The dogs of BoJack Horseman (part 2)

Continuing on from yesterdays post, I realized that there were definitely enough new dogs in season 2 to warrant a second post. I was a little worried that I had over-estimated the number in my head, and whilst they did reuse a number of background characters from the first season (I mean, it would have been stupid not to), they didn’t get lazy with new designs – in fact if anything I think the second season had more.

So, without further ado, here’s a gallery of my 10 favorite new dogs from season 2, along with a couple of honorable mentions.

Dog3This makeup dog appears quite frequently during the second season, and even makes an appearance in the title sequence. Like the majority of characters featured here, she doesn’t have any speaking roles (that I can recall), but she still manages to be memorable nonetheless.

Dog2This guy only makes a brief appearance during a flashback, but he just looks so jolly that I had to include him.

Dog8Another one-shot character. I love how they used primary colors to really make his outfit pop, and they create a pleasant contrast with his black & white fur.

Dog13I intentionally avoided including dogs from paintings in my last post, but I feel like this guy’s design was detailed enough to warrant inclusion. Also, I really wanted to include a bulldog.

Dog10This guy is just plain cool, and I hope they find an excuse to use him again in season 3. He could be a bloodhound Sherlock Hound, and have a little Beagle as his Watson!

Dog9So, I’m counting these guys as one just for the sake of fitting in as many dogs as I can. It’s quite unusual to find so many characters of the same species in one scene (bar humans), so I guess a wedding was as good an excuse as any. I love how the guy on the right has heterochromia – it’s such an unnecessary detail, but shows that every design has thought put into it.

Dog5Struggled to get a decent screencap of this guy… so this one will just have to do. Seeing him reminds me of the yorkshire terrier my grandmother had when I was little – he’s so cute.

Dog15Like… how buff is this guy? Pretty cool design. He looks like he could beat up most of the other dogs on this list with one hand tied behind his back.

Dog12This guys face is just adorable, but unfortunately he only appears in the background of this one scene, and he spent most of it partially obscured – so this was the best image I could get. It seems kind of weird to me that there are so many well-designed characters that the show doesn’t really… highlight, I guess? But I suppose it just shows that they put effort into everything, regardless of how important or necessary it is – which is admirable.

Dog16So, the last of the new dogs is this guy – a saint bernard. It’s design actually caused me to look into the whole barrel-round-the-neck thing, as before I just kind of accepted it, without wondering why it was a thing… I could explain it here, but I’m trying to keep on topic – and you have Google.

And now, it’s time for the honorable mentions!

Dog17This guy is back! I somehow managed to miss/forget his non-flashback appearances, but luckily his existence in the present was pointed out to me. It seems kind of weird how much he’s aged in comparison to other characters who were around at that time… but then, it is still a cool detail that he has.

Dog11And finally, this guy. I’m pretty sure he’s the same wolf-dog from the running gag in season one (see my last post if you don’t know who I mean), although there are some notable changes in his design that leave me uncertain as to whether that is the case (his nose and ears are both slightly different). I’m going to assumeΒ  these changes are just signs of aging, however, like with the previous dog.

So there you have it. I haven’t included every dog from the first two seasons, but I’ve hopefully included enough to get across my points –
1) The creators of this show are hard workers.
2) Anthropomorphized dogs are awesome.

I’m considering turning this whole thing into some kind of “BoJack Appreciation Month”, to celebrate the upcoming season and get me pumped up for it. The more I’ve watched the show, and spoken with people about it, the more aware I’ve become of how much it has to offer… so, time permitting, I’m going to try to post a series of blogs studying different aspects of the series so far – partly to motivate my own analysis of the show, partly to encourage others to watch it (if they haven’t already), and partly just to give me an excuse to repeatedly marathon it in anticipation of the upcoming season.

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The dogs of BoJack Horseman

Couldn’t think of anything meaningful to talk about… so here’s a bunch of dogs from season 1 of BoJack Horseman, in celebration of the upcoming third season.

One of the (many, many) things I love about the show is the sheer number of well-designed background characters it has, and the creativity of their designs. Here, I’m going to focus on the dogs (because I like dogs) to show how much creativity went into such a small fraction of these background characters.

