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About Deviant Artist Leonard Lawrence McCoyMale/United States Recent Activity
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I'm going for a review on this entire series. From the looks of things, this serves as a series of classical nudes. I'll take a look at...

Exam by Jerimin19

I always enjoy it when an artist offers critique. I'd do it myself, but it requires some kind of prerequisite which I don't have. With ...


You know, it's rare that I come across a stamp on dA that asks for critique. Most of them are expected to stand on their own. I'm going...

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I'd like to just state a correction. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was not written by the same people as Horton Hears a Who after all. My mistake.
Assembly Line Theater: Horton Hears A Who by Darkton93
Assembly Line Theater: Horton Hears A Who
Okay, so early on, I made a review of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. And, for some reason, I got my first request from that movie review. Specifically, Horton Hears a Who, and The Lorax, a pair of films made based on the works of Theodore Giesel, also known as Dr. Seuss.

To which I respond... YOU FOOL! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM?!

I'm a critic! A nostalgic critic! I'm barely even a critic, I'm a missionary! The point of this series is not to test a film's quality, but to test its originality! I even made this for the express purpose of getting people to question modern animation, specifically stuff made since 2010! My first review was the biggest success of 2010, and it was a negative one!

I'm not some drive-by critic who burns bad things; that would be kicking them while they're down. Remember the mission statement: I'm not booing George Bush here, I'm heckling Adolf Hitler before he forms Nazi Germany! Presumably the request wanted me to take a look at this because Cloudy was my first review from something from 2009, so he assumed it was open season on stuff made before then. Here's the thing: if I do do stuff from before then, I'd prefer you suggest positive reviews! 2008 and 2009 were the Bronze Age! The last period where the main studios were at their best! Pixar was still powerful, Disney was recovering under Lasseter, and DreamWorks was becoming more artistic!

I suspect he also wanted me to do this because he hated it, too, and wanted to see the mean old critic tear it down. Even Anton Ego said that audiences thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write, and to read. What's NOT fun about negative criticism is experiencing the subject first-hand. See, in order to write a negative review, you have to have not enjoyed something. Watching something that's not enjoyable isn't fun; it's soul-grinding and makes you question your existence. It's more like the plot to Inside Out: I'm certainly not feeling Joy, there's not even any Sadness of days since passed since this is from the old days. All that's left is Anger, Disgust and Fear. When I was watching this, I specifically questioned whether or not I wanted to continue when I saw the TV Tropes page for this drivel and saw people hated it! You guys are lucky that I was able to find so many goddamn cliches in this mess, because evidently you guys would be lost like lambs if you didn't have someone telling you what to think instead of how to think!

HOWEVER...

There's still an importance to this film. A thing that makes it historically significant. It allows me to do something that's fun, be a historian and a conspiracy theorist at the same time. I have much more fun talking about what this means to animation as a whole. In fact, what I have here is the debut of a Gruesome Twosome who have scourged the industry for years to come.

Meet Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Before they wrote this, the duos filmography consisted mostly of movies mocking the disabled and using them for comedy, movies rated low on IMDB, and a Santa Clause sequel. These guys are doing serious damage to the industry. So not only was this their first animated movie, before them they built up a negative reputation. Or they would've if people would actually pay attention to writers instead of pinning all the blame on the director. Obviously they subscribe to the "Children Are Idiots" theory of storytelling, since this story panders to children's intelligence at every turn.

And yet, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs somehow made it big. I bet if that failed they'd be forgotten to the bowels of history and continue their reputation as hacks. But when that succeeded, they became the faces of the industry, and in my eyes, the faces of everything wrong with it today.

Cloudy set the bar low and set the standard for animated movies. Everything wrong with animation today can be traced back to these two movies. Because suddenly, they were called back for more and more animated ones when they barely did so before. They did Hop, and another Seuss movie, before striking lucky with Despicable Me. They created a way for Minions to be marketable, which granted them power in an industry run by marketing executives.

Under the Executive Driven Era of Animation And The Second Dark Age, people like Paul and Daurio are given power. With them becoming the new standard of animation, then all they need to do is make something that can be used for marketing purposes. And since they're low quality and use existing materials to build their toons, that means they're cheap to produce. But in this era, cheap is good, since it means you don't have to spend money, and executives rake back all the green they can get from Minions plushies and Lorax Turn Of Your Cell Phone ads. And with the bar lowered, you see stuff like The Croods being handed to the guy responsible for Space Chimps, Paul Dini losing all respectability with Ultimate Spider-Man and especially the easiest toon to produce, Teen Titans Go.

In other words, these guys are the example of what's wrong with the industry. They're more than the Gruesome Twosome, they share the position of Public Enemy Number One.

The bar needs to raise again. Animation is becoming like comics were in their Dark Age, commodities to be sold rather than products to enjoy. As long as the success of a movie is based around how many Books, iPod cases and Coke cans it can sell, the laziest and least capable writers will decide the direction of animation. You can start our journey to success by not watching anything with these two's names attached to them, or at least pirating them like I did.

