Thursday, July 05, 2007

Imperfect Simpsons

Now that The Simpsons Movie is pretty much in the can, some of the creators are out making sure the worldwide movie-going public knows it's coming:

Simpsons creator Matt Groening has revealed the long-awaited film version of the popular US cartoon series will be deliberately "imperfect".

The long-awaited movie is believed to have an environmental theme Speaking at a press launch in central London, he said The Simpsons Movie was "a tribute to the art of hand-drawn animation, which is basically disappearing".

"All the animated movies these days are computer generated," he said, adding that his film had been created in "the old-fashioned, clumsy, 'erase it if you don't do it right' way".

"It's not a CGI movie with a thousand perfect penguins dancing in unison," he continued - a reference to Happy Feet, the winner of this year's Oscar for best animated feature.

Uh, there's plenty of CG images in The Simpsons Movie. They might be covered with ink-and-paint type skin, but they're still CGI. There is also a lot of pencil drawings, so big chunks of it were crafted by hand. But let's not kid ourselves. This puppy wasn't created the way Snow White was created. Far from it. But I'm thinking that Fox is expecting Snow White type revenues...

[W]ith a goody-bag of merchandise awaiting journalists as they arrived for Wednesday's event - including watches, drinking straws and even a stress relief aid shaped like a donut - the film is clearly viewed as a major summer cash cow.

In the immortal words of Fox founder Darryl F. Zanuck, Rupert's brigades probably anticipate "opening their own mint" soon after the film premieres.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to it , hand-drawn "imperfections" and all .

So , if it's a big hit I guess it will be because it was a pre-sold property with pre-existing brand loyalty , and if it doesn't do so well it will be because it was done in that "old fashioned 2D animation" style .

(Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't really out to get you)

Robiscus said...

Steve, you are nitpicking. Why? I have no idea....

Anonymous said...

Can you say 'hyperbole'?

Well, the Simpsons is funny, Groening has always been very very funny along with the flotilla of writers on that show. But simply because it exists and is a cel animated show doesn't mean IT, itself has any role as a "tribute to the ART of hand drawn animation" fer pity's sake.

That's making a real left turn from what it is: a funny TV show now a funny movie. It doesn't have to be more than that. It doesn't have to be made over as or perceived as a "tribute" to 2D animation, comic books, one-panel cartoons like "Life In Hell" or doughnuts and beer.
AAnd no, 2D animation isn't disappearing now any more than it was in 1981--in fact, much less so. I know Matt has to bang a gong for his life's work here but come on...

Anonymous said...

Steve, you are nitpicking. Why?

Maybe because seeing multiple rooms of cgi folk working on The Simpsons Movie convinces me otherwise.

Maybe because there's lot of "hand drawn" out there. Boards, models, layouts, television shows, etc.

And maybe because there's a major hand-drawn feature from Disney coming.

But Mr. G. has to pitch some storyline to an eager media, and "we're the only hand-drawn feature out there," is a fine hook on which to hang the publicity hat.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to it , hand-drawn "imperfections" and all .

I'm betting it will do very well, because it's funny. Because it has a huge fan base.

Robiscus said...

I'm just noting that there aren't many 2D features anymore - this is self evident. Plus, there is no good reason for there not to be. Groening is playing an angle. I say let him.

Anonymous said...

Though I totally get the context of Groening's comments,I daresay that re: the Simpsons, the very use of the word 'imperfect' is relative, to say the least. Try being in character layout their on TV OR movie crew, and draw just one TINY area(be it a foot or an eyelash) of those suckers a pencil-line width 'off model'--That stuff's back on your desk(or someone else's) faster that you can say "ay carumba!"

Joseph David said...

I myself, am a baby in the industry. Just learning to crawl. I'm currently a character designer/ cleanup artist colorist... and I admire all the efforts of everyone involved in such a process equally. There's sooooo much in this world at stake and so much to consider when forming an opinion, that I say, let's just see what develops, enjoy it while it's here, remember it when it's gone and think back that something wonderful was done.
And importantly, that something done; bad or good is truly living.
I can't wait to walk amongst you all someday. I get teary eyed just thinking that someday I may be part of a wonderful creative endeavor that brings people together to accomplish communication and touch hearts, minds and souls.

I hope 2D never dies, and it won't. While there are still those who cherish it. And 3D will become even more advanced, and all of us creatives will hopefully be given a chance to contribute to history and humanity.

I love you all. Hail to the internets.... See you at the Simpson's movie.

Leftyjoe, aka J. David Torres.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Simpson Movie does horribly at the box office. Why pay to see it when you can watch it free. The trailer was filled with cheap gags with ugly animation.

Steve Hulett said...

I, on the other hand, hope fervently that The Simpsons Movie is a box office smash.

I want every animated feature to do well, the better to keep the industry healthy. The better to employ more artists.

Anonymous said...

Here, here Steve!

I love the short sightedness snobbery of "I hope it does horribly at the box office". I hope that every animated film does well.

A tide to lift all ships!

Anonymous said...

Well, the TV show hasn't been funny in a really long time... so I don't have much hope for it.
The Simpsons writers (or as they are laughably called, "producers") are the biggest bunch of hacks on the planet... so proud of themselves despite their lack of talent.

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