Saturday Morning Cartoon: CreateToons’ THE MODERN CAVEMAN

createtoons guys

 

NOW PRESENTING: SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS! Because let’s face it… Without The Mighty Ducks animated series, Goosebumps, or The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Saturday Morning Cartoons have not been the same since the 90s. Can I get an “amen?” AMEN! Speaking of “Amen,” meet Feeble, the little naked guy on the left!

Feeble and his buddy on the right, Chops, are The Modern Cavem(e)n! Walking through life butt-naked, without even a BUTT!, these two encounter the modern day through the neandrathalic eyes of the caveman. Featured above is their debut snapshot.

One of my favorite things about other cartoon bloggers is their explanation for their cartoon work! Because, we can all interpret a funny picture in our own right. That’s what they’re here for– to make you laugh! So, I’ll let the Facebookers who haven’t read my blog do their own interpreting! For you rockstars out there that read this far into it… YOU WILL KNOW ALL!

Though the first impression may be that this cartoon is a commentary on the Catholic church being picky or judgmental! That is not the case at all! I, myself, am a Catholic and don’t think those things at all! WHAT IT IS, THOUGH… It’s a commentary on everyone (EVEN ME–look at me getting all personal… We’re like best friends now… right?? I love you–what?)  becoming fastened to social media so much so that our involvement has become the Google Analytics of our LIVES! How many Facebook friends we have defines how we think of ourselves and how we think others think of us!

Of course, this isn’t universal! Some of us are detached enough that we don’t give a HootSuite… Quite obviously, Feeble gives a hoot. POOR GUY! But don’t you worry Feeble! We’ll have you back as soon as possible and hopefully we’ll catch you in a more delightful mood. (You’re killin’ my vibe, little naked dude!!)

Stay tooned, CreateToons Studios-likers, because I have become so obsessed with creating the cartoons that pop in my head all of a sudden, that you will be seeing more and more… So STAY TOONED this week for posts, but most importantly, for NEXT SATURDAY when you will have a sneak peek into our other recurring cartoon:

THE HOUSE ON BLUEBERRY HILL. SPOOKY, right? Comment below with what you liked, what you loved and what you hated! Because I give a HOOT! Always getting better, but I need your constant criticism and just a dash of praise to feed my ego. IT’S STARVING! Now, get off Facebook! You’re making Feeble hyperventilate!

Keep Moving Forward… (AKA So long, Lion King)

The world turns quickly. Every minute, dozens of creative brains pitch their next big idea to make the world greater, easier and best of all, newer.  It’s no wonder we’re obsessed with everything NEW.  HEY! What about old things?? Yeah, we love them, too. FEEL THE LOVE. BUT. What is it about these old things that we love? I owned a Talkboy (Stolen Credit Card??) and  an R2D2 tape player that played my stellar Scooby-Doo tape. However, today, I toss my voice into garageband and instantly become a chipmunk or elderly woman instead of lugging some bulky Talkboy that autocorrect doesn’t recognize. And if I want to rock out to the Scooby-Doo soundtrack, I pop out Pandora.

Where do we draw the line between nostalgia and actually serving a purpose? Truth is, there’s not always that fine a line. Like myself, John Kahrs fell in love with the art of hand-drawn animation when he first stepped into Walt Disney Studios (minus the Walt Disney Studios part)– the texture, the life of it all that, at times, is lost behind the technology of CG. SURE, if Disney-Pixar created Monsters Inc with 2D animation, Sully’s full blue locks just wouldn’t be the same! 3D animation has built a gargantuan home in animation, especially these days (they’re taking over!). However, I, like Kahrs, believe 2D animation has its home on our LGs as well. I have a hard time believing a movie like Disney’s The Lion King could have been any better in CG. I’d be so bold to say Disney would agree! (Feel free to comment below, Disney!)

Paperman-shortAnimation is like a puzzle and you piece it all together–the story, the characters, the medium, the voices and so on. Depending on your voice talent, artist, or the medium (i.e. hand-drawn or CG) you have a drastically different story to tell the world. One isn’t better than the other, RIGHT? WELL…. That depends who you ask. The box office would tell you hand-drawn animation is another Titanic–post iceberg. It’s dropping deeper and deeper into the dark of our childhood nostalgia where it might as well stay as far as Disney is concerned. But not if Kahrs has anything to say about it. Kahrs created Paperman to keep hand drawn sketches planted in the final featured CG animation. SO, what we have now is BOTH. Now, we’re talking! Why didn’t I think of that? That’s right! Because I’m not a bloody genius like this guy (Read once more with British accent). Right around the same time as Paperman was introduced to John Lasseter, Disney let go of A LOT of its hand-drawn animation team. The life of a 2D animator is like an endangered animal and Disney holds the smoking barrel. Moreover, they’re about satisfied with the hand-drawn heads on their wall of fame. Will this breakthrough in Disney animation crack a window for hand-drawn animation to form a marriage with the CG world of today?

Either it was a valiant effort and will be a fondly-remembered Disney short or we will see a film, soon, with that same zest for life as Paperman so honestly delivers. CG animators, themselves, love the idea at Disney. Kahrs allegedly would sketch onto their CG animations just to dash on a little extra Disney spice. Let’s face it, when we think of Disney in years to come, there will be a large hand-drawn hole in our CG-loving hearts if all that beautiful hand-drawn animation gets wastefully flushed away.

project_imageWhat do you think? Are you tired of seeing this hand-drawn stuff? Is there a part of you that wishes they would mix it up and do a little bit of both from time to time? Then again, The Princess and the Frog got fantastic reviews but made very little profit (“Disney” little) in comparison to Frozen which may be the top-grossing movie yet. How do you explain that? It might go unexplained. It all comes down to preference. I love hand-drawn animation. I’m sure Walt Disney Studios loves hand-drawn animation too! But investing that much time and money into what people are about sick of– that’s just not smart business.

