Friday, April 9, 2010

TWOting a Horn

Well, I have now seen every episode of Johnny Test. Yes, the quest to catch all of his adventures is over. I’d thought perhaps this happened a couple of times, for I’d not been entirely sure from the brief descriptions of a few of them if I had in fact seen those segments. Well, to be utterly redundant, now I have for certain. Not to worry though - new episodes are now on the way each Monday. Hooray!

I’ve made it known in this post how much I adore Johnny Test, both show and character. I think the last time I loved a cartoon program this much had been Animaniacs. I said that I’d most likely discuss aspects of it again. The time has come.

One such aspect that impresses me is that each episode has two segments, that is to say two separate stories. Each is about eleven minutes long. Think of that. A whole adventure in eleven minutes! Johnny Test, of course, is not the only TV cartoon which does that. Another that springs to mind is The Mighty B! which stars the great Amy Pohler. Another I like, The Fairly OddParents, also has two smaller stories. Even Animaniacs followed this format, sometimes with more than two ‘episodes’ within the half hour [and always with a different set of characters.]

I just wanted to point it out. From a writer’s standpoint, it’s quite a feat. Especially when the condensing still feels like a bigger event in such a short amount of time. In other words, I never feel short changed by the compact stories. In Johnny's case, it includes a funny bit that turns into the exposition/launching for the story, the acquistion of what's wanted/needed, the problems that ensue, the thinking of a solution (on the part of the characters) and the resoultion. All in eleven minutes. And that’s not just a “boom boom boom” of “plot points” but also character development, jokes and homages. I’ve talked a little bit about this with my faithful reader & commenter Anon, who holds the position that it speeds along too quickly. I can understand that view, for it isn’t as if the fast pace goes entirely unnoticed. But it doesn’t bother me, perhaps because it mirrors the ever-moving mind of a child. An argument can be made, I suppose, that it’s a reflection of the somewhat founded belief of kids’ dwindling attention spans. But I don’t see it that way, since they’re also “expected” to watch both mini-episodes.

The long and short of it is that it allows for more adventures of Johnny (or whichever character[s].) And I, for one, am much happier having had double the amount of his shenanigans.

So to those who write the mini-sodes of the cartoon world: Bravo!
Thanks for all the extra fun.

1 comment:

Anon said...

I've now seen a few more episodes myself.

I'm sorry, but I just haven't been able to get into it. :( I admit I've still only seen a few epsiodes, but what I've seen looks little different from the first episode I saw. I haven't really noticed the character development you speak of, for one thing--although I'm willing to concede that maybe I'd have to watch a considerable amount more to notice that....

Also, my mind goes from one thing to another fairly quickly anyway (always has) but I still find the pacing too fast to keep up with....

By the way, I've seen a LOT of shows that do two "episodes" in one half-hour segment, so that's nothing new from my perspective. In fact, I kind of wish that WEREN'T the case--what's wrong with a longer adventure in 22 minutes?

Anyway, not commenting to bash the show--as I said of the first episode I saw, it is not in any way BAD. Just doesn't appear to be the kind of thing I can get into. If you enjoy it as much as you say, more power to you. :)