Animated shows based on visual comedy have one great advantage over those built on scripted dialog: the international market. Cartoons not based on verbal story telling and jokes can be appreciated by everyone. It’s why Charlie Chaplin was able to achieve world wide stardom.
It’s also the kind of comedy I love. In this post I have collected a handful of examples of fun animated programs that rely on physical comedy. ALL of them are produced outside of the U.S. American studios don’t seem to have the drive to make this sort of stuff. I imagine U.S. executives like the system of reading scripts too much.
If you know of more PLEASE leave a comment here or on Facebook.
Minuscule – France
Minuscule is a french production that puts CG insects into live action environments. They have completed six seasons, and two feature films. You can read more about the first feature HERE. The second film was recently in theaters in France, and I hope to see it soon. Here is a sample from the program.
Cracked – Canada
Cracked is a series of shorts about a fatherly bird, anxious Ed, and the brood of eggs he looks after. The comedy is similar to Blue Sky’s Scrat shorts, with Ed suffering extreme bad luck and physical abuse. The first episodes are directed by Patrick Beaulieu and Edouard Tremblay for Productions Squeeze.
Lamput – India
Lamput is an Indian series of shorts created by Vaibhav Kumaresh and produced by Vaibhav Studios, consisting of 15 seconds micro shorts that were extended to 2 minutes for the second season.
Animated Mr. Bean – England
Rowan Atkinson has said that his Mr. Bean character has the maturity of an 11 year old boy. He has retired from playing him because it becomes odd for an older man to behave like a kid. Animation is the perfect solution for this. Atkinson is closely involved in creating the series, to make sure his character stays true to what he knows the audience expects. All of his experience is more valuable than any team of writers.
Shaun the Sheep – England
From the great Aardman Animation comes the stop motion television program Shaun the Sheep. It’s one of my personal favorites. Shaun’s second feature film is about to be released. The show has one of the best theme songs ever.