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4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

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4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Old 08-17-13, 04:18 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by ntnon
It has never occurred to me that Scar might be gay.

I find it mildly offensive that it's yet another case of a film where the hero(es) are American and the villain British, but that's entirely separate...
Quite honestly, I don't think it's separate at all. Many of the modern stereotypes regarding homosexuals were transferred from conceptions of western European and British aristocrats and upper-class fops (finest in the shop). I will say that I am not contending that Scar is homosexual; I'm simply saying that Disney (and other animation companies) will often employ traits that are (for better or worse) equated with homosexuality to differentiate their villains. This also often coincides with a certain Britishness about the character. Makes me think of Eddie Izzard's stand-up routine about how the Death Star is completely full of British people going through doors.

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
I think this statement is valid on any movie, not just Disney and not just "cartoons". I rarely, well actually never, watch a film of any type looking for hidden meaning or agenda. If any are there I tend to ignore them or attribute them solely to the motivations for/of the characters in the film. I watch a film on its own merits and with me it fails or suceeds based solely on whether or not I liked the story. For example, The Day the Earth Stood Still is a allegoical story of the "Cold War" and the "Atomic Age" with parallels to Christ - but I did not see any of that until I read some critiques on the film. I just saw a very good SF film.
I suppose my brain just doesn't work like that. As I stated before, critical analysis is not meant to get at some "hidden meaning" (a phrase I've to deal with during many a Composition class) or unlock the secrets of any given text as if a novel or film were a puzzle box. I'm not sure where we differ since I also feel that I watch films on their own merits, though I suppose that I see analysis part of interacting with the story, especially with films which have a visual component. I want to understand how the story and those visuals work.

For example, if all the filmmakers did was swap out Scar and Mufasa's character design, the story would play out the same, but our expectations of villains and heroes would be complicated. The story would also be changed because the visuals communicate something different to us even if the words and voices are the same and probably not work as well. So then the question is how do we come to our expectations and definitions of heroes and villains? Why don't the two lions look similar? Why is Scar designed the way he is and what does this say about the society that crafted and watched the film? So many questions!

I just rewatched The Pirates!: Band of Misfits, and it is a lot funnier than I remember. When I saw it the first time, I wasn't all that impressed, but this second viewing really highlights the attention to detail. I had to pause several times to marvel at the setting and character designs. I think the fact that Queen Victoria is villainous soured me a little bit the first time, but after recently watching Blackadder, I found it to be a cheeky little poke at British history.
Old 08-18-13, 01:24 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by mrcellophane
Quite honestly, I don't think it's separate at all. Many of the modern stereotypes regarding homosexuals were transferred from conceptions of western European and British aristocrats and upper-class fops (finest in the shop). I will say that I am not contending that Scar is homosexual; I'm simply saying that Disney (and other animation companies) will often employ traits that are (for better or worse) equated with homosexuality to differentiate their villains. This also often coincides with a certain Britishness about the character.
You might be right.. I presume that I don't see or get most of that because I am British.

Originally Posted by mrcellophane
For example, if all the filmmakers did was swap out Scar and Mufasa's character design, the story would play out the same, but our expectations of villains and heroes would be complicated. The story would also be changed because the visuals communicate something different to us even if the words and voices are the same and probably not work as well. So then the question is how do we come to our expectations and definitions of heroes and villains? Why don't the two lions look similar? Why is Scar designed the way he is and what does this say about the society that crafted and watched the film? So many questions!
While I recognise that there are more 'traditional' elements at play in the character design - the heroic and the "mean-looking" - it's really fairly straightforward in this case: Scar is bitter and twisted, having nurtured a hatred of his brother his whole life; Scar is lean and near-mangy because he's lazy and clearly doesn't do his own hunting (hence his sympathies with the hyenas). There are reasonable in-story reasons for Scar to look as he does, and the opposite reasons hold for Mufasa looking as he does.


Originally Posted by mrcellophane
I just rewatched The Pirates!: Band of Misfits, and it is a lot funnier than I remember. When I saw it the first time, I wasn't all that impressed, but this second viewing really highlights the attention to detail. I had to pause several times to marvel at the setting and character designs. I think the fact that Queen Victoria is villainous soured me a little bit the first time, but after recently watching Blackadder, I found it to be a cheeky little poke at British history.
It's properly British humour - inverting everything for comic effect. If the Pirates are heroes, the establishment and science are the villains. I suppose, if one were to think that way, it's a semi-update of the Robin Hood characters' motivations.
Old 08-18-13, 01:46 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Some semi-trivia from films over the past month-and-a-bit: I've watched two full-length Warner animations recently - Quest for Camelot and Iron Giant - and both feature Superman elements. Camelot, somewhat oddly, actually uses the Superman theme when Eric Idle learns to fly; the Iron Giant emulates Kal El and even makes himself his own "S" shield. (In reused theme moments, one of the Shrek films uses the Mission: Impossible theme, which given the studio difference implies it was separately licensed.)

