ResearchTraditional Animation:Traditional animation, (or classical animation, cell animation, or hand-drawn animation) is ananimation technique where each frame is drawn by hand. The technique was the dominant form ofanimation in cinema until the advent of computer animation.StoryboardsTraditionally-animated productions, just like other forms of animation, usually begin life as astoryboard, which is a script of sorts written with images as well as words, similar to a giant comicstrip. The images allow the animation team to plan the flow of the plot and the composition of theimagery. The storyboard artists will have regular meetings with the director, and may have toredraw or "re-board" a sequence many times before it meets final approval.Design and timingOnce the animatic has been approved, it and the storyboards are sent to the design departments.Character designers prepare model sheets for all important characters and props in the film. Thesemodel sheets will show how a character or object looks from a variety of angles with a variety ofposes and expressions, so that all artists working on the project can deliver consistent work.Sometimes, small statues known as maquettes may be produced, so that an animator can see whata character looks like in three dimensions. At the same time, the background stylists will do similarwork for the settings and locations in the project, and the art directors and color stylists willdetermine the art style and color schemes to be used.While design is going on, the timing director (who in many cases will be the main director) takes theanimatic and analyzes exactly what poses, drawings, and lip movements will be needed on whatframes. An exposure sheet (or X-sheet for short) is created; this is a printed table that breaks downthe action, dialogue, and sound frame-by-frame as a guide for the animators. If a film is based morestrongly in music, a bar sheet may be prepared in addition to or instead of an X-sheet. Bar sheetsshow the relationship between the on-screen action, the dialogue, and the actual musical notationused in the score.AnimationOnce the Animatic is finally approved by the director, animation begins.In the traditional animation process, animators will begin by drawing sequences of animation onsheets of transparent paper perforated to fit the peg bars in their desks, often using colored pencils,one picture or "frame" at a time. A peg bar is an animation tool that is used in traditional (cell)animation to keep the drawings in place. The pins in the peg bar match the holes in the paper. It isattached to the animation desk or light table depending on which is being used. A key animator orlead animator will draw the key drawings in a scene, using the character layouts as a guide. The keyanimator draws enough of the frames to get across the major points of the action; in a sequence of acharacter jumping across a gap, the key animator may draw a frame of the character as he is about
to leap, two or more frames as the character is flying through the air, and the frame for thecharacter landing on the other side of the gap.Timing is important for the animators drawing these frames; each frame must match exactly what isgoing on in the soundtrack at the moment the frame will appear, or else the discrepancy betweensound and visual will be distracting to the audience. For example, in high-budget productions,extensive effort is given in making sure a speaking characters mouth matches in shape the soundthat characters actor is producing as he or she speaks.While working on a scene, a key animator will usually prepare a pencil test of the scene. A pencil testis a preliminary version of the final animated scene; the pencil drawings are quickly photographed orscanned and synced with the necessary soundtracks. This allows the animation to be reviewed andimproved upon before passing the work on to his assistant animators, who will go add details andsome of the missing frames in the scene. The work of the assistant animators is reviewed, pencil-tested, and corrected until the lead animator is ready to meet with the director and have his scenesweatboxed, or reviewed by the director, producer, and other key creative team members. Similarto the storyboarding stage, an animator may be required to re-do a scene many times before thedirector will approve it.In high-budget animated productions, often each major character will have an animator or group ofanimators solely dedicated to drawing that character. The group will be made up of one supervisinganimator, a small group of key animators, and a larger group of assistant animators. For sceneswhere two characters interact, the key animators for both characters will decide which character is"leading" the scene, and that character will be drawn first. The second character will be animated toreact to and support the actions of the "leading" character.Once the key animation is approved, the lead animator forwards the scene on to the clean-updepartment, made up of the clean-up animators and the inbetweeners. The clean-up animators takethe lead and assistant animators drawings and trace them onto a new sheet of paper, taking care inincluding all of the details present on the original model sheets, so that it appears that one personanimated the entire film. The inbetweeners will draw in whatever frames are still missing in betweenthe other animators drawings. This procedure is called tweening. The resulting drawings are againpencil-tested and sweatboxed until they meet approval.At each stage during pencil animation, approved artwork is spliced into the Leica reel.This process is the same for both character animation and special effects animation, which on mosthigh-budget productions are done in separate departments. Effects animators animate anything thatmoves and is not a character, including props, vehicles, machinery and phenomena such as fire, rain,and explosions. Sometimes, instead of drawings, a number of special processes are used to producespecial effects in animated films; rain, for example, has been created in Disney animated films sincethe late-1930s by filming slow-motion footage of water in front of a black background, with theresulting film superimposed over the animation.BackgroundsWhile the animation is being done, the background artists will paint the sets over which the action ofeach animated sequence will take place. These backgrounds are generally done in gouache or acrylicpaint, although some animated productions have used backgrounds done in watercolor, oil paint, oreven crayon. Background artists follow very closely the work of the background layout artists and
