Thursday, June 18, 2009

Over at Cartoon Network

I spent a part of my morning at Cartoon Network, where Chowder and Flapjack to hear staffers tell it, are soon to be part of CN's history:

"They're writing some scripts and doing some boards for new episodes, but right now it looks like Flap and Chowder aren't being picked up. I'm getting laid off next week, know of any new shows happening other places?" ...

Over in the skyscraper next to CN's Burbank studio, Generator Rex is staffed up and in production, as is Adventure Time in the main building. (There's also Ben 10 and Sym-Bionic Titans moving along.

And CN is moving in bold new directions, like blowing rent-a-wrecks up in the mountains and putting the results on the teevee:

Andrew W.K., the rocker-turned-TV personality has signed on to host “Destroy Build Destroy,” a new Cartoon Network game show predicated entirely on explosions. In the show, he guides two teams of teenagers through a competition on an empty lot in the mountains outside of Los Angeles as they destroy vehicles and then use the wreckage to create new machines. “We can reclaim explosions and find joy in it, even celebration,” he says.

Being a joyful guy always in search of new joy, I can't freaking wait.


:: smo :: said...

The news on Flap and Chowder makes me really sad.

Flapjack revived my hope that maybe I could get a fun animation job eventually [though i guess i'd have to move out to LA to do so]. i'm not really sure why i never tried to give my portfolio to those flapjack people. but i guess now it's just more flashy ad work here in nyc. lame.

this really bums me out. i think it's time for another animation renaissance. i'll see what i can do...

Unknown said...

The possibility of Flapjack not being picked up for more episodes saddens me. But at least the network is spreading the episodes out for the rest of the year and beyond.

Anonymous said...

i keep waiting for those a-holes over there to change their name already. jeezuz.

Anonymous said...

Chowder was kind of cute-looking, but it failed to connect with me (and apparently a lot of other, younger viewers). Flapjack was just damn ugly. I'm glad it failed. How come every new toon show has to look like an epileptic 2-year old drew it? Ugly cartoons deserve to die. Adventure Time will probably die quickly as well. It's the most retarded cartoon since..well, since Flapjack. Note to future animators: LEARN. TO. DRAW.

amid said...

Wow. That last guy sounds exactly like Rob Sorcher the executive in charge of Cartoon Network!

FormerCNartist said...


Gotta give the standard response-- Please provide a link to your online portfolio to show everyone HOW. TO. DRAW. (...and are you really "glad" a show's entire crew is now out of work in a horrible job market, whether or not it appealed to your personal tastes? This is a LABOR blog, not an animation fanboy blog; Show some class.)

robiscus said...

What and absolute catastrophe that network has become.

Seriously, is there a bigger legacy of incompetence that what has occurred over at that network? Its pathetic. It is a testament to what happens at a company when you promote management based solely on seniority: you get glorified interns and PAs calling the shots. Cartoon Networks decisions for the past 8 years have been chickenshit through and through. No risks.

...and with that, no rewards. A simple lesson that the pinheads in Atlanta and can't wrap their heads around and the morons at CN studios in Burbank further every day. Think about the irrefutable failure of that network. - they have a building on Olive street with rooms full of empty desks just sitting there because they can't figure out how to make a cartoon. How pathetic is that?

They have reality show producers (dime a dozen in LA) walking around the hallways now. If you are an executive at CN and you are reading this, understand: you are a LOSER. It like you work at a brewery and you can't figure out how to make beer. So you settled for making yeast.

Cartoon Network will probably shut down within the year, and if Adult Swim wasn't being broadcast and helmed by Mike Lazzo then it would have shut down already. The only reason Adult Swim has had such success, is because they farm out programming to different small studios where the creative process works. They also take risks(riskier ones for an adult audience, but risks). This is what Cartoon Network regular programming used to do when they had a record of success and a schedule filled with quality animation.
Its interesting to note that the the Cartoon Network management flew Mike Lazzo out to Los Angeles to oversee a new effort of animated development a year ago and he left with disgust. Its THAT mismanaged and pathetic at CN Studios in Burbank.

How many shorts programs did they start and then scuttle in the last 6 years? Four? Five? Every day an independent animator wth no resources is finishing a brilliant short in this country and CN Studios, with money and resources and promotions can't produce any.

They are morons.

I hope they do shut down. Sell the building. They are in over their heads. I'm tired of hoping for the incompetent to surprise me with performance. It'll never happen.

Anonymous said...

The guy currently running the place is more concerned about the furniture and espresso machines. What about the Cartoonstitue? They finished shorts, right? Are they going to at least air them? What the heck, get it together over there.
Why would kids' want to watch clones of shows that already exist on other networks? How can you compete with originality when all you are airing are rip offs?

