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October 25, 2014

john k

Animation news: Samurai Jack movie, John K and Dethklok toys

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 30th 2007 1:01PM

samurai jackIt's 'toon news time. Here's some stuff my fellow animation freaks might find interesting:

  • First off, thanks to reader Ytoabn for telling us about the Frederator Films, a new animation studio (spun off from Frederator Studios) that has a Samurai Jack feature film slated as one of its first projects. Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky will write and direct the movie.
  • The Onion's AV Club has two cool interviews with fans of new and not-so-new 'toons: Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi and Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants (and many other voices).

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Animation news: John K, Aqua Teen movie and a Dethklok tour - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 28th 2007 3:24PM

dethklokHere's some cool animation news from the past week or so:

First, if you dig the heavy metal sounds of Dethklok, the brutal (but rather stupid) band from the Adult Swim series Metalocalypse, you'll be happy to know the band is doing a tour of some college campuses, according to Toon Zone and Adult Swim HQ. I'll keep you posted as more information becomes available. Other yet-to-be-announced bands will also be touring to promote Adult Swim.

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Check out John K's Weird Al video

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 14th 2006 2:02PM

weird alJohn Kricfalusi, creator of Ren and Stimpy, has made a hilariously subversive video for Weird Al's song "Close But No Cigar." The song is what Weird Al would refer to as a "style parody," meaning it's not a parody of a specific song but it does pay homage to the music stylings of Cake. The characters and poses were designed by Kricfalusi and fellow animator Katie Rice. The actual animation was done in Flash by Copernicus Studios in Canada. I've kind of lost track of Weird Al over the years, but this is a very funny song, and the video fits it perfectly. Lots of hot cartoon chicks, plus a face gets eaten and a squirrel is disemboweled. I don't think I could ask for much more in a music video. I've placed it after the jump:

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Milton Gray talks about timing

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 8th 2006 2:58PM

porky's duck huntSome of my fellow bloggers refer to me as the "animation expert," a nice label, but I don't personally consider myself an expert on animation. I'm really just a big fan with a knack for remembering trivial things. Besides, there are a ton of great Web sites and blogs out there by people who actually work in the industry and can talk about things with an authority I just don't have. Case in point: John Kricfalusi recently posted a lengthy missive from Milton Gray on his blog in which Gray, who currently works as an animation timer on The Simpsons, talked about the importance of timing in animation and sung the praises of early animation directors, especially Bob Clampett. Gray writes about how important the hands-on approach was in those early cartoons, and about working within the confines and restrictions of modern animation. Check it out.

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Smigel and Kricfalusi collaboration?

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 24th 2006 11:01AM
george liquorThere are no plans for a collaboration involving Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi and Robert Smigel of TV Funhouse and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog fame, but John K wrote on his blog recently about an encounter with Smigel at Comic-Con in which Smigel expressed his love for John K's "George Liquor" character, and K asked if Smigel would be interested in writing some episodes for a straight-to-video release. This was just two gents chatting, so it means nothing, but what do my fellow animation fans think of a collaboration between these two fellas? I think they have a similar sense of humor, and under the right circumstances they could probably come up with something pretty cool.

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John K sends letter to YouTube

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 7th 2006 3:31PM

porky in wackylandRen and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi is not happy with YouTube. The Spumco founder has been using his blog as a kind of "online classroom" to discuss the history of animation, as well as techniques and craft that were a major part of the "Golden Age" of animation. As a visual aid, he's been posting a lot of clips from YouTube of old Warner Bros. cartoons, but recently received an e-mail from YouTube telling him many of those clips have been taken down due to copyright infringement.

Now, I don't know enough about copyright law to take any definite stance on this, but Kricfalusi's assessment is that he's actually helping to promote these cartoons, and that people who see the crappy versions on YouTube will want to go out and actually purchase the higher quality DVDs. He writes: "While Warner Bros. stops promoting their own great properties by taking the cartoons off of the TV networks, the only way left for young fans to discover these classic films is through YouTube and our fan blogs."

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Billy West: The TV Squad Interview

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 15th 2006 11:15AM
Billy West of Futurama
If you've watched any cartoon on TV in the last fifteen years, chances are you've heard Billy West's voice. West is one of the premier voice actors working today, and during those fifteen years, he's used his versatile voice to create new characters -- and resuurect old ones -- all over the television and movie landscape. From Shaggy to Bugs Bunny to Woody Woodpecker to the Cherios Honey Bee to the Red M&M, the 54-year old West has put his imprint on all of them. But most people know him from two classic cartoon series: On Ren & Stmpy, he did the voices of both main characters (he picked up Ren after creator John Kricfalusi was fired after the first season), and on Futurama he did the voices of Philip Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. John Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan, among others.

In this wide-ranging interview, conducted by phone on May 31, Billy and I talked about his history with John K., the way he went about creating some of his Futurama characters, his early-'90s role on "The Howard Stern Show", and the influx of celebrity voices in current cartoon movies (let's just say he's against it). We also went over all the Futurama Season One episodes in the 90-minute (!) interview, which you will see in my Retro Squad coverage of the show. He was even nice enough to do a Futurama / R&S -themed intro for our APB podcast, which we used to open podcast #13 last week. Needless to say, Billy West is a mensch.

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There was a Beany and Cecil remake?

