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Archive for the ‘Random! Cartoons’


Available on Amazon.

December 15th, 2010

Book cover illustrated & designed by Carlos Ramos
Original Cartoon Title Cards from Frederator Studios [cover]

OK, here ’tis on Amazon.com, Original Cartoon Title Cards from Frederator Studios, before Christmas, as we hoped. Not sure if they can actually deliver it by next week, but you can check. The official release date is in March, so at least you can get a head start on everyone else. In the meanwhile, you can preview the whole book below to see if it’s worth it to you.

Here’s the blurb (and here’s the entire introduction):

Please, consider the unconsidered art of the original cartoon title card.

For almost a century, the art of the cartoon title card has not been disparaged, disregarded, or dismissed. It has been completely ignored. And by the 1970s it had almost completely disappeared.

Over 200 full color original title cards from hit Frederator cartoon series, including The Fairly OddParents, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Fanboy & Chum Chum, Adventure Time, and eight more.

Frederator loves you.

Original Cartoon Title Cards from Frederator Studios

Coming for Christmas?

November 28th, 2010

Book cover illustrated & designed by Carlos Ramos
Original Cartoon Title Cards from Frederator Studios [cover]The latest from Frederator Books, Original Cartoon Title Cards, should be out soon. Eric Homan and I have chosen a subjective compilation of 200 of the title cards from our productions over the years, including some of the best from The Fairly OddParents, ChalkZone, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Ape Escape Cartoons, The Meth Minute 39, What A Cartoon!, Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Random! Cartoons, and the first season of Fanboy & Chum Chum and Adventure Time. You’ve probably seen some of them here or here, but I’ve got to say, seeing them printed large size (the book is 8 1/4″ wide by 6″ high), is pretty darn cool.

“Official” publication should be in January. But, we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to offer it early (maybe as soon as next week) to Frederator blog readers. Stay tuned here for more information as it comes. In the meantime, here’s a preview of the essay at the beginning of the book.

…..

The unconsidered art of the cartoon title card.

I started searching the internet for someone who could write an essay to introduce this book of Frederator Studios’ cartoon title cards. Surely, someone with an writer’s eye had a few choice words to say about decades of cool graphic design.

Nothing.

There were several places where beautiful vintage cartoon cards are displayed, usually for filmographic or historical purposes. But, for all the pages devoted to critical analysis and display of another pop culture icon, the movie poster, there wasn’t a full paragraph of consideration I could turn up about the kind of art we’re displaying in this book.

Well, I’m no art historian, so they won’t be any scintillating examinations here. But, just let me point out that it might be worth checking out the dozens of talented artists and creators who have shared their work with us here. All sorts of styles are represented, from homage to the one and two color cards we saw in the silents, to sumptuous, nuanced illustrations that are hard to appreciate in the 10 seconds they’re usually displayed on television. Breadth of craft is also demonstrated here, from simple typography, pencil on paper, computer generated images, even paper cut outs.

Within minutes of ruminating about cartoons for the first time –professionally, that is; they probably started dominating my mind as soon as my parents got their first TV– there was no choice. The model for my productions needed to be the great shorts during the golden age of the early, mid-20th century: Looney Tunes, the Disney’s, the MGM’s, even the first TV shows of Hanna-Barbera. And there was no joking about the template. Our films would hew as close as possible to these classics from front to back. Studio logo, character name, episode name, seven minutes of squash & stretch hilarity, and “The End.” No deviations, please.

It took a few years to get anyone to agree that we could even make these kinds of cartoons (thank you kindly, Scott Sassa and Ted Turner). And, among the creative posse making the first 48 shorts there wasn’t one push back about the idea of the title cards, they loved everything cartoon. It helped that I was the president of the studio, but that really had nothing to do with it.

The talent we’d lined up were chomping at the bit to reintroduce –no, reinvent– the very idea of cartoons, since the production industry and the networks had almost completely abandoned the form almost 30 years before. Disney had long seemed embarrassed by their ‘cartoon’ roots, but even the 1980 revival of the famous Warner studio couldn’t admit their strength and named itself “Warner Bros. Animation.” Our team trained themselves in a business that had turned its back on their love, but they were undeterred. When we announced our complete dedication to the form, they lined up in force and embraced every aspect of our program, eventually creating a tidal wave of success that made cartoons the dominant form of animation throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

The networks were another story. It’s fair to say that we’ve had resistance to title cards for almost everyone one of the almost 20 series that have been sprung from our three shorts series of the last 15 years. It’s never the budget issues, which would have been my first arguments against them, if I’d been so inclined; it is not inexpensive to make between 50 and 150 of illustrative, finished artwork per season. No, unfortunately, there’s probably a failure of imagination. “Other series don’t do it.”

