- A quick addendum to our earlier letter regarding the Jerry Beck "review" of BUTT UGLY MARTIANS. The chant is NOT "BKN" as Jerry so desperately wanted it to be so he could make his vague reference to Bohbot Kids Network (which, in case he hasn't heard the news, no longer exits). The chant is BKM! which, as any kid in the U.K. can tell you, stands for BUTT-KICKING MODE. This is described in all the press packages -- which Jerry Beck admitted to having.By:Dennys McCoy (not verified)
- Dear Editor. Please do me the service of forwarding this mail to your critic Mr. Beck. Mr. Beck. I, with my partner Bill Schutz (a five year producer veteran of "The Simpsons" and the first two seasons of "King of the Hill" and my wife, Producer Liz Young own and operate Mike Young Productions, the Producers of "Butt Ugly Martians." I completely understand your role as a critic in a trade publication and would like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to you to visit our studio in Woodland Hills. Please come and see who we are and how and what we are producing. The "Butt Ugly Martians" is currently the number one children's show in five major Western countries and one Asian country and I thus rest on that particular laurel. Creative excuses to one side, I would be obliged if you could let me know who mailed you the particular episode you reviewed, as much of what you said about it was accurate. You see, it is neither number one or indeed currently a part of the series as it was abandoned in a relatively unfinished state with a rough mix and no retakes. Even though I do not expect to actually win you over with this series, I would have preferred that you review any one of the other shows and would like the opportunity of shipping you a couple of finished episodes for your interest. My multi award winning studio is one of the few survivors in the independent sector. Klasky and Film Roman are the largest and we a distant third. We produce "Clifford: The Big Red Dog," which won this years Humanitas Award, was nominated for five Emmy's, and has won several other awards at home and abroad. I am the creator/author/producer of the British Academy Award winning, "SuperTed", "Fantastic Max", and "Fireman Sam." Since coming to the US ten years ago we produced "The Little Engine That Could," "The Secret Garden," "Nickelodeon's Face","Once Upon a Forest" "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus", "Voltron", "Horrible Histories" (a current British Acadamy contender), and recently I completed the writing of one of Dreamworks future major animated feature film's (the title of which I am bound by contract not to reveal as yet). So we are not quite as described by one of your reader/commentors who, I think, wrote for Toon Magazine. Also I am not the person he quoted as talking about "marketing synergy" or some such claptrap.However as much as I would have liked to have I did not receive an Oscar for Nick Park's "Creature Comfort" as credited elsewhere on this list. The Martian series was produced for a grimly low budget which we painstakingly raised by as usual, giving up most of the rights in the copyright to the distributors. The show was actually produced and built in California rather than by way of Canadian and French subsidies or in studios in the Orient some of which have working conditions which would make Nike seem like model employers. The local industry is such a parlous state that we were pleased to have the opportunity to produce it. By the way, we are proud of the series, of selling it (after they had completed rigorous focus group testing) to Nickelodeon, CITV, Super RTL and many other networks. What is interesting is that children's tastes often do not extend in great numbers to excellent animated shows such as "Pinky and The Brain," "Invader Zim" and "Justice League"? These audiences are made up by teens, college kids and older viewers. However, "Pokemon" and "Power Rangers," well that's another story. Please ask around artists and writers about our company and the creative and working atmosphere there. I will stand by their judgments. Please come and see us soon,By:Mike Young (not verified)
- I believe Pixar is the most successful animation studio today in that it is true to itself and what is really important: the story. It doesn't abuse the privelege of state-of-the-art technology like the world cringed at in "Dinosaur"; where was the creative plotline in that? The characters were dead right before our eyes, realism or not. The people at Pixar concentrate on the story and great character development first, and uses the technology to enhance their brilliance. Ok, so I'm kinda sucking up here; I truly hope to work for them one day, simply because they believe in the integrity of story (oh, and also that it looks like a pretty cool place to work!), but, hey, it's true!By:Melissa Graziano (not verified)
- Did this reviewer even watch the program? Making a pretty simple basic mistake regarding BKN,(should be BKM - Butt Kicking Mode) suggests he did not and shows some poor quality research in my opinion. Did you show the program to any of its target market to see if they found it effective? No, I didn't think he did. Did he bother to see if the quality of the program improved over the series? Yes it sucks so much that Universal have done a deal to develop it further. Wonder why Burger King and Scholastic to name but a few also have an interest? Yes its a vehicle for merchandising, well show me one sucessful childrens series which isn't. Get a life its only a cartoon and speak to some kids about their enjoyment watching the program before comdemning it and try and do balanced reviews.By:Brendan McHugh (not verified)
