Thursday, May 18, 2006
Fred Seibert I spent yesterday afternoon at Nickelodeon. Little did I know I would be sitting in a screening for Nick/Frederator's "Random Cartoons"... Nick and Frederator are rolling out thirty-nine new shorts over the next few months. Animation top-kick Mark Taylor told me that when all of them are completed, the companies will make some decisions about which ones get expanded into series. Culling the herd, as it were. (Fred S. started this system of artists creating new cartoons while running Hanna Barbera with the "What a Cartoon" program. Everybody and his cousin was invited to pitch shorts ideas, a bunch of 'toons were made, and out of that emerged Cartoon Network.) Yesterday Nick/Frederator unspooled four of the new shorts: "The Finster Finster Show" by Jeff DeGrandis involves some hyper-active toddlers and their mellow, oblivious mother, "Call me Bessie" by Dana Galin and Diane Kredensor features a moo-cow and an elephant, "Krunch & the Kid" has a grade-school boy who's pals with a large beastie that seems to be an ogre/alligator hybrid. This one was created by Adam Henry. The last short was "Adventure Time" by Cal Artser Pen Ward. While every 'toon had strong points -- edgy characters, bright colors, an unending stream of visual and verbal gags -- "Adventure Time," a loopy tale about a twelve-year-old and his magical dog battling an evil sorcerer, got the biggest reaction. ("AT" doesn't sound like anything super special, but trust me. The designs and humor were out of the usual cartoon mainstream.) Fred Seibert told me a year or two back that he likes cartoons with a small number of characters who ping off each other. These shorts stay within those parameters, but each one has a different sensibility. Some real different.
Posted by Steve Hulett at 9:51 AM