Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Animated Inspiration: Fuggy Fuggy

The Brothers McLeod continue to amuse me with the sometimes witty, sometimes slapstick mishap adventures of their short film character "Fuggy Fuggy" who continues on his never-ending quest to become a Ninja. Here we find our intrepid hero(?) coming up with an unorthodox solution to a difficult problem. As is usually the case, Fuggy Fuggy often finds himself in situations where, at first glance, the solution is straightforward. However, as is often the case, things don't turn out the way the progagonist expects and he either resigns himself to his fate and tries again, or gets comically frustrated and tries again.

In that regard, Fuggy Fuggy reminds me of the vaudeville-style Looney Tunes characters (Daffy Duck, Wil-e Coyote, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester the Cat, Porky Pig, etc), especially from the Chuck Jones-era of cartoons. While it's not a 'principle of animation' per-se, Fuggy Fuggy shows us how "characterization" is very important in animation. At their essence, the Fuggy Fuggy short animations are "gag" films. Like Wil-e Coyote and the RoadRunner cartoons, the story isn't deep, there isn't any major plot, just a series of jokes, gags, and pratfalls. However, it's the character that keeps us coming back. We identify with the main character and his frustrations and we cheer when he overcomes the challenges--laughing most when those solutions are as unorthodox as the challenges themselves.