When I first saw it! I went "OH MY F**KING GOD! WGBH CAN'T BE DOING THIS!" and I felt like I just wanted to put a gun in my mouth. Why didn't they just go back to AKOM Productions who produced the animation from seasons 1 through 11 like they always did after Animation Honk Kong Limited went bankrupt?
I just got home from school and all I have to say is this:
WHAT.. AN.. EYESORE...
(this review pretty much sums up how I feel about this episode as well as the entire Season and the seasons after this one to the present. DON'T GET ME WRONG: the content was classic Arthur on the good episodes, but the lousy animation has distanced me, and I SERIOUSLY WANTED to enjoy most of these episodes too!)
WHERE TO START...
What the hell is the pledge drive money being spent on, PBS?? Whatever happened to "value for our money, PBS, which for the longest time this show till now delivered in spades?? I FOR ONE DIDN'T DONATE $1000 FLIPPIN DOLLARS TO YOU PEOPLE FOR YOU TO F$$$ IT UP WITH THIS!! If you can't provide value for the money the public donates to you, than you need to go broke! Just like a restaurant: you are in business to serve customers and provide value for their money, whether you "cut back" or not, and if they can't, than they go broke. Simple-as-that!
I liken flash animation and traditional animation to an acoustic guitar vs an electric. Both sound great - when played by musicians who know their instruments and the sound they want to achieve. However, you don't try to turn an entire heavy metal band with electric guitars into acoustic without repercussions, though!!! Yes, some acoustic versions of songs or passages call for it, and that's OK. But be that as it may: EACH INSTRUMENT HAS ITS OWN SOUND and there's a time and a place for both.
>>> LIKEWISE WITH FLASH & HAND DRAWN!!!
YES, BOTH-CAN-LOOK-GREAT - when done by people who KNOW the look they want to achieve for the final product, and are knowledgeable of the tool's strengths/limitations from the start and take them into consideration.
However! Most flash is trash because "it's cheap", to cut corners, or as a substitute for hand-drawn when its use isn't appropriate, and those mentalities are why flash deservedly gets the flack it does and this season is ammunition for the critics of flash animation sadly! (BTW, I would have had absolutely no problem with them using flash to cut costs if flash's style FIT Arthur's, but it doesn't)
Compare that to using flash as the APPROPRIATE TOOL for the job and it not being used by production snobs (and it CAN be a good tool indeed!), and the tool being used to create ORIGINAL works from the ground up. The results SPEAK volumes. Look at MLP:FIM for example...
They would be much better off using ToonBoom to do this show, as you can see what it can do when used properly when you watch The Simpsons. Artie doesn't need to look like that show, but you get the idea: none of those bouncy, tweeny, mechanical movements you get with MLP:FIM (even though IMO that show sets the golden standard for flash), yet it's still digitally animated and "with the times". I am learning to use that software myself, actually.
>>> Lets face it: FLASH IS ITS OWN STYLE even when done right. It seems to want to draw shapes and animate things in straight lines, angles, polygons, or a grid and "correct things", and that's why characters in this season look off-model and movement is stiff and awkward, puppet like. Flash also just doesn't do any justice to the range of motion Arthur's style has (at least the way they used it) - IT JUST DOESN'T: that's it, that's all and I don't give two F***ks what Greg Bailey and his bunch say about it when all they care about is their bottom line. I have even talked to various animators who've said the same thing BTW.
DON'T GET ME WRONG:
I SERIOUSLY WANTED to enjoy "Read and Flumbergast" for example as I admire the creativity they put into it, and it's my favorite episode of this season along with "Night of the Tibble" (and "Last Tough Customer" for the positive message). I can't though because the characters looked like bobblehead dolls with those jerky "string puppet" like tweening motions, along with over-saturated colors, dark, uniformly thick lines around everything, nothing drawn out (including facial features and eyes), hair/long ears staying in place with wind/motion. Movements were stiff, awkward and distracting, and characters looked like hollow, lifeless, off-model empty shells of themselves, LIKE EVERYTHING WAS MADE FROM CARDBOARD. Even the second half of this season was more or less the same (although they did thin the dark outlines a little and the colors improved) but weaker plots instead that turn Arthur into a douche.
My favorite character Nadine's tail looked like they just pinned it on outside her dress like Eeyore the donkey's in one scene, and then under her dress in the next, among a plethora of others. Fine example of plain Jane sloppiness.
Ladonna and Bud are nothing but token characters to cover up for a bad story line in this episode and there was NO need to put them in the cast. The show doesn't need any more tokens, PBS!! It needs better plot lines and character development.
This show was a work of art before this crud showed up, but now it's like a chair with a broken leg, and this animation is that broken leg. The plot, storylines, and creativity are the other legs, but you still can't sit down comfortably even if it can hold you up (unless you like sideways rocking chairs and staying on your toes, LOL).
This episode and the entire season looks fan made on GoAnimate dot com or Newgrounds (and you can do better than that PBS, 9 Story, especially when you are receiving money from the public!!), and they should have stuck with traditional animation's style (does tradigital ring a bell?). We don't care anymore whether the production is here or abroad next time around. Just do it right, please, however long it takes.
Flash took the heart and SOUL of this show and gutted it, and now it does nothing but AGGRAVATE my depression and I won't watch the new crap now because of it. The good things that made Arthur were DEFINITELY THERE in the good episodes, but the animation leaves too much to be desired. The excuse I hear from production for this abomination is that "we needed to transition from 4:3 to 16:9". Who cares!! When people can no longer enjoy the show regardless of what screen it's on, that's reason enough to know something isn't right (and if you have to "get used" to it, something also isn't right). All 9 story wants to use this show for is a CASH COW they can milk at their leisure and that's the real reality regardless of their BS excuses.
I'll be passing to my children (if I have any) from my hard drive, season fifteen and down, that is. That task doesn't have to include 9 story or PBS thank goodness...
Guys, I know how everyone leave you're comments on how bad the new animation is in this petition! just type down www. thepetitionsite .com and paste this link beside it: 844/221/107/stop-using-toonboomflash-for-authur/
This episode was really awful. I could tell right away that something was wrong. First the animation was terrible, the way they moved looked like some kind of computer animation. and I felt like the charecters were drawn sloppily too. I also believe that they changed Arthur's voice again. The new charecter they added to the show i felt was irratating by the way she talked.(if it were up to me i would have never added her.)The only thing that didn't change was the music. This was the only episode that I couldn't finish watching because it was that horrific. Hopefully PBS doesn't turn me into a liar about this show and fixes the flaws in the future episodes, or else I will have to say my childhood has been killed tonight.
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