Obscure but brilliant cartoons

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Obscure but brilliant cartoons

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Postby Squigsquasher » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:53 am

So in an age where stunted rainbow horses and CGI Norwegian princesses have dominated the Western animation scene and the Animation Age Ghetto still exists, I thought we should have a thread where we discuss some of our favourite lesser-known Western cartoons- the buried gems that fade into obscurity, overshadowed by the bigger titles.

For me, one of my favourites was Oban: Star Racers. This is sort of cheating as it really stretches the "Is it anime?" question due to being a collaberative effort between a French and Japanese studio, but it is definitely obscue. It's an interesting show revolving around a racing tournament played across a handful of worlds, using high-speed hovering craft- think pod racers but bigger and more heavily armed. The prize is a single wish- anything you could possibly imagine. It follows a girl called Eva, who is entering the race to avenge her mother, who died in a race against one of the contestants, a mysterious shape-shifting creature named Spirit. Her father and head of the human team, Don Wei, would never allow her to enter something as dangrous as the race, and as such she is going under the false name of Molly. Throughout the series she makes friends, enemies, and begins to uncover the truth about her mother's death.

It's a surprisingly deep show, with a very involved plot and fleshed-out world, with multiple alien races and characters, all of whom have their own agendas. Eva/Molly herself is a very likeble protagonist and she gets decent development throughout the show. It's actually very mature and well-written despite being ostensibly a kid's show.

As I mentioned, it was a joint venture between a French and Japanese studio. The art is definitely anime-styled but with a very definite Western flair, and overall it works really well- it looks almost Gainax with its saturated but flat colours, stylized designs and dynamic movement. The race scenes are predominantly CGI, but it's exceedingly well implemented and never feels out of place. I'd say that along with Avatar it's one of the best animated Western cartoon series I've ever seen.

Overall I'd recommend it to just about anyone- it's fun, fast paced and genuinely intriguing.

So anyway. What are your favourite buried treasures?
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Postby Dataprime » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:31 am

The only reason I know of Oban: Star Racers was because it aired on Toon Disney (in the states)
back in the mid-00's. I watched it as a teenager. Granted I only saw a few episodes but it looked like crap it me.
Seems like I was a bit to old for the show when I first saw it.
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I guess my pick would be the pilot for 'The Power Puff Girls' known as The Whoopass girls
at the time: http://youtu.be/APnZCdiStKI

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Postby The Eva Monkey » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:58 am

Oh man, anyone remember the Computer Warriors toy line, and the one single episode they produced for it? It'd so dated, and there's a bunch of technical/science nonsense, but it's still one of my guilty pleasures, even after all these years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vslzh_jTmEE
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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:19 pm

Does Creepy Crawlers count as obscure?
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Postby Chuckman » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:52 pm

Anybody else remember Dinosaucers, the show about dinosaur humanoids from beyond the moon who turn into dinosaurs?
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Postby ChaddyManPrime » Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:56 pm

^
Did some of them have guns for hands and wear black kevlar vests? I remember some Raptors like those.
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Postby StarShaper7 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:54 pm

Does Aeon Flux count? That's one of my favorite TV shows/animations of all time.

I was reading an interview with it's creator, Peter Chung, and he mentioned Koji Morimoto, Philipp Hirsch and Igor Kovalyov. Morimoto does anime so I'll just write about the other two.

I think Philipp Hirsch has only done this one short called In that features both animation and live action filmmaking. It's weird and I think I'll just let Chung speak for it. "To write a book report on "what was this about and why I liked it" would be both useless and spoiling the experience. The film cannot be enjoyed unless you discard all preconceptions based on having seen other films in your past. The animation, design, sound and direction are all perfectly realized. See it."

He cut out the animated bits to make the short film Inside. I didn't really see the point of it.

Igor Kovalyov did some work for Klasky Csupo, including Aaahh Real Monsters, Rugrats and Duckman. Those don't do him much justice though (haven't seen Duckman). It's Kovalyov's independent short films that are brilliant. Hen, His Wife, Andrei Svislotsky, Bird in the Window, Flying Nansen and Milch. The animation style is unique and the stuff that's going on in them is weird. They seem to amount to simple plots with a unique style, but I'll have to re-watch them and spend time dissecting them.

Here's what Chung had to say about Kovalyov: "Forget that he co-directed the Rugrats movie. I first saw "Hen, His Wife" at the Ottawa Animation Festival in 1990 and couldn't believe what I was seeing. "Andrei Svislotsky" and "Milch" are equally astonishing. His films are oblique yet precise; poignant, yet humorous; steeped in tradition, yet utterly modern; culturally specific, yet universal; grotesque, yet beautiful. And he makes the best mouth noises of any animator I've ever worked with. "

Link to the interview: [url]http://monican-spies.livejournal.com/44607.html[/url]

I think Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space is also worth mentioning. It was made in Japan and there's no other dub for it, but the style of animation is unlike any other anime that I know of. There might be some old anime that features the same style and design as Felix the Cat, which is the best comparison I can come up with for Tamala off the top of my head. Despite the classic old timey style, the subject matter is pretty heavy and there's a lot of stuff that happens on-screen that is violent and inappropriate for kids and stuff. It's magnificent. There's this weird conspiracy that spans centuries that involve this group known as The Minverva Cult that the public knows as Catty & Co. There's also this 3D animation dimension that I don't want to talk about anymore because spoilers. Just watch it.