- I am very excited about the upcoming episodes of Justice League. It has been a long time coming for an action packed cartoon with all of my favorite characters. Love the new Green Lantern look. It is far better and more robust than the old yuppie speaking GL. Hope the show last and continues for many seasons to come. Thanks DeJuanBy:D.A. Miller (not verified)
- To the Editor: I work as a layout supervisor at a major studio and read with great surprise and some irritation Jerry Beck's review of Butt Ugly Martians. This summer my family, consisting of three boys ages eight, five and three were on vacation in England. The Martians were stripped daily on one of the main networks there. My kids were mesmerized by the show. They still sing the theme song and have indoctrinated all of their friends in Santa Clarita who await with bated breath the broadcasts on Nickelodeon. My point of writing is that many of us in the US animation business are sick and tired of reviewers, many of who seem never to have been near a kid in years (and having long forgotten being one themselves), reviewing kids shows. I challenge Mr. "Developing for MTV" Beck to review shows in the presence of age appropriate kids rather than the negative spin he gives to most US made production's. "The Iron Giant" had several negative reviews before it gradually dawned on people what a great movie it was. In that case too little too late. Mr. Beck, I respectfully suggest you are again very wrong in your criticism of the Butt Ugly show so please do the industry a favor and get out of your ivory tower real soon. Eddie DarwinBy:Eddie Darwin (not verified)
- I want to thank the animation Pimp for writing such a Pro-Projectionist article. I'm an animator, but in college I was an Audio Visual Girl and Projected many a Film Festival every week. Although I almost never messed up, one guys 8-mm sound film made a loud, constant superfuzzy sound that didn't cover up the words, but merely abstracted them. He came into the booth and said "What the F*%&! This film is about my mother and sister dying of cancer!" Hey man, I'm really sorry--wait was he trying to make me feel bad because of his mistake? Guess who went out to have dinner when we were doing the sound check? His films were such that we thought it was part of the film. Anyway I always want to tell people off who heckle the projectionist. It's usually not their fault. One comment about the article though, it was hard to read which may result in people not reading it. Cheers!By:Bucky Cox (not verified)
- By the way, September 11th was not an event, it was not a "hate crime". It was an attack on AMERICA. Not an attack on the world community, it was the murder of 5000 innocent people. If that doesn't make you stick together as AMERICANS and defend your land and your way of life, THEN WHAT WILL? BIOTERRORISM in your home? Will you then wake up and see that AMERICA and the AMERICAN WAY is something valuable to protct? Love and happiness will be the result of pride in your homeland and standing beside her. We will eliminate those that oppose capitalism and freedom. Freedom and those that fight for it's downfall cannot co-exist. Religious fanaticism is the root of this problem, not American policy in the middle east. We're not always right, but we will elimminate those that seek our destruction. That is RIGHT and just.By:jackson mcdonough (not verified)
- I was working in the animation field in Detroit in the 1960s, and got my first job at Jam Handy. I believe that I can offer much more detailed accounts of what was going on than your interview with Mike provided.By:Ray Pointer (not verified)
- Mr. Beck, you missed one of the elements that is sure to indicate the approaching tragic end of this series - and it's located here on AWN. The article by Mr. Younghusband that describes the (excuse me while I choke out this word) "marketing synergy" between the show and the web site. It reads like the kind of delusional pumping-up that was common during the rise of the dot-coms. This is what happens when marketing people and executive suits pretend they are writers - while they pay the actual writers dirt. They plan these series with visions of truckloads of plastic action figures going out of the warehouses, novelizations and theatrical movies based on their "great" creations. The ruins of series like "Bucky O'Hare" and "Mutant League," all marketing-driven, don't dissuade these people. And unfortunately, a percentage of people enter animation with the stated career goal of creating characters that will make them a whole lotta money. If that's why they're in the business, I'd rather they sell drugs in a schoolyard to achieve their goal; they'll probably do less harm than they will with their awful series.By:Thomas Reed (not verified)
Thank you, Gene. I, personally, fall into several of your fan categories. I especially appreciate the European perspective on animation that your memoir provides. It is all too easy to be convinced that the American way is the only way to do something, and that just isn't so.
