Animated Ancestors

(Original blog post Aug 14, 2011 – 429 views)

In this post I’ll examine some of the ancestry of my girlie drawings which came from the world of animation. Although I take inspiration from everyone from Alphonse Mucha to Doug Sneyd, there are three significant animated women that continue to serve as references and templates, if not the aspired ideal, for the “Krushervision Girl.”

Red Hot Riding Hood

Arguably, this is where it all started. In Tex Avery‘s classic cartoon Red Hot Riding Hood, Red is a nightclub singer/dancer, and the wolf is a very enthusiastic member of the audience.

(It’s tough to find the entire cartoon online as it keeps getting removed for copyright reasons.)

Red also appeared in other Avery cartoons, such as Swing Shift Cinderella and Little Rural Riding Hood, among others. Like Betty Boop before her, the character is extremely cartoony in her proportions, so although she has a certain sex appeal, she’s still sort of a silly design. Her facial design, though, is probably the most like the girls I draw. She’s probably one of the most significant influences on John K’s sexy girl designs too, from whom I also borrow ideas and try to learn.

A version of Red is also featured in Preston Blair’s indispensible book Animation, with a frame-by-frame demonstration of her movements.


Jessica Rabbit

So she’s the obvious one. Though not the first, for most folks, Jessica Rabbit put sexy cartoon girls on the map.

Jessica’s proportions are no more realistic than Red’s, but rather than an oversized cartoon head, her bust, waist, hips, and legs are what’s exaggerated. The blob-like shape of her hair — sort of a cartoon adaptation of the Veronica Lake style — gives her an added fluidity.


Princess Daphne

Here’s one you may not be familiar with. In actuality, Princess Daphne, from the 1983 laserdisc arcade game Dragon’s Lair, may have been the biggest inspiration for all my work!

I was only a prepubescent videogame nerd when Dragon’s Lair came out in 1983, but even then, man, I thought Daphne was hot. Design-wise, I think she might actually put Jessica to shame.

The animation and deisgns in Dragon’s Lair came from Don Bluth, another huge influence of mine who was an animator at Disney until he went off on his own and put out films like The Secret of NIMH.

All of these characters had, and continue to have, a big influence on my girlie cartoons, and I will always go back and study them when I’m not sure about what I’m doing. I only hope my work can someday live up to the source of its inspiration.