I had no idea that Disney were behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit, nor that an original plan had the Judge Doom character actually be the hunter from Bambi. (Until it became clear that the whole film was Touchstone/Disney, I was particularly interested by the prominent appearance of Dumbo in another Spielberg film, after he was the film watched in 1941.) The Internet says it was Spielberg who personally talked Warner, King and other companies into allowing their characters to be used, too. Presumably his own produced shows helped him in that regard.

It would appear that E.T. was the first film in which Boba Fett is named. Which is interesting, if accurate...

The Shrek short "Thriller Night" has the main characters watching The Sound of Music, because of Julie Andrews' role as Fiona's mother. (The Internet notes that Shrek the Third was the first re-teaming of Pythons Idle and Cleese for many years - although they don't interact, and neither is in it much.)

King of the Hill is fantastic. And the guest stars seem almost on a par with Simpsons guests, which is quite impressive.

Happily N'Ever After is not good. I'm baffled, however, by the suggestion that people felt it ripped off Shrek. It's not as if either were the first to merge fairy tale characters, and the plots are completely different. Completely. Puss in Boots is fairly poor, too. But Happily N'Ever After 2 is really, really bad.
Old 08-18-13, 02:21 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by ntnon
You might be right.. I presume that I don't see or get most of that because I am British.
I think I've wanted to be British since discovering British television as a kid! Also, your literature is awesome. Love E.M. Forster!

Originally Posted by ntnon
King of the Hill is fantastic. And the guest stars seem almost on a par with Simpsons guests, which is quite impressive.
I love that show! Haven't watched it in years. Thanks for the reminder.

Couldn't get to sleep so I watched Treasure Planet (2002) which is a flawed film that I nonetheless love. Like Ebert states in his review, I'm not sure why the story needs to be set in space. But it sure does look cool! I'm a sucker for adventure stories with ships so this is perfect for me. I didn't plan on it, but I may have to watch Atlantis: The Lost Empire this month.
Old 08-18-13, 05:18 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by ntnon
While I recognise that there are more 'traditional' elements at play in the character design - the heroic and the "mean-looking" - it's really fairly straightforward in this case: Scar is bitter and twisted, having nurtured a hatred of his brother his whole life; Scar is lean and near-mangy because he's lazy and clearly doesn't do his own hunting (hence his sympathies with the hyenas). There are reasonable in-story reasons for Scar to look as he does, and the opposite reasons hold for Mufasa looking as he does.
Actually, from what I've learned from zoos and nature documentaries, female lions do the hunting. Real lions generally do not appear to be as heavily muscled as they are depicted in cartoons.

I think you are completely correct regarding the intentions of the animators as reflected in their character designs.
Old 08-18-13, 07:12 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Clarification please: what kind of movie would fall under "Mostly or all CGI" on the checklist? Are we talking about any movie that is animated using a computer? Something like Jimmy Neutron? What about a movie done in rotoscope like A Scanner Darkly or Polar Express? Is that considered CGI?
Old 08-18-13, 08:13 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by pacaway
Clarification please: what kind of movie would fall under "Mostly or all CGI" on the checklist? Are we talking about any movie that is animated using a computer? Something like Jimmy Neutron? What about a movie done in rotoscope like A Scanner Darkly or Polar Express? Is that considered CGI?
CGI is computer animated.
Old 08-18-13, 09:01 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by ororama
Actually, from what I've learned from zoos and nature documentaries, female lions do the hunting. Real lions generally do not appear to be as heavily muscled as they are depicted in cartoons.
I can see the tagline now for a Thundercats movie featuring a badass leonine female Thundercat with her claws bared on the poster:

"In the lion world...females do the hunting!"
Old 08-18-13, 11:14 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

I just finished watching an Adam Sandler movie on STARZ that I had actually never even heard of, but I enjoyed. Hotel Transylvania was on.
Old 08-18-13, 01:22 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by ntnon
King of the Hill is fantastic. And the guest stars seem almost on a par with Simpsons guests, which is quite impressive.
I never watched King of the Hill during the original run because too many people compared it to The Simpsons which I do not care for. After I finally saw a few episodes in syndication I saw the error of my ways. That's one I need to dig out for viewing as I have several seasons still in shrink wrap.