color stylists (which is usually compiled into a workbook for their use), so that the resultingbackgrounds are harmonious in tone with the character designs.Computers and digital video camerasComputers and digital video cameras can also be used as tools in traditional cell animation withoutaffecting the film directly, assisting the animators in their work and making the whole process fasterand easier. Doing the layouts on a computer is much more effective than doing it by traditionalmethods. Additionally, video cameras give the opportunity to see a "preview" of the scenes and howthey will look when finished, enabling the animators to correct and improve upon them withouthaving to complete them first. This can be considered a digital form of pencil testing.TV Show Examples:Regular ShowRegular Show is an American animated television series created by J. G. Quintel for CartoonNetwork. The series revolves around the lives of two friends, a Blue Jay named Mordecai and araccoon named Rigby, both employed as groundskeepers at a park. Their usual attempts to slack offoften lead to surreal misadventures that are either over the top or supernatural. The shows tagline,"Its anything but", alludes to this. The series is produced by Cartoon Network Studios. Although theseries does not air on Cartoon Networks Adult Swim block and is rated TV-PG, it is considered moreof an adult animated sitcom rather than a childrens cartoon.PlotTwo 23-year-old friends, a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby, are employed asgroundskeepers at a park and spend their days trying to slack off and entertain themselves by anymeans. This is much to the chagrin of their boss Benson and their coworker, Skips, but to the delightof Pops. Their other coworkers, Muscle Man (an overweight green man) and High Five Ghost (aghost with a hand extending from the top of his head), serve as rivals to Mordecai and Rigby.Mordecai and Rigby would later befriend a new coworker; an intern named Thomas, and slowlyhelps him adjust to life working in the park. The show usually revolves around Mordecai and Rigbysattempts to avoid work and enjoy themselves. However, they often, at times, have to pay for theirirresponsible actions, as they always get into more trouble than they thought. This typically results inMordecai and Rigby going through bizarre and surrealistic misadventures, many of which nearly killthem or others around them.ReceptionRegular Show became an instant hit with its first and second seasons on Monday nights, ranking #1in its time period among all key boy demos across all of television according to Nielsen MediaResearch.Regular Show has received general acclaim from critics and audiences. Devin D. OLeary ofAlibi.coms "Idiot Box" column gave the show a favorable review, saying that its theme felt like aworkplace sitcom and that the "parade of super-strange characters" added to the shows humor. Hecompared the show to Beavis and Butt-head. PopMatters critic Chris Conaton gave the show a six-
out-of-ten rating, saying that it was "mildly amusing." His review praised Quintels and Salyers voiceacting, but thought that the humor was derivative of Beavis and Butt-Head and The Ren & StimpyShow. Common Sense Media reviewer Melissa Camacho said the show to be "pretty edgy for non-Adult Swim Cartoon Network fare" due to its fantasy violence, sexual content and language but alsosaid that "viewers who are into creative animation will definitely appreciate the wit featured here,"and gave it three stars out of five. Metacritic gave Regular Show a 9.0 rating, with the rank of"universal acclaim".Adventure TimeAdventure Time (originally titled Adventure Time with Finn & Jake) is an American animatedtelevision series created by Pendleton Ward for Cartoon Network. The series follows the adventuresof Finn (voiced by Jeremy Shada), a 14-year-old human boy, and his best friend Jake (voiced by JohnDiMaggio), a dog with magical powers to change shape and grow and shrink at will. Finn and Jakelive in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, and travel the land while they adventure. Along the way,they interact with the other main characters of the show: Princess Bubblegum (voiced by HyndenWalch), The Ice King (voiced by Tom Kenny), and Marceline the Vampire Queen (voiced by OliviaOlson).Concept and creationAccording to series creator Pendleton Ward, the shows style was influenced by his time at CaliforniaInstitute of the Arts and his work as a storyboard artist on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.He tries to include "beautiful" moments like those in Hayao Miyazakis film My Neighbor Totoro, aswell as elements of subversive humor. The show began as a single stand-alone animated short whichran for seven minutes. It aired in January 2007 and again as part of Frederator Studios Random!Cartoons on December 7, 2008. After its release, the short video became a viral hit on the internet.Frederator Studios then pitched an Adventure Time series to Nicktoons Network, but the networkpassed on it twice. The studio then approached Cartoon Network. The network said they would bewilling to produce the series if Ward could prove that the series could be expanded into a serieswhile maintaining elements from the original short. Ward, with help from Pat McHale and AdamMuto, turned in a rough storyboard that featured Finn and an "oblivious" Princess Bubblegum goingon a spaghetti-supper date. However, the network was not happy with this story, and asked foranother. Ward then created an early storyboard for the episode, "The Enchiridion", which was hisattempt to emulate the style of the original short. Cartoon Network approved the first season inSeptember 2008, and "The Enchiridion" became the first episode to enter into production.ProductionWhile many cartoons are based on script pitches to network executives, Cartoon Network allowedAdventure Time to "build their own teams organically" and communication through the use ofstoryboards and animatics. Cartoon Network chief content officer Rob Sorcher explained that thenetwork allowed this because the company was "dealing with artists who are primarily visualpeople" and by using storyboards, the writers and artists could learn and grow “by actually doing thework.” Many of the series writers and storyboard artists have a background in indie comics.Pendleton Ward refers to them as "really smart, smartypants people" who are responsible forinserting weirder and more spiritual ideas into the series during its third season.
