Sunday, 27 December 2009

Roll on 2010...

Well folks, the end of 2009 is nigh, and looking back on the events I've experienced, I've learnt something very special....

This totally kicked the Asp of 2008! :D

Really, though, I realised that I've kept true to my resolution last year about trying new things, accepting change and being more outgoing. Which is a good thing because so much has happened throughout this year - thankfully most of them good than bad - that I've learnt that, at times, it seems pretty pointless to make even the most perfect of plans because for whatever reason, something or someone is bound to throw a spanner in the works.

Sure, some situations will get better, others you'd have to adjust to - but whatever happens, especially the latest muck-ups I've had these last two months at least, I've finally learnt to accept this age old phrase:

"Anything Goes."

So for 2010, this shall moreorless be my motto. If future plans do bugger up for me, I'll just grit my teeth and handle them as best I can regardless of the predicaments I face and their outcomes to follow.

I've also been making further plans for my own future to come - so expect to see this blog to be a little more active if all goes to plan - touch wood.

So for my final blog post this year, here's to a Happy (and hopeful) New Year :)

Friday, 18 December 2009

Three Angels...

....minus one caveman X)

Just some more Hanna-Barbera fan arts. Secretly, I had a little crush on the "Teen Angels" as a lad......any reason why? ^^;

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Monday, 14 December 2009

Various Fan Arts

OK, I will get round to doing a Christmas-related blog sometime this month, but first some random fan arts for your pleasure ;)

First off this chap - Dino by name used to be a mascot for a milkshake drink called "Yazoo", and also managed to star in some brief, short but memorable adverts some yoinks back. I often think about this guy from time to time. Such a shame they're really hard to come by, even on YouTube :P

Count Duckula, drawn from memory - need I say more? XD

Now this was fun - on the left is some fanart of Chuck Jones' earliest design for the Road Runner, which eventually became the familiar design (to the right) to this day =)

Finally, this one's for the UK fans - Sad Sack from "The Raggy Dolls"...which seriously needs a DVD release this time next century....!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Danger Mouse - Cat-astrophe

Danger Mouse is, without a doubt, one of Cosgrove Hall's best-selling cartoons in the world, alongside Count Duckula and the TV Series of The Wind in the Willows. Before politic correctness, before the dumbing down on kids intelligence, before the dreadful reign of Hanna Montana and Fairly Odd Parents, shows like Danger Mouse ruled our British Screens, and it was all thanks to the brilliant wit of Brian Trueman - the writer and voice actor of many of CH's shows at the time - that DM and Penfold are still fondly remembered over 25 years later.

Out of all the villians DM has encountered - Baron Greenback, Prof. Crumhorn, J. J. Quark - I've always admired PAWS for being a true physical threat to DM - relying on his own strength and mine-reading skills against our hero whereas the mentioned villains relied on schemes, divertions and other creatures to destroy DM instead of doing their own dirty work. Plus, Paws has a kick-A voice that matches his appearance perfectly :D

Not only that but what I like about this episode is, whilst most of the series run relied on reused animation, ala Hanna-Barbera, the "new" animation scenes involved are so much more smoother and slightly different compared to how the characters were drawn in, say, the first 2 seasons. My favourite sequence starts from 3:36 in the video. Notice how slightly chubbier DM and Penfold appear before and during their encounter with Paws.

Although I'm especially fond of the animation style at 7:10 when Penfold finds Colonel K - for some reason, the movement and apperance of the characters here puts me in mind of Peter Maddocks' funny old style. While a little stiffer-looking, it stills upholds the quality DM look throughout the remainder of the episode.

....and if anyone's tired of me rambling at this point, then rejoice by watching the episode itself! ;)

Monday, 7 December 2009

Salute for Collingwood O'Hare

Some various character arts in honour of British animation company Collingwood O'Hare - run by Tony Collingwood and Christopher O'Hare - who were responsible for bringing "Dennis the Menace" (The Beano) to our screens and the delightful but little-known "Animal Stories" on CITV from yoinks ago.

Today, they still entertain us with shows for the young and slightly older - including Gordon the Garden Gnome...

...and The Secret Show.

What else they may have in the pipeline? Who knows....but I surely hope it's as universal and joyful as, say, Yoko! Jakamoto! Toto! =)

Thursday, 26 November 2009

"COOEEE! Duckyboos...!"

"...Nanny's got some Hot Cocoa and Choccy Biccies!" :D

Just a fun excuse to do some traditional colouring if anything else ;)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

"Tijuana" have some fun...?