I do not understand why it has stalled with the DVD releases as it's a very good series that deserves to be fully released. Yeah, I know you can stream it but I do not stream. I don't "rent" ever and don't consider "cloud/digital" copies as true ownership.
Old 08-18-13, 01:48 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by pacaway
Clarification please: what kind of movie would fall under "Mostly or all CGI" on the checklist? Are we talking about any movie that is animated using a computer? Something like Jimmy Neutron? What about a movie done in rotoscope like A Scanner Darkly or Polar Express? Is that considered CGI?
Rotoscope is not CGI.

The Polar Express is CGI but actors were "motion captured" (different than rotoscope) *into* the computer animation software.

You need something like Beowulf (2007), Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012), Battle for Terra (2007), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), WALL-E (2008), Cars (2006), and more. Here's a link to a large list on Wikipedia.

I'd think Avatar (2009), Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), and similar would count as they have significant amounts of CGI.
Old 08-18-13, 02:01 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
I can see the tagline now for a Thundercats movie featuring a badass leonine female Thundercat with her claws bared on the poster:

"In the lion world...females do the hunting!"
Could she team up with an animated Barbarella? That would be awesome! They could have a Berbil sidekick! The movie would just write itself.

This morning I watched Disney's Bolt which I got with Disney movie reward points (yay!). When I first watched the film, I wasn't expecting much since that last Disney films hadn't been great. (Meet the Robinsons is enjoyable but underwhelming and muddled, and Chicken Little is the worse feature film that Disney has ever released through their Animation Studios.) And the film's trailer hadn't dispel my qualms about Disney's new, computer animated identity. But when the film started, I was blown away.

The first thing that struck me was that it doesn't look like a computer animated film. Bolt's television show looks like a low-budget Matrix film, and the real world is so inviting. One of the featurettes on the BD shows the design process, and the creators wanted the settings to look like they had been painted. It works so very well and distinguishes the film's feel from that of a Pixar feature. I also love the characters and the storyline. It was probably the first Disney film that made me cry since Tarzan. I have cats, and at the time the film came out, my brother's dachshund was experiencing the first wave of her chronic health problems, so we came out of the theater sniffling.

IMHO the film marks the resurgence of quality in Disney features, and I've absolutely loved all the features they have released since (with the exception of Winnie the Pooh which I just realized I've never seen). Thankfully, it seems like they won't be stopping anytime soon, the trailers for Frozen look great, and I cannot wait for 2016's Zootopia.
Old 08-18-13, 02:40 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
Rotoscope is not CGI.

The Polar Express is CGI but actors were "motion captured" (different than rotoscope) *into* the computer animation software.

You need something like Beowulf (2007), Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012), Battle for Terra (2007), Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), WALL-E (2008), Cars (2006), and more. Here's a link to a large list on Wikipedia.

I'd think Avatar (2009), Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), and similar would count as they have significant amounts of CGI.
Gotcha! Thanks!
Old 08-18-13, 10:26 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

I have been gone this weekend so haven't gotten any watches in till tonight. I put in "Shrek" as it's been a long time since I've watched the original. It still holds up for me, though, the animation is a little jerky. You can tell, compared, to the others, that it was still in the early stages. It makes sense that as they went along, the animation got better, but it's a bit jarring when the last one you watched was the 4th in the series! Mainly, though, I think it's just the actual humans in it-they just are a little jerky in their arm and leg movements...the fairy tale creatures/animals are pretty well done.

However, I still love the movie. It's still funny, love the music and all the little side jokes. The Robin Hood sequence and the balloon animals are my favorite scenes!
Old 08-18-13, 11:43 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by mrcellophane
I love that show [King of the Hill]! Haven't watched it in years. Thanks for the reminder.
I distinctly remember watching about two minutes of one episode (and possibly the opening credits on a separate occasion) about a decade ago, most likely on Channel 4 in the UK.

And I did not understand why anyone would want to watch it... it seemed to be about four stereotypical Americans drinking, smoking and muttering about something neither understandable nor interesting. Most likely, watching the credits on another occasion reinforced that opinion and put me off completely.

