybe I’m a bit of both those archetypes, I just know, if we don’t shout this stuff out here, in a jury of our peers, it will build up like a powder keg- and hurt forward thinking with props to the past for our industry as a whole. Kevin, you have cahones, to jump into the pit of fire, and your’e 34, experienced enough to know fires always burn. So, to all the non-confrontational “sorry state of animation-don’t be haters” alarmists this is healthy discussion, folks, it ‘aint pretty- it’s real—because…. it’s cartoons. VIVA JAY WARD!

  • Bill, I’d love to sit down and have a beer with you. Are you going to Platform in Portland? Hell, I’ll offer to buy “Chris” a beer too to prove I’m not such a bad guy.

    I love hanging with artists; as a guy who can’t draw, I use osmosis to fill my noggin with art. Which is why I go to festivals like Ottawa & Platform. Cocktails, I find, certainly help with the osmosis process, so let’s hook up for a few and talk toons. Be it at Platform or Comic-Con or whatever!

  • Captain Sparkles

    Hey Bill, did you perchance work on that Fractured Fairy Tale thing that was tacked onto the front of the live action version of Dudley Do-Right?

  • That seems like as good a note as any to drop out on.

    I’ll just add this:

    I worked on this show, and I love the original George of the Jungle. I also like this new one. They’re different. It doesn’t mean you’re disrespecting Jay Ward’s memory by liking the new one.

    I listen to David Cross, and yet I also love Jack Benny, and I like Glenn Miller as much as the White Stripes. I like Honeymooners and I even like the (*gasp*) US version of the Office. And I like the old and the new GTJ.

    I’ve had the benefit of seeing MANY of the episodes, and ALL of the animatics for this series, and just watch it. If you don’t like it? Guess what… world hasn’t ended.

    Last thing. To all those people complaining about the state of animation today… first off I agree with you often, but secondly how bout you create your own network with original programming to keep us all employed on your visions of great cartoons. Otherwise, I’ll just keep working for the people what pay my bills, thanks.

  • DanO

    oh, you are getting paid money for a job?

    -well that shuts down the discussion of the quality of animation on tv right there. i didn’t realize the bottom line was that clear.

  • DanO, it IS that clear in a way, if you’re not a person in a position to change things. I like the discussion too, but I’m just saying.

    As to two of your comments that stuck in my craw a little…

    DanO: “You know, if i was a kid and i spent my whole day at school, the last thing i would want to watch on tv when i got home is a KID’S EXPERIENCES AT SCHOOL.â€? & he’s right.”

    Response: I’m not crazy about school oriented cartoons either. When I think about it, it seems ridiculous. But embarrassingly when I was a kid I like shows like Doug. Which I hold no nostalgia for and don’t even like anymore, but I related to it, and that’s why I watched it.

    I’m pretty sure that relating to what you watch is one of the major reasons of success for shows like The Office. The UK one in particular, where it’s almost painfully like work. People can relate.
    So buzz word or not, having something kids can relate to in a cartoon is important.

    DanO: “in fact, the one unsurpassed success story of television cartoons today is the ONLY cartoon where the star isn’t a child: SpongeBob Squarepants.”

    Response: He isn’t a child. But he ACTS like a child. Unless you see a lot of adults running around singing, prancing, blowing bubbles and getting drunk off of ice cream sundaes. (I have no problem with that, but they’re not in a majority, that’s for sure.)

  • Captain Sparkles

    I just want to see DanO’s website… is that really so wrong of me? Here, I’ll get you started… http://………

    Chances are good that you’re plenty talented, but who’s to know… you could be busy drawing eyelashes on Land Before Time 23: Bigfoot in Little China

  • **makes a chuckle noise**

    – George’s poses @1:20: The Emperor’s New Groove

    Yes, because “Emperor’s” invented overly dramatic poses. (No slam at Emperors meant. Making a point.)

    – The book-reading gorilla: My Gym Partner is a Monkey

    Yes, because “Monkey” invented book-reading animals. (No slam at Monkey meant. Making a point.)

    – The “watery eye lookâ€? @ 1:30: Spongebob Squarepants

    Yes, because Spongebob invited watery eyes. (No slam at Sponegebob. Making a point.)