:: smo :: said...

wow really @anon thinks flapjack is ugly? i think chowder is brilliantly designed and that flapjack is BEAUTIFUL. no joke.

my 12 year old brother LOVES it [chowder too] and he'd dvr them all for me so we could watch them together when i visited home. though i'd be willing to concede that my little brother probably has impeccable taste far beyond the scope of the rest of the target market he resides in. i realize flap and chowder are an attempt to compete with spongebob but i still think they're amazing.

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting video

Give kids a little credit. They know what's going on.

:: smo :: said...

[sorry for all the posting]

i'm starting to think [ok been thinking for a long time] the trick is going to be, bringing animation back to the states and working in less animation heavy cities, ie places other than NY and LA where it's cheaper to run a studio.

not to undercut the korea [etc] outsource per se but to make it a less feasible option than keeping work in the states. we really could use some of those animation jobs back here methinks.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like it's not the cost of having a studio in LA, but that the development process is FUBAR. How would CN having a studio in the sticks help them develop and greenlight good cartoons?

In LA you have a ton of talented people, ready to do your bidding. In the sticks you have low overhead, and no talent to pull anything off.

Develop and support good shows -- that's the answer.

Peter said...

In the sticks you might happen to have a solid art school spewing out animators and illustrators ready to start their careers. You can bring them on as interns or co-ops and train them new skills and your work process. Plus studio space and overhead is dirty cheap. LA and NYC don't spawn everything that is good!

Anonymous said...

I don't have a portfolio. Also, I don't play golf. But when a golfer hits a ball and misses the cup, I think I'm within my rights as an observer to say that his effort fell a little short. And I likewise have the right to say that Flapjack had an uninspired premise, hideous character design, and barely adequate writing. Chowder, on the other hand, was eye candy. But the show never quite came together - maybe because the main character was just a little too stupid, even for kids. I have spoken. Deal.

robiscus said...

Flapjack had very good writing, great voice talent, appealing design and hilarious jokes. Your argument is lame. Go away.

Chowder Crew Member said...

Oh yeah! We might not be able to draw as good as you but at least we're funny. Your MOMMA draws pretty, but she's ugly.

FormerCNartist said...

@ Anonymous:

Yes, you do have the right to express your opinion on art. However, expressing your glee at the loss of animation guild members' jobs here on the animation guild's blog shows a lack of tact. To use your golfer analogy, it would be like coming into the golfer's house after their loss put them out of competition for the year and telling them you're happy they're now unemployed.

Critique art all you like, but remember we're talking about people's jobs here. (Not just artists, but also editors production assistants, etc.)

Emily said...

I'm really sorry to hear that Flapjack is not being picked up. It's been a lot of fun for me...and the only new "children's" cartoon I've liked. Its ugliness is part of its charm, and the jokes range from tee-hee to chuckle-worthy to downright hilarious.

On the other hand, Chowder was--to put it lightly--not my cup of tea.

In any case, I'm sorry for any animation artist to be losing his or her job. Personally, I'm going to shy away from the industry to attend grad school for a few years...I know it's not for everyone.

Kameinu said...

When I started watching both Flapjack and Chowder I felt like they where going to helm a new positive age for Cartoon Network. They where some of their best cartoons in the past four years. The drawing style in Flapjack may come of to many as creepy, but that's part of the charm and humor of it. Same goes to Chowder's texture-esque coloring. This news have pretty much made me give up all hope on that network. Yes, they got amazing cartoons in the past year running, and many proved to be succesful. What I don't get is ytf they keep comiting such retarted moves. I hope they crash, burn and die. I've watched that channel since it came to be back in the early 90's. Back then they promised us Cartoons, and only Cartoons all the time, 24/7. For breaking their promise in such a disgusting way I wish them the worst fate possible.

Unknown said...


Rob Sorcher is the Chief Content Officer. Meaning that he's the man who is charge of the network's...entire development strategy. Hmmm...well, he still has to listen to the President of the network, Stuart Synder, whose idea was to continue with live-action on the network. Either way, the current execs are actually pretty intelligent, since they gave profit to where they worked. I just wish that they had a 'toon mindset towards running Cartoon Network.

Anonymous said...

Steve Hulett,

Do us a favor and resist announcing the demise of Flapjack and it's crew because you overheard "staffers" tell you it was so. At this moment some of us are still here working and are anxiously waiting to find out how this network plans to go forward. Stirring the rumor mill only sends shivers through a studio already buzzing with rumors. You're not helping. Perhaps you could be a better representative of our business by telling us when you know something official instead of whispering about it on your gossip blog.


Another Staffer

Site Meter