Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wayback machine: Family Dog boards...



Posted by Arna.

Story artist Jenny Lerew, who writes clearly and with much insight on animation, posted this recently: A short rant on mediocrity

Jenny's post generated a lively debate and a plug from Cartoon Brew. The series THE FAMILY DOG featured fairly prominently in the discussion. THE FAMILY DOG special, created for Spielberg's Amazing Stories series and directed by Brad Bird, was glorious! However, the short lived television series that followed was less so. Since I worked on said series I decided what the heck, I'll post a sample of my boards, done approximately 1993. The episode title is HOT DOG AT THE ZOO.

Looking at these boards, I'm struck by how square and small the panels are compared to the wide screen format we're working in these days. The closeups look much too close! However, I remember that I really enjoyed working on this sequence. Tim Burton was consulting designer and he did some moody inspirational designs for the zoo. Three artists split the 21 minute show. The other two-thirds were handled by uber-talented story artists/directors Alan Bunce and Robin Budd. The thing I liked about the storytelling was that as much as possible it was from the dog's point of view. However, this was also the tragic flaw of the series, since it was often hard to tell what was happening and what the canine hero was thinking.

Well anyways, here's some of it. Hope you enjoy! And thanks Jenny for the great discussion.

9 comments:

alberto mielgo said...

Thanks for this.
those storys are really nice.
The tv series was fantastic, but I never saw it again after long long time

Matt J said...

Really interesting post Arna, thanks for sharing. Familiar with Bird's pilot of course but never saw the series.

Garrett said...

Excellent stuff. Keep up the good work!

onemanpunkband said...

wow, you worked on the family dog?!? thats amazing!
nice boards.

the doodlers said...

Alberto, Aloha! Thanks! Yup, it was a long long time ago... Don't know where you can see these shows now. The original pilot THE FAMILY DOG directed by Brad Bird (Incredibles)was really good. As I said, the series had some problems. The board samples I posted here were from from the series.

Matt, Cheers! Thanks. I never actually saw the series when it was finished either. I don't know what became of it.

Garrett, Hi there. We heard your name talking to Warren L. a while back. Thanks for dropping in. Great stuff on your blog and website. I'll link to your blog on ours. Cheers!

Onemanpunkband, Salutations! I did not work on the Amazing Stories FAMILY DOG, (tho I wish) Just the series. Thanks for the kind comment tho.

Elliot said...

The three chatting ladies are tops.
As for Family Dog, I recall taping the series when it played late when I was a kid....

the doodlers said...

Hello Elliot! How are your travels going? I think I read a comment from you on someone's blog yesterday, saying you are in San Francisco? Have a grand time.

Good grief, I feel ancient! You were a kid watching the family Dog series that I worked on.

Lee-Roy said...

Thanks for sharing these! Great boards!

the doodlers said...

Thanks for the note, Lee-roy! Much appreciated.