For many people who don't really know, DePatie-Freleng studios produced more than just "the Pink Panther" since it opened its doors. With a majority of the old WB Animation crew when Warner Bros closed its animation dept. down, DPF was also responsible for making "Roland and Rattfink", "the Ant and the Aardvark", "The Inspector" and, most obscure of all, "the Tijuana Toads".

The latter series starred Toro and Pancho, two Mexican Bullfrogs who have "inherited" the same characteristics of Warner Bros' previous one-shot stars Manuel and Hose, two "me-hee-can" crows.
Now the toads were an interesting series with a more interesting history - they only appeared on television by being redubbed as the "Texas Toads" to be less offensive to their viewing audience. But the original Tijuana heritage was the novelty of this fun little series; while obviously showing the stereotypic Mexican behaviour and stupidity, it's what most fans remembered and adored most of all. And this 1970 entry, "Hop and Chop", takes the stereotypicness just a little further... :D

While this seemed like a somewhat tired gag at the time (the portrayal of the Japanese Beetle's appearance and "diarogue") the story and animation is really very, very funny! This was down to Grant Simmons, from the Grantray-Lawrence Studio with partner Ray Patterson. He was hired by DePatie-Freleng to do some direction in 1970 but completed only two cartoons (this one, and a Roland and Rattfink entry "The Foul Kin") before his death that same year. And it's a shame because Grant's two sole entries seemed more "animated" and bouncy, along the same lines of Art Davis and Hawley Pratt's contributions to the studio during their time.

Each and every frame rate of the toads looks brilliant - every expression, every eye blink just makes me grin from ear to here's a few examples of what I'm talking about:

Another interesting fact was that the Tijuana Toads would also introduce three future stars from DePatie-Freleng - The Blue Racer (debuting in "Snake in the Gracias") would gain his own series alongside the Japanese Beetle (who in turn would be given a new colour and voice) as well as Crazylegs Crane (who would feature in several other Tijuana and Blue Racer shorts before landing his own series in a future Pink Panther TV Show).

Please share your thoughts on the Toads themselves if you wish :)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Animal Designs

Just some randomness to keep my skills (and my pencils) sharp =)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Rada Rant

Hmmm...seems like Schnitzel seems annoyed about something...probably ranting about the current state the Cartoon Network is in (an' I don't blame the poor guy XP )

Schnitzel © C H Greenblatt

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Freak The Cheat

" fweaked out The Cheat."

This was meant as a Halloween deviation, but thought it better to post it anyway - "Better Late Than Never", as th' saying goes.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Addams, Wendesday...and Pugsley

Lord, how I miss this version of "The Addams Family". This was HB at its best when it wasn't churning out Scooby-Doo like a Weiner Factory :P

Why there is so little demand to get this Addams Family series on DVD? The people who own all the shows we love during this time period (and before) obviously don't realise that they gain greater interest and more money by releasing OLD shows to DVD instead of milking the newer, static stuff like a poorly heffa...

And there's your thought for the day. 2p, please.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Dat a Snail

...yep, dat's what it is :)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Goofy Rap Star

Another classic scene from Disney's "House Of Mouse", which remained as faithful to the original Goofy theatrical shorts in its own, modern way by continuing the trademark "How To" cartoons.

This scene ( from about 5:00 in the video below) was based from "How To Be a Rock Star", which proves why Goofy should never attempt modern music...without or without squirrels! XD

Monday, 2 November 2009

I'm a One Can...

..I'm a Toucan =)

But here's Three Cans fer luck XD

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Green Anaconda

Just felt really tempted to draw a big ol' snake after watching another catchy, fun tune from "The Big Green Rabbit Show". The scene from 0:20 just nails me each time! XD

Friday, 30 October 2009

Happy Halloweenie Ev'rybody!

OK, so it's been a while since I last posted - trust RL to get in the way of process yet again XP - but considering that Halloween is fast approaching, I thought it a chance to review a lesser-known animated Halloween special that many US fans might well be aware of:

