Sunday, August 05, 2007
The Simpsons Meet The Fleischers...
...or Barney meets Bluto, if you prefer.
While looking at The Simpsons Handbook, I was struck how the construction of the characters resembled the construction used at the Fleischer studio. The Fleischers never really outgrew this approach to construction. You can see it as late as the Stone Age cartoons, which were some of the last things they did before losing the studio.
You know how in It's a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart gets to see what the world was like if he was never born? Looking at The Simpsons model sheets, it's like looking at a world where Fred Moore was never born.
These characters are created out of separate, static shapes. The lines that define the shapes are completely lacking in rhythm and there's no attempt to use line to tie the shapes together.
None of the Fox primetime animated series seem to be interested in flexible shapes, which really is a shame. I've heard that Fox considered stretch and squash old fashioned, but as you can see, The Simpsons approach isn't exactly new.