    – Vacant eyes @ 1:46: Fairly Oddparents

    I accept that Fairly Oddparents was the first cartoon ever to have characters with Vacant eyes.

    – Hammock morphing into sloth @1:50: Every cartoon, The Gold Rush


    So, what’s the complaint here? That the people involved in the cartoons clearly like cartoons and are influenced by them?

    That it’s peeing on Jay Ward’s memory? Please. If this WASN’T George and was some completely new concept, this debate would have been just as long, and just as vicious.

    I don’t know what the answer is. But I will tell Kevin and Mike and anybody else who works on the show and DOESN’T post here that reads here. I’m glad you posted here. It’s been a pleasure to read a person’s defense of something they’re proud of.

    And I can’t wait for Underdog. On principle. Even if I hate it.

  • Steve Musgrave

    If this is how animation industry “professionals” conduct themselves, it’s no wonder ” the state of animation today” is a poor one.

  • DanO

    Mike, everyone is in a position to change things in our industry. The industry is in a sad state because people think they shouldn’t say anything.
    I’m glad that you recognize that Spongebob isn’t a child. the fact of the matter is that that was seen as a major problem when that show was viewed by the networks. I think its very apparent that the greatness of Spobngebob persevered because someone held strong to their vision and dared to differ with executives over focus group formula rather than stating “its as simple as doing what i get paid to do.”
    its a matter of integrity and when i hear the terms “kid relatable”, i have no illusions that integrity has been thrown out the window and the same tired pandering fart clouds are going to be slaved on by people who have been trained to ‘not ask’ but ‘just do’. Is that the line you are towing? I hope not.
    if you don’t take risks you are a nobody.

  • David C

    Hi, Steve.

    0. I’m not an animation pro, so I should probably stand in the sidelines. I’m just an animation buff who’s kids watch a lot of cartoons.

    1. Best of luck to all the GOTJ guys, you deserve it. I meant to include that in my original post, but it got clipped off the end. I didn’t realize how much you guys were getting slammed.

    2. Although it’s a shame to see the GOTJ folk caught in the crossfire here, it’s nice to see people in the industry passionate about what they do – on both sides.

    OK, to answer your question:

    * Complaint? What complaint? I was just making some observations.

    * Although I thought the clip was derivative, my kids (aged 4 through 11, prime target audience) would enjoy it. (Keep in mind my 5 year old daughter considers the phrase “I pooted” to be the apex of comedy).

    * I referenced Emperor/Spongebob/Gym Partner/Odd Parents not because I thought the gags originated from there, but because that’s what my kids have seen – many, many times. (I know, because they control the television, so I’ve seen them many, many times).

    So even *they* will recognize that it’s derivative.

    But – unlike most adults here – they probably consider that to be a good thing. For one thing, it’s a self-referential sort of humor, which they like. And it uses a comedy shorthand that they’ve come to understand.

    * I assume your “peeing on Jay Ward’s memory” comment refers to a different post, since I happened to have though that the new GOTJ has better production values than the original.

    All right, I’d better get out of the way and let the professionals have at it.

  • That’s right DanO. We ALL have no integrity. I’d argue the point further, but there’s a hobo willing to give me a quarter if I blow him in back of a dumpster, so I’ve gotta go do that before the rest of the George crew beat me to it.

  • I’m sorry, ignore the last comment. Gut impulse that I should have deliberated, and I apologize.

  • DanO

    I didn’t say your show has no integrity. as you have pointed out, none of us have seen an entire episode of your show – but we all will freeze in our places when it is on thanks to this lively discussion.

    what has been revealed to us is Kevin’s rationale to “young the content down” and make things more “kid relatable” in an effort to appeal to audiences and increase viewership. don’t do that. that is the singular mindset that is destroying cartoons today.

    you guys should be doing what you think is quality, what you think is fun and what you think challenges you. if i seem irked in my post its because we’ve all seen to many studios dash away all their potential to invest in the tired old formula for success that has been proven to fail. my posts are directed at the line of thinking that the show has to be catered to the lowest common denominator of kid mentality.

  • FP

    How long has Leo Laporte been back on TV? When G4 bought TechTV and booted most of the “older” staff, I deleted it from my DirecTV favorites.

