Well, to quote my very good friend and co-creator of M&K Josh "well...this happened."...
The last few days have been to say the least, interesting for both Josh and I. On monday morning I woke up (like I all ways do), made myself a hot cup of coffee, and sat down in front of my computer to peruse the interwebs. When my completely average monday turned into one of the most surreal days of my life. In an attempt to NOT boor you to death with the "hows" and "whys" (which I am not entirely sure of yet) I will < cut to > "The Chase". One of the most trusted and respected animation blogs on the internet Cartoon Brew posted a bootleg copy of our short and oh boy do people have something to say.
Before I get into THAT, I feel something needs to be addressed; Even though it may seem to some as if we are amidst the darkest hour for CN. With live-action's bulking muscles aggressively attempting to conquer the last safe haven for cartoons. I find it impossible to believe that a studio founded on cartoons will completely abandon a truly wonderful attempt to bring creator-driven shows to the masses (which is what we all want... right?). Cartoons have been around forever and Im sure they will continue to be around for a long time.
I also believe that we the viewers have grown too accustom to the instant gratification that the Internet provides us. We want our cartoons and we want them NOW! All our shows must be genius, clever, and the funnest thing we've ever seen...every time. They must be new... but not too new cause the old stuff is awesome... make sure you keep that in mind... but don't make it feel like anything Ive seen before...... The truth is; we all want and like different things. Josh and I were lucky enough to stand beside some of the industry's best for a brief moment in time. With the goal of learning how to make a cartoon. A cartoon that WE wanted to see. A Cartoon that maybe, just maybe, other people would like too.
Josh and I were given seven minutes to create a world, introduce our characters, set up a story, tell the story, and prove that this world could continue on if given the chance to do so. I think that for two young guys with limited experience to fall back on; we did a pretty good job considering the whole thing is about two friends... and a ball.
Running on limited experience we turned to the people, shows, and movies that we respect and admire. We tried our best to see where they came from, who their heroes were and whom they referenced. Looking back in time and learning from others that have come before us.
There is no doubt that we are fans of John K and Spumco but we are also fans of many other great Cartoonists and performers like; Max Fleischer, Milt Gross, Maurice Noble, Tex Avery, Laural and Hardy, The Three Stooges, and the list goes on and on.
I don't see anything wrong with admiring these great artists and trying to learn from them but, I can't stress this enough; in no way shape or form was this the only thing we did. Due to our tight schedule we didn't have enough time to think twice about anything let alone take the time to make a conscious decision to make something look or feel like something else. Almost all of the similarity between our short and the works of our heroes was subconscious. Which is not surprising to me in the least they are the reason I love cartoons and story telling. They are the reason I strive to do what I do.
Now, I can only assume that we the fans will someday in the future get to see The Cartoonstitute shorts in all of their glory. Presented in pristine HD and surround sound. Whether its on TV, The Web, or DVD does not matter, what does matter is that you get to see them the way the creators intended them to be seen. Not a copy of a copy of a flash movie, ripped and then compressed into a youtube window. A version so deteriorated that all you hear is the audio peaking out on every word. Something so obtrusive that you can't appreciate the beautiful score or brilliantly funny voice acting. Not a version where amazingly drawn frames are dropped and others merged together at the whim of a supper computer. Where skips and jumps happen and endings are cut off.
I know it may seem like I am mad that Manny and Khan was leaked but I am not. I am actually quite happy. I could have very easily contacted Youtube and had the video taken down but I didn't. I truthfully was VERY interested to know what people thought of it. So Josh and I just sat back and figured "someone" would eventually take it down. The strange thing is, three days later and its still up with 2,513 views and the comments keep pouring in. Some good, some bad and after three days I feel compelled to respond.
To all the people that posted the countless positive comments I say THANK YOU! Thank you for overlooking the poor quality of the copy and seeing the good in our short. Thank you for thinking this could someday be a show. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for being so kind when you could have easily been hurtful. Thank you, We made this for you.
To all the people that kind of liked or were on the fence and gave constructive criticism I say Thank you. We are listening.
To all the haters I ask you this; If Manny and Khan was produced by two random guys that had no connection to CN would you have been so quick to hate? Because the truth is; besides Craig McCrakken and Rob Renzetti (whom you could hardly call executives) there was absolutely NO other creative input from anyone other then the artists that made it. It was for a lack of a better term "Executive-Free".
I can only assume that you the haters are NOT in the business of making cartoons and I come to that deduction quite simply; Anyone who IS would never leave a purposely hurtful comment just to make themselves feel better. Anyone who is even remotely connected to ANYTHING creative knows truthfully what goes into the process of making something for others to see or hear. They wouldn't do it even if it was bad.
A final thought before I sign off; Far to often people refer to Cartoon Network as if it is an entity of its own. An all powerful being capable of deciding what stays and what goes... but, its not. It is a group of wonderful people; some like minded and some not, all coming together for one common goal. Which is to produce the highest quality of entertainment possible with the given recourses available. I am proud to say for a brief but wonderful time in my life I was apart of that.
Thanks again for all the amazing comments on Youtube, Toonzone, and Cartoon Brew. And Thanks to the people at Cartoon Network responsible for giving me a chance to make a cartoon. And Thanks to My best Buddy Josh!
p.s. to all the people that like the backgrounds in the show; I will be posting an article soon dealing with the BGs from our show.