Animation Monday: TripTank / The Boondocks Season Four


Geek Alabama Animation

On this Animation Monday, written on late Tuesday / early Wednesday because of the Alabama severe weather on Monday, I am talking about two new animated shows on TV.  One is brand new while the other started a new season, let’s get started!

TripTank

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TripTank is a new animated series on Comedy Central.  Too bad I can not watch Comedy Central because Cable One has taken away all of the Viacom channels.  And now, if you want to watch most videos on any Viacom website and have Cable One, you get this message.

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Anyways, TripTank is an American animated series that premiered in April on Comedy Central.  The show is made up of various sketches, portrayed by multiple animation styles and writers.  Although no correlation can be seen between the different stories, a continued theme of dark satire prevails throughout.  The series uses a variety of animation styles from 2D, stop-motion, CGI, and others to showcase some of the best and brightest in the comedy community.  And this show definitely fits for Comedy Central.  And the show is only for adults, kids should not watch TripTank!

So what do I think of TripTank?  I enjoyed all of the different types of animation presented in the show.  You see a mix of old and new types of animation you have seen on TV and the movies.  I also enjoyed some of the comedy and jokes, there is a lot of adult jokes in this show!  Would I come back and catch every new episode of TripTank each week, probably not.  I find this show as something I would enjoy if nothing good was on TV.  Or if I was bored online, I might play a video from TripTank.  This video below is NSFW.

TripTank is an attempt for Comedy Central to do some adult animations like Adult Swim and FOX already does.  Comedy Central already has some great adult animated shows like South Park, and TripTank is like the classic Nickelodeon and MTV sketch animation shows, remember Kablam and Liquid Television?  The series is made by ShadowMachine which has worked on the popular Robot Chicken on Adult Swim, and that show is made up of short animated sketches all done in a clay animated form.  We will see if TripTank proves to be popular on Comedy Central.  I have enjoyed the show so far, thanks to illegal YouTube full episode uploads because Cable One is horrible!  Learn more about TripTank at: http://www.cc.com/shows/triptank

The Boondocks Season Four

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I loved the animated Adult Swim series The Boondocks.  The first three seasons have been great and has also challenged conventional wisdom.  One of the best episodes of the series in my opinion is when Martin Luther King Jr. woke up after being in a coma.  Now, the show is back for its fourth and final season, but without creator Aaron McGruder having worked on season four.  I am glad the show is back for one last season!  I thought the third season was going to be the last, and I did not like seeing the animators and writers taking four years to work on one season.

The difference between the end of season three, and the beginning of season four, is the comedy landscape has changed big time!  The first three seasons of The Boondocks was funny, controversial, parodied our culture, and was talked about by many people.  After watching the first episode of season four, there was some humor, and Uncle Ruckus was funny, but I felted like the show lacked some of its creativity from its first three seasons.  The show was good, even without the original creator being a part of season four.  But many people on social media said the season four premiere was so/so.

So, I will wait and see if the future episodes improve.  Season four is still providing us with humor and parodying the culture we live in.  At least, welcome back The Boondocks.  It will be sad when the series finale airs on Adult Swim this Summer.  Learn more about The Boondocks at: http://video.adultswim.com/the-boondocks/index.html

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Animation Monday: Clarence / Mixels On Cartoon Network


Geek Alabama Animation

On this Animation Monday, I am talking about two shows on Cartoon Network.  One show has shown a sneak peek and will premiere in April.  While the other cartoon is a short series airing on the channel.

Clarence

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Last week, Cartoon Network aired the pilot for Clarence.  While the series will not premiere until April, everyone got a chance to see a sneak peek of the series.  Clarence is an animated series created by Skyler Page for Cartoon Network.  Page, a former storyboard artist for the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time and Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, developed the series at Cartoon Network Studios in 2012 as part of their animated short development initiative.  The series revolves around a young boy named Clarence, who is optimistic about everything.

And yes, Clarence is very optimistic about his life.  In the eyes of Clarence, the world is full of possibility and wonder.  In the pilot, Clarence is the new kid in school and tries to invite his classmates to a slumber party while at school, Clarence does not get much response and one classmate even throws the invitation back to Clarence.  When Clarence gets home from school, his mother is making some food, but goes out to a Tupperware party.  You know how it feels when you are the new kid at school, trying to make friends is always a tough thing!

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Luckily, two boys, named Jeff and Sumo comes to Clarence’s slumber party.  Jeff has a square head and I would consider him the geek/nerd of the three boys.  In the pilot, Jeff is always getting answers right on a TV quiz show and he does not like doing things he normally does not do.  I believe Clarence will change that!  The other friend, named Sumo, had all of his hair cut off by Clarence in the pilot, this is something I would never do.  Sumo is a party person and likes to take some risks, like releasing bees from a pinata, indoors.

Clarence’s mom is more relaxed and judging by the pilot, will let Clarence do whatever he wants.  The mom does have a boyfriend, named Chad, who looks like he is lazy.  Yep, he wears his underwear in the house, and drinks milk right out of the carton.  So after watching the pilot, I thought the storytelling was good, as Clarence and his friends will do many things real boys and girls might never even think of doing.  I would consider Clarence as a more grown up version of the classic cartoon Rugrats.  The animation is flash computerized, as most cartoons are animated that way today.  The characters animation is more basic.  The character’s teeth are very basic!

