Information from Yvon Tremblay

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Re: Information from Yvon Tremblay

Postby Ty-Chou » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:33 pm

Mikazo wrote:This is an interesting point that you are raising, particularly in that fans have an appetite for character development in a show that never really seemed geared toward that. The Swat Kats is primarily an action show that moves at a frenetic pace, has lots of violence and explosions, and plenty of lame jokes and puns. In my opinion this is actually a show that does not take itself seriously.

It is possible that the style the show wanted to have was something akin to the movie "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," with potential for slapstick moments and absurd over-the-top destruction.

So the idea that we want to move into a model with more character depth is intriguing. If the show were more fleshed out and could have longer episodes rather than brief 20-minute shorts, it is certainly within its reach to do so. The question I have is, how far into that direction should it go? Should its primary focus be on the action and comedy, or should it focus more on drama and character development?


You ask some good questions, Mikazo. Here are my thoughts on this:

I do not agree that the show does not take itself seriously. I think you are confusing having fun with being serious. Yes, those who were working on this show obviously had fun, but they were clearly very serious about this show and making it what it is. There is no feel of “yes, we know this is a silly premise, but bear with us” to Swat Kats. Swat Kats buys its own hype. It immerses itself in its own world and does not question the insanity of it. It does not expect its audience to question it either. We and it jump into this world with both feet because the creative team was serious about this project.

You also seem to equate character development into boring scenes with no action. As if Swat Kats cannot have deeper characters and explosions at the same time. Character growth comes from the journey. The journey can be fraught with anything from the mundane to monsters and big kabooms. You can have both without messing with the action side of Swat Kats. I wasn't ever suggesting taking away the violence, I was suggesting that the Tremblays not use the violence side of the project to be their selling point when they're trying to pitch it to possible investors.

I also don't agree with your insinuation that the fans originally watched and liked Swat Kats because it lacked character depth and we never wanted more characterization as the show progressed, yet, for some strange reason we want it now. We watched Swat Kats because we loved the characters, the explosions and the monsters were the bonus, not the other way around. We always found the episodes lacking in the character development department, despite our love for the show. When we did get any shred of character personal information or character arc, we ate it up. (It is my theory as to why so many people say “Razor's Edge” is one of their favorites despite it being a very cringey episode. But that's a discussion for another day.)

As a whole, the fandom expects more in the storytelling and characterization not just because it's what we always hoped to see in the series since it aired in the 90's, but also because that is the trend in today's animated media. Back then, it was more common to focus less on character drive and growth, and more on the villain of the week. Episodes were self-contained and could be watched in nearly any order because everything was practically “reset” for the next episode. There was no continuity and that is what the general cartoon consumer expected to see.

These days, the quality as a whole in the storytelling for animated shows has increased. We get more multi-episode story arcs, especially in action series. We'll even see one long storyline from the first episode to the last. We as the consumers now are used to a higher quality of storytelling and we expect that from nearly any animated media that isn't aimed at toddlers. Heck, I've seen some shows for very young children that I thought were still quite clever. So of course, we expect to see that from Swat Kats as well. What would be the point of even trying to make another show if there was no attempt to improve upon what was done all those years ago?

Sorry, I got a little ranty there. The trend of storytelling in animated media is a passion of mine.

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Dude, don't even worry about it. Have a great December, enjoy your holiday and give yourself a vacation. We can talk about it in January if it's still something you want to do.
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Re: Information from Yvon Tremblay

Postby Mikazo » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:24 pm

Ty-Chou wrote:I do not agree that the show does not take itself seriously. I think you are confusing having fun with being serious. Yes, those who were working on this show obviously had fun, but they were clearly very serious about this show and making it what it is.


I can see your point there. That's certainly possible too.

Ty-Chou wrote:The journey can be fraught with anything from the mundane to monsters and big kabooms. You can have both without messing with the action side of Swat Kats. I wasn't ever suggesting taking away the violence, I was suggesting that the Tremblays not use the violence side of the project to be their selling point when they're trying to pitch it to possible investors.


Exactly. The question I have is where to find that balance. Do you want more action/comedy, more dark/drama? Should it be 50/50?

Ty-Chou wrote:I also don't agree with your insinuation that the fans originally watched and liked Swat Kats because it lacked character depth and we never wanted more characterization as the show progressed, yet, for some strange reason we want it now. We watched Swat Kats because we loved the characters, the explosions and the monsters were the bonus, not the other way around.


Sorry if I wasn't clear, but I wasn't trying to insinuate anything like that. It's easy to see how fans could have wanted character development even back then. What struck me as interesting is that while the show focused on action, the fans came and said, "Hey, the characters are interesting, I want to learn more about them." They wanted to see the show become more than what it was, and maybe in a different way than what the writers were thinking.

My impression from watching the show was that while there was certainly potential for character development, it was put on the back burner because the writers wanted to focus more on action and had to work within certain parameters. I could be wrong though. :lol:

Anyway, the way I see it, the initial episodes were more like a rough draft. The show certainly has potential to be a lot more than what it was. That opens up a lot of possibilities.

Ty-Chou wrote:As a whole, the fandom expects more in the storytelling and characterization not just because it's what we always hoped to see in the series since it aired in the 90's, but also because that is the trend in today's animated media.


Yes, the show would need to grow and evolve, and maybe test some of its own limits. I think it would too. Plus as you mentioned, much has changed since the show initially aired.

It is sort of like Captain America. Kept in suspended animation, then awakening into a totally different world. Now you have a different audience with different expectations and a different platform. Whereas before your show would occupy a 30-minute slot on some TV channel at a specific time, now it has moved to online streaming. The competition with other shows is different too. How well will the Swat Kats adjust? The answer... coming up next! (Maybe.)
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Re: Information from Yvon Tremblay

Postby Ty-Chou » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:51 pm

Mikazo wrote:
Ty-Chou wrote:The journey can be fraught with anything from the mundane to monsters and big kabooms. You can have both without messing with the action side of Swat Kats. I wasn't ever suggesting taking away the violence, I was suggesting that the Tremblays not use the violence side of the project to be their selling point when they're trying to pitch it to possible investors.


Exactly. The question I have is where to find that balance. Do you want more action/comedy, more dark/drama? Should it be 50/50?


I think the current balance is fine. Lots of high-adrenaline action, some good monsters and villains, with some jokes and light dialog to keep it fun. This is what we came for. There's no reason to mess with a successful model.

Adding broader characterization into the show would not require changing this model or making the episodes longer. Largely, this would be done by the show and the characters remembering what happened in previous episodes. A character arc is not a "Razor's Edge". It is not one incident neatly wrapped up at the end and never spoken of again. It is many different things that cause the character to learn and grow, for better or for worse.

Swat Kats actually did do this a bit, whether they meant to or not, most notably in the relationship between Feral and the Swat Kats. In the beginning their dynamic was far more hostile, bitter, and distrustful. Near the end of the series, there was an unspoken and reluctant respect growing between both parties. Neither still liked the other, but there was some mutual respect going on.

This is more of what I would like to see of the new show: continuity.
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