Obviously, I should have given it more than a few minutes back then, because watching full episodes (and from the start, too) on Amazon has made enough of an impression that it's rapidly rising up my list of favourite shows. It really is that good. It's funny, it's poignant, even after just four seasons it's been dealing with some really deep issues - and doing a good job, too. (I wouldn't be surprised if some of the episodes dealing with puberty could actually be of help in schools...) There are great lines, great storylines, excellent performances...
Old 08-18-13, 11:49 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
I never watched King of the Hill during the original run because too many people compared it to The Simpsons which I do not care for. After I finally saw a few episodes in syndication I saw the error of my ways. That's one I need to dig out for viewing as I have several seasons still in shrink wrap.

I do not understand why it has stalled with the DVD releases as it's a very good series that deserves to be fully released. Yeah, I know you can stream it but I do not stream. I don't "rent" ever and don't consider "cloud/digital" copies as true ownership.
I agree with that last paragraph. However...! I will heartily recommend that you consider getting Amazon Prime. If you buy much of anything from them, it pretty much pays for itself - small orders arrive fast, everything arrives faster (and typically securer, by UPS - IF you want it to) - even before you add in the wealth of shows and films that you can then stream for free.

As for King of the Hill specifically, I'm now getting annoyed about the stalled DVDs, because I naturally assumed I could add the complete set to my Christmas list.
Old 08-19-13, 06:45 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

I just finished "Toy Story 3" and I have to say it has one of the saddest/scariest end scenes with the best rescue ever! I've teared up every time I have watched it. No judging, please, as I know you all do too!
Old 08-19-13, 07:11 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by LJG765
I just finished "Toy Story 3" and I have to say it has one of the saddest/scariest end scenes with the best rescue ever! I've teared up every time I have watched it. No judging, please, as I know you all do too!
No judgement here! Toy Story 3 always gets to me as well. Of course, I also admitted that Bolt also makes me cry, so perhaps I'm a big pushover!

I've been watching Popeye: Volume 1 and really enjoying the quirky style. This was one of the $3 Big Lots sets that I got years ago and never watched. I still have quite a few of those sets on my shelf. I've also been watching the following cartoons from childhood and teen years: Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. All are great shows. While I think Animaniacs is the superior show, I really like the single plot episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures. Neither cartoon has lost any of their charm over the years, but again I'm realizing that a lot of the pop culture references went over my head when I first watched them.
Old 08-19-13, 07:48 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by LJG765
I just finished "Toy Story 3" and I have to say it has one of the saddest/scariest end scenes with the best rescue ever! I've teared up every time I have watched it. No judging, please, as I know you all do too!
No judging here...the same thing happens to me.
Old 08-19-13, 11:45 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by mrcellophane
I've also been watching the following cartoons from childhood and teen years: Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. All are great shows. While I think Animaniacs is the superior show, I really like the single plot episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures. Neither cartoon has lost any of their charm over the years, but again I'm realizing that a lot of the pop culture references went over my head when I first watched them.
I quite agree - I knew they were good, but I didn't realise how good!

Meanwhile, King of the Hill goes from strength to strength. Secret prostitutes (Renee Zellwegger), Green campaigns ("that's not a bible, it's a Harry Potter book!"), habitat for humanity ("I'm in charge of booby traps!") and so on and so forth...
Old 08-19-13, 11:58 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by shadokitty
I just finished watching an Adam Sandler movie on STARZ that I had actually never even heard of, but I enjoyed. Hotel Transylvania was on.
I LOVE that movie. Saw it in the theater last year for the horror challenge. Bought it as soon as it hit blu-ray.
Old 08-20-13, 01:13 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by mrcellophane
No judgement here! Toy Story 3 always gets to me as well. Of course, I also admitted that Bolt also makes me cry, so perhaps I'm a big pushover!

I've been watching Popeye: Volume 1 and really enjoying the quirky style. This was one of the $3 Big Lots sets that I got years ago and never watched. I still have quite a few of those sets on my shelf. I've also been watching the following cartoons from childhood and teen years: Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. All are great shows. While I think Animaniacs is the superior show, I really like the single plot episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures. Neither cartoon has lost any of their charm over the years, but again I'm realizing that a lot of the pop culture references went over my head when I first watched them.
Yay! Glad to know I'm not the only one that "Toy Story 3" affects!

As for "Tiny Toons" vs "Animaniacs" I have to say, I'm the opposite. I enjoy both, but "Tiny Toons" beats "Animaniacs" hands down! I think it's the They Might Be Giants songs. *nods* Yup, that's it. Plus, "Keys go down the hole!"

