Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The John K Connection

John K - - for those of you that don't know - - is the animation genius who created REN & STIMPY, the cartoon series that changed animation forever. We were all huge R&S fans here (I even made my son his very own MUDDY MUDSKIPPER CEREAL BOWL CADDY.)

John and I had been in touch through the years - -both of us having been part of the orbit of RALPH BAKSHI (John was one of his top animators on Mighty Mouse, and I did the voices for Ralph's WHAT-A-CARTOON series MELVIN & MALCOLM); and JK was very close with BOB CLAMPETT (his mentor) while Olga & I were working with Bob to create new BEANY & CECIL PUPPETS for a modern go at TIME FOR BEANY. John and I also share a mutual affliction for early children's television shows in general, and SOUPY SALES in particular.

We thought it'd be kool to work together on a project, then one day last fall he called and said "I have one!" John wanted us to make marionettes of GEORGE LIQUOR and his nephew JIMMY THE IDIOT BOY. The marionettes were going to do live-action commercials for the PONTIAC VIBE as part of a new Internet series starring his great cartoon characters. We got under way at once. Sadly, the project was derailed when GM went belly-up (whoda thunk THAT would've happened?) Note to John: Hey! Maybe you can get a CASH-FOR-CLUNKER deal?

John stretched our techniques to the breaking point. We came up with mechanisms where they not only move their mouths, but George could also rotate his eyes 360 degrees, and Jimmy could stick out his tongue while flipping up his upper lid. Working with John was rough and tumble, but I look forward to doing it again.

Here are some pictures of the marionettes. Note all the different expressions they have. . .

(above: Jimmy meets his hero: SOUPY SALES!)
If you're interested in the most thoughtful, intelligent and deeply revealing animation blog on the web, then go here: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you've worked with John K.? I'm a big fan of his Ren & Stimpy series, and I love devoted he is to animation, even though I don't agree with his opinions sometimes...