Friday, September 05, 2008

Campaignin' for JibJab

Even though it's been around apparently since July, JibJab has a new (to me) political Flash cartoon out, Time for Some Campaignin', and I have to say, I'm really impressed.

I'm not talking about the humor (even though it is funny) as much as the animation and art design. Visually, the short is sumptuous. It's hard to believe that it is composed in 2-D Flash. There's quite a bit of subtle camera movement, and depth of field tricks, and some beautiful background "paintings". I am particularly awestruck at the McCain "the Jyhad needs containin'" shot, and the whole Obama fairy tale world. Oh yeah, and also the stair climb to the voting booth. And the marching citizen shot. And the Uncle Sam butt poke (which reads worse than the visuals). Even the cliched "newspaper throwdown" shot is animated so nicely, that I'm even amazed at something as simple as that, considering the animation platform.

Visually, I find a lot of the stuff in Campaignin' more interesting to look at than most Dreamworks feature length animations. (Although, I do have to say that Kung Fu Panda impressed me on many levels; it's the first Dreamworks cartoon that left me going "wow, that vistas (or whatever) looks stunning.") When compared to This Land!, which is the short that got JibJab on the map, it's a huge leap forward.

Thankfully, JibJab has provided a development blog for the Campaignin' short. It's pretty clear that it's not just two guys in a garage anymore; and the whole approach to the short was approached as if they were making a traditional animated short. This Land is what I thought Flash animation could do, since most Flash animations are done on such tight budgets, or appear so, it's impressive to see what it actually CAN do, given the right time and effort.

So, as JibJab would say, go watch it , WATCH IT NAOUGHW!"

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