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Yep, I think Clarence will do well for Cartoon Network, and their boy demographic.  The only thing I do not like seeing Cartoon Network doing, is starting Adult Swim even earlier at 7 pm Central at the end of March.  For those without DVR’s, the new cartoons will start even earlier, and it will force those folks to not see the new cartoons or go online.  Yeah, showing adult cartoons even earlier has some parents upset.  Learn more about Clarence at: http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/

Mixels

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Mixels is a 2014 short form comedy animated television series currently airing on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.  The LEGO Group and Cartoon Network produced the series together with the help of world-class animators, voice actors, and toy designers.  The series revolves around the Mixels, small creatures that can mix and combine with one another in creative and unpredictable storylines.  Here is one short episode featuring the Mixels.

LEGO is hoping that the Mixels brand takes off globally.  A mobile app will be released for the series, as well as a website where everyone can learn about the Mixels, and three series of collectible Lego building toys based on the characters.  I wonder why we did not see any Mixels during The Lego Movie, I am willing to bet we will see some Mixels when The Lego Movie 2 comes out.  The animation in the short Mixels videos is not CGI animation, its traditional animation!  Something you don’t see too much anymore.

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Mixels involves nine different, fun-loving tribes who inhabit a fantasy land of adventure and wonder.  They can mix (combining Mixels of different tribes), max (combining Mixels of the same tribe), and murp (when a mix goes horribly wrong) in all kind of situations, using the mysterious cubits.  All that stands in their way are the small, evil Nixels.  As you know, most cartoons are only created so toys can be sold.  And in Mixels, this is no exception! The LEGO Group will be handling all toy merchandise for the Mixels franchise, and Cartoon Network will handle all non-toy merchandising.

It looks like that Mixels is one of those several short series Cartoon Network is developing for online when Adult Swim expands at the end of March.  Yes, more people have computers and internet access, but Mixels should get some more air time on TV.  So far, the episodes released are not making me rush out to buy some toys, and Cartoon Network and LEGO Group needs to make Mixels a full-time 30 minute series.  That is, if they want to take Mixels seriously.  Learn more about Mixels at: http://www.mixels.com/

Videos and images copyright from Cartoon Network

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Animation Monday: Rick and Morty On Adult Swim


Geek Alabama Animation

Before I talk about Rick and Morty on Adult Swim, I need to talk about the latest Family Guy episode where Brian Griffin was brought back.  When Brian died, I did this post talking about my thoughts about the episode.  And I said this:

“I think Seth MacFarlane has done something which he knew what he was doing.  He is getting the exact reaction input that he wanted. That episode was to bring up fan discussions of why and why not Brian should be written off.  The writers of Family Guy, I hope, have come up with a way to bring back Brian Griffin, most likely with the help of a time machine.”

See, I was right!  Seth MacFarlane on Twitter confirmed that killing off Brian Griffin was a stunt.  I thought this stunt was a way to increase ratings and the ratings did increase!  Many people were also talking about it on social media.  Seth said this on Twitter.

And he is right, Christmas time is a time to be grateful for family.  You never know when your loved ones can be gone for good.  Seth said the show would be crazy if they killed off Brian for good, and I am happy to see Brian back!  I hope we will see Vinny return to a future Family Guy episode!  Speaking of dogs, the second episode of Rick and Morty where the dogs take over the human world then leave was brilliant!

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Now to talk about this new show on Adult Swim called Rick and Morty.  Rick and Morty is an American animated television series created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland.  Roiland voices the eponymous main characters Rick, a scientist and alcoholic, and Morty, Rick’s grandson, as Rick proves himself to be a negative influence on Morty and his family.  I wonder why only 11 episodes were made, because judging by this show, they are going to need to make more episodes!

The cartoon is not for kids!  Rick is a genius scientist whose alcoholic tendencies are the source of concern for his daughter’s family over the safety of their son, Morty.  The parents are not happy seeing Rick drinking.  The grandson of Rick, Morty, is usually dragged into Rick’s adventures.  And the adventures involves things like going into outer space and shooting guns.  Then dropping back into school through a portal.  It was funny seeing Morty going into dumb mode after losing most of his brain function.  Why was Rick not helping him?

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The series is created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, and is based on Justin Roiland’s Channel 101 shorts, “The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti”, which were inspired by Back to the Future’s Emmett Brown and Marty McFly.  I see the connection between this show and Back to the Future!  Other inspiration from this show comes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who.  This show has your average comedy mixed in with super cool sci-fi stuff!  Yes, geeks and nerds will like this show!

The animation is pretty good for Adult Swim.  The animation has a simple feel too it, with basic lines and colors unless you see those cool sci-fi scenes!  The storylines also has a great mix of comedy and supernatural stuff!  The characters are mostly offbeat and sometimes crazy, but it works!  If you like seeing wacky characters and wacky inventions like a dog talking advice, you will like Rick and Morty.  I have enjoyed watching this show so far!  This show is a mix of Sanjay and Craig, Bob’s Burgers, and Regular Show.

