Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Warning: I'm about to criticize a cartoon that I haven't seen yet (it hasn't been made), that I've only seen two tentative concept drawings from (one shown above, topmost), and whose story I only know from a description in the newspaper. Not only that but I'm terribly hurt that they didn't ask me to work on it so I may, without knowing it, have a mean, small-minded desire to snipe at it from the sidelines. There, that's my disclaimer. Now the criticism...
I have to say that I'm wondering if the project is getting started on the wrong foot. According to the newspaper the story is about Goofy's attempt to install a new, high-tech TV in his house. Is that really a good idea? It's the type of premise that has no suprises built in. The gags and the acting could all be predictable. Not only that but it's a frustration story and frustration premises (like Pluto and the flypaper) tend to pass on their frustration and unease to the audience. When you think about it, the best Goofys - the ice hockey, football, and basketball cartoons, aren't about frustration. They may seem to be, but they're not.
On another subject, it seems to me that subtext of every good Goofy cartoon is the weird universe that Goofy inhabits and the delight the character takes in doing things with his amazingly agile hands and feet. The character is a full-animator's dream. He's also a physical actor's dream. Goofy is not the average guy next door any more than James Bond is the average spy. Goofy and Bond are hyper-characters and anything less than star-quality scenes will diminish them. Goofy can either exude charisma and magic as in the best Kinney cartoons or he can be a bland guy-next-door-type the way Reitherman treated him. Which way will Disney go? I guess we'll see.
Thanks to Amid's "Animation Blast" for the excellent Sibley animation drawing above. Drawings copyrighted by Disney.
Posted by Eddie Fitzgerald at 1:43 PM