Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I've Seen Boobies

To date, I have only seen one episode of "Total Drama Island", but I learned a lot from it. Namely, that the show has a lot of potential to be funny, but it's buried under a distracting miasma of shoddy Flash animation and ugly, angular character designs. Normally, I don't judge a show by its animation (for instance, "South Park" is very crudely animated and I still think it's extraordinarily funny), but with TDI, it's just too much to bear. Maybe it's because I watch "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" and I know Flash doesn't have to look this bad on a TV budget.

I tried to take a crack at reworking some of the characters to make them more aesthetically appealing. I made very subtle changes to Izzy, Lindsay, Gwen, and LeShawna here, but I tried to give them a stronger sense of three-dimensionality and solid character structure while still maintaining the basic style of the show. It's a delicate balance, but I think I pulled it off.


  1. about the flash animation. 2 points, the style was actually an inspiration from another canadian animated show, Clone High, while using more traditional style, has all those sharp angles. 2nd, THAT'S because Canada doesn't have a strong enough budget like american animation does so cut them some slack >:/. Sorry but it pisses me off everytime anybody disses canadian animation like that just because they don't like how its drawn. Besides, with how this show works, its really hard to picture them moving in a more 3rd dimensional style, the same can go for 6teen and Stoked, which are also made by the same guys who made TDI. So in this occasion as you can see, like south park, writing is its stronger element. Also, the movements does get better and more detailed in TDA. But remember what I said, LOOK at Clone High and you'll see where the style came from.

  2. Heartless Slayer:

    I think one of the TDI character designers mentioned the series following the Clone High model, back when John K. and his club were ripping this show apart. Except Clone High has a more pleasing and organic feel to it. Total Drama Island looks like broken glass, and going by how good the designs for 6teen are, there should be no excuse for a low-budgeted show to look THAT ugly.

  3. Mr. Semaj:

    Yeah, you're right, Clone high was the inspiration for the show's style. as for John K. that guy rips off anything that isn't bob clampett like, even Ralph Bakshi warned John K. of his attitudes. At least Ralph is respectful and he's a great animator. But TDI isn;t supposed to be liked for its animation, its for the writing, like how south park is. but it just seems here that already its just being criticized for its animation. If you're gonna watch it for animation but only criticize, turn back.

    As well, I will admit I personally really like the style so I'm not trying to hold it against anybody who doesn't. But my real problem is of the criticism of its animation just because of the budget, like I mentioned, Canadian animation doesn't have that strong of a budget as american animation does. The reason why most flash shows like Foster's looks so creative is because they have a BUDGET for it since CN has been on longer than Teletoon. If you and other lovers of animation wanna see TDI look better, then give the animators more money and they'll do so.

    But again, I'm not trying to attack you, if you don;t like the show, no big whoop. I just had to step in to defend Canadian animation since its full of potential and I'm one of the few Canadians I know who defends Canadian shows since no one else seems to. But still, not attacking you.

  4. Wow. Seeing the commercials for this show every now and then, I never thought it'd be possible to make the designs work. As if I needed confirmation that you're one of the best artists out there.
    I might as well add, whether or not a show is given a big budget has nothing to do with whether or not these guys can draw. If they can't design an appealing looking character, budgets aren't going to help.

  5. Kasey:

    Not to bring offence here, but what gives anyone where any right to say if the staff of TDI can draw or not? If you don't like the show for your own reasons then that's ok, but as fans of animation, we should respect the artists even if we don;t like their style. Besides, the show's strongest element is its writing, not its art. Just like South Park.

    There are shows that has one stronger element over the other. Like this, we don't watch Ren and Stimpy for its writing, its strongest point is the animation. And the same can go for King of the Hill, people don;t watch it for the art, its the writing that makes the show good. If you're watching a show just for the animation when clearly that's not the point for TDI, then you're criticizing the wrong people.

    Again, if you don't like the show, that's cool, not everyone has to. But to criticize a popular low budgeted show just for the animation is not being very respectful, to the staff and fans of animation.

  6. Those are a nice rendition of the characters.

    As for the show itself it is decent, but it could be better.

  7. HeartlessSlayer, I'm not criticizing it for the animation, so much the character designs. Again, just because you have a low budget, doesn't mean your characters have to look hideous.

  8. Kasey, I honestly like the character designs, I just can't see how they would look ugly to some here. But if you want a show with UGLY designs, try Coconut Fred. *shudders* such a horrible show...

  9. I've sat through all Nick Klasky-Csupo shows, and the cartoon with the ugliest character designs I've ever seen were in Casper's Scare School (though that show's bad in every way possible).

    I do like what you did, by making the character designs more workable, if it was to be done in 2D.
    Though both Izzy's and Gwen's left legs get too narrow to the ankles, compared to their other leg.

    As for the show itself. I don't think it's consistently funny.

    Hope you draw the other characters!

  10. I'd actually watch the show if the characters looked like this.
    As for cheap cartoons, I miss the days when we had animation farms like DiC that would outsource everything to an arthouse like TMS.

  11. You combined too many elements. The beauty of their style is the simple angular style. Yours for me looks amateurish.
    So don't judge. And maybe learn some other artistic styles. And as for it working or not for animation, it is 2d. It doesn't need to play by 3d rules.
    I know many artists who love one particular style. I met some great Disney ones who can't do anything but disney and consider all else 'stupid'. You should really learn a bit more about what's out there, and what makes a piece good.
    Or live in your bubble :) , this is the internet