dorothy_parka (dorothy_parka) wrote,

Cartoons, Be More Funny!

I made the mistake of watching Sit Down, Shut Up last night, based on the fact that the voice talent was made up primarily of the cast of Arrested Development, a show I adore. Sadly, like every “adult” cartoon on Fox (and pretty much every place else) post-Futurama, it sucked. In fact, it was so bad that it made the episode of The Simpsons that followed it seem almost good. And we know it wasn’t.

Here I will explain to all who are involved in the cartoon funny business how to make a cartoon that people actually want to watch. There are only two rules, and they’re very simple!

Rule 1. If you are making a cartoon, there should be something about it that cannot be done in real life with real actors. Futurama, which I don’t love but don’t hate, follows this rule. It has a sentient crustacean and a girl with one eye. The Simpsons follows these rules too, at least back in the old days when Homer worked in the nuclear power plant. Does Homer work these days? He’s never there.

For prime examples of this rule, look at any episode of Ren and Stimpy. Not only are Ren and Stimpy sentient animals that live in a world populated with (mostly) people, watch what happens to Ren’s body when he gets angry. Also, don’t be afraid of cartoon violence. R+S, Simpsons and Futurama don’t shy away from this.

You can sometimes break rule one and still have a good cartoon, usually if you have compelling, cute, or interesting character designs or a strange animation style. For examples of this, see Home Movies and Dr Katz.

Rule 2. Be funny. It’s a friggin’ cartoon, people. If you’re doing a 30-minute sitcom format, it should be funny. I should be laughing and not looking for youtube movies during your show. There was no funny during Sit Down, Shut up (whose name should obviously be reversed, by the way). If you don’t know what funny is, I cannot help you. Go study with the Upright Citizens Brigade.

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