Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Phlegmation, or "We've Suffered Enough On Saturday Mornings"

I came across a taped-from-TV copy of one of the last good "Animaniacs" cartoons, "Back in Style" written by Tom Minton and directed by Liz Holzman. This cartoon was sort of a tour through animation of the early TV era; the Warners are loaned out by the struggling Warner Brothers to various cartoon companies (a take-off on Warners' loan-out of Porky and Daffy to Filmation's "Groovie Goolies").

Unfortunately the cartoon was animated by Akom, which had to do a lot of re-takes just to get the so-so level of animation in the finished cartoon, and the timing is not as sharp as the best earlier episodes of Animaniacs or Tiny Toons. (I don't know the exact reason for it, but even in cartoons animated by good studios like TMS, most the later "Animaniacs" cartoons seem to suffer from timing that's just slightly off and pacing that's just a little too slow.) But the slam on Filmation -- the endlessly recycled shots and walk cycles, the pointless voice-overs covering over-long establishing shots -- is a lot of fun and must have been very cathartic for ex-Filmation people.

Minton wrote a bit about this cartoon in comments at John K's blog last year.

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