While perusing the good stuff over at Cartoon Brew yesterday I came across this post about an Australian animator’s reaction to his “discovery” of Cartoon Network. The image to the side there is a scaled-down version of his attempt to visually communicate how the experience made him feel.
I don’t know about you, but I’m having a wee bit of trouble seeing the rainbows, unicorns, and happy field animals in that picture. Well, it is pretty small.
Oh, I’m just teasing. The intent is clear and gorgeously conveyed, though if you’re not sure what Elliot Cowan means, he’ll spell it out for us:
Last night I discovered that I had Cartoon Network on my digital signal.
I watched it for the first time.
This picture is a documentation of my experience.
What a ******* cacophony!
An assault on the ears in particular!
You know those Foghorn Leghorn cartoons where the rooster beats the dog with a fence paling?
It felt like that.
I found this fascinating. I mean, I’ve been watching Cartoon Network for years, so the very idea of someone happening to discover it and then experiencing it as something completely different than the rest of network programming is interesting to me, anyway. Perhaps I’m somewhat inured to it by now. After all, I can listen to children say “MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA!!!!!” and register it as no more than a pleasant buzzing, so I’ll admit my tolerance for sensory input may be quite high.
On the other hand, I felt somewhat protective of my pals at CN. I happen to enjoy many of their shows. I might even argue that a few of the more frenetic ones are my favorites because of the swirling explosion of sights and sounds all wrapped up therein. Have I been “ruined” by the high-octane versions of animation that are so popular nowadays?
I wanted to get a better sense of where Mr. Cowan was coming from, so I went and checked out some examples of his animation on YouTube. I loved it. His style is simple and some might even be tempted to call it subdued (though I think it’s more subtle than subdued), and it’s very, very clever. And it certainly makes me see why he would find some of the Cartoon Network offerings a bit… in-your-face.
But I’m perfectly capable of enjoying Boxhead & Roundhead and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. I’m just sayin’.