Friday, February 05, 2010

The "I amTelling You Something" Pose.


If you watch clips from old Saturday morning cartoons  you'll spot characters making the same basic poses.   The arms are thrust down at forty five degree angles, bent up into a weird half shrug, or a combo of the two.  I think it's cartoon shorthand for "I am telling you something."  Or, to be snarky, "I am telling you something you already know."
For example, two cartoon kids are playing catch.  The ball crashes through a window.  Kid one assumes the  pose and says "Oh no.  The ball went through the window!" (thanks for clearing that up).  Kid two, also posing, observes, "Mom's not gonna like this!" (in case you were wondering).
Where did these poses come from?   I rarely see them in real life.  Who thought it was a good idea to animate so many characters like that?   I try not to criticize other people's art*.   Any idiot can say "That's bad" or "You're doing it WRONG!"...
...but something about the really cheap, badly written cartoons  makes me picture some cynical suit running the show with the kids are so stupid that they'll watch anything philosophy.   Plus the  Artists don't know &*#! about business so why should I take suggestions from them?  attitude.
I'm aware that animation is expensive and shortcuts need to be taken, but still...
Or am I just being cranky?

*Okay, I still make fun of Thomas Kinkade, but I figure with the bucks he's raking in, he wouldn't mind.

4 comments:

Linda said...

Namo, I'm not a critical person but I think whoever does these cartoons should be burned at the stake.

Sally said...

I think it's just uninspired guys with jobs who are reading the boss's unisnpired directions.

GhostBuild said...

My art history exposure regarding the past 100 years is very spotty, I mostly learned about stuff much older than that...

so, is it accurate to say that those poses were inherited from print cartoons?

Perhaps there is that previously existing foundation of seagull-pose-shrugging characters in the funnypapers.

Namowal said...

Linda,
I'll bring the lighter fluid.

Sally,
I wouldn't be surprised. I wonder how many of the animators grew up watching classic cartoons at the movies (or, when it arrived, on television) and thought I want to do that!...
...and ended up on a Saturday morning assembly line.

GhostBuild,
I'm sure these predate to the printed cartoon- that'd be funny if they went back to cave paintings.