Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This is Goyt Fermin, What Can I Do You For?

With "Animaniacs" coming out on DVD in a couple of weeks, I thought I might as well link to a particularly good "Animaniacs" cartoon. Also, saying nice things about "Animaniacs" makes John Kricfalusi very angry, and I can't pass up that chance.

The cartoon, "Ups and Downs," was written by Paul Rugg and directed by Bob Kline. It's pretty minimalist: only two characters are seen onscreen (Wakko Warner and the P-Sychiatrist Dr. Scratchansniff), plus two offscreen characters. The whole cartoon takes place in an elevator, but director Kline and the great animators at Tokyo Movie Shinsha find all kinds of ways to keep the cartoon from becoming static despite the confined space.

It's a nice example of how "Animaniacs" could sometimes strike a balance between cartoony humor and more observational (some might say sitcom-y) jokes. Wakko acts quite a bit like a real kid -- imitating people's actions, telling stories that don't go anywhere -- and to the extent that it's a cartoon rather than an animated sitcom, it's because of the great, broad animation by TMS. What also adds to the cartoon is the voice work of Rugg; in addition to being a very funny writer he was also a terrific voice performer, and no one delivers his own slightly skewed dialogue ("Big Ed's girth got it unstuck!") than Rugg does.



This cartoon appears in episode 52 of "Animaniacs," so it should appear on volume 3 of the DVD releases.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Much as it disturbs me to agree with John K., I have to admit that I pretty much hated "Animaniacs," too. Not that I would want anyone who liked the show to be deprived of them on DVD. Just, please god, don't ask me to sit through the things again. I had to be there the first time.

Regarding John K., I like some of his work, but geez, if we all agree that we will worship at the altar of Bob Clampett and never watch another Chuck Jones cartoon again, do you think he might shut the hell up?

Dave

Jorge Garrido said...

>Regarding John K., I like some of his work, but geez, if we all agree that we will worship at the altar of Bob Clampett and never watch another Chuck Jones cartoon again, do you think he might shut the hell up?

Well, considering the fact that John K LIKES Chuck Jones, even more than Tex Avery, and Jones is his 2nd most favourite director, I'd say he wouldn't shut up. Don't spit on John K, he knows more about cartoons than anyone.

Sterfish said...

I think I've only seen this cartoon one other time, so it was fun to see it again.

Also, I'm not sure if you know this but AOL has put episodes of Animaniacs and Pinky & The Brain on their In2TV service (the same one that also has episodes of Freakazoid). I'll still be buying the DVDs, but it's nice to be able to see episodes in their entirety online.

juvenile_cyle said...

Nice clip. I love this cartoon. I love animaniacs, I thought the show was very creative and really funny. What else do you need?

John said...

"Animaniacs" had its moments, though if a Deanna Oliver "Goodfeathers" segment comes up, I run like the plague.

John K's past jihad against Chuck Jones seems to have petered out after Chuck's death, though much like Daffy switching from painting moustaches to beards, he's simply replaced his Jones bashing with constant attacks on Friz Freleng's work (John may have purely asthetic motives for his recent conversion, though since Friz has fewer hard-core supporters than Chuck does, bashing Freleng does give him the ability to build up Clampett without having to endure as many slings and arrows from others in the animation community).

I don't really care said...

Calling what John says about Chuck or Friz "attacks" and "bashing" is an absurd mischaracterization.

I don't really care said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I don't really care said...

if this is one of the better examples from animaniacs, it's a clear reminder of why I could never watch it. Yes it's all stretchy and squashy, but reflexively, with no real performances or feeling, and the writing is abysmal. I wouldn't even put Laverne and Shirley through this.

P.C. Unfunny said...

"Calling what John says about Chuck or Friz "attacks" and "bashing" is an absurd mischaracterization."

Are you kidding me ? John K. went as low as to say Friz didn't care about his work and it was just a Job to him. Friz spent over 60 years in the animation business.

I don't really care said...

How long he did it doesn't mean it wasn't just a job to him. But in the context of all the things he says, it doesn't qualify as bashing. Take it in context.

P.C. Unfunny said...

"How long he did it doesn't mean it wasn't just a job to him.But in the context of all the things he says, it doesn't qualify as bashing. Take it in context."

Friz made his cartoons in the style of old fashioned vaudeville, he did his cartoons less cartoony then others at the Termite Terrrace.My point is, Friz clearly poured his energy into making these types of toons, so John saying he took as merely as a job is ludacris.

I don't really care said...

No, it's a valid point of view, the idea being that Friz was merely content to do the same types of things and not really interested in pushing the medium. From a cartoon director like JohnK's point of view, that is like punching a clock and not like trying as hard as he might. That would not be "clearly pouring his energy" into them. You know and I know and JohnK knows that Friz was not a terrible cartoon director, and as a qualified professional JohnK also knows that Friz was not the best.

If I were to say that I think you are being chickenshit about this, you would understand that I don't think you are a chicken or that you are shit. Sometimes people speak casually.