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Creator / Freelance Animators New Zealand

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Freelance Animators New Zealand (also known as Freelance Graphics Ltd.) was an animation studio located in Auckland, New Zealand, which opened in 1989. Some of its animators later went to work for Toonz Animation, also based in New Zealand. Today, owners John Ewing and Barry Pierce run Animation College, training a generation of new animators.

Shows it worked on:

  • Animaniacs: 14 shorts List , plus a handful of bumpers, including all the Dot's Poetry Corners.
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  • Darkwing Duck: "Heavy Mental" (outsourced from Walt Disney Australia)
  • Goof Troop: "Meanwhile, Back at the Ramp" (outsourced from Walt Disney Australia)
  • Taz-Mania: "Driving Mr. Taz", "Mean Bear"
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: "Rainy Daze", "Brave Tales of Real Rabbits", and "Toons Take Over"

Tropes associated with Freelance Animators New Zealand:

  • Off-Model: Effort aside, Freelance is generally considered to be among the worst of the studios working on Animaniacs, as their work, while fluid, suffers floaty timing, inconsistent character designs that range from solid to hideous (the Warners being among the worst hit in that regard), and overall mushy feel. While their work on other WB projects is typically considered acceptable, it's ultimately their Animaniacs work that's the most often remembered by fans, which has given them a somewhat poor reputation.
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  • Signature Style: John Ewing, who supervised the animators with Barry Pearce, was a former Disney animator and his style can be seen in many Freelance episodes. Check out this anti-smoking PSA from 1981 (directed by Ewing); it is very similar to what would be seen in Freelance episodes a decade later.


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