    New George looks not so cool. The animation is okay, but he doesn’t look like George, and the voice is wrong, and there’s nothing funny in the preview clip. It’s like…a typical TV cartoon.

    Sorry if I repeated anything said in the above posts, but I ain’t gonna read all that.

  • For an industry based on creative passion there sure are a lot of complaining going on. the problem with “flash” cartoons is not the program or the artist working the program (after all only a poor craftsman blames his tools) it is the ridiculous system that evolved in a spurt of a moment in the middle of a production when some hack noticed he could draw less by symbolizing a piece of art. With the amount of money the studios in Vancity spend on cintiqs and wacoms why do they just move symbolize parts instead of pushing poses and giving life to our beloved cartoons?

    Because you have Tv production studios are based on nelvana’s overseas business model… a boxcar process(you can start the next step till every scene has completed the previous step). There is a potential in flash that is completely unexplored because of the extreme shortsightedness of these studios. With just a couple weeks and a couple artists a newer, looser more appealing style and production model could be developed….if the studios could explain to the CFO’s what development was and it’s importance to an industry based on evolving technologies. But that is big business….nothing us animators know anything about eh? There is a lot of bad cartoons on tv and let’s not kid ourselves….tv animation is about exploiting children, not about doing quality work, you want quality?

    Quit this industry that tells you it’s steak and feeds you shit. The mass media, especially TV is based on using cartoons to sell products not evolving art. If it was animators would be recognized for the renaissance artists they actually are instead of the creative slave labour they are treated as. FUCK TV.

  • There is no such thing as “outdated” design or humor. Kids relate to Bugs Bunny and Charlie Chaplin as much as they do to great current stuff. A friend of mine went to a screening of Buster Keaton at the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax a couple of weeks ago and there was a nine year old kid a couple of rows in front of him making a complete spectacle of himself laughing his guts out at a movie made before his grandmother was born. Great movies and great cartoons are timeless.

    When you take on a cartoon character that has been done before, you need to be true to the essence of what made that character funny. That doesn’t mean you should slavishly imitate- There’s no point making more of the “same ol same ol”. Rather, you should try to do even MORE along the same lines as the spirit of the original.

    George of the Jungle was created as a high budget TV series where the Ward artists could put more care into background design and animation than they were able to in their other shows. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of room to make it even better. Far from it.

    That said, it’s important to give respect to the artists who created the original. You’re going to be hard pressed to top voice actors like June Foray, Bill Scott, Paul Frees, and Daws Butler; and designers and animators like Bob Kurtz, Alan Zaslove and Rod Scribner. Give it a go and work like a dog, because you’ve got big shoes to fill.

    It’s cool to throw out the fundamental designs and start from the basic concept if you are sure that what you’re creating is stronger than the original. It isn’t good to throw everything out and replace it with something half as good. I worked on a show that did that back when I was first starting out. I did good work on the show and I am proud of my part in it, but I wouldn’t want to watch the show myself or subject poor unsuspecting kids to it. I learned from the experience, and I used what I learned on a better project the next time.

  • The interviewer seemed like he had just heard of Flash animation for TV. I suppose he’s never seen shows like “Foster’s” or “El Tigre”. I understand that he may be speaking for the audience, but I felt he was playing it up.

    I fully support Flash as an animation tool. I have a traditional background (working for TV animation), and about 6 years ago I learned about Flash and never looked back. You can do as much “drawing” as you like in flash – the tweening elements just help enhance it. I have just completed my first film in Flash and I’m so happy that it provides an affordable soloution to studios and independent animators.

    The only trick is to not be a lazy artist, Don’t allow Flash to do too much of the work. Make sure that the art isn’t being compromised because it’s easier to slide something around.

  • It’s really hard for me to make heads or tails over this.