Sort of like a prequel to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", this - like many Dr. Seuss animations at the time - were brought to life by DePatie-Freleng Studios (Pink Panther, the Ant and the Aardvark, Tijuana Toads) and all penned by Dr. Seuss himself (alias Theodor Seuss Geisel).The story revolves around Whoville and on a particular time of of year called "Grinch Night" when the "Sour-Sweet" wind starts up, causing a variety of animals to start growling and grumbling, which annoys the Grinch into terrorizing the Whos, who all go into hiding. Only this year a small Who by the name of Euchariah is caught by the fierce wind and blown onto Mount Crumpet, where upon he discovers the Grinch's latest plan for "Grinch Night" and plans to stop him until the "Sour-Sweet" Wind has died down....
While it's not on-par with the success that is HTGSC, Grinch Night does have its moments that have made itself an impact on anyone who happened to catch its first airing back in 1977, and perhaps it being a somewhat "predecessor" to Tim Buton's "The Nightmare before Christmas" - ie; being magical, bizarre, surreal, chocked full of songs and rather psychedelic. Otherwise, it's a pretty good special with its usual Seuss-ness involved.
What's more, after watching it once or twice, I've discovered there is more to this special that meets the eye, with certain tidbits and nods that might go waaaay above the heads of today's youth:

- When young Euchariah Who is caught by the wind, he is making his way to the outhouse (ie: toilet/bathroom) simply referred to as the "euphemism" - which, apparently, is a form of censorship:
" inoffensive word or phrase substituted for one considered offensive or hurtful"

- The Grinch's latest plot to terrorise Whoville involves a large wagon full of monsters named the "Paraphernalia Wagon" - which is a definition for a drug, hence the rather psyched-out scenes when within the wagon itself!

- A particular scene involves the Grinch's eyebrows to fly off from his head. Now this was originally based on an idea Dr. Seuss himself conjured up for a stand-alone film, which didn't receive much enthusiasm at the time. So it seemed appropriate for Giesel to make use of this throwaway idea all the same :)
More info on the "eyebrows" story can be read here, taken from the Cartoon Brew blog.

So there's the long and short of this great grinchy tale
Some things may seem odd but never did fail
to keep the minds both for young and for old

a-thinking, a-tinking and shining like gold.
So relieve those times when one asked for a fright

by watching bellow three parts of GRINCH NIGHT!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Well Snap Me Down...'s Sniz and Fondue! The two crazy ferrets who originally starred as a segment on Nickelodeon's "Kablam!" show, and were later granted their own short but sweet series.

...why isn't there any demand for shows like these!? The humour is off-the-wall mayhem with franticly funny performances from the cast themselves, all told in a perfect limit of 5 - 6 minutes. So here's a selection of the best this mini-series had to offer - with many thanks to creator Michael Pearlstein for the memories 8-):

Friday, 9 October 2009

Family Guy - Disney Style!

This was inspired by a brilliant scene in the latest Family Guy series - possibly the only brilliant thing its produced so far - when the characters enter a Disney Universe for a glorious 3 minutes of streamlined animation and FAR better character designs (except for Meg, who I obviously altered to suit this scene).

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Sketch Dump

A randomness of bugs, cats and funny hats =D

Monday, 5 October 2009

Space Goofs - Then and Now

Now one of the most surprising revivals to the media world has been Space Goofs (Aka: "Home to Rent" in the UK), created by French-based animation studio Xilam. The series revolved around five aliens (Etno, Bud, Candy, Gorgeous and Stereo) who crash-land on Earth and hide out in a house to rent while trying to find ways to return to their home planet - at the same time, having to put up with strange residents who take refuge in the house.

It's a pretty cool series, which had a shaky start, to be honest. From having reviewed the original episodes after a 10-year absence from my life, the first series from 1996 suffered quite a bit from slow-paced animation and half-decent storylines. Some ideas sounded good but didn't have enough energy or "pazazz" to keep them entertaining enough. In fact, weren't it for the fact that this show included Charlie Adler and Maurice LeMarche as part of the voice cast - as well as a rockin' them tune from Pop Sensation Iggy Pop - this would have sunk out of existence entirely...


In 2000, Xilam announced that Space Goofs was to receive a second series, which earned itself a healthy, long-time run on Nicktoons and Nickelodeon for quite a spell in the UK. From watching every episode of Season 2, it seems that the writers, animators and even the creators have avoided the same mistakes from before - the animation was more rubbery and certainly cartoony, the storylines sharper with plenty of tougue-in-cheek, slapstick humour and it made great use to update the aliens with modern technology, such as DVDs and mobile phones (one episode was even based entirely on parodying Anime!)

To show what I mean, let us take a look at how much these rubbery weirdos from space have evolved by observing the opening sequences frame-by-frame. Apologies for the quality, BTW. This was all I could find online :P :

I have no idea why but the top frame somehow makes me grin; just seeing how ridiculously blank the aliens' faces look, especially Candy's (the green one).
Whereas the bottom frame from the recent series has brighter colours and shows more emotion for the cast present. Note (if you can) that Gorgeous (the blue alien) is taking over the "driving" from Candy, and pretty fed up with it he looks, too!

