Cold, Hard Flashback 01

Cold, Hard Flashback is a new series of articles that I’ve been compiling, and the accompanying links should be an interesting nostalgia ride for those old enough to remember 56k modems (not sure if there’s many of us old-timers left!). For others, I hope you find a few personal favorites amongst these Flash-animated shorts that have begun to collect a bit of dust. Let’s see what the Flashback machine turned up today…

San Francisco’s Wild Brain began pushing the limits of Flash animation back when the internet was a cash cow and 25-year old start-up employees were retiring. The work that Wild Brain did in conjunction with Cartoon Network between 1999 and 2001 for the ‘Web Premiere Toons’ project (still available at the Cartoon Network New Zealand site) remains a benchmark for the TV Flash work being done today. One such cartoon is ‘Mantelope,’ by Dave Thomas and Tod Polson. The lush and playful color palette; the snappy timing; the spot-on voice work; the silly waving cycles – it all adds up to a highly-entertaining short. Click here to watch.


In 1999, the second, and I believe last, Annie Award for Achievement in an Animated Interactive Production was given to ‘The Goddamn George Liquor Program,’ produced at Spumco, Inc. It was, of course, directed by the infamous John K, who with ‘George Liquor’ took limited animation into a whole new universe; full of dog make, idiot boys and mind-numbingly beautiful layouts. ‘George Liquor’ gets credit for being the first animated series produced for the web, and whether or not that’s true, it sure was a pioneering effort. Click here to watch an episode.

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  1. [...] animation work from the Spumco gang. Sure, we took the wayback machine off to John K land in the 1st Flashback, but when, my friends, can ever have too much Spumco? Spumco, the now dormant animation pioneer, [...]

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