My Top Cartoon Influences

One of my fondest childhood memories was staying with my Grandparents over a weekend and if my brother and I were lucky, our cousin would come to stay too. It was a proper little sleepover we used to have, snuggly evenings in with hot chocolates, biscuits and a heap of films. We loved Mr. Bean, The Sound of Music and Dumb and Dumber but above all we adored watching cartoons. We had a couple of videos here and there, a huge Tom & Jerry bumper set and access to Cartoon Network which my brother and I didn't have at home so it felt like a huge novelty to us. Watching these cartoons wasn't just entertainment for me, it was my first insight into the world of illustration and I quickly fell in love with certain styles. I found myself liking cartoons more if they were created in my favourite styles and sometimes it wouldn't matter if the story lines weren't so great, I just loved watching the art come to life on my screen.

Tom & Jerry

As I mentioned above, we had a big double video bumper pack thing of Tom and Jerry episodes at my Grandparents' house and we could watch them over and over again. I loved them so much that as an adult, I bought the DVD versions and watch them when I really want to chill out and draw for fun rather than work. The same short stories, Tom never managing to beat Jerry, the massive bumps the characters used to develop on their heads if they'd received a good walloping. Those were the days and also my introduction to Hanna Barbera Productions. What I also loved was the creativity behind each and every episode, the imaginative ways the producers came up with for the two characters to cause complete and utter chaos. And ya know, Tom was always my favourite.

Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo. Where do I even start with Scoody Doo. I've always been drawn to things that are spooky and scary so growing up, Scoody Doo was one of the best shows out there. The team's dynamics, especially the relationship between Scooby and Shaggy are hard not to fall in love with. You just know that someone fake is most likely behind each and every episode but does that stop you from watching and trying to work out for yourself who the bad guy is? Then out came the Scooby Doo movies where mysteries started turning out to be real life monsters and hauntings...shit just got real as they say and I have a huge collection of the DVD's proudly on my bookcase. James can't work out why I love Scooby Doo so much, but that old almost scratchy artwork that brings these characters to life is one of my favourites and is so iconic - once again the great Hanna Barbera.

Top Cat

Another classic, Top Cat! This was the first cartoon where I remember really appreciating the black outlining of the characters and how they were smooth, sometimes thick, definite markings and block colour filling them in. My favourite character from the series was Choo Choo because not only is Top Cat a wonderful animation, it has some really awesome voices involved and Choo Choo just used to tickle me everytime he said 'Hey T.C.'

Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends

Now then, this was a series I adored as soon as I saw the first episode and I remember when it first came out. Bloo is my favourite character from the show and despite being a huge asshole, he's hilarious and always up to no good. The thick black lines used within the art are one of my biggest influences ever and I remember including the creator Craig McCracken as an artist influence a few times during my sixth form days. I really love the backgrounds too, more pastel shades allowing the more solid looking outlined characters to be brought forward creating depth within the cartoon.

These are just some of my all time favourites shows from my childhood that I still watch today but I was also a huge fan of cartoons like Ed, Edd & Eddie, Powerpuff Girls and I Am Weasel! Combined together, I think cartoons have played a huge part in my creative influences and I'm so glad that they're things I am still able to watch now as a 26 year old!

Thanks for reading,

Ellis x

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