Kovalyov and Hirsch's shorts can be found on YouTube and you can probably find Tamala on the internet to stream or torrent it, like I did.

Edit: Some pics.

In (NSFW)
SPOILER: Show
Image


Hen, His Wife
SPOILER: Show
Image


Tamala 2010
SPOILER: Show
Image
Last edited by StarShaper7 on Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Princess Asuka » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:12 pm

Bump in the Night:
http://youtu.be/bEaC8qjV30c

Mr. Bumpy, Squishy, Molly Coddle.

I was 3 and watched this show on tapes that dad recorded for me.

I never believed in monsters because of this, instead I got the fear of robots.

:irked:
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Postby r1cepurin » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:22 pm

Obscure? Brilliant? Cartoon? well you gotta watch this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_zbeX6yoRI

Also don't even get me started on Road Rovers holy shit :heart:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_w47z99R10
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:35 am

CLONE HIGH - Hilarious. All 13 episodes are on YouTube.


[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XBlrAxPtAw[/url]

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Postby EvangelionGodMode » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:46 am

Megas XLR. Always struck my funny bone. Some good shit for sure.
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Postby Alaska Slim » Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:57 am

^Pfft, a Toonami show? C'mon man, obscure, at least talk about the 1st IGPX.

Now Action Man however...

Early CGI show about a hero, whose an extreme sports jock, adrenaline-junky. So of course, his super power is MATH! Slightly better than it sounds.

... I also somewhat suspect it was the impetus for Max Steel, which is like a merging of it and Spiderman Unlimited's suit. And James Bond if he was a douche 24/7.


Also, NASCAR show, that I suspect was the impetus for IGPX 2.0


But if I'm going for a show that I'd truly call brilliant... in a kitsch sense, anyway:
SPOILER: Show

Image

Image
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Postby CJD » Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:15 pm

View Original PostEvangelionGodMode wrote:Megas XLR. Always struck my funny bone. Some good shit for sure.


Amazing 10/10 show that has only gotten funnier as I've got older, but I'm not sure if it's obscure. It's pretty cult lately.
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Postby Dataprime » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:08 am

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:
Now Action Man however...

Early CGI show about a hero, whose an extreme sports jock, adrenaline-junky. So of course, his super power is MATH! Slightly better than it sounds.


I always thought Action Man was total crap, even as a kid.

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Postby Shinoyami65 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:02 pm

View Original PostStarShaper7 wrote:Does Aeon Flux count? That's one of my favorite TV shows/animations of all time.

I was reading an interview with it's creator, Peter Chung, and he mentioned Koji Morimoto, Philipp Hirsch and Igor Kovalyov. Morimoto does anime so I'll just write about the other two.


Hell yeah, Aeon Flux! The series deserved so much more than a crappy live-action film that completely destroyed any chance of anyone picking it up outside of finding the original animated series again.

I'd also recommend the short episode Matriculated that Chung did for The Animatrix (hell, I liked quite a lot of the other Animatrix shorts, but Matriculated stands out to me the most). It's got a very similar art style to Aeon Flux, but it's got the benefit of several more years of animation advancement and CGI, becoming something akin to a more evolved and developed version of the AF art.

Too bad Chung hasn't really done anything in a similar vein for ages.
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Postby Tankred » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:29 pm

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:Now Action Man however...

Early CGI show about a hero, whose an extreme sports jock, adrenaline-junky. So of course, his super power is MATH! Slightly better than it sounds.


Action Man itself was a UK toy line dating back to the 60's, springing from GI Joe. Hell I remember that show from when I was a kid. So the name is well known here, not so much for that show though.

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Postby Squigsquasher » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:41 pm

Yeah, the Action Man toyline is (or was) a pretty deep-rooted part of my and many a British kid's childhood. I remember there being an animated cartoon at one point, although it was in 2D not CGI. It was also not very good.

Toyline was the bee's knees though. Or at least it was for 6-year-old me.
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Postby xanderkh » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:37 pm

View Original PostPrincess Asuka wrote:Bump in the Night:
http://youtu.be/bEaC8qjV30c

Mr. Bumpy, Squishy, Molly Coddle.

I was 3 and watched this show on tapes that dad recorded for me.

I never believed in monsters because of this, instead I got the fear of robots.

:irked:


HOLY FREAKING COW!! I HAVEN'T SEEN THIS IN YEARS! I almost didn't believe it was a real cartoon. Ah, the memories come flooding back. :lol:

Man, Jim Cummings was the poster voice of the 80s and 90s....those where the glory days of animation.
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Postby Defectron » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:40 pm

View Original PostDataprime wrote:I always thought Action Man was total crap, even as a kid.


Yeah me too, felt the same way about max steel.

As for good obscure cartoons, well there's always this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxPyN6IK1tM
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Postby StarShaper7 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:04 pm

^ Yeah, that was brilliant.

View Original PostShinoyami65 wrote:Too bad Chung hasn't really done anything in a similar vein for ages.


I would really like to see him make more stuff. If not animation, then he could always do a comic. Getting a comic book instead of an animated film would be better than nothing. But damn do I really want him to make more obscure, brilliant cartoons!

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:CLONE HIGH - Hilarious. All 13 episodes are on YouTube.


[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XBlrAxPtAw[/url]


The Raisins episode was pretty great. The whole series was pretty great too. Loved the opening by Abandoned Pools. I really wanted it to continue!


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