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Old 12-18-2014, 02:20 PM   #1
IndigoErth
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"One Woman Is Responsible For Starting Nickelodeon's Golden Age Of Cartoons"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/1...n_6257232.html

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It seemed like Nickelodeon didn't have any plans to start work on animation before Vanessa Coffey showed up in 1988. When she reached out to them for a job after nine years working in development at Marvel, and then Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, they asked Coffey why she wanted to visit the studio. "To talk about animation," she said.

There was almost no original animation in the late '80s. Everything was modeled after pre-existing comic strips or, far worse, essentially just a vessel for selling related products. "At that time animation was almost entirely commercials for toys," Coffey told HuffPost Entertainment. "After all the Hasbro shows including the 'Transformers' and 'G.I. Joe,' which is what we were doing at Marvel, I kind of just decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. It just felt like I was working on commercials."

Tired of the lack of originality across the industry, Coffey left MWS, where she was helping to develop "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," and moved to New York City. She thought she was done with animation. That is, until she realized what she needed to do: bring back original cartoons.

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After Nick gave the green light for "Rugrats," much of what came later should be attributed to Germain, Csupo and Klasky, along with the rest of the "village" brought on to make all three shows work. The brilliance of Jinkins and Kricfalusi's work can't be ignored in looking back at that iconic hour-and-a-half of children's programming that Coffey made possible. Although, none of it could have happened without her.

There were so many elements that needed to align for that period at Nick to flourish the way it did. While the cartoon golden age continued well into the decade, it's interesting how things fell apart once Coffey left. Behind all the heartbreak lies the troubling impact of bureaucracy on the creative process.

Pondering the current state of cartoons, Coffey spoke about how things have changed since that magical moment at Nick in the early '90s. "I think in general it’s more committee-based," she said, sounding an awful lot like the executive-hating Kricfalusi. "I didn’t have to have 10 people sign off on what I was doing during pilots or even series. I did things based on my own gut, my own creative gut ... I picked everything based on if it made me feel something. I don’t think that you can do that anymore."
Nick and the cartoon industry need more Vanessa Coffeys and give them the freedom they need to create great things.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:20 PM   #2
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Pondering the current state of cartoons, Coffey spoke about how things have changed since that magical moment at Nick in the early '90s.
Good. The current cartoons on Cartoon Network are way better than things back then. Gimme Regular Show over Rugrats aaaaaaaaany day.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by IndigoErth View Post
Nick and the cartoon industry need more Vanessa Coffeys and give them the freedom they need to create great things.
There's more creativity now than there has ever been. Great things are being created. The problem is it seems like the general public don't give a f*ck about a lot of them.
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Old 12-18-2014, 03:38 PM   #4
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Before clicking this thread I thought this topic was going to be about Avatar and Korra.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:01 PM   #5
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They were great cartoons, but "Golden Age?" I dunno. I kinda feel like Nick owes more to Dan Schneider...
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Old 12-19-2014, 11:40 AM   #6
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Well personally I took it as regards to what she seemed to be behind to actually get animation in Nick after the "toy commercial" state of cartoons for so long prior. And then the "bureaucracy on the creative process" that's supposedly over it now compared to then and I assume stifling it. There certainly may still be some good stuff out there, particularly on channels that are a bit more of an outlier, but with staples like Nick being what it's become with so much of it's animation lineup now and what they're pushing vs what they've sidelined... Yeah.
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Old 12-19-2014, 01:15 PM   #7
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Coffey sensed something in the content each of the creators presented. The distinctness of the three shows satisfied her concept of creating what she calls "a balanced meal" for kids with that block of programming.

"You know, what’s really good for you would be 'Doug,'" she explained. 'That’s kind of the broccoli. That was going to be the emotional, psychological meal. And then I wanted to have a show that was spaghetti and meatballs. That's 'Rugrats.' It's really fun to eat and you get something out of it. But it’s not like vegetables. It’s spaghetti and meatballs. And then I wanted dessert. That's 'Ren & Stimpy,' which has no actual value and there’s absolutely nothing good for you in it. It’s just sugar."
Wow, the metaphor is quite brilliant. I wish more television blocks aimed to achieve such a comparable balance. These days on Fox's Animation Domination it's pretty much been leftovers (Simpsons) and Seth MacFarlane gluttony. Adult Swim typically has very little offerings to appeal to adult sensibilities.

However, I do really enjoy most of the Cartoon Network original shows on these days. Not Clarance though...
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:34 PM   #8
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Clarence may not be for everybody but it does some really genuine moments and writing does feel like it's from a kid's perspective although I don't know if that's the impression that I have because it makes me nostalgic of my own childhood. It definitely has this 90's vibe of early nickelodeon.

I have to wonder if there are any current kids (7-11) that likes this show?
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:46 PM   #9
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In my opinion she had a hand in ruining Ren & Stimpy.
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:50 PM   #10
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In my opinion she had a hand in ruining Ren & Stimpy.
Did she have something to do with the awful version that was on MTV? If so, I agree.
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