So here’s the thing.
Scooby until the late 90s was an awful, terrible, shitty Hanna Barbera cash cow of an atrocity but it was a giant talking dog so of course I have a sweet spot for him design and concept wise.
I’m not really that upset by the haunches, and the deep chest is well suggested for the breed, and that toe design is simple enough to be able to keep on-model from all angles, but everything above the collar is just… it’s a symptom, I feel, of not something overwrought within the industry (I’d absolutely argue we’re in the middle of an Animation Reinassance right now), but this seems awfully misguided. I’m gonna withhold absolute damnation until seeing it in motion, but man. Fans of this design are not gonna be fans of the show and vice versa?
Upon mentioning how, hey, at least it might smear really well for expressions, a friend said “Maybe this is a smear?” (Ha)
But let’s take a look at the original line-up (in promo shots, not in practice - talking about character design, not animation because let’s be real, HB in the 60s and 70s was perhaps an historic benchmark for animation efficiency but not a studio that should be an inspiration to anyone’s animation ambitions):
The linework is graceful, and each character has their own unique weight. The silhouettes are iconic and unique to each character - and yes, I know that Velma is dying for an entry in the Hawkeye Initiative but dudes (and dudettes) were thirsty for animated T & A so lay off for the moment - and the proportions of that dog are expressive enough on their own, as well as vacant enough for quick beat changes between emotions. The sense of scale is real and used extremely well, and did I mention those graceful fucking lines?
But then the above happened, and I can only imagine a conversation between today’s animation department and the higher-ups chomping cigars going something like
"SO THAT WAFFLE"
"Wait, you mean, uh, Flapjack… sir?"
"KIDS LIKE THAT ABSTRACT UGLY SHIT RIGHT? JUST DO THAT TO SCOOBY, AND CALL HIM ‘WAY PAST COOL’ AND MAKE SURE TO WRITE IN SOMETHING ABOUT CHILI DOGS, OK, GREAT, GOOD TALK, I WANT IT ON MY DESK BY TOMORROW BUT TRY TO HAVE FUN OUT THERE ALRIGHT KIDS"
What I want to see is, though, all the sketches that led up to this decision. How fun would that be? All the different artists brainstorming ways to update the look of Scooby Doo for a reboot that is a nod to the original, but still smear-able, squashable, fun to animate, and not so abstract as to look like a pile of symbols with no observation as to what a dog actually looks?? like?????
Give it your best shot, guys.
Show me ur scoobz. u_u