Dog5Mr. Peanut Butter himself, alongside a pug that makes numerous background appearances. Not entirely sure why the pug has such pronounced whiskers…

Dog6I’m pretty sure this lady from episode 2 is a chihuahua… but she could also be a cat of some kind. I’m going to assume the former for the sake of this post.

Dog3This guy is just the cutest. I love these little moments in the show were we see the animals exhibiting their more non-human traits. Dogs like bones, y’know? πŸ˜›

Dog8These ladies show up quite frequently, usually together. I adore the poodle’s design; obvious, but effective. I think the other woman is a corgi? Maybe…

Dog7Police dog could arrest me any day of the week. It’s a pity he seldom shows up, as his role is mostly covered by police cat. Silly police cat! 😦

Dog9The hairdresser dog is just adorable. Would be interesting to see him make a cameo in the present day… he must still be working in television, right?

Dog4Wolf-dog makes an amusing blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in season 1. I can’t remember if he ever shows up again. He should totally be a running gag.

Ha! Get it? “Running” gag! πŸ˜›

Dog2In my head-canon this guy is 100% in the closet, and only here to keep up appearances. He’s probably police dog’s “straight-acting” BF in present day.

Or maybe he is police dog…

Nah! I like my idea better.

Dog1This guy is a doberman… I really don’t have anything else to say about him…

Dog0Okay, so this one is a little bit of a cheat, but I really wanted to find 10 – and I wanted to leave season 2 for another day… Still, he looks pretty nifty.

I can’t remember off the top of my head if there are enough new dogs to warrant a second post about season 2, but if there are I’ll likely get round to it within a few days. If not, there’s always season 3! I’m also tempted to come up with a list of my favorite non-mammalian character designs in the show, as there are some really f%^&ing cool ones. So, that’s something to look forward to, I guess? πŸ˜›

ParaNorman

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Been a bit quiet on the blog front recently, mostly in part to a resurgence in social activity. After a busy weekend (working at a bar during the Superbowl was not particularly fun…), I decided to take a day off from the world yesterday, and spent more or less the entirety of my time watching movies. Besides a few movies I watched with a friend recently (as well as a hefty dose of South Park) all of my visual entertainment these past weeks has come in the form of a very staggered How I Met Your Mother marathon… so once I watched the final episode, I figured it was time to take a break from serialized stuff, and just enjoy a few stand-alone movies instead.

It turns out, unsurprisingly, that you can fit rather a lot of movies into one day… but sadly the majority have already faded into obscurity within my mind. I decided to stick with the “theme” of animation for my movie night, so ended up catching up on a lot of the “big movies” of the past few years… as well as some more obscure titles. It’s safe to say Gladiators of Rome, or Freedom Force aren’t likely to blow anyone’s mind any time soon. The one movie that basically made my night worthwhile, however, was a movie called ParaNorman.

After watching it, I did a little research, and discovered that it was produced by a company called Laika, who are probably best-known for Coraline – one of my favorite movies. While I was a tad skeptical throughout the movie’s run that the stop-motion was merely deceptive CGI, I was glad to discover that this wasn’t the case, and in retrospect it really does show (I think my skepticism was more likely sourced from my innate pessimism, rather than from any visual evidence). While I am rather bad for giving my #sealofapproval to things rather easily, I must say that ParaNorman was an incredibly enjoyable movie – suitable for children, but not boring for adults – and I would recommend it to any fan of stop-motion animation, or zombie fiction.

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The movie shares a few minor elements with the Corpse Bride (another movie that Laika worked on), such as it’s non-threatening depiction of the undead, and it’s brilliant use of color and lighting. Set in the small town of “Blithe Hollow”, every character looks unique, without being too peculiar, and the many different sets we see during the movies duration are all visually interesting. While the movie is primarily stop-motion animation, it does make use of computer-generated imagery on numerous occasions, but never in a situation that the result could have feasibly been done in another way – and every special effect is pulled off with aplomb. To summarize, like most stop-motion films of its kind (Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, etc), ParaNorman is visually interesting in a way that few movies are these days, and is worth watching purely due to the distance it has from the more generic CGI movies that dominate the realm of animation these days.

