Saturday, November 3, 2012

Made In Canada

  This last week was a bit of a bust when it came to working on my portfolio.  After nearly a year of evading the common cold, one virus finally got me and I found myself at it's mercy.  However, all is not lost.  I planned on making these drawing for Halloween.  Unfortunately, my head cold had just struck me and I couldn't find the energy to muster the concentration required to execute them.  Besides, as every animator knows, Col-Erase animation pencils are highly water soluble (in College I ruined a perfectly good pair of Khaki pants forgetting some red and blue Col-Erase nubs in my front pocket and then running them through the laundry.....Oops).   

  For those of you who didn't grow up in Canada, or who are too old or young to remember the great television animation renaissance of the late 1980's to Mid 1990's; these drawing are fan art within fan art.  When I was just embarking on my cartoon capers, my absolute favourite animated television shows were produced by Nelvana Inc.  A Canadian animation studio based in Toronto and one which I have had the pleasure of being affiliated with (Once removed).  The cartoon "Beetlejuice", is my absolute childhood favourite.  I was so fond of this show that I wore black to school for three weeks and was asked by my classmates if someone had died.  Fortunately enough, I made a lousy third grade Goth; but, these fabulous trips to the Neitherworld sparked my imagination and since then I've developed an affinity for the macabre.  First released in Canada on September 9th, 1989 and ran for three series until October 26th, 1991.  In the United States it aired on ABC and Fox from September 9th, 1991 and ended May 7th, 1992.  Loosely based on the Tim Burton film of the same name and with the main titles composed by Danny Elfman, that series opening stands to date one of the most marvelously animated I've ever seen (Plus, it doesn't hurt to mention that I got a chance to touch the Emmy Nelvana won for "Beetlejuice" while attending a company Christmas Party at Nelvana.  For the record, I wanted to lick it, but I didn't know where that Emmy had been.  So, I touched it a little and that was good).  Thus, it's very fitting that the "Ghost with the Most" should meet the American Family of which I am most fond, American Dad.

  Screen Right to Left:  Stan Smith - Beetlejuice, Francine Smith - Lydia Deetz, Hayley Smith - Delia Deetz, Jeff - Charles Deetz, Bottom:  Roger Smith - Clair Brewster, Steve Smith - Prudence.

   The Second drawing is a mishmash of cartoon characters from various shows which rounded off most of my pre-90's viewing.  At first I toyed with the idea of inserting the "Care Bears" into the picture.  Mostly because they are probably the most recognized world wide and second, Stewie would make a fabulous "No Heart".  The reason why I changed my mind is because I couldn't bring myself to deface these characters to that degree, and so "Babar", "My Pet Monster", "Inspector Gadget" and "Punky Brewster" won the page.  Babar was one of those wholesome shows which will forever hold a place in my pre-school heart.  The sweetest story lines, and the wonderful way it blended real life into fantasy makes it one of those shows you can leave your kid in front of and fall asleep on the couch during.  "Babar" premiered in 1989 and produced a staggering 78 episodes which was launched by a movie made in that same year.  "My Pet Monster" was one of the most well marketed of the Nelvana shows and only was released as one season in 1986.  It had plush toys and made yellow handcuffs popular with children under 18.  "Inspector Gadget" needs no introduction, as most of you are probably familiar with that Matthew Broderick abomination which was released almost 14 years ago.  The animated series ran from 1983-1986 and didn't reach syndication until the 1990's.  The last character, and one which does not belong, is that of "Punky Brewster", which is an American cartoon and aired September 14th, 1985 to December 26th, 1985 on NBC.  I chose her because she fit the era and Meg best.

  Screen Right to Left:  Peter Griffin - "Babar", Lois Griffin - Jill - "My Pet Monster", Chris Griffin - Uncle Arthur "Babar", Meg Griffin - "Punky Brewster".  Bottom Page: Stewie Griffin - Penny "Inspector Gadget", Brian Griffin - Brain "Inspector Gadget".

    There you have it: Fan art Within Fan art.  Canadian fan art at that.  I hope that Tim Burton, Nelvana, and Fox can all forgive me for merging them together.  My only defense is that my imagination made me do it (as people do the most appalling things when on Buckley's Cough and Cold medicine).  Frankly, I blame NeoCitran and it's manufacturing company for producing faulty packaging - thus leading to a cold and flu over-the-counter medical shortage this year.  Because of this I was forced to open packages of the drinkable cold medication which were only 4 months away from expiry.

  Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as I did.  I needed to take a break from Oz and have a little fun.