Cartoon title cards indeed seem to be an unconsidered art. Everywhere but here. Feast your eyes for as long as you might wish, I guarantee some gorgeous rewards.

Fred Seibert
New York, 2010
Original Cartoon Title Cards from Frederator Studios [back cover]

The unconsidered art.

September 3rd, 2010

DRAFT Book ORIGINAL Cartoon Title Cards Aug 2010

We’ve been showing off the title cards from our cartoons for quite a while now. And Eric and I have been chomping at the bit for years to collect a bunch of them in a book to include in the Frederator library. Why? Because, as Susan Miller says, “There’s something about a book.”

At the rate we’re going, it should be on Amazon sometime in October, but in the meantime I thought I’d share the current draft.

I’ve taken to calling cartoon title cards an “unconsidered art” for a bit now because, funny enough, as I’ve been trolling the internet I cannot find more than a few words written about this very rich art form. There’s hundreds of cards posted, primarily from the golden age of the theatricals, but not a lot of critical consideration. Not from Jerry Beck, not from Leonard Maltin, or Mark Mayerson or Michael Barrier either. Maybe it’s because their so basically functional that no one’s given them a second thought (except for the confusions related to replacing them on early television prints). Or maybe because they’ve almost completely disappeared from cartoons over the last 30 years (I can tell you for a fact that every network executive looks askance at us when we tell them we use them).

I mean, every movie poster book seems to have pages devoted to artistic analysis. Do you have any idea why no one’s written about animation title cards? They’re so cool.

Back to the book. We’ve selected about 200 title card images from all the cartoons we’ve produced over the years, starting back in the 90s with What A Cartoon! at Hanna-Barbera, and continuing until today with Oh Yeah! Cartoons, The Fairly OddParents, ChalkZone, My Life as a Teenage Robot… well, you get the idea.

So, take an advance read now. We’re girding ourselves for your complaints about what we’ve left out.

By the way, the cover in the draft above is just a slug I put in there for positioning. The always amazing Carlos Ramos has actually designed an alternative, and as usual with CR’s work, it’s algebraic. (And, we’ve snuck in a thumbnail of one of Carlos’ Oh Yeah! cartoons.)

It’s time for summer vacation.

July 2nd, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 10.5
Frederator Postcards Series 10.5, mailed July 2, 2010 Limited edition of 200

Adapted from
Fritz Reiner conducting the RCA Victor Orchestra
Bizet and Debussy 45 EP
RCA Victor Records, New York

More Frederator postcards
…..

This week’s card is the last in this postcard series of record labels, and it’s a departure from the other four in a few ways.

Most obviously, it’s red. Almost immediately after vinyl replaced shellac as the record manufacturing material, companies realized its flexibility allowed for color pressings, and for the next few decades they hoped the novelty could move a few extra units. And it’s a 45rpm EP, which RCA used to try and compete with Columbia Records‘ superior 12″ LP. This card is adapted from the classical repertoire rather than my more familiar soul, blues, and rock. Lastly, it’s from one of the world’s major recording labels of the 20th Century. I tried sticking to the indie approach, but the red was just so cool.

I’m sure record labels will crop up again in some future series, but for your sake, let’s hope its out of my system.

We’ll be releasing Frederator Postcard Series #11 in the autumn.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanboy_(disambiguation) & Chum Chum

May 21st, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.12
Frederator Postcards Series 9.12, mailed May 21, 2010

The conventional wisdom at the networks had just about given up on original cartoon hits. But that was before our trademark-applied-for Frederator Cartoon Shorts System™ came back with Random! Cartoons and launched this mega-hit.