ParaNorman’s plot is fairly simple, but – as you would expect – things develop over time, and nothing is quite as straight-forward as it seems. Norman Babcock is a young boy who can see and speak to ghosts, and as a result of this ability he is a social outcast, whose family doesn’t understand him, and whose peers don’t respect him. Nonetheless, when a witches curse threatens the town, Norman becomes it’s only hope. Joined by his sister, his best friend, his best friend’s brother, and the school bully, he sets out on a quest to stop the curse, and put an end to the dead walking the streets. Things soon become more complicated, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you – as I’m sure you’ll want to watch it to find out! πŸ˜›

Since watching ParaNorman I’ve realized that Laika have one other movie out currently, 2014’s “The Boxtrolls”, so I will likely go out of my way to watch it in the near future, in the hope that I will enjoy it on par with Coraline and ParaNorman. I’ve got a rather quiet week ahead of me – or at least, it looks like I do at this point – so I will likely have the opportunity before long. Blogs will hopefully be a tad more regular during February (due to a lack of funds preventing me from going out too much) although there will likely be less of them in total (due to a lack of energy preventing me from doing too much), so… look forward to that I guess? Peace out! x

KID CHAMELEON | HE-MAN & THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

Even though I was born in the 90’s, as a child the 80’s was the main source of much of my entertainment. While most kids were watching Dexter’s Laboratory, I was watching Dungeons & Dragons, and while they read Power Rangers annuals, I had Thundercats. Of course, I was hardly unaware of “current” television. It’s just that most of the shows that interested me (besides Pokemon and Digimon, which were impossible to avoid) were also unavailable to me – and thus I could only watch shows like Sailor Moon and X-Men: The Animated Series when my grandmother was able to record them for me (due to her having Sky, which neither of my parents had at the time). Whilst having somewhat “outdated” interests made it hard to relate to the other children a lot of the time (It took me over a year to finally watch Pokemon, by which time most kids were bored of talking about the show, and only wanted to play the game), there was always something that appealed to me in knowing that I had something they didn’t, so for the most part it never really bothered me. Heck, I’m still pretty much that way now! XD

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He-Man wasn’t shown on television when I was a child – which was rather lucky, as had it been I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see it. Instead, I got my “fix” through various video tapes, books, and what toys could be found during our regular trips to car-boot sales while on holiday. He-Man was actually the franchise I was able to watch the least – I only had one or two cassettes, and the Secret of the Sword movie – but I made up for this fact with my rather extensive collection of Ladybird Books, which – to my knowledge – I had a complete set of. I read the hell out of those bloody things.

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Being a child, I didn’t take particularly good care of many of my toys – which is a rather sickening fact, considering just how much money He-Man toys can make on Ebay these days. Nonetheless, I enjoyed them at the time, and I suppose that’s all that matters. A part of me did briefly consider re-collecting the figures, out of nostalgia, but sadly the majority seem rather out of my price range – and being the completionist that I am, I’d rather have none of them, than some of them. Still, maybe one day… if I’m ever rich.

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I recently found myself re-watching the He-Man cartoons. Every now and then I take some time away from whatever TV show or anime I’m currently watching to re-watch something from my childhood. It’s always nice to refresh my memory, and interesting to see how these old shows hold up now that I’m older. Some of them do feel a little silly, once I remember that I’m 22 years old, but there have been a few that I can still watch with equal – if not greater – enthusiasm. I’m not actually sure where He-Man stands in that regard. Obviously I do love it (otherwise why would I even be talking about it?), but it does have a lot of issues in regards to quality – both in it’s scripts, and it’s animations. Some episodes definitely hold up to scrutiny better than others. It is, however, always interesting to watch it’s use of limited animation, and stock footage. While it does come off as a tad lazy and/or cheap, when you consider it was animated by a pretty prolific company (at the time) – Filmation – it does make me wonder if similar techniques could be used in the present day to allow single individuals, or small groups, to produce their own animation on a similar scale – with story taking priority over “perfect” animation.

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Anyway, as my last point, I would simply like to recommend that you watch an episode or two of He-Man. I don’t expect it will be to everyone’s taste, but if only from a purely animated stand-point, I think you should watch it, so as to gain a deeper appreciation of how far animation has come over the years. And, of course, if you happen to be a fan of barbarians, or sword & sorcery, there’s a chance you might just enjoy it. Episodes can currently be watched for free on the Official He-Man YouTube Channel… so there’s no excuse not to give it a look! Below is the first episode, “Diamond Ray of Disappearance”.