    For the Offense: If there’s anything I learned from this or that John K.-ripoff Ecozone thing that was a Hot Topic a few months ago, it’s the the current so-called state of the industry (Artists being trampled ny the Execs and Focus Groups) is really no surprise based on the back-stabbing and sycophant grooming that goes on so damned much in the internet animation community since animation artists have demonstrated to be their own biggest impediment to the creation of “cartoony cartoons” (The Statler and Waldorf comparision is fitting, although a one to The Comic Book Guy would be even more so)

    However, The Defense has woefully chosen to play the most condescending card in the bicycle deck (The “for kids thing” and beating a dead horse by doing it every sentence to boot). Sure, aiming for kids is a given in this venue (TV animation for the kids-skewing networks), but the most successful TV cartoons in recent memory (not just Spongebob, but The Powerpuff Girls, Billy and Mandy, Kim Possible, Avatar, Foster’s, and Teen Titans) did more than just get the kiddie ratings and sell the merchandise. I’m sure those shows’ creators had kids in mind, but didn’t have put EVERYTHING they put in their shows in the context of “for the kiddies! for the kiddies! for the kiddies!”. That’s just a caricature of the worst type of thought inthese productions, and it very seldom results in anything of quality.

    I’ll be one of the first sets tuned to this show’s priemiere.

  • designboy

    holy crap Jorden… you were right, this is friggin awesome!

    man if you guys love Flash, check out Chaotic, its crazy, like the nutty bevel-emboss on the characters… my god its sweeeet!

    I worked with Kevin Gamble and he’s a good guy, wish he was on my last production to say “NO” to the client.

    Would work with him again if the opportunity arose, but not on George (sorry man) didn’t like it when I was kid and now older, even more picky.

  • Peter

    This is not George of the Jungle, this has nothing to do with George of the Jungle. Making the Tarzan spoof character less athletic-looking does not make him “more relate-able,” it destroys the context of it being a Tarzan spoof, so that now it’s just nothing. I also agree with earlier comments about the backgrounds competing with the characters too much, which is interesting since these guys claimed they were going for a “painterly” approach to the BGs.

  • Mike V

    Gonzo – Nobody needs art to live. I know we are all in love with our talents and think everybody should pay us for them but that is a fantasy. I didn’t go to medical school, I’ll get paid make cartoons and feel lucky I guess.

    Oh, to all the haters out here, there is this thing called the channel changer. It can totally solve all your problems.

  • wow , this is some real hate! thing is people, if the designs were more truthful to the original, i honestly believe that you would still write and complain. Josh is a terrific illustrator, and to hear all these haters going on to bash his work like a bunch of children is absolutely pathetic. i can admit, i was a little sceptical when i first heard about this show being redone, but then i got to see finished episodes, and despite what you all say, i can see this show getting picked up for one more season. the show doesnt look flashy, it actually has a real organic feel to it.

  • Hmmm let me think… Its a cartoon made FOR KIDS. My children would adore this show, as would 100% of the kids out there. Grow up their doing a fantastic job, you haters all complain and wine yet do nothing about it yourself. You get out there and do better. Until than I’ll happily sit down and enjoy watching these with my children :)

  • Many of us are doing something about it. Part of that is also calling them like we see them.
    If the show is funny, yay! It would be nice if it was funny, well thought out and easy on the eyes too. From what I’ve seen, that ship has sailed.

  • Yeah, for sure, it’s really important to be critical of animation in general. That’s how you protect your jobs from talentless hobos; by keeping quality standards high. Being a complete douche bag in the process is entirely optional, however. Though it’s probably a good way to reduce the number of people trying to get into this industry.

    Holy crap, this is funny.
    I originally had a six paragraph rant about airplane hangers full of South Koreans but, well whatever.
    I told my kids about George and they are pumped.
    I smell podcast segment.

  • Johnny

    You guys are a bunch of crazies. I used to think Battle of the Planets was the best thing ever then I watched it again and thought, wow, I used to think this was good. The original George of the Jungle was a hack-and-slash crap job. Look at it the original again you fucking art wankers it’s not great. Someone in an earlier posting ranked the original spider-man series as a “classic.” That was the worst animated series ever. Don’t get me wrong, I watched it but i didn’t give a crap then about quality of animation. I got to see some of the new George of the Jungle in January and my first reaction was “Huh, that’s different. I like the big George. Where are the muscles?” I watched a number of episodes and I really started to like the new George better. As for GOTJ being done in flash: it’s very VERY good flash animation. I’ve seen lots of flash animation (being involved in a flash project myself) and at this GOTJ seems to be far superior to many other flash animated properties. I’m sure if the budget allowed for the new GOTJ to be traditionally drawn it would have been but it didn’t (so I’ve heard) so it had to be done in Flash. That’s the way it is. Suck it up cry-babies.