I guess that’s my last question– There’s no denying that while Walt Disney is a massive conglomerate, creative minds still nestle below the big bucks telling stories that mean the world to them. They put their heart into every frame. BUT when is it wrong to sacrifice the stories you, as storytellers, want to tell– for dollar signs? Is this selling out or is it meeting the public in the middle–“Hey, I’ll save my favorite story for later and tell you one I know YOU’LL love for now…” Either way, I think storytellers from the beginning have told their tales through one medium or another. Cavemen wrote on walls, writers write books, artists paint portraits and animators animate. Experimenting with cutting edge mediums is the way of the storyteller. I look eagerly to the future as maybe Walt Disney Studios is simply carrying on the legacy Walt Disney intended to be carried. Maybe I need to stop and remember what Walt Disney really wanted.

It’s all fun in the end, telling stories. That’s what keeps us animators and illustrators going. We close our eyes and see the world in color, brighter colors of course with jagged outlining and wacky characters that only exist in lost moments if not quickly scribbled on cocktail napkins. That’s the dream we live to tell, no matter the way we tell it. I think we’ll continue to see incredible stories told in the most fantastic ways just as our parents and their parents saw from the beginning. I have no doubt I will be charmed and inspired very soon.

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“Keep moving forward.”

Walt Disney

 

 

What ARE Tots and Yum Yum? — (WARNING: You may be inspired after reading this)

Meet Tots and Yum Yum: two fur balls straight out of my own crazed Createtoony mind. Seem cute, right? Wrong. They’re FEROCIOUS little monsters who pop into sharp blades of fur! Okay… So, they’re cute… I don’t like that word. How about awesome? Getting there… From where did Tots and Yum Yum actually emerge? Well, a ridiculous question requires a ridiculous answer. (how else could I keep you reading?)

Backwash? Gross!

Tots and Yum Yum emerged from the curious toddlers I call family. Watching my nephews and nieces grow: the way they interpret the world is absurd and hysterical! We dedicate the way Tots and Yum Yum discover “The Box” to the remote turned phone, the couch turned stage, the light switch turned hobby and every other fantastic innovation of the useless objects we call essentialThey are my inspiration. So, I didn’t come up with the idea on my own? STOP with the ridiculous questions, would ya!

All creative people are inspired. Every idea is the backwash of someone else’s. Gross. But the idea has changed; it’s brand spankin new to be used however you like! You’re the creator. This is kinda, extremely crucial to being a creator. A 100% original idea (one with zero inspiration) is lame! Ever seen Cars? John Lasseter, a Createtoons favorite, created Disney/Pixar’s Cars for one sole reason: he loved cars. He was inspired by them and decided the world would be a greater place if our TVs allowed us all to hear what our ’01 Toyota Corrolla (RIP) would say to us. I don’t know if I could handle that in the real world: “I need oil, stop breaking handles, and for God’s sake, stop singing that Grease song.” WHINE MUCH?

Looking for inspiration? Look at things you love! You like writing? Read! You like making movies? Watch them. Because deep beneath the mile-high piles of work that the world created before you popped along, there’s a spark. You need to get to it, give it a little oxygen and watch it singe its way to the top! That’s what John Lasseter does and exactly what Createtoons does.

 

Go Now.

Now you know Tots and Yum Yum and you’ll meet the rest of the Createtoons Monsters before you know it! (obviously– how would you know it before it happens…) So keep an eye out for my work and look at the millions of others, because in the end, your work–the sketches, the word docs, the cure for the common cold–is only as powerful as the flame from spark you forge.

You’re inspired now! Grab some lighter fluid and a sketch pad—Time’s a tickin’!

 

 

 

Like, ZOINKS!—40 Years of Jinkies

Shaggy and Scooby

Betty White, VCRs, oldies stations—What is it about these things that we cling to? We connect with them on some odd personal level in our childhood and then POOF! we’re twenty-something and Youtubing that Sugar Ray song or old Hey Arnold episode when Helga had the fruit and gum statue dedicated to “football head.”

Shaggy and Scooby

What’s wrong with Ryan Seacrest’s America’s Top 40? Why do we still air Casey Kasem’s from over 30 years ago?

Do these childhood fossils fill some gaping nostalgic chasm? Let’s face it! Everyone has that day they wish Uncle Rico’s crystals could throw them back to three when the front porch was the edge of the world and politics was just another channel to change.

Turns out, a few episodes of Friends are Uncle Rico’s true crystals to escaping back to the 90s: the color-infested decade that brought us Will Smith rap. Anyone remember Scooby-Doo? Remember? Have you picked up a TV Guide lately? (Is that still a thing?) Scoob’s still surfing the channels! Like, ZOINKS! How did they pull that off? The guys that created Scoob and the gang (Hanna-Barbera) have long since passed on! So, who’s keeping it going? We are.

If you think the folks at Z107.7 are playing the music they like, you will be shocked to hear they have scanners that tell them what amount of people is listening to what song. If the Greater St. Louis area simultaneously stopped listening to Kesha’s “Timber” for two days straight, we’d put Kesha back to work for a while… We are fascinated by what we no longer have, but fortunately, because of nostalgic artists who happen to be brilliant, these cartoons thrive still today. That’s right! The generation to come will gawk at the screen for Scooby-Doo, too. Who knows? Maybe even the generation after.

And if television programmers nix it one day—Well, I’ll be grateful I held onto that VCR.