Search For Treasures

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Evaluating Admiration and Role Model

I have been thinking about my heroes in the world of cartoons and animation. I've been reading up on a lot of these people for quite some time. I'm quite surprised by the wide variety of opinions about certain figures in cartoon history.

For example, we have the established view of history, with the respected critics and their views of events, such as the view of Disney as the godsend and the be-all-end-all of animation, and that the other studios produced mere "entertainment". That would be the view that Disney wants to impart on us. Another view offers us the view of Disney as the Anti-Christ, who sucked all the joy and made cartoons rebel against their inherent nature. This goes on for every figure in the medium, from animators like Freddie Moore and Rod Scribner, to directors such as Chuck Jones and Ralph Bakshi.

Ever since I started visiting animation blogs, a whole new world has opened my eyes and my mind. I've only ever heard one side of the story about these legends. It was at first hard to listen to such criticisms, because I had pretty much been indoctrinated. For example, John Kricfalusi has stated on a few occasions about Chuck Jones' habit of having Daffy being the loser in those cartoons simply because he preordained it. Or how he picks apart a lot of Disney films, a lot of which I have grown up with. This was a little hard for me to deal with me, because so much praise had been placed upon them that I just began to parrot them.

Now, I've heard opposing opinions and have since then gained a more rounded understanding of these people. I can see a bit of how Chuck Jones can seem to have a sense of preordainment towards his characters, or how Ralph Bakshi does have weak storytelling abilities.

Visiting these sites have opened my eyes to my heros faults, but allowed me to view their strengths as well. I now have a more analytic, discerning mind that allows me to cut through the bullshit the studios throw at us.

The point I've gotten from all of these blogs and postings is that you must understand your influences, and learn from their strengths and failings. Thus you can learn to avoid those mistakes, and thus keep from repeating them. That is something that I don't see in the media today. You hear a lot about a person's artistic influences, but you don't hear about what they learned to keep and what to avoid.

I know this seems like an obvious statement to make, but there are those that don't learn this. They don't learn to have a discerning eye. Thus they never advance as artists. Current animation studios keep rehashing all of the ideas of the old studios, with out understanding what made those old cartoons great in the first place. Cartoon Network works a lot in that angular, 1950s style, but don't know how to properly draw that style.

I think this industry, in fact all industries need to learn to use critical thinking and analysis. Sorry if I seem to be rambling, but this was just something I had to write down. I couldn't think of any proper order to put this in, so I'm just writing what comes to mind. Thanks to those who actually read this insane babbling.

For reading this, I shall reward you with some funny cartoons.
Have Fun,

Until next time kiddies.


joe bloke said...

hey, you don't have to thank us, mate. just keep up the posting.

oh, yeah: and I agree.

Jim Smith said...

Heavy stuff dude. You get the first shirt no charge. Thanks for the many comments

Weirdo said...

Thanks Jim. I've already sent you an email with my address.

Anonymous said...

"The point I've gotten from all of these blogs and postings is that you must understand your influences, and learn from their strengths and failings. Thus you can learn to avoid those mistakes, and thus keep from repeating them."

Weirdo, I would like to say that I'm a man who believes in the saying, that "If you forget about your past, it will cost you your future."

And I agree, for the most part, with not only learning the strengths but also learning the weaknesses of ones talents and skill set.

Thank you for taking the time to write out this topic.

From an aspiring animator/ cartoonist

P.S. Sorry for the late reply; school is becoming crazy right now, and only now am I just replying to your nice comment from my Mickey construction post.

By the way, I've been having the problem in finding your cartoon construction posts on your blog.

Weirdo said...

Thanks Joe. Always glad to hear from you. It's nice to have your support.

Weirdo said...

Bruce, the reason you're having a hard time finding them is because I haven't posted any yet. I haven't been working on my cartoon construction lately. I haven't been feeling inspired.

Do you know if Mac has Photoshop, or if it has an equivalent?