Allied Van Lines - Insert nuts joke here.

This morning, the Spot Color and Limited Chroma Brigade dropped this ad on my desk. It's from Allied Van Lines. Hey! Nice old timey truck! Nice old timey squirrel illustration. Nice freakshow handfeet. Commence to shuddering now.

Anthropomorphism is a tongue-injuring word for "animals with human traits". Leaving aside the whole issue of freakshow "furries" and their unwholesome obsession with animals (yeeeeesh!), anthropomorphic animals are the lifeblood of cartoons. While designing your humanimal (I'm not copyrighting that word. Someone else can have it.), you've got to know when to draw the line between reality and fantasy. Whatever artist did the otherwise fine work for this Allied ad, he or she probably didn't have much experience in cartooning.

The squirrels look adorable... except for their super creepy and totally realistic handfeet. Yes, squirrels have feet like that. However, people don't want to see cute animals with feet-for-hands... except maybe apes. This ad already has the animals holding their nuts, just like a human would, with elegant lifted pinkies and all. Why the slavish adherence to realistic handfeet? Knock it off.

Here. Let me get that for you.

There. Isn't that better? And nobody has to lose any sleep because they're afraid this humanoid squirrel is going to sneak into their bedroom and strangle them with it's horrible handfeet.

Clip art time! Here's the truck and squirrel from today's ad for your copy-paste enjoyment. The truck is on alpha (transparent background), but the squirrels aren't. Why not the squirrels? Because I'm not MADE of pen tools, people! We are pleased to offer the squirrel with and without horrible strangley handfeet, if that's what you're into. You're welcome!

Click for 1200 px.

Click for 400 px.

Click for big, weirdo.

Click for big.
And now, just to show that I know whereof I speak, please enjoy this Slappy Squirrel cartoon I worked on a hundred billion years ago, Bully for Skippy. I think I did some storyboarding, key layouts, and some assistant animating (inbetweening). Note the total lack of handfeet. Warner Bros knows what time it is. I like that Slappy watches The Explosion Channel. Also note the horrible voice acting of the producer's son as Skippy squirrel. Children aren't funny when they're trying to be funny. They can only be funny on accident. Sorry, parents. It's true. Nice Arte Johnson imitation in this cartoon with that German dog.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of anthropomorphism, have you SEEN these creepy dolls?


I can't even wrap my head around what the person who created them must have been thinking, but I think it is safe to assume that person is a furry.

I would much rather deal with a cute squirrel with creepy hand feet than one of those creatures.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Let's see. Just paste that URL into the old URL bar and wait for the page to load, and then let's see what Anonymous was talk abou-AAAAA! Jesus Christ!

So, they're making dolls that teach little girls to be hypersexualized slut dogs? Great.

Thanks for the heads up, Anne-Nonymous.


Dave Pryor said...

He's the no.

I specialist.

Dave Pryor said...

This Slappy episode was one I remember assisting on. I had scenes where I had to clean up that contraption Slappy was building. Trying to stick one pipe into another pipe. Lots of trace backs.

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Wups! Come to think of it, at the time I was too green as an animator to actually animate on that episode. I probably only inbetweened (assistant animated). Post corrected.

Yes, I assisted that scene where Slappy pushes the big crate into her tree. I must have traced that box for hours. About a hundred drawings.

Thanks for commenting, Dave!


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