Finally, a funny political animated short
We see a lot of those supposedly-funny animated shorts that are intended to incite JibJab-like viral marketing traffic, create buzz, generate sign-ups to a campaign website. Most of them are awful.
Finally, however, here's one of those political cartoons that's actually worth forwarding to your friends. Arnold's Neighborhood (y'know, on Schwarzenegger Street) is a hilarious send-up of the Governor of California and his right-wing friends.
Too often, these political toons just aren't funny and aren't compelling. Politicos get excited because they've never done cartoons before, and they're funny - but only in that "last night at the bar" kind of way.
Always remember that your audience doesn't know the inside political gossip, they don't understand or care about the particulars of the policy proposals, and their attention span is minimal. Also, when you do a funny or clever cartoon, you're competing with the Daily Show, David Letterman, The Simpsons, The Family Guy, and the rest of the global pop culture universe.
The Arnold's Neighborhood cartoon, produced by the good folks at M&R in Washington DC for the Angelides for Governor campaign, has 37 separate shots in almost exactly two minutes. It goes through an Act One, Two, Three model - with the musical number as Acts One and Three and dialogue as Act Two. They've paid close attention to background scenery, and are using the cartoon frame as a 'camera' with off-camera dialogue, shots of characters partially out of frame, and the like.
Remember, all the basic rules of television and film production apply to cartoons. Just because it's now easy to technically produce online cartoons doesn't mean the creative has gotten any easier.
Previously on P&T:
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