  • Wow, “douche bag”. That’s nice.Name calling over discussion.
    You seem like a real sweeeetheart.

  • Hahah wow! Wait’ll you negative know-it-alls start on a production that actually employs people before you throw down harsh judgements. Keep it to yourselves because if you know anything about animation, you’ll know not every production can be trendsetting; Also, this industry is really tight-knit and a bad attitude coupled with a huge lack of understanding for it can sink you faster than a rubber dinghy carrying a cargo of harpoons.

    Way to rock on this show peeps. These clips look slick.

  • Who’s calling people names?! Serious discussion zone here, I do say! I merely placed the option of douche-baggery on the table as a readily available tool for critical members of the panel to use as they please. I would never resort to such childish name calling. On that topic, George is indubitably a fantastically designed show, which I look forward to with great fervency. I only regret that I have but one monocle with which to observe my television.

  • I wanna get it on this brawl too!
    Ad hominemation !

    I have to say I thought Kevin gave a rousing speech or two.
    You can’t deny that the good man cares about what he does.

  • Melissa R

    “So George talks like Cosmo from Fairly Oddparents ”

    Have you ever WATCHED Fairly Oddparents, or do you just hate it on the principle that it’s new and not classical style animation, so it must be awful? Cosmo’s got a high pitched voice (which George doesn’t), and I’ve yet to hear him talk in the third person.

    And for the record, old Hanna Barbera style cartoons? FUG.

    I can’t say I find modern animation all that aesthetically pleasing, but Fairly Oddparents makes me laugh, as do Spongebob, the Adventures of Billy and Mandy, and Foster’s. And for the record? Vector, if done right, can look really pretty and cool. It’s not about the tool or the method, it’s about the way it’s used. It’s like people who complain about CGI being inherently “cheap”, easy, and ugly. These people have obviously never sat in front of Lightwave or Maya.

  • Aaron

    OMG! What is up with that! I mean… the George of the Jungle movies were great. Even the old tv show I mean they made him into a 13 year old teen in stead of a man!! And what is up with the backgrounnds!?! One word… Hideous! I mean George’s head is bigger than his body! Why did they change him? What is up withh his loincloth strap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! George never had one in the movies!!!!!!!! It just takes away from his muscles and looks and he would look like a real man if he showed more of his pecks! He is a guy 4 cryin’ out loud! Guys dont cover up their body like that! Ugg! I mean it would have been better with a older, taller George with better graphics (not so cartoony like the dumb shows like Camp Lazlo, Squirrel Boy, Ed Edd, en Eddy, etc…) more muscles, he doesnt cover up his muscles with the stupid loincloth strap. Since this is a very dumb cartoon show I bet…wait scratch that thought, I know there will be very little smashing into trees and vine swinging!!!! (Im so mad) It was hillarious in the first movie where they r like… “Geogre look out for that TREE!!” and George goes “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and smashes into the tree. It is also hillarious because he slams into the tree so fast he smashes his n*ts and then he slides down the tree and there r many branches under him and his n*ts get smashed every time he slides down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was hillarious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know they wont add it but I wish they would so badly! Proabably 99.99% agree with me too!! Thanks!

  • Aaron

    OMG! Im back again! Someone just kick me in the nuts! This is going 2 be 1 of the WORST shows ever!

  • Hello

    Very interesting information! Thanks!


  • I’m a 47-year-old magazine cartoonist. I’m currently drawing up a new cartoon strip (talk about a dying market) in Adobe Illustrator. It was a tough choice; I’m VERY old school. Hard to ditch my pens and ink.

    I’ve chosen to use a VECTOR program for a variety of reasons, a lot of those reasons were mentioned during the video.

    I’ve come darn close to getting the strip to look like it was done with the old dip pens, and Illustrator let’s me edit, save poses, etc.

    I am well aware of one thing, if the strip sucks, no one will care how I did the damn strip. I am also WELL aware that STORY and HUMOR will carry crappy art everytime.