…..
From the postcard back:

Congratulations!
You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard!
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
Fanboy & Chum Chum
A Random! Cartoons series
2009 - ?
Created by Eric Robles

Series 9.12

Postcard ©2010, Bellport Cartoon Company. Fanboy & Chum Chum ©2010, Viacom Intl. All rights reserved.

……
More Frederator postcards

“Original Cartoons, Volume 2: The Frederator Studios Postcards 2006-2010

May 8th, 2010

Original Cartoons, Volume 2
It took a while to get the gallies right, but the second collection of Frederator’s postcards is available over at Amazon.com (the first one’s there too).

Eric Homan is our resident postcard collector, but that’s not the main reason he has an insightful interview here. Entertainment journalist Michael Goldman wanted to get the scoop on how Eric developed the last round of big ideas in our Random! Cartoons shorts incubator, including the background on Fanboy & Chum Chum and Adventure Time. Their cards, and all 39 of the original Random!s, are included in the book.
back
And that’s not all! The complete postcard series 6 through 9 are here, including the black & whites, and the History of Frederator set. And, the non-series Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! collectibles that were made for the International Licensing Shows, and a bunch of stragglers that were produced here and there over the years. Plus, a preface by the guy we work for at Sony Pictures Animation, Bob Osher, and a short introduction from moi.

So, check it out. Broke? Too cheap? Here’s the free PDF download:

Original Cartoons, Volume 2: The Frederator Studios Postcards 2006 - 2010

Dude! Random!

April 23rd, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 9.8
Frederator Postcards Series 9.8, mailed April 23, 2010

By 2005, it had been almost five years since the last round of Frederator shorts. We’d always been proud of our tradition of incubating and introducing new talent with big ideas, and certainly the results spoke for themselves. Nickelodeon’s Herb Scannell (along with Albie Hecht, Tom Freston, and Judy McGrath), our biggest network supporter felt the same way, and fast tracked what was becoming Random! Cartoons (neé Oh Yeah! Cartoons, Season 4).

……
From the postcard back:

Congratulations!

You are one of 200 people to receive this limited edition Frederator postcard!
www.frederator.com

History of Frederator Studios
Random! Cartoons
2009
Created by Fred Seibert
Executive Producers: Larry Huber & Fred Seibert

Developed by Eric Homan
Supervising Producer: Kevin Kolde

Series 9.8

Postcard © 2010, Bellport Cartoon Company. Random! Cartoons ©2010, Viacom Intl. All rights reserved.
……
More Frederator postcards

The title’s the thing.

October 26th, 2008

Victor The Delivery Dog 
“Victor the Delivery Dog” title sequence, by Niki Yang

Well, not really. But ever since I got into the cartoon business the classic way of introducing a short animated film keeps animating me.

In anticipation of our belated debut of the Random! Cartoons shorts (December 6 on Nicktoons, in case you were wondering), I just posted 31 of the title card sequences over on our site. (Yes, there are 39 different shorts, but some of the sequences are animated, some just haven’t made their way to me yet.) Most of them were designed and illustrated by the shorts’ individual creators. I think you’ll enjoy the wide range of approaches they’ve taken as much as we do.

And as a bonus, here are some frame grabs from our original shorts program, What A Cartoon!, from before I was smart enough to save the original artwork.

Frederator Postcard Series 6.22

September 8th, 2008

 

Mailed the week of September 1, 2008

They swear to us it’s coming soon. Really. 

Random! Cartoons logo designed by Michael Lapinski
Inspired by Darron Moore

Frederator Postcards Series 1, 1998
Frederator Postcards Series 2, 1999
Frederator Postcards Series 3, 2000
Frederator Postcards Series 4, 2003
Frederator Postcards Series 5, 2004-2005
Frederator Postcards Series 6, 2007-2008

Frederator Postcards Series 6.12

April 24th, 2008


Mailed the week of April 14, 2008

We finally have gotten word on the airing of Random! Cartoonsfrom Nickelodeon. It’s looking like December of this year. More details to follow when they’re available.

Random! Cartoons logo
Designed by Michael Lapinski
Inspired by Darron Moore
…..

Frederator Postcards Series 1, 1998
Frederator Postcards Series 2, 1999
Frederator Postcards Series 3, 2000
Frederator Postcards Series 4, 2003
Frederator Postcards Series 5, 2004-2005
Frederator Postcards Series 6, 2007-2008