Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Emmys 2011: Outstanding Animated Program

In light of the recent Emmy Awards I thought I would look into the winner of the Outstanding Animated Program category. I often tend to overlook this category in favor of best comedy series or lead actors/actresses so it was interesting to look more into the winners and nominees of this category. This year’s nominees for Outstanding Animated Program were: The Cleveland Show, Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, Futurama, The Simpsons, and South Park. I am not a regular viewer of any of these shows but I have seen a few episodes of a few of them. One that I have never seen an episode of is the winner of the Category Futurama.

Futurama is an animated science fiction sitcom that since 1999 has aired various seasons on Fox, Cartoon Network, and now Comedy Central. It was created by Matt Groening (who also created The Simpsons) and David X. Cohen (who has written for The Simpsons). The story follows Phillip J. Fry a present day pizza delivery boy who is frozen for 1,000 years then becomes a Cargo delivery boy for Planet Express in the 31st Century. Aside from winning in the category of Outstanding Animated Program, Futurama also won in the Category of Outstanding Voice over Performance (Maurice LaMarche who plays Kif Kroker on the show). The show has also been nominated/won in a number of other categories in past years.

After I learned that this show had won, I decided to look into a little bit about how it was made…I mean the makers of it must be doing something right if they won an Emmy for it. After looking around I found 2 interesting videos which, I think explain the basic process and timeline of creating the show from start to finish really well. The two videos go over similar ideas at times but each touches on some different ideas as well so I posted one of the videos below and the other HERE (it would not allow embedding).

I found it interesting how in the video the producer mentions how they like to record the actor’s dialogue with the entire cast there instead of individuals doing it line by line alone. I definitely agree with him and see that as a much better way to get more natural sounding dialogue-I think it would be quite difficult to get the right amount of feeling or right reaction when you are not interacting with the character you are supposed to be reacting to. I also liked how in the second video, the creator explains how he created the characters along with some professional designers. Next time I’m in the mood for a good animated series I will have to give Futurama a try!

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