    The vector animation in the clip above looked pretty damn good. If the story and gags are there, no kid is going to care how it was made.

  • Oluseyi

    “The cartoon is for kids.” Cool, but so what? We really have no place discussing whether kids will like it; it was posted to Cartoon Brew for examination by animation enthusiasts, and the core challenge to this new George of the Jungle show is that the drawings are UGLY.

    We haven’t seen the show. We can’t judge the show on its thematic merits – we don’t know enough. We *can*, however, assess the show based on its visual and animation style, and we find it wanting.

    The indictment of Flash is silly. It’s just a tool. As illustrators, animators and enthusiasts, our prior concern is with the artistic expression, and while we appreciate Kevin and his crew for finding ways to deliver a show presumably sufficiently within the cost constraints that they can keep all the production local, it is clear that the majority here are not enamored with the look and feel of the show.

    Nothing personal. I just think the show is ugly, visually derivative and cliche in its affectations – the voices and extreme poses (with little to no tweens) are reminiscent of most of the cartoons I dislike currently on tv.

    I know what it takes to create even a bad show, so I still applaud Kevin and the Studio B crew.

  • Will S.

    I am new to this site, having just stumbled upon it. After reading the entire discussion, I have some comments. Keep in mind that I am only slightly more educated than a layperson when it comes to animation. I am purely an enthusiast with a quick wit and a sharp tongue. This is going to be long, because I am responding to the entire discussion.

    1. Where does it say that you have to be better at animation than the person whose work you are criticizing? I see this point brought up by a certain poster repeatedly. Surely you do not have to be a classical composer to discuss the works of Mozart or Beethoven. Surely you do not expect your viewers to study animation before they can determine if they like a show or not?

    2. This is very important: people (kids, adults) watching your shows DO NOT CARE about your budgets or deadlines or YOUR jobs being outsourced to other countries. If other countries can produce better animation on the cheap, what does the viewer care? In the end, it’s about the art of animation, not the job of paying bills. The people watching the animation don’t care about the poor, starving animator and they especially do not want to be reminded of the poor, starving animator *while watching the show*.

    What the animated picture is supposed to do is transport you to another world, which is why it’s not live-action in the first place. But when I watched the “new adventures of spiderman” show when I was a kid (the one that ran till ’98) I was constantly annoyed by the very choppy animation, which seemed to get worse the further the show progressed. It annoyed me so much, in fact, that I stopped watching it.
    The same goes for the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons that they used to air on Cartoon Network here in the Netherlands. Limited animation is just not as much fun to look at. Even when I was a little kid, I changed the channel whenever Scooby Doo, the Flintstones, the Jetsons or one of the other Clone Shows was on. If I want to look at people just standing there spouting lines and seeing the same five animations loop over and over I’ll just… oh wait, I don’t want to watch that at all.

    These days it’s even worse. Almost EVERY cartoon looks the same. I figured out they were using Flash pretty quickly when I got a TV after four years of going without.

    How did I figure that out? Because I used to visit Newgrounds a lot, six or seven years ago, and I recognized the lame attempts at 3D, the obvious use of vectors, the pose-to-pose animation with no actual drawing. Especially the face-turning is stomach-churning: if I saw someone’s entire face sliding across their head in real life, I would be horrified. It’s not even an approximation of how it should look in a cartoon: it just looks weird.

    In some shows they even use actual fully rendered 3D models to save on animation time. Don’t they notice how out of place it looks to have choppily animated characters right next to a highly detailed CGI spaceship? (Team Galaxy, I’m looking at YOU specifically, but there are many others as well.)

    It seems that the only options are:
    * over-simplified vector-based characters;
    * choppily animated anime-lookalikes;
    * rendered/ray-traced 3D-animated characters/objects.
    Sometimes, all three occur in the same show! Talk about coherent!

    It’s all about high school, superheroes, hidden identities, etc. etc. But seriously, I know you Americans like your comics, but why does EVERY show have to be about “super” “heroes” and high school? And WHY does every storyline have to be the same? I can predict what the storyline is going to be every time, usually just from watching the title splash. And I know I’m not alone. Just from the first 20 seconds, you can figure out “oh, this is the flashback episode” “oh, this is the one where they switch bodies” “oh, this is the one where the bad guy mind controls the good guy” “oh, this is the one where they get turned into animals”.
    Wacky (and predictable) hijinks ensue!

