Gruesomestein's Monsters
March 14, 2007 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Gruesomestein's Monsters -- Six new cartoons done in the classic style, posted to YouTube by the genyouwine copyright holder, featuring monsters and ghoulies. For instance, how does a reformed no-longer-wicked witch keep the neighborhood kids from eating her gingerbread house?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That's rather cool.
posted by glych at 11:43 AM on March 14, 2007

The incredibly tired fake 1950s/Ren & Stimpy style that makes Mark Frauenfelder come in his pants every time someone uses it is "the classic style" now?
posted by interrobang at 12:23 PM on March 14, 2007

Fakey Fakey Tired Tired

That sung, thanks Steven C.
posted by hal9k at 12:32 PM on March 14, 2007

P.S., Yay! America is going to lose! Three cheers!
posted by interrobang at 12:38 PM on March 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

I agree with interrobang on this not being exactly a classic style, although really Ren & Stimpy wasn't nearly this bad: it didn't have such overly-simplified characters and animation. This does look very similar recent Cartoon Network/Nickelodeon cartoons like Grim & Mandy or Fairly Odd Parents, which look is often used, probably, for looking passable while being relatively inexpensive to produce.

However, it is difficult for me to dislike this. The cartoon knows not to overplay its jokes, which is a bit of a peeve of mine. Sometimes modern cartoons will put a music sting on any minor gag, but this one is willing to show things instead of spelling them out like that, and I like that a whole lot. Both the final jokes in the first cartoon are like that: the house will be safe from kids eating it because it's now made of vegetables, but witch's problems aren't over due to the horde of rabbits approaching it as it irises out. Neither of these gags is spoken though, one has to actually watch and interpret the action to get them. Most cartoons will spell out their jokes, this one at least seems content to let some go by to force the viewer to pay attention, or to be discovered on later viewings.
posted by JHarris at 12:47 PM on March 14, 2007

It's like you're all reading my mind. They're great, very well done, but interrobang has it right on. Frauenfelder, we get it, you like the style, but let's all move on. The whole animation style that Kricfalusi pioneered in Ren & Stimpy is a bit overdone. Let's try something new maybe.
posted by GuyZero at 1:34 PM on March 14, 2007

ha! i thought i was the only one who noticed frauenfelders slavish devotion to all things generation biskup. that sort of flat graphical style was cute in moderation but now its seemingly everywhere.
posted by cazoo at 3:18 PM on March 14, 2007

At the very least, that style goes back to the UK's Halas and Batchelor, with an nods to Shamus Culhane, Syd Hoff, Milt Gross, and Kim's pop, Gene Deitch. Still amusing stuff, though.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:45 PM on March 14, 2007

Okay, caught "Freddie & the Yeti" last. Out of all the shorts, that one was definitely straining toward John K.'s turf. Here's hoping that was a fluke and nothing more.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:59 PM on March 14, 2007

I guess I'm too old. What it most reminded me of was the old Jay Ward stuff, except that this was done better. It felt a lot like "Fractured Fairy Tales" except without Edward Everett Horton and with a bit more strangeness.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:14 PM on March 14, 2007

I think this stuff is a delightful take on standard horror stories. The style is well matched to the tone of the stories, and highly enjoyable, regardless of who it emulates. This. Is. Good!
posted by potch at 4:27 PM on March 14, 2007

Yah. It's not overdone, inasmuch if it could be overdone, it would have been over and done by the time Rocky and Bullwinkle picked it up. The po-mo, googie style lends itself exceptionally well to animation, and flatters its inspirations (including John K's stuff) rather than detracts. The animation is remarkably smooth, and at times very inventive in its imagery.

That, and they're laugh out loud funny. I like Billy and Mandy, but I wish it could tread the line between outre and kid-friendly as finely as this.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:34 PM on March 14, 2007

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