Friday, February 15, 2008

On those who turn in graves

Well I got to see some of the new Mr.Men show.

To anyone who was animating on it, I know you were just doing your jobs and everything (and there's actually some really nice work if you just take the visuals on their own) but you know there's an animation hell, right? Yeah, you have to watch the cartoons you worked on for the rest of eternity. Only, if you made good stuff, it's heaven. Deep, eh?

Noddy's up on the chopping block next.

Did you know that chorion is the outer layer of the placenta? Nice image, eh?


Andy Latham said...

If I have to watch the stuff that I'm producing at work for all of eternity then I'm going to be in the worst kind of hell! I long for the day when I can work on something good.

My boss was wittering on about the new Mr Men series the other day, but I can't remember what he was talking about. I think he knows the boss of the company making it or something.

Oh and congratulations on ordering a Cintiq! I replied to your comment on my blog with a bit of advice if you use Windows Vista with your tablet, which might come in handy for you.

Bitter Animator said...

There's some really nice art on the Mr.Men show, especially with the backgrounds.

You can see some of it on their show blog -

I had been getting their pitch documents since they took this on (it was years ago that Chorion started looking at this and they were initially taking production company pitches to do it in 3D - weren't interested in 2D).

When I saw their more recent presentations, I knew something had gone horribly wrong. It was 2D and looked okay, but they were pitching it as 'Little Britain for kids'. No joke. A slapstick sketch show.

Set in a place they made up called Dillydale. Where they changed a bunch of the characters in the arrogant assumption that they could design them better than the author of the book series that made them classics in the first place.

So I guess I was predisposed not to like it but I saw two episodes the other day and it's quite vile. It's annoying, tries really hard at base humour but isn't all that funny and, overall, it's just tough to watch.

Considering the classic they had, it's a disaster.

Why obtain the rights to a show or series of books if you don't actually like what it is?

Andy Latham said...

I think the answer to that is....£££

Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir, In answer to your question ("Why obtain the rights to a show or series of books if you don't actually like what it is?") Chorion Ltd. specializes in buying dead talent. It, and a corporation is a single entity and therefore an "it", also owns the rights to Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie.

Bitter Animator said...

The Mr.Men weren't dead though and that will now cause them licensing problems. The books still do well in the UK and many other territories and have been working on licensing and merchadise since the 80s so the characters are well known and still seen in shops, clothing, advertising and other forms.

But these characters now clash with the new show. So they have two versions of the same property running side by side.

Bizarrely, I see now there is an attempt to represent the originals as older than they actually are, probably in an attempt to distance themselves from the new show -

It would be much cleaner, as possibly more understandable, if it were a dead property. Though, even then, to buy it and not capitalise on the strengths of the series would seem crazy.

Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir, I must admit that I haven't watched the show. Roger Hargreaves is dead and the new books are made by his son Adam Hargreaves, and thusly it makes sense for Chorion Ltd. to buy his work.

More importantly, nor do I understand UK law. Perhaps they write off losses on taxes, like every home business or Uwe Boll.

In America, a new business can write off losses for three years. Losing money can save investors millions. This was how Enron tricked everyone into thinking they were making a profit.

That is why I study math and not accounting!

Bitter Animator said...

I can't find a full episode of the new show online but there is a minute-long sample here -

And here's the 1974 Mr.Happy -

In the new show, the other characters hate that Mr.Happy is happy. It annoys them. Now, happy people often have that effect on me too but that's not the spirit Hargreaves was going for. Not even close. And, in my mind, does not send out good messages to kids.

But, as you say, Hargreaves is dead so he won't object. Unless his zombie corpse rises up and devours the monster of Chorion.

Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir, I would hate to draw a conclusion from just this clip (so I will trust your opinion), but it seems to me like they own the rights to use charachters, but not plots. Does that happen?

While I am asking questions, I was wondering what kind of music you like.

I ask because I am working on my "Noise" music post and I hope to draw examples from reader's tastes (I've already gone over the preferences of others)

Bitter Animator said...

Yes that can happen when it comes to books. Or often they can technically own the rights to both but have to pay more every time they use the actual stories.

As for music, I have a very eclectic taste in music. See my 'music be the food of' post for a few examples. It's tough to even say I have a leaning in any particular direction. I love music and lots of it. Yesterday, I discovered Men or Astromen? (the question mark is part of the name). I seem to be well behind and missed the boat on them completely but I'm glad to be catching up now.

I like old rock classics like Zepplin or Black Sabbath as examples, newer rock or metal like Killswitch Engage or Tool, hip hop like Army of the Pharaohs or Hieroglyphics, I love electronic music, drum and bass, old hillbilly stuff, country, just about everything.

Oh, I'm not into opera.

Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir, Not even Gilbert & Sullivan?

Bitter Animator said...

Not even Gilbert & Sullivan.