Although it’s been a banner box office season for animation — with ”A Bug’s Life,” ”Rugrats,” and ”Antz” all prospering and ”The Prince of Egypt” expected to — don’t try to convince animator John Kricfalusi that all is well in ‘toon land. The creator of ”The Ren & Stimpy Show” and the Online Cartoon Network (www.spumco.com) sees the current crop as a mixed bag at best. ”Humor has almost completely disappeared from cartoons,” Kricfalusi tells EW Online. ”You can’t find an animated feature being made today that you could get more laughs and artistic enjoyment out of than a 1957 Yogi Bear cartoon. To me, there’s more enjoyment in one of those than in the last five Disney movies put together.”
Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some winners in the animated world. Kricfalusi, whose Online Cartoon Network will be offering a pay-per-view Christmas special later this month, gives us his rating of the good, the bad, and the buggy.
A BUG’S LIFE — ”With ‘A Bug’s Life,’ the characters are colorful, they’re interesting, they all look like they have different personalities. They look like they’d make great toys. Who’d want an ‘Antz’ toy? Ugly little things.”
ANTZ — ”That looked horrible. That’s another weird thing about animation today. The first thing animation should do is look good. It should please the eye. Make it look nice! ‘Antz,’ it’s just brown and ugly as sin.”
THE PRINCE OF EGYPT –”Ugly.”
THE RUGRATS MOVIE — ”I thought the movie was good because it wasn’t trying to be a Disney movie. It didn’t try to break into song every two seconds, some hideous, horrible, pseudo-Broadway, non-melodious treat. Of course, it had songs because someone was probably told that all animated movies have to have songs or you go to jail, but the songs weren’t irritating. It was done very tastefully, I thought.”