-Jim BradrickBy:Jim Bradrick (not verified)
Gene, is it over? Is this it?
I have faithfully showed up here every Wednesday to read the next installment. Are my Wednesdays going to be poorer now? No new artwork? No new bits of history? No new anecdotes?
I have enjoyed your memoir enormously and I hope somebody will print it on paper and make it available for sale.
Thanks for writing this book (and your other one).
Thanks for the films.
So what are you working on next?
Mark MayersonBy:Mark Mayerson (not verified)
- Has JLA already premiered on Cartoon Network. If so, at what time does it air? Otherwise, when will it premiere?By:Gerard Raiti (not verified)
- Dreamy emotions are nice, but the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge are going to do more to prevent hate crimes like Sept 11 and Oct 7- ? Long lasting happiness, satisfaction and pleasure will evolve from an understanding of the roots of these acts. Specifically an understanding that you live within a system, not something natural or god given; a system that feeds itself through its contact with the rest of the world. This is less a time for smiles and random acts of kindness than it is for logic, empathy and humility.By:Chris Robinson (not verified)
Dear Gene, thank you so much for the wonderful and exciting reading that your book has provided to all of us animation lovers! By looking at the Charlotte Web´s sketches, one really feels that your film would have been undoubtely much superior to the adaptation of the same novel made by Hanna-Barbera. This reminds me that in Joe Barbera´s autobiography, "My life in ´toons" he explains that the film´s producers considered the artwork produced by your Czech team to be "dark" and "depressing", before turning the project to H-B. I do believe that if Mr. Barbera saw Mirko´s artwork, now that he has the chance of doing so, he would entirely disagree with that oppinion!By:Moliné Alfons (not verified)
- The Animation Pimp Part 2: Pierre Hébert and the Work of Animation in the Age of Digital Reproduction.semitemos gniyonna os era uoy ,sirhcBy:doug vitarelli (not verified)
- What a wonderful sounding card. I was so glad to hear about the new OpenGL capabilities since the other Geforce 3's didn't have that. However I have a big question. Right now I'm in school, hopefully to become an animator somewhere when I get out. However, getting $1000 video cards isn't exactly within my price range. Nor is getting 17" LCD monitors or new Pentium 4 2Ghz chips. I was wondering what video cards other people have found to be great in using programs like Max or Maya but was relatively cheap (for students like me). I know cheap and quality don't go together but hopefully there are suggestions.By:Steven S (not verified)
- BRUCE TIMM AND HIS CREW HAVE THE GREATEST DRAWING STYLE THAT I HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME. I HAVE BEEN HOOKED SINCE THE START OF BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES. I COLLECT ALL OF THE EPISODES ON VHS. AS AN ASPIRING ANIMATOR, HOW DO I GET A JOB WITH ONE OF THE GREATEST YOUNG TALENTS IN CARTOONS TODAY. I'LL SCRUB FLOORS TO GET MY FOOT IN. THANKS, ROBERT GARCIABy:Robert Garcia (not verified)
- I live Vancouver, Canada and I would like to know if Vampire Hunter D will be coming to theater here? Any info you could give e-mail me would be great.By:John Loyer (not verified)
And the saga goes on. Nickelodeon, in association with Universal (Sagittarius/Seagrams)
and Paramount is doing a direct-to-video sequel!By:Ray Pointer (not verified)