And you can forget about that damn Lorax review, too! That thing's 6.5 percent on IMDB, and I barely survived this 6.9!
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Assembly Line Theater: The Croods by Darkton93
Assembly Line Theater: The Croods
We're going after another one today: A movie more interesting as a phenomena and what it means to the industry instead of for its actual merits.

This film will hold a special place in my heart as the first DreamWorks film during my teenage years I refused to see. Yes, I not only saw stuff like Tangled and Megamind, I praised them to high heaven. I apologize for that; that praise has led people astray and forced them to settle for less than perfection rather than strive for greatness. But this one just didn't seem like it had much going for it. Considering the height of the humor in this thing was the invention of fire, it just didn't appeal to me. And seeing it this year, while I admit they tried to make the Dad a protagonist, they still played that classic "Dad is the Bad Guy" thing they love so much. It's a start, but The Incredibles did a much better job having the father as the protagonist.

But the problem isn't just that it's cliche. It's because it's bad. The jokes fall flat in all areas, and the movie is just plain boring. But this rabbit hole runs much deeper.

The writer for this movie, surprisingly, isn't Some Guy. It's Chris Sanders paired up with Kirk De Micco. His writing resume includes Quest for Camelot, Racing Stripes, Chimps in Space, and a Casper Direct-To-Video movie. In other words, the situation is worse than if Some Guy wrote it: What we have here is the first example of a mainstream animated movie written by a genuine hack! At least Some Guy doesn't know what he's doing since animation is a touchy subject; Some Guy can one day become a great writer, they have the potential in them. This guy not only writes schlock, he does it multiple times and doesn't care!

But that never mattered to the Assembly Line. After all, it's not important how well you can write, but how well you can sell.

See, there's a reason why I call the current era The Executive Driven Era of Animation. Those executives are marketing executives. Animation is expensive. Very expensive. And those expenses are the real reason 2D animation that's not Flash died: it took too much to teach people to draw and used up too much money for each drawing. It's actually easier to work with a 3D model designer than even a tablet. But even then, you need to make sure your movie makes back its budget. And it was much harder to make back the budget in the era of the 2008 recession.

That's when the marketing department stepped in with an idea they used in the First Dark Age: rather than make the film the target of how successful something is, they just dedicate the repayments to all those toys, comic books and lanyards made around it. Animation has always relied on merchandising, but stuff like The Three Little Pigs at least attempted to do something for character development. This is closer to a model used by the 80's cartoons like Transformers, He-Man and Thundercats; the movies are now glorified Toy Commercials.

This is the reason Ultimate Spider-Man and The Simpsons have stayed on the air for so long, why Toy Story is getting a fourth entry: the quality of the work does not matter. The real importance is in those video games, dolls and bottle caps; if they sell well, then it's considered a success, so it stays on the air. And a job that only requires you to sell products being offered by a high-profile studio with a built-in audience isn't going to attract people with actual talent. It's going to attract hacks, and the resume of Kirk De Micco says that more than I ever could.

Because when all you need is to sell toys, the movie doesn't matter. To the Assembly Line, animation isn't an art form; just a glorified Toy Commercial.
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Assembly Line Theater: CWaCoM by Darkton93
Assembly Line Theater: CWaCoM
Someone needs to take a knife to this film. A big ol' steak knife to cut out all the fat, of which there is a lot.

Technically speaking, this film is not an Assembly Line production. It was made in 2009, a year before the Assembly Line took hold. Its writers are already well-versed, having written for Clone High. Really, I shouldn't be doing this one.

The problem with this one is more Hollywood idiocy, caused by a thought process that begins with overstating your boundaries by making a movie off a 5-minute project, then panicking when you realize you can't turn 5 minutes into 90. The lizard part of their brain took over after that and just filled the script with whatever they could.

This is another one of those films that's part of a formula. A formula that's been used with such things as The Cat In The Hat, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and possibly others. The formula goes something like this:
Step 1: Buy up the rights to something like a children's book, a fable, or a short film.
Step 2: Announce you'll be making a movie out of it.
Step 3: Finish up the entirety of the short in the first week of production.
Step 4: Panic.
Step 5: Fill the script with cliches and corny bits to pad for time.
Step 6: Sandwich the actual story in the middle of the filler.
Step 7: ???
Step 8: Profit
Except most people don't reach that last step because they see the rat early, then the critics who the movie wasn't screened for apply a healthy dose of rat poison.

But for some reason, they didn't notice the problems with this one. I've talked to people who call this their favorite animated movie ever while admitting the story is corny. They then say "so are the stories of classics like The Prince of Egypt or The Emperor's New Groove." Maybe, but those weren't being dragged down by cliches. Okay, it's admittedly because they have an easy time relating to the protagonist and his girlfriend, but it shows the audience's bar is lowered for animation. They ignore the flaws and focus on what they liked, rather than the writing quality. And because they liked this film so much, executives and writers alike realized they didn't even need to try hard, or even at all to make an animated movie so long as they had best two out of three in that holy trinity of Writing, Form and Tech.

