Re: Animation

From: chance <>
Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 10:18:45 -0800

>I just watched some of my SWAT Kat tapes for my fanfic and I
>noticed this:
> 1. The animation for the first season was OK, better than
>most cartoons.
> 2. The animation for the second season sucked.

Ooohh....difference of opinion here, but, well...we'll agree to disagree...

. I wonder WHY
>this episodes were SO good and the rest weren't (OK, the Pastmaster
>Always Rings Twice was a runner up).

If we're strictly talking Animation, Mook has been doing features and so on in Japan
for years, whereas Hanho Heung-up has pretty much been confined to comparitively low-budget
TV fare like "Droids" and some of the "Disney Afternoon" stuff. Mook has its bad days though,
as there's a couple of scenes in "Pastmaster" that I would've called as retakes.

 These three also, in my
>opinion, had the best and most involved plots. I also think most
>of second season sucked simply for it's plots (Volcanus Eruptus,
>and all the others that JUST featured fight scenes). Is it possible
>a different team of animators and writers worked on those three?

Lots of politics played in the second season. The executives at H-B wanted to try a "shorts"
format for the eps, presumably to cater to what they perceived as the short attention span
of the audience. Just about all the "short" things were failures, with the exception being Lance
Falk's "Cry Turmoil", which retained it's :22 minute structure despite being truncated into a
shorter ep by executive interference. The second season, to me anyway, gave us *better*
art and character writing in a few instances, notably "Razor's Edge", and much of "Mutation
City". Plot-wise, most of the season two eps were fairly basic, but the visuals took up the
slack in things like "The Deadly Pyramid" and to some extent "Unlikely Alloys", and the remainder
were still better than anything else I've seen in the last five years.

I've heard that in the first season, Tremblays and the crew actually had to fight to get those
eps done by Mook, despite the fact that the outfit was apparently *cheaper* than the sloppier
Hanho (though someone may be factoring in a couple of hundred retakes in the comparison).
Sometimes in Animation there will be certain eps regarded as "pet" episodes, which will have
more resources diverted to them at the expense of the others. Check out the varied art styles
in some of the second season eps, and compare "pet" eps like "Mutation City", "Deadly Pyramid", "When Strikes Mutilor" and "Unlikely Alloys" to the more visually pedestrian "Caverns of Horror",
"Cry Turmoil" and "Volcanus Erupts". If anything, these first four are closer to most of the
conventions in Anime than anything from the first season visually, though some of the little
"tricks" of Anime are readily apparent in "Night of the Dark Kat".

Writers? Most of the eps were penned by the story editor, Glenn Leopold, in both seasons,
though a few of the second season eps had the story seeds planted by the Tremblay Bros.
There were a few freelance writers who contributed to the Kitties as well, such as David
Ehrman, Mark Saraceni, Jim Katz, and "Captain Planet" writer Von Williams. Design team
members Lance Falk, Eric Clark, and Jim Stentsrum also wrote eps either in collaboration or
independently. (see the Animato! episode guide for details).
"Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed
 antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters,
 through Arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in
 the winter of 1925. Endurance, Fidelity, Intelligence." -- "Balto"

Received on Mon Jan 01 1996 - 13:12:59 PST

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