23 December 2008

All I Want for Christmas ...

From TheRaider.net:
Speaking with TheForce.Cast, animation legend Paul Dini, who not only was the genius behind so many of the great Warner Brothers cartoons over the past 30 years from Batman to Pinky and the Brain, talked about Indiana Jones.

Paul Dini was a producer on Batman: The Animated Series. You may remember this series as "The Coolest Thing Ever Done With the Batman Franchise Before Christopher Nolan". Here's a reminder:

The series drew heavy inspiration from the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons of the 1940s.

I also recall reading somewhere that the artists started with black paper, instead of white, and cut into the darkness with color to make these wonderfully dark and shadowy images:

Dini would like to create an Indiana Jones animated series or feature in the same Fleischer-esque style. As Harry Knowles points out on Aint it Cool, many of the old Superman cartoons are in the vein of an Indiana Jones adventure:

Pretty nifty, huh? Aside from the racial stereotypes, of course. But doesn't this screengrab look right out of Temple of Doom?

That darn Lois Lane, always getting into trouble.

The Fleischer Superman cartoons were not very talky. The action sequences were long and well thought out. This could work! But what would it look like?

We can get an idea, by looking at the artwork of Eric Tam. Tam creates art posters with a 1920s "UFA" look. UFA was the German film studio that launched Expressionism as a film style. It's easy to see the influence of expressionism on the Fleischer cartoons above.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari:


Expressionism molted into film noir thanks to German filmmakers like Fritz Lang. Film noir was a further influence on the Fleischers and Batman: The Animated Series. I bring all of this up because Eric Tam created a couple of UFA-inspired posters for the first two Indy movies:

You have to put all of this together in your mental blender ...

... but I believe you will agree, what Dini is proposing would be nothing short of sensational. And Dini is in a position to make it happen; he's involved in The Clone Wars animated feature. So he's in the Lucasfilm loop.

Buzz, fellow Indy fans, buzz. The more we demand it, the more likely we are to fork over good money for it, the more likely George Lucas is to do it. After Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I think we can all agree: Indy deserves better, and so do we, the fans!