In an interview with The A.V. Club, Ward explained that the writing process for the show usuallybegan with the writers telling each other what they had done the past week. He also said that, "a lotof the time, if we’re really stuck, we’ll start saying everything that comes to our mind, which isusually the worst stuff, and then someone else will think that’s terrible but it’ll give him a better ideaand the ball just starts rolling like that." Ward also revealed that a major inspiration for the series isthe fantasy, role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Before the series aired, many of the writerswere avid fans of the game. However, because of the busy schedule that comes with writing andcoordinating a television series, they no longer had time to actively play the game. Ward explainedthat, because the writers were too busy, they would attempt to write stories that they would "wantto be playing D&D with."After the writers pitch the stories, the ideas are compiled onto a "two-to-three" page outline thatcontain "the important beats". The episodes are then handed off to storyboard artists, who aregiven a week to "thumbnail a storyboard" and fill in the details. Ward and his creative directors thenreview the storyboard and make notes. The storyboard artists are then given another week toimplement the notes and clean up the episode. Ward noted that it takes about nine months for asingle episode to be created. According to character designer Andy Ristaino, almost all of theanimation in Adventure Time is hand drawn. There have been elements of episodes that were nothand-drawn, such as the second season entry "Guardians of Sunshine", which was partially renderedin 3-D to emulate a video game. For the computer-generated segment in "Guardians of Sunshine",the series asked animator Ke Jiang for assistance; he single-handedly "modeled, rigged andanimated" the sequence. A future episode, entitled "A Glitch is a Glitch" was written and directed byIrish film maker & writer David OReilly, and it will feature his distinct 3-D animation.Ward described the show as a "dark comedy"; he said "dark comedies are my favorite, because Ilove that feeling – being happy and scared at the same time. Its my favorite way to feel – when Imon the edge of my seat but Im happy, that sense of conflicting emotions. And theres a lot of that inthe show, I think."Executive producer Fred Seibert compares the shows animation style to that ofFelix the Cat and various Max Fleischer cartoons, but says that its world is also equally inspired byDungeons and Dragons and video games. Ward intends the shows world to have a certain physicallogic instead of "cartoony slapstick"; even though magic exists in the story, the shows writers try tocreate an internal consistency in how the characters interact with the world. The series is rated TV-PG. Ward, in an interview, has said that he does not want to push the shows PG rating. Heexplained, "I’ve never really even thought about the rating. [...] we don’t like stuff that’s overlygross. We like cute stuff and nice things".ReceptionRatingsSince its debut, Adventure Time has been a ratings success for Cartoon Network. The show firstpremiered on April 5, 2010 and was watched by 2.5 million viewers. The episode was a ratingssmash; according to a press release sent out by Cartoon Network, the episodes timeslot saw tripledigit percentage increases from the time period of the previous year. For instance, the entry wasviewed by 1.661 million kids aged 2–11, which marked a 110 percent increase from the previousyear. Furthermore, it was watched by 837,000 kids aged 9–14, which saw a 239 percent increase.The second season premiere, "It Came From the Nightosphere", marked a decline from the firstseason premiere, but it marked an increase from the first season finale, which was watched by only1.77 million viewers. "It Came from the Nightospere" also marked gains when compared to the sametimeslot a year prior; for instance, 732,000 kids aged 6–11 watched the episode, an increase by 35percent when compared to the previous year. As the show has gone on, its ratings have continued to
grow. The third season debut was watched by a total of 2.686 million viewers, and the fourth seasonpremiere was watched by 2.655 million. The fifth season premiere, "Finn the Human"/"Jake theDog", was watched by 3.435. This makes it the highest-rated premiere for any season of AdventureTime. On November 14, 2012, it was reported that the shows averages roughly 3.3 million viewersan episode. According to the Nielsen ratings, the show consistently ranks first in its timeslot amongboys aged 2 to 14.ReviewsThe show has received positive reviews from critics and has developed a cult following amongteenagers and adults; Adventure Time has a passionate audience of both children and adults "whoare drawn to the show’s silly humor, imaginative stories, and richly populated world." Televisioncritic Robert Lloyd, in an article for the LA Times, said that the series was a good companion piece"to the networks [then] currently airing Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack."Furthermore, he complimented