Cold, Hard Flashback 03

Hoping to join Cartoon Network’s Web Premiere Toons effort that began back in 1999, Dana Muise submitted a half dozen cartoon ideas. Sam Register and his team of Cartoon Network creatives wisely chose three of these shows – ‘Time E-Lapse,’ the ‘Bickleshnotz County Flying Club’ and ‘Journey to the Center of My Dog’s Head,’ which eventually came to be known as ‘Wendell and Wuggums.’ It wasn’t animated all that smoothly, but ‘Wendell’ was full of beautiful layouts, clever sight-gags and elaborate background designs. Not much emerged from the Web Premiere Toons project, but shorts like these surely inspired many in the early days of Flash animation.

In previous posts, I’ve singled out ‘Morto the Magician’ before. It ranks amongst my favorite Flash shorts of all time, and it’s not just because it was written by Steve Martin. The timing is phenomenal, the character designs are so unique, and the understated but unexpected color palatte is so well chosen. I also think it’s the charcter’s expressions that really send this one over the top. The little looks that Morto gets from his team are so wry and understated – the gasps and the confusion and the blank stares – they all add up to a completely satisfying experience. The short was directed and boarded by Conrad Vernon (a story artist, writer and director on ‘Shrek’) and the animation was executed by Makai Media.

One Comment

  1. Dana Muise November 28, 2005

    Wendell & Wuggums is in pilot development at Cartoon Network at the moment.


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