The first season will have multiple guest appearances including Tom Kenny, Maurice LaMarche, John Oliver, David Cross, Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Phil Hendrie, Dana Carvey, Aislinn Paul, and Cassie Steele.  New episodes of Rick and Morty airs on Monday nights on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.  Learn more about Rick and Morty at: http://video.adultswim.com/rick-and-morty/  Watch the first two episodes before they are taken off of YouTube!

All images and videos copyright from Adult Swim

Animation Monday: Axe Cop / High School USA


Geek Alabama Animation

Over the weekend, FOX premiered Axe Cop and High School USA as part of their new Animation Domination High Def block.  And yes, I did watch both of the premieres!  I liked the beginning where it featured some animated features from the events of the last week.  Yep, Catnado is going to get popular!  Let’s first talk about Axe Cop.

Axe Cop

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Axe Cop sounds like what you think it is.  This cartoon features the titular Axe Cop (who requires only two minutes sleep and a diet of birthday cake) and his partner, Flute Cop, as they fight crime.  The office for Axe Cop features a huge amount of hatchets which he uses to chop the heads off of the bad guys.  Axe Cop goes on a night mission and encounters Warthog Man who is crying because his friends are gone.

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Axe Cop has a short tempter, which he shows when he runs over a car to jump a huge ramp!  You then get to encounter a talking dog and another superhero.  One crazy backstory, how can little chickens turn into war machines during the Great Chicken Head War?  After picking up a dinosaur horn, Axe Cop breaks into a scientist lab full of aliens, and we get to witness a head being chopped off!  Axe Cop and the guys then encounter the King of All Bad Guys.  They go inside his head to the brain but get trapped.  Then a guy with a lion’s head and a cheetah’s brain appears.

Axe Cop uses a dinosaur horn to summon dinosaurs to Earth to eat the brain of the King of All Bad Guys.  When Axe Cop and friends land in the stomach bile, they encounter other people.  Then they have to escape, and it’s not through the mouth.  Axe Cop then has dinner with Flute Cop in the middle of the night.  Yep, this was a weird story like you see on Adult Swim.

High School USA

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In this show, it starts off at High School USA.  The animation style is just like what you see in the Archie Comics.  Apparently, using puppies can quiet down teenagers!  The teens are in the gym for a bully conference and then a dance is announced, this makes the teens pay attention!  At a diner, some girls kiss each other and Brad is worried that he is a bully, then he punches walls at his home.  Brad gets a text message to meet someone at the corner of WedgieLand and SwirlyBrook, yes there is such a thing!

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Brad encounters a cyber bully, then walks into AntagoNerds, the ultimate bully paradise!  This place is where bullies can be bullies, and brad takes advantage of it, while being recorded by a phone camera.  Back at the high school, everyone is looking at Brad’s bully video, which gets him kicked out of the dance.  At Marsh’s home, his father tells him that bullies are a cornerstone of society, right?  At Brad’s house, we see an overweight women on the couch and she actually gets up to answer the door.  It’s a miracle!  Sadly, Brad’s mother is a bully to him as well.

Brad gets into the dance to perform some music.  The Original Band cancelled and a new band takes their place, while Brad is booed by the crowd.  After a short speech, the band gets to perform.  Both shows had their interesting humor and they are definitely aimed at the teenager and young adult crowd.  Some critics are already panning ADHD because it’s a cheap alternative to Adult Swim.  But I liked both shows, and if ADHD succeeds against Adult Swim and Saturday Night Live, it will open the door to other animators.  Let’s hope that happens!  By the way, you need to watch some of the funny short animations on the Animation Domination High Def YouTube channel, just like this one!

Learn more about ADHD at: http://www.foxadhd.com/

The Entire Cartoon Universe


I found this awesome Kickstarter project that has already have enough funding to be funded on September 16th.  Ray Sumser from New York has been working on a mural of the entire cartoon universe called “The Characternity” for a couple of months now.  And this looks so amazing!  He has done extensive research and in the mural you will find cartoon characters from pop culture in TV, movies, comic books, internet, games, books, and even from company advertising.  You know that your drawing has to be good when Adult Swim mentions it!

Ray Sumser is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding to finish this masterpiece.  And if you pledge some money, there are some great rewards like a print of the piece and a chance to suggest a character for the project.  Check out a progress shot of the mural taken on September 14th.  Click on the link to zoom in to the mural.

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You have until 10:59pm on Sunday September 16th to pledge funding to this project.  Go tohttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/characternity/the-characternity-a-picture-of-the-cartoon-univers to pledge funding right now!  I would love to pledge some funding to this project but being unemployed for 14 months takes a toll on you!

For more information on Ray Sumser go to: http://www.raysumser.com/.

By the way I might be entering the Kickstarter world very soon!  Click on my drawings link below to learn what I do.  Yes I do think road drawings can be cool!

http://geekalabama.com/about-us/drawings/