Dojo of Fame – Genndy Tartakovsky (Animation Week: Day 1)

Welcome to animation week!  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a big fan of western animation.  I just never really grew out of cartoons.  But as I have grown, my tastes have still matured and while I still enjoy cartoons with the same glee that I did when I was a little kid, I can appreciate what goes into making a good cartoon.  Now there have been plenty of good cartoons come around in my lifetime, but some were just exceptional.  And in order for a cartoon to be exceptional, it has to have some exceptional talent behind it.

So that is why I am dedicating this week to some of the most talented creators in the industry.  Unfortunetly, I am not going to list any voice actors (I am not skilled enough at recognizing them yet…but their day will come eventually) rather, this is more about the creative people who created these amazing shows.  Everyday I will be showcasing a different creator and adding them to my “Dojo of Fame”.  I hope you enjoy it!

To kick off my Animation Week, I am going to start by spotlighting the man who inspired this week:

Genndy Tartakovsky

Genndy Tartakovsky is a man who will blow your mind.  Most of us got hooked on his creations with Dexter’s Lab: A series about a boy genius named Dexter and his insane sister Dee Dee.

Dexter, with the aide of his secret laboratory, is constantly creating crazy inventions and Dee Dee is always breaking them.  While this show could have gotten into a rut of “what is Dexter’s new invention this week?” it kept it fresh by mixing invention episodes in with episodes about dexter trying to fit in school, having a baby sitter, and going on road trips.  Some of the episodes did not even seem to have a plot, they were just pure madness.  Topped off with the “Dial M for Monkey” and “Justice Friend” shorts that were sandwiched between segments, and you have a formula for one of Cartoon Network’s best TV series.

After Genndy was finished with Dexter’s lab he started on something completely new, Samurai Jack.  The plot was…well, I think the opening theme explains it best:

Long ago in a distant land, I, Aku, the shape-shifting Master of Darkness, unleashed an unspeakable evil! But a foolish Samurai warrior wielding a magic sword stepped forth to oppose me. Before the final blow was struck, I tore open a portal in time and flung him into the future, where my evil is law! Now the fool seeks to return to the past, and undo the future that is Aku!

Stuck in the future and trying to get back while fighting the evil forces of Aku, Samurai Jack never ceased to amaze.  His almost otherworldy skills with his sword provided for some of the best action scenes in all of animation.  His quite, polite demeanor set him apart from most Bad-A protagonists of the day.  The beautiful artistic direction of the show accompanied with the slow pacing of the opening scenes gave the show an amazing artistic feel.  The soundtrack was perfect, with the score capturing every mood imaginable.  It was filled with action and adventure.

The sheer variety of the themes in the episode were near unimaginable from the artistic and sobering episodes “seasons of death” to the hilarity that is “Jack Meets the Scottsman”.  Jack took us into space, to a village of talking dogs, to Egypt, into the world of 1930’s mobsters, to the world of the Spartans, and everywhere else.

Samuri Jack was truly an amazing show and Genndy’s best work.

In fact, Samurai Jack was so good that it inspired George Lucas to commission Genndy to make a mini-series based on Clone Wars.  This series had the action of Samurai Jack, without the slow pacing.  Clone troopers firing everywhere, Jedi engaged in epic battles.  Genndy’s Clone Wars set the standard for Star Wars animaion…a standard that the new Clone Wars series has not even come close to achieving, unfortunately.

Now Genndy’s newest project, Sym-Bionic Titan is starting to air.  At the time of writing only 2 episodes have been aried, but they are both amazing and seem to live up to everything Genndy has done so far.  I could go on and on about how much potential this series has, but I have already written that article and I don’t want to bore you too much.

Anyways, Genndy Tartakovsky is one of the greatest minds in animation and he deserves a proud place in my Dojo of Fame.

2 Responses to “Dojo of Fame – Genndy Tartakovsky (Animation Week: Day 1)”

  1. October 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Dexters Lab and Samuri Jack. Two of the greatest cartoons ever. Ahh memories. I miss these shows.

  2. October 5, 2010 at 7:46 am

    I know, they are awesome. I have managed to collect every episode of both shows. Genndy is so talented.

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