Now this is another fun moment; the aliens' reactions just before their ship hits the asteroid that causes their ship to crash-land. The top frame from the First Season is any excuse to have the aliens go completely off-model (which seemed pretty normal throughout the series itself), but the wild takes weren't pretty common in the first season, sadly.

The bottom frame, on the other hand, has the character more on-model, but the reaction isn't as wild and exaggerated as the original version. However, the animation of the crash is much smoother than the first season's opening. Notice how the space BG has some cool-looking cloud-like atmosphere and, like the aliens, appears more brighter and colourful thanks to digital colouring.

The first time we "meet" Candy, showing his love for cleaning with his trusty vacuum cleaner. It's obvious to see how stiff, colourless and tired Candy looks in the top frame (mainly due to the position of his arms) whereas the bottom frame from the second series shows him more into his work; bouncy, busy and content. Notice that his hoover has been redesigned to be more detailed and chunkier, and not ressemble a strange lollipop XP

And now we "meet" Bud (the orange dude) and Gorgeous. This is a great comparison to how much Xilam have upped the design and style in this particular series of theirs.
See the position of their legs in the top frame, which seem weirdly drawn for some reason, as well as seeing that Bud and Gorgeous both seem to be missing an arm each!

But the bottom frame has both characters nicely on-model, showing their arms and legs caught in action in perfect, lively action, not to mention have them appear more "cuddly" and colourful than before. (I personally adore how Gorgeous looks here!)

And again, as we meet Etno (the purple brainiac, having been booted out of a mouse hole), here we can again compare to the line of action.
Etno seems to resemble too much like a purple sausage in the top frame, with some oddly-drawn arms and legs stuck onto his otherwise misshapen face.
But in the bottom panel, they've given his body, arms and legs more life - better structure and an even funnier, perplexed expression for this hapless alien.

...Oh, I hear you cry "hey! Where's the two-headed alien guy?"

This was another surprise from Xilam. Stereo was removed from the Second Series for admittedly behind "a very weak character" to write for. However, he does appear in a couple of episodes when he returns to the house (from having gone to get help, so it appears) and has gained an usually large fan base amongst fans. Just type his name on "Google" and you'll see what I mean...!

So that's really the long an' short of it - from how a not-so-great series was given a second chance and outshone the first season by lightyears! Below you can view an episode each from both seasons and compare the many changes that it went through.

"Old MacDonald had a House" from Series 1 was one of a few episodes that actually gave Stereo a speaking role! You can see some of the stale points in this episode, the saving grace this being a sly touch towards George Orwell's "Animal Farm":

OMDHAH - Part 1

OMDHAH - Part 2

"The 'Thing' From Beyond" is, sadly, the only episode of Series 2 available online (and in English!) but it demonstrates the fun and frantic behaviour it adapted - from the hilarious Disney parody to an outstanding performance from Candy, visual and verbal. I believe this was all down to Olivier Jene-Marie, who directed, storyboarded and wrote most of the episodes from the start of Season 2 (so far as I know); he is one of a few people in this team that has a somewhat wilder imagination next to Thomas Szabo (who went on to create the fantastic "Minuscule" series):

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Wii Drawings

These sketches came after watching my Brother playing a difficult game with his Wii form. He's pretty passionate about winning, he is...! XD

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Tom and Jerry Octopus

Any Tom and Jerry fan who has watched "Tom and Jerry Tales" will admit that, naturally, the TV Series will always be tamer than the original theatrical shorts. While that maybe so, the team behind it did manage to slip in a few Easter Eggs to long-time fans old and new, which included some familiar characters of the MGM "family" - mostly featuring Tex Avery's characters like Droopy or the "Rock-a-bye Bear" - but this guy rather surprised even me;

In this episode, an amorous French Octopus mistakes Tom, disguised as a mermaid, for a real one while the cat pursues after Jerry in an underwater chase.

Little did I knew that the Octopus (a poor squid's Pepe le Pew, some may consider) featured much sooner in the 1953 MGM movie "Dangerous When Wet", starring Esther Williams. In one part of the film, she encounters Tom and Jerry in a surreal dream sequence, which is where our eight-legged friend came in...
While a full episode of the Tom and Jerry Tales entry is unavailable, I thought it'd be better to show the Esther Williams scene - just because! ;)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Me-HEE-can Hottie

Drew this doll up as a small tribute to Ana Ortiz's fab performance as "Ugly Betty's" Hilda Suarez. Now that's a woman you don't want to rattle...