Monday, January 22, 2007

From Shorts to "Longs"

What with "Crawford's Corner," "Handycat" and other projects, the studio has been in development and/or production on a lot of shorts recently, so what I've been working on for the past couple of weeks, an hour-long script for a "Crawford" special, is a bit of an adjustment. More on the specific project itself later when things have been firmed up a bit more, but coming back to Crawford the Cat has been fun for me. The 13 preschool educational shorts we did with him are probably my proudest achievement at the studio. I don't get tired of looking at him or drawing him. In fact, I have said that Crawford is the one character I have designed, that had it been by some other studio, I would be jealous and want it. Yet, it didn't come easily. He changed a lot as he was developed.

Originally conceived for a direct-to-video Christmas movie that didn't happen, he started out black and white and rather old looking. The next incarnation was a half-hour birthday themed preschool title. That didn't happen either, though by then he was getting at least closer to what he looks like today. By then, he looked like this:

- still black and white but not quite so young.
We were getting ready to ink and paint our pilot Crawford short when we opened a Kidscreen magazine and saw an ad for a new show with a black and white cat. It was just too close for comfort, so we made a bunch of color model cels of different color cats... and we finally settled on the green because we hadn't seen any other little green cats.
Now, I can't imagine him being any other color of course, and his face and body underwent more transformation until we got to the image you see at the top of this post - perkier and more youthful.
We are convinced that the character has great appeal in form and personality and will continue to look for ways to get his "face" in front of the public. This hour script I'm working on right now may be a very good way to do that.

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