My animation short will tell the story of the three noble heroes on a quest for survival and closure. The animated short will be approximately five minutes long. I will be using the Adobe suite products and Clip Studio to create my animation.
When it comes to animated shows, there are a lot of animated series that stick to a more episodic layout than a serial one. Which to be far is how a lot of early animated shows were. For example shows such as the Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry were almost exclusively episodic with the most serial plots being running gags between episodes or references to other. However, that was during the early days of animation. Let’s now move to today’s animated shows and for the most part it’s stayed the same regarding episode format. Besides a handful of animated shows, most animated series stick to an episodic format where each episode really has no connection to each other. To be far this has worked since the beginning of animation and it’s not a bad idea for creators to stick to a format that’s proven to work. It also allows for audiences to watch any episode in any order without needing any prior context. Now I’m not saying episodic animated shows are a bad thing, far from it, but there is a noticeable lack of serial, shows with big over arching story lines and subplots, animated shows and that’s the real problem.
Honestly to fix this problem, there needs to be creators that are capable and willing to create an animated serial show, and to be fair people have. Most noticeably the biggest one is Avatar: The Last Airbender. This show is commonly known as a trailblazer for serialized animated shows as the show tells a story from beginning to end with almost every episode giving weight to the over arching story and sub plots. Skip ahead to the years of 2010, 2012, and 2013. Three key shows come out during these years which are Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, and Steven Universe. All three shows are also serialized shows, with some of them being more prominent serial shows than others.
First we have Adventure Time which at a first glance looks like an episodic show especially from the first season, but as the series continues the show becomes more and more serial. In later seasons there are even whole mini serial series taking place such as with Stakes, Islands, Elements, and even the finale Come Along With Me which is technically four separate episodes tied together to create one long episode. The show was so popular that it’s even getting its own four part mini series called distant lands with four episodes each lasting an hour instead of the usual eleven minutes. I’m gonna go out of order here and talk about Steven Universe next. Again this show gives off the feelings of being an episodic show from its first season, however, even from the first season there are hints of a serial show here and by the season one finale you know this show will be. The creator Rebecca Sugar has even gone on record stating that most of the story was created before the show even started, so from the very beginning there was no question about what type of show this would be. Again the show has even gone on to create its own epilogue series called Steven Universe Future. Lastly I will be talking about the shortest but what is most likely the closest serial show to Avatar, Gravity Falls. From start to finish this show wastes no time in telling its story as just about every episode adds more weight to the over arching story, especially when you get to season two as the amount of story given through this season is massive.
As you can see above, while there are great serial shows, the ones I talked about are all of the serial shows that I could find. This is where my solution comes into play as I will add to this collection of serial shows with my own animated show. Ever since primary school I’ve always used my imagination to create stories around me and once I got into middle school I found these erasers called Foohy erasers. On that day that’s where the real story began. After that I’ve continued my story through out my years. I’ve added, refined, revised, and changed a bunch of it and I’m now at the point where I feel its time to start telling it. My first step is to make an animated short that will be roughly five minutes. The show will focus on three heroes named Griffen Junior, Crosshairs, and Lighting that originate from a fallen race called the fooshies. The animated short would have enough in it so that people are invested enough in the story and characters that they would want to see more. It would focus on three main characters as they tend to a relatively new live style after a life changing event that took place years ago. And as they finally feel ready to put the past behind them, Griffen Junior finds evidence that maybe the past they know may not be true, which would then set the rest of the story off.
Kenny, Charles. “Does Serialization Really Hurt a Cartoons Ratings?” IndieWire, 27 May 2016, https://www.indiewire.com/2016/03/does-serialization-really-hurt-a-cartoons-ratings-122354/.
This site shared a similar opinion on serialized shows and how they differ from episodic shows.
Learoyd, Joseph. “To Be Continued…: Serialisation vs Episodic Animation.” HeadStuff, 9 June 2019, https://www.headstuff.org/culture/visual-arts/immersion-in-serialisation-and-episodic-animation/.
This article talks about western and eastern animations and shows the appeals and displeasures of both episodic and serial shows.
“We Bare Bears Does Episodic Cartoons Right.” Den of Geek, 25 Aug. 2017, https://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/we-bare-bears/266948/we-bare-bears-does-episodic-cartoons-right.
This article talks about how the show We Bare Bears does episodic storytelling right and can even have its own moments of serialism.
TheBlueSands. “Why I Prefer Episodic Shows To Serialized Shows.” Observation Deck, Observation Deck, 19 May 2016, https://observationdeck.kinja.com/why-i-prefer-episodic-shows-to-serialized-shows-1777583062.
This article talks about how they prefer episodic shows over serialized shows and that serialized shows are forced into doing stereotypical plot structures.
Adams, Sam. “Why Serialized TV Has Been Bad for the Standalone Episode.” IndieWire, 25 Nov. 2015, https://www.indiewire.com/2015/11/why-serialized-tv-has-been-bad-for-the-standalone-episode-127067/.
This article talks about how serialized shows don’t necessarily have to be long continuous series and that short standalone serialized shows sometimes work better.
i. Character backgrounds
ii. Over arching plot/story
2.) Concept Designs
i. Characters models
ii. Background settings
iii. Background characters
3.) Additional Research
i. Musical composition
ii. Sound design
i. Create original music
ii. Add sound effects
iii. Voice acting
5.) Putting it All Together
i. Animate characters and backgrounds
ii. Add music, sound effects, and voice acting to animation
i. Show to test audiences
Budget and Budget Justification
Now unfortunately creating this animated short is going to take time and money. With the most expensive parts being the software needed to create this animation.
Adobe Creative Cloud Suite for six months: $320.00
Clip Studio Paint EX: $170.00
Logic Pro X: $200.00