TED RALL GETS ANIMATED

Here it is–my first animated editorial cartoon: “President Obama’s First Day.” It is also available at YouTube.

I wrote, drew and designed the characters for “President Obama’s First Day,” a tongue-firmly-in-cheek look at liberal Democrats’ fantasies of how an Obama Administration would instantly change things for the better.

The animation was done by David Essman (see biography below).

There are some great Flash-based edittoons out there, but they take a different approach than I do. I see each animated cartoon as a skit, as a mini TV show. I hope people enjoy watching ‘Obama’s First Day’ as much as David and I enjoyed making it.

I plan to continue releasing Web-based animated cartoons.

Bios, for those who care:

Ted Rall, 45, is President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. A nationally-syndicated editorial cartoonist for Universal Press Syndicate, Rall’s cartoons have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek and more than 200 other publications. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1996, and twice won first place in the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.

David Essman is a 22 year old animator, currently studying at The
School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His films have been screened
across the country at film festivals including San Francisco Shorts,
Animation Block Party, and the St. Louis International Film Festival.

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27 Responses to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Bush in Guantanamo. Keep it up.

  2. Brubaker Says:

    That was actually better than I expected. Hope we’ll see more.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Its like a serious Sesame Street skit…lol

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Why does Michelle Obama appear to have three breasts?

  5. Aggie Dude Says:

    I think it’ll take me awhile to get used to animated political cartoons. This may actually be the first one I’ve seen, and it was very strange to watch. It’s like the first time you see Garfield or Dilbert speak.

    Ted, I’m curious about the voices, who did them?

  6. devil Says:

    the look was cool– kind of a cool early mike judge “intentionally sloppy” look. the pacing was bad though– some of the shots went on way too long and made the whole thing seem slow and kinda clunky.

    the TV hugging sequence was the funniest part (the last shot was way too long), and the bush crying thing was good too.

    the soundtrack was total 100% crap, especially the voice acting (fire that guy ASAP).

    for the very first animation you’ve ever done, it was pretty cool, man. very watchable, and i did literally laugh out loud at that hugging gag.

  7. Jason Says:

    Aggie dude, I’m pretty sure Ted did most of the voice acting himself, at least for Obama, the Gitmo guard, and the Taliban guy (to so sure on other characters and the narration). Compare it to his voice in this clip.

    If I’m right, Ted, you’re better off getting someone else to do the voice acting. The material is good, but the voices (and sound in general, as Devil noted) make it seem very amateurish.

  8. Incitatus Says:

    I concur with devil, most of it was ok or good (not great, though), but the soundtrack needs a lot of work. It’s understandable: it’s probably the part that demands more labour and is more difficult to get right.

  9. peejay3 Says:

    Uh, …. not…very….good.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    cool toon rall, who did the voices?

  11. onelazy i Says:

    ted,
    it was good effort. a little rough with the soundtrack. i can see great potential with all your characters.
    mahalo

  12. Angelo Says:

    I suggest using the theme from Hair the whole way through. The sequences were really vell animated, but they could use some cutting.

    what about nationalized gas stations run by the Department of the Interior ?

    The animation was really good. you picked the right guy!

    It would also be more action packed if Bush was tried in his home state (highest death penalty rate).

  13. Anonymous Says:

    The voices are superb, and are perfectly suited to the animation.

  14. Aggie Dude Says:

    I had a feeling the voices might be Rall’s own. They were my least favorite of the clip. They do make it very amateur sounding.

    TED!!!! How are you going to get animated cartoons into NEWSPAPERS!?

    yes yes, I know, they’re working on that!

  15. bsd Says:

    Hey Ted, I liked it, voices and all.

  16. Seth Warren Says:

    I can’t wait to see more of these.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve always thought your art was good, Ted, but I never imagined it could translate into animation so…fluid and bouncy. Not only was the cartoon hilarious, but Essman’s animation work was insanely good. When you first spoke of this, I thought it was just going to be some kind of flash cartoon. Boy, was I wrong. I cannot imagine the amount of time and sheer effort it took for David Essman to make such fluid animation, full of character, with each character practically bouncing with life in each scene.

    Fantastic, fantastic work. I have to commend both yourself and David for such a funny piece of work and for such a fantastic work of animation.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    You people are crazy. Those voices are AWESOME!

  19. Incitatus Says:

    Angelo,
    You may not get nationalized gas stations in a future Obama presidency (especially if the Dems go on with their infatuation with defeat), but if current trends persist, you might get nationalized
    automakers in the present Republican administration…

  20. Angelo Says:

    you might get nationalized
    automakers in the present Republican administration…

    We can’t even make a car that is affordable even though our mass transit SUCKS!!!!!

  21. Anonymous Says:

    Ted keep up the good fight. You da man.

  22. Matthew Says:

    I think this is a really interesting direction for your cartoons, and I look forward to seeing more. I agree with Devil, though, the pacing seemed off in some places.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Ted, I think it’s great that you’re trying something new and I applaud that. I figure you wouldn’t have made a blog entry about it if you didn’t want feedback. So here goes:

    1. The cartoon is at least three minutes too long. I don’t know whether it’s you or David Essman who’s to blame for the multitude of pregnant pauses, and I can’t tell whether you both think they’re effective in some fashion, or if you just got tired of editing. Boil it down to the essential.

    2. The people who are telling you the voices are terrible are wrong. They are trying to spare your feelings. The voices are beyond terrible; they are amateurish in the worst (and most drearily predictable) way. Don’t you realize you live in a city crawling with actors? Next time hire a professional for Christ’s sake.

    3. What’s with all the weird sound effects? Why every time Obama touches something does it sound like rubbing a balloon? I don’t get it.

    4. If you hadn’t explained the cartoon I would still be wondering what the point is. I’ve never had that problem with your work before, so I’m tempted to blame Essman. The idea of the cartoon should be more important than the flailing limbs and fancy camera motion effects. I’d almost say that Essman’s animation is too good, distracting me from the story and the humor.

    It’s a nice first effort, and I think you can do much, much better.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    The pregnant pauses are the funniest thing about this cartoon, and the voices are fresh and unique! I’m bored with all these professionally-voiced ‘toons.

  25. Andy Says:

    I actually thought the sound track was the best part. You critic didn’t watch enough black and white superman cartoons on rainy school days. Ditto on the voices.

    Story was too long though.

  26. Pimpin Says:

    I think ted did all the voices actually … lol , this was a good first try though. for whatever reason it reminded me of the first southpark 🙂

  27. Jon D Says:

    Excellent work! For a first stab at an animated piece it was great. While I’m not a fan of the voices I think they are very fitting.

    The main thing I believe that needs work is the timing. While a long break helps encourage one to reflect on a statement if it is too long you lose peoples interest. Your comics are great because you can break them into sections and people can choose to either speed through or sit and absorb your message/statement.

    Once you get your timing nailed I wouldn’t be suprise if you were approached to do a pilot for a TV series.

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