Hmm, I think I bought one of the sets I haven't watched yet. I have some time left, I should watch it for the challenge...I admit I have yet to buy all of them, but for some reason Vol. 1 is still a lot more expensive than I would like to buy. I did see earlier today that "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" had a $2 off coupon at Amazon, but it was still a little pricey. I wish they had included it on one of the sets.
Old 08-20-13, 09:41 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by LJG765
Hmm, I think I bought one of the sets I haven't watched yet. I have some time left, I should watch it for the challenge...I admit I have yet to buy all of them, but for some reason Vol. 1 is still a lot more expensive than I would like to buy. I did see earlier today that "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" had a $2 off coupon at Amazon, but it was still a little pricey. I wish they had included it on one of the sets.
I was fortunate enough to get all the volumes of Animaniacs and Pinky & the Brain during the Great $3/$6 WB Sets at Big Lots Extravaganza of 2009. (Bet I'm not the only one to remember it.) Tiny Toon Adventures, Volume 1 was a much more expensive Amazon purchase ($15).

I watched The Fox and the Hound for the first time in years, and it does not really hold up as well as would have hoped. I really enjoyed the animation and the design of the animal characters. But the story is underdeveloped, and the character's actions don't make much sense. Warning: Spoilers ahead
Spoiler:
For example, Big Momma sings two songs, one championing the friendship between Copper and Todd and the next about how stupid Todd is to stupid to believe he can be friends with Copper. Also, Amos, Copper's owner, is absolutely insane! He angrily shoots at the Widow's truck, tries to barge into her house, threatens her, and breaks the law. I wish he would have been eaten by that bear in the end, not treated as harmless comic relief.
Old 08-20-13, 09:54 PM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by mrcellophane
I was fortunate enough to get all the volumes of Animaniacs and Pinky & the Brain during the Great $3/$6 WB Sets at Big Lots Extravaganza of 2009. (Bet I'm not the only one to remember it.) Tiny Toon Adventures, Volume 1 was a much more expensive Amazon purchase ($15).
I looked. I have Vol. 2 and Crazy Crew Rescues Vol. 3 (which is the unwatched one). I have 1 and 4 in my watched list at Amazon. I'll be keeping an eye out for a good deal. I may bite at $15, but right now it's 34.99, which is way to expensive for it! Vol. 4 is at 20, but I'd still like it a bit lower. I have patience...

I have Animaniacs Vols. 1 and 2-also from the great Big Lots Extravaganza. I don't think I'd get the others. I enjoyed what I watched but didn't love it. The characters got a bit old/repetitive for me.

I think that's the reason I started slowly with Tiny Toons. I remembered loving them but wasn't sure they'd hold up for me. Luckily they did!

I went for a library run today. Picked up 3 I had ordered and a few more that I grabbed off the shelves. I have to admit I was pretty impressed with what was on the shelves at my little library. While interlibrary loan is what I usually do, one could do OK just watching the stuff they had.

Watched "Antz" tonight. It was OK. It's not my favorite of those bug movies that all came out at about the same time. That'd be "A Bug's Life." But, I hadn't watched it yet, so through it on the pile.

I am done with the checklist-the required parts anyway. I hope to cross off a few more optional checks in the remaining time.
Old 08-21-13, 09:16 AM
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Re: 4th Annual August Animation Challenge - Discussion Thread

Originally Posted by LJG765
I looked. I have Vol. 2 and Crazy Crew Rescues Vol. 3 (which is the unwatched one). I have 1 and 4 in my watched list at Amazon. I'll be keeping an eye out for a good deal. I may bite at $15, but right now it's 34.99, which is way to expensive for it! Vol. 4 is at 20, but I'd still like it a bit lower. I have patience...
Bear in mind that Tiny Toons vol. 4 has a glitch that you may need to get WB to replace a disc of... It's quite likely that replacements will wind up in regular retail before long, but it's still something to consider.

Originally Posted by LJG765
I have Animaniacs Vols. 1 and 2-also from the great Big Lots Extravaganza. I don't think I'd get the others. I enjoyed what I watched but didn't love it. The characters got a bit old/repetitive for me.
Boooo!!

Originally Posted by LJG765
I went for a library run today. Picked up 3 I had ordered and a few more that I grabbed off the shelves. I have to admit I was pretty impressed with what was on the shelves at my little library. While interlibrary loan is what I usually do, one could do OK just watching the stuff they had.
We're only allowed four at a time from our library - which is a bit annoying because we have a surprisingly good range, too.

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