the setting and compared the series to Chowder and The MarvelousMisadventures of Flapjack, noting that each take "place in a fantastical land peopled with strange,somewhat disturbing characters and has at its center a young male person or person-like thingmaking his way in that world with the help of unusual, not always reliable, mentors." He went on towrite that the show is "not unlike CNs earlier Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, about a boy andhis imaginary friend, though darker and stranger and even less connected to the world as we knowit." Lloyd also compared it to "the sort of cartoons they made when cartoons themselves were youngand delighted in bringing all things to rubbery life."Mike LeChevallier of Slate magazine award the third and fourth seasons of the show four stars out offive. In a review of the third season, LeChevallier wrote that the series "scores relatively high marksfor storytelling, artwork, music, voice acting, and realization with its neatly wrapped, 11-minutepackages of multicolored awesomeness." He further complimented the show because he felt that "itscarcely appears to be trying too hard to attract attention, yet it does just that". He did note that"the short-form format leaves some emotional substance to be desired", although he noted this wasinevitable for a series with such short episodes. In a review of season four LeChevallier positivelycomplimented the show for "growing up" with its characters, and that "the shows dialogue isamong the best of any current animated series." He concluded that the series possesses "strikinglyfew faults".The A.V. Club reviewer Zack Handlen summed Adventure Time up as "a terrific show, and it fitsbeautifully in that gray area between kid and adult entertainment in a way that manages to satisfyboth a desire for sophisticated (i.e., weird) writing and plain old silliness. This is basically what wouldhappen if you asked a bunch of 12-year-olds to make a cartoon, only it’s the best possible version ofthat, like if all the 12-year-olds were super geniuses and some of them were Stan Lee and Jack Kirbyand the Marx Brothers." Robert Mclaughlin of Den of Geek wrote that Adventure Time "is the firstcartoon in a long time that is pure imagination". He heavily complimented the show for "its non-reliance on continually referencing pop culture [...] and the general outlook is positive and fun." EricKohn of IndieWire said that the show "represents the progress of [cartoon] medium" in the currentdecade. Kohn also enjoyed the way the show not only revels in "random, frequently adorable andeffusive" aspects, but also "toys with an incredibly sad subtext". Entertainment Weekly namedAdventure Time #20 on their The 25 Greatest Animated Series Ever list.Looney TunesLooney Tunes is a Warner Bros. series of theatrical cartoon shorts. It was produced from 1930 to1969 during the Golden Age of American animation, alongside Warner Bros. other theatrical
cartoon series, Merrie Melodies. The series featured some of the most famous cartoon characters inthe history of animation, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Tweety Bird among manyothers. The characters themselves are commonly referred to as the "Looney Tunes." The nameLooney Tunes is a variation on Silly Symphonies, the name of Walt Disneys concurrent series ofmusic-based cartoon shorts. From 1942 until 1969, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were themost popular cartoon shorts in theaters, exceeding Disney and other popular competitors.Since its first official release, 1930s Sinkin in the Bathtub, Looney Tunes has become a worldwidemedia franchise, spawning several television series, films, comics, music albums, video games andamusement park rides. Many of the characters have made and continue to make cameoappearances in various other television shows, films and advertisements. The most popular LooneyTunes character, Bugs Bunny, is regarded as a cultural icon and has appeared in more films than anyother cartoon character. Several Looney Tunes shorts are regarded as some of the greatestanimated cartoons of all time. Many of the shorts were nominated for the Academy Award for BestAnimated Short Film, with two of them winning the award (For Scent-imental Reasons and KnightyKnight Bugs), and the short Porky in Wackyland has been inducted into the National Film Registry ofthe Library of Congress.In the beginning both Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies drew their storylines from Warners vastmusic library. From 1934 to 1943, Merrie Melodies were produced in color and Looney Tunes in blackand white. After 1943, however, both series were produced in color and became virtuallyindistinguishable, with the only stylistic difference being in the variation between the opening thememusic and titles. Both series also made use of the various Warner Bros. cartoon characters. By 1937,the theme music for Looney Tunes was "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" by Cliff Friend and DaveFranklin; the theme music for Merrie Melodies was an adaptation of "Merrily We Roll Along" byCharles Tobias, Murray Mencher and Eddie Cantor.