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 4th 2006 12:06PM
beany and cecilEither I had completely forgotten about this, or I never actually knew about it in the first place, but back in the 1980s, Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi worked on an updated version of Bob Clampett's Beany and Cecil, one of the best cartoons ever made. Now, Clampett was a huge influence on John K's style, so if anyone was going to try and bring this old cartoon back and revamp it for a new audience, I figure he was the best choice. Of course, I think it would be impossible to ever duplicate the brilliance of the original, but based on this full episode I found on YouTube, they did a pretty decent job. There seems to be very little information on this cartoon, and as far as I can tell, IMDb doesn't even have a listing for it. I'm fairly certain voice actor Stan Freberg provides the same voices (Cecil, Dishonest John, etc.) in this cartoon as he did in the original, though I can't be positive about that.

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John K not impressed by animated sitcoms

by Adam Finley, posted May 28th 2006 1:00PM

family guyRen and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi is one of those people I would love to sit in a room with and listen to his rants. Since I'm still working on my John K. Kidnapping Machine, I have to settle for his blog (Warning: NSFW), which he's been using to provide sage advice to people interested in becoming animators and cartoonists, and to slam the conventions of modern day animation, most notably on shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park. On this post, he talks about how characters in old cartoons evolved at a much faster rate than characters on any of the aforementioned shows. As ideas grew and changed, so did characters. He writes: "You have to be raised in an uncreative environment in order to blindly accept how bland and crappy everything is today." Later in the post he adds: "No one should accept professional work that looks like they could do it themselves."

In the comments section of the same post, he further asserts that "the very concept of animated sitcoms is faulty in the first place." His argument is that no character in an animated sitcom has ever been able to emulate the best actors in the best sitcoms. And as pure animation, they don't exactly hold up, either.

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John K selling art on his blog

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 5th 2006 3:33PM
john kricfalusiI've been spending an insane amount of time over on John Kricfalusi's blog, and the other day I saw this post which I thought some of you might find interesting. It seems John has been hooked up with a gallery and plans to sell some original pieces through his blog. My excitement over this was instantly dilluted by the notion that I'll probably never be able to come up with the kind of money these drawings will most likely take in. John K, to get the unenlightened up to speed, was the creator of Ren and Stimpy, and has worked alongside such animation legends as Ralph Bakshi. The man is an icon in the world of animation (and a very opinionated one at that). Seeing him embrace the whole blog concept and interact so freely with his fans is quite refreshing, and his genuine enthusiasm for animation, style, and design, not to mention his expertise, makes his blog worth checking out.

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John K's new blog, and a new Ren and Stimpy DVD

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 16th 2006 1:04PM

Ren and StimpyJohn Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren and Stimpy, was one of the first animators to take advantage of the freedom the Web allows with Flash-animated series such as The Goddamn George Liquor Show and Weekend Pussy Hunt. John K has always been extremely opinionated when it comes to animation and the myriad examples of bad animation that are out there, and his new blog is no different. If you're a fan of John K and Spumco, you should check it out. The man has never been afraid to voice his opinion, which I might find annoying if I didn't agree with most of what he says.

One awesome tidbit I found on his blog (and confirmed by TV Shows on DVD) is that the series Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon will be released on DVD soon. The set is being called the "Lost Episodes." An unofficial release date of November 8 has been set, but that could change. Check out the awesome packaging here, designed by Annmarie Ashkar.

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Ren and Stimpy storyboards

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 16th 2006 12:07PM

ren and stimpySince I'm always looking out for my fellow animation buffs, I thought you would enjoy these storyboards Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi donated to the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive last year. In fact, he donated all of Spumco's archives to the project. The storyboards, drawn by Bob Camp who later went on to work on the feature film Looney Tunes: Back in Action, are for the episode "Stimpy's Invention." The "invention" being a helmet that makes Ren perpetually happy. Also included are several notes from John K. It's worth checking out to see how an animated episode evolves, especially one that's led by an animation snob such as John K. And I use the word "snob" affectionately.

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Drawings from Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 14th 2006 11:08AM
mighty mouseIn 1987, Mighty Mouse took on an entirely new look and feel when seminal animation legend Ralph Bakshi created Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. Amplifying the zany distortion of animator Bob Clampett, the new series served as an early example of the style that would later be used in Ren and Stimpy and then stolen by numerous other animation studios. In fact, Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi worked on the show along with Bakshi. Jeff Pidgeon, who now works at Pixar, also worked on the series as a character model. He's posted some of his drawings from the show on his blog. You can see a couple of them here and here.

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John K gets animated

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 6th 2006 10:00AM
ren and stimpyI was a huge fan of Bob Clampett long before I even knew who Bob Clampett was. He was the creator of many of Warner Brother's most popular characters, including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. I found out who he was later when my local video store had copies of his "Beany and Cecil" cartoon series from the late fifties and early sixties. Clampett was with Warner Brothers in the early days, and if you watch his old Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts, they have a frenzied style and distortion to them that later became a huge influence on the likes of John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren and Stimpy. Amid Amidi found an interview with John K on the CBC Television site, in which John K (a Flash-animated version anyway) talks about why the 70s and 80s were a horrible time for cartoons, and why Bob Clampett was one of the best animators to ever work in the business. Amidi, rightly so, points out that it's more than a little ironic to watch a poorly-drawn John K lamenting over the fact that no one can draw anymore. I would add that this lack of "craft" has also spilled over into other mediums, like comic strips.

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