Monday, December 18, 2006

JOE BARBERA, DEAD AT 95

The Ranger really isn't gonna like this one: Yes, Hanna-Barbera are no-more. Joe died this-week at the incredibly old-age of 95. ZOINKS!!! At 95, I think your toenails must hurt too. Who's going to bankroll all the crappy animation?! It wasn't entirely their fault. After the 1940s, people like the Fleischers were gone, American animation being nearly-dead by the early 1960s. It just cost too-much--or at least that's how the story goes. Meanwhile, the Soviets were kicking-our-asses with Sputnik...and animation. In fact, if you look at animation worldwide from the 1950s to the present, we have sucked at it for half-a-century. Cartoon Network is great, but most of the stuff I like just slags how bad Hanna-Barbera were for over 40-years. It's like a celebrity-roast. The best we have right-now is Linklater's "A Scanner Darkly", but that's really just rotoscoping, like tracing. Still, it's impressive, and you should see it. It's going to change how movies are made in a number of ways, and it only cost $8 million.

I know, I know, there are a few great examples, like some of Ralph Bakshi's work. But overall, it's clear we'll never make something like the quality of the Looney Tunes, early-Disney, or the Fleischers (Popeye, Superman, Betty Boop, etc.). So, why not have a fund for it? I'm not saying we should stop doing commercial animation, but why not fund it so we have something that doesn't look like poorly-articulated dog shit? You know, characters with three-finger (easier and cheaper to animate), "movement" that make Clutch Cargo look like Fantasia, crap. Sure, those Saturday morning cartoons in the 70s were hilarious because they were so cheesy, but let's have some pride here. Even CANADA is better at it, Jesus Christ. State-funded art? Yep, an uphill-battle, we're cretinous. Zoinks indeed.