    Every show looks the same, and even worse, since it’s all being dubbed over in Dutch these days, they all SOUND the same. It’s like they only use 6 voice actors for every dubbed cartoon on the air here in the past five years. For example, when I see an old skinny guy in a suit, whether he’s the spymaster or the butler, I KNOW which voice he’s going to have, because they ALWAYS use the same guy.
    I know this really doesn’t apply to US animation, but it does apply to BUDGETS and TV network executives. I will absolutely not watch dubbed animation which has been done on the cheap.

    3. Just because you need to network like everybody else doesn’t mean you shouldn’t critique other people’s work. This is something that I encounter more and more in American online professional communities; there is rampant brown-nosing, because god forbid that you might actually offend someone with your criticism and miss a future employment opportunity. But by doing this, you become just another animation drone.
    I love how people can be extremely critical of some things, but when it comes to a project they worked on it’s all good – and not just in this specific thread. (Bee Movie, I’m looking at you). I know it’s crap, you know it’s crap, don’t pretend it’s not please. I know you’re doing it to pay the bills, you know you’re doing it, let’s not pretend you’re doing it for the kids. If they were *your* kids, I’m sure you’d want to do better than mediocre then, but they’re not, and you’re not.

    I do feel a lot of bitterness here, and it is logical: you want to draw engaging characters and animate them vividly so they come alive on the screen. Then the network heads come in with their Focus Groups and whatnot, and you end up making obnoxiously loud and visually busy, cheap-ass, derivative assembly-line films just to pay the bills. But you love animation! And you love the skill and effort that goes into making an animated film!
    Why do you insist on churning out cruddy cartoons then, to pay the bills? The mind boggles.

    This is not about Flash, it’s about MONEY. I think one of the worst things to do when you love animation is to become a professional animator in the employment of a large entertainment company: you’re absolutely guaranteed to have to compromise your ideals about animation. How can you churn out half-assed crud when you are so passionate about the art of animation? How do you live with yourself?

    Also, and this is very important for the non-brownnosers: if you state your criticism in a constructive manner, without resorting to hyperbole (hyperbile?), it will be a lot more effective. If you equal Flash to the destruction of the animation industry, and then you bash someone for using Flash, you are guaranteed to get flamed back because that makes it PERSONAL: you just implied that the other person is one of those who are destroying the animation industry.

    As for the new George of the Jungle animation, it looks crappy and it looks just like every other cartoon that’s on the television now. It also sounds the same and it even *smells* the same: it smells of crap.

    Foster’s looks different and doesn’t follow an episodic format (heresy!) which actually made me keep watching it; the character designs are fresh and the animation style is coherent and appropriate. I can still see the Flash working behind it, but it’s not as distracting as in other shows, and at least it is coherent in its visual style.

    So, in closing, this has been a very informative look at how the US/Canadian animation community actually ‘works’ and it has confirmed what I gleaned from watching TV. I’m not very impressed.

    DISCLAIMER: you may have noticed that I have not mentioned anyone specifically, but actually I did. This is because I am a giant hypocrite and I did not actually want to give any constructive criticism on the whole animation issue. You all know damn well what can (and must) be done to make a better cartoon.

    My best regards,

  • A

    Its really sad to see all those really negative comments about a show, that people actually love right now, AND that animators, like myself, are working really hard on.
    I loved working on George and I am sorry for those people who waste their time bad mouthing other people’s work.

  • Jason Armadillo

    Why was there a need to even “re-imagine” George of the Jungle? Why not just make a new show with a dumb Tarzan-like character? Since it’s been said that no “kids” watching TV today have any idea about the original, why even bother calling it “George of the Jungle” and spending the cash licensing the rights? Seems like a waste of money that could be better spent on other aspects of the show. Is it because of some perceived popularity of the movies?

    On similar note, in my opinion, “The Mighty B” is appealing to young and old. All this crap about catering to kids? I agree, it’s just an excuse. And a lame one at that…

    Yeah, I’m not an animator but I do know a thing or two about cartoons and animation.