Quotes / John Kricfalusi

"Taking the cartooniness out of the cartoon does not make it realistic. It just makes it bland. This is my biggest complaint about modern animation and it goes back to Disney. If you are going to go to great lengths to take the cartooniness, magic and imagination out of your cartoon characters, then you better replace it with something else - like maybe good specific designs and and an understanding of human nature and individual multi-layered characters. Rich personalities derived from observation of real life humans interacting the way they really do in the actual world around you. This never happens."
—John K, quote excerpted from one of his posts. on John K. Stuff.

"A lot of characters in modern cartoons are simply mouthpieces for the writers. They speak in the writer's voice rather than the character's voice, tell the jokes that the writer and his writer friends think are funny, but are totally out-of-character for the character who is actually saying them. This common writer's flaw is known as "writerspeak". "I'll bet that asteroid will burn out in the atmosphere and shrink to the size of a chihuahua's head". That's writerspeak. It's informational, a setup for a gag that is supposed to happen at the end of the cartoon. A gag that the audience will predict the second they hear the writerspeak setup and congratulate themselves when they find that they were duped into being right. A gag that the cartoonists are not allowed to actually make funny by drawing the payoff funny. This is a line of dialogue that could be read by any character in the story."

"I mean, it’s a visual medium – it’s the most visual medium, even more than live-action. Even old, classic live-action movies, most of the directors were artists – John Ford, John Huston, these old directors were artists, they really were visual people, and in cartoons it’s even more so. Everybody in a cartoon production in the 1930s to the 1950s was an artist. They didn’t even use scripts, if you went to Walt Disney and said “Hey, I’ve got this great script for a cartoon” he’d look at you like you were crazy. This is animation, you have animators with a story sense write the stories on storyboards. As soon as scripts took over the animation business, it was kind of the end of the visual part of animation, and since the sixties it’s just become more and more inbred."
—John Kricfalusi, quoted from interview "A Conversation with John Kricfalusi"

"Roger Ramjet cartoons deals in only the essentials - which are much cheaper than the fancy expensive polishing process that goes on in the big studios. In fact Eddie (Fitzgerald) and I often cleanse ourselves with Roger Ramjet cartoons right after watching a spectacular well polished, pore- filled blockbuster."

"The animated features today and most TV cartoons are written by comittees of people who try to figure out what entertains an audience. They should instead be written by entertaining people who already know because they entertain people everywhere they go in real life. That's why we have so much insincere non-entertainment crap like "Character-arcs", bad puns, ripoffs of famous movies in the guise of "parody", contrived pathos, characters who try to find themselves, bland protagonists, one-shaded villains, broadway style tuneless songs that "move the plot forward", in every damn feature. Anyone in the world can learn how to "write" this kind of stuff. It's not "story" or writing. It's just stuff."

"Tom and Jerry is about as uninspired a cartoon series as was ever created. It's pure generic cartoon thinking of the time. What is a cartoon? Uh... it's where a cat chases a mouse and there is lots of hurt and noise and mayhem. It's hard to be more basic than that, so Bill and Joe didn't fix something that wasn't broken for 15 or 16 years. For that whole period they didn't even try to create new characters."

"For decades, we've have endless repetitions of a small handful of stock stylized cliched characters. Why is this so? It all started with Walt Disney himself. It took him years to get to the point where his characters evolved even one superficial trait. His first star character had not a single trait. Mickey is the ultimate bland character. His appeal completely depends on how cute the individual artists can draw such simple shapes. He's made of circles and ovals and has no personality. He doesn't even have a distinct voice. It's just Walt in falsetto — which sounds exactly like anyone else doing a falsetto. He's very cute though and is a good character to train your youngest kids to understand cartoons with. He makes a good logo."

"Nickelodeon said I could keep him [George Liquor] so long as he doesn't become a child molester or mass murderer. Exactly how many people do you have to kill before you're a mass murderer?"
— John K. in the DVD extras for the Ren and Stimpy Show.