Funny how people not only notice the rat in a live-action production but also sentence it to Public Execution By Razzie, but they claim the animated rat is a hamster and feed it. Well, speaking as you guys' roommate with an empty pantry because of a damn rat infestation, I'd just like to say... thanks, you son of a bitch. Thanks for wrecking everything.

Now clean up after your own damn mess.
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Assembly Line Theater: Megamind by Darkton93
Assembly Line Theater: Megamind
You have to ponder the circumstances behind villains in comic books. They become locked into a struggle with a hero, to the point where it dominates their life. Norman Osborne was once a businessman until his hatred for Spider-Man consumed him, turning him into the Green Goblin. Lex Luthor was a wealthy business tycoon, no worse than the typical arms dealer, but one chance encounter with Superman turned him into a tyrant. Some supervillains would actually still be at large if it weren't for the hero. No doubt the Joker or the Red Skull would've been just as bad if Batman or Captain America were around than if they weren't. But their hatred of them singlehandedly slanted their schemes towards beating their Moby Dick.

Comic books have been around for decades, and in only twenty years a whole century will pass since Superman took the stage. Comics are a powerful medium in America, telling a wide variety of stories. Adventure, romance, spy fiction; some can even do this without being attached to a popular character. However, due to the damage in the public reception of comic books thanks to the rise of the Comics Code in the 1950s (which, incidentally, coincides with the First Dark Age of Animation), superhero stories thrived in various forms, from Sci-Fi like Green Lantern, to the X-Men's social commentary, the horror stylings of Spawn, and of course, Watchmen, the real-world look at superheroes.

Nonetheless, most people, having not grown up on comics but being more familiar with Adam West's Batman, ultimately twisted the perception of superhero comics, creating a sort of hyperexaggeration. The main hero is typically a Superman knockoff who fights either an evil counterpart of himself, or an evil genius who's bald like Lex Luthor. Not-Supes stands for truth and justice and the heroic way, and does all that because he's good, and he knows it. The villain knows he's evil, loves that fact, and will openly parade it in front of a huge audience. He will come up with death traps he won't watch in action so he won't realize the hero is breaking free. Speeches will be given and the villain will win through the power of violence, and be sent to jail where they will never get the death sentence because, well, he and anyone else is not allowed to kill anyone, not that the villain could with his mere hypno-accordian or sports-themed powers.

But what happens when a supervillain... wins?

What happens when the Joker finally drives Batman insane, Lex has Superman arrested as an illegal alien, Venom finally murdering Spider-Man for ruining his life? What if Kaiba beat Yuugi, Vegeta outmatched Goku, or any major rival actually beat our hero? It would probably be the greatest day of their life... for five seconds. Believing Batman is dead has had an adverse response to the Joker, ranging from killing the Man Who Killed Batman to going straight. Venom might become a hero in his own right, too, but he would probably be a lethal protector. Others would just continue their rampage unguarded. I see no reason to believe Lex would not go back to being a powerful arms dealer now that he has "This can kill Superman" to advertise his latest weapon with. Red Skull would be more destructive, taking over the world under Hydra. The question each villain must face is "How much does beating the hero matter to you?"

Megamind attempts to posit this question with an alien version of Lex Luthor. Finally killing Metroman, the designated Superman, he goes through the former cycle I put up: he has the time of his life, but finds with no one to stop him, being The Man Who Has Everything ends up leading him to a self-directed case of what I call Buddy Syndrome, "When everyone's super, than no one is," or rather, now that he has everything, he has nothing. But a solution becomes apparent: the joy was in the challenge, and all he needs to do is create a new hero. With a new other half, the battle could last for as long as he does, with the whole world as his playground!

But then he gets a call from not-Lois Lane on a phone from someone he disguised himself as, who wants him to have a date. And you begin to understand why I used the word, "attempts."

(Praise ends here.)

From there on out, it's a mess of animated movie cliches that're as old as at least Aladdin, with the Secret Keeper, the Abandoned Hero, and did I mention Not-Lois is a Triange-Faced Love Interest Whose Relationship Starts Out Rocky and it all falls apart. There is nothing sadder than watching a good concept be dragged through the mud to facilitate a story we've seen years ago, and are still seeing today.

In particular, why does Megamind need to become a hero even when Metroman is alive? He beats one villain and he suddenly becomes a True Hero (TM)? And Metro Man knew he was a hero the whole time?! I'll tell you why this happened, and it's also the reason behind the most controversial moment in movie history: Greedo Shooting First.

The original concept for this movie was to be in live action. It was going to be a Hard-R vulgar comedy with the same premise. I think it would've turned out very different, though, because as soon as the decision was made to make it animated, the studio that makes movies for adults and the adult in every child gave in to the Assembly Line and cut the film down to PG, because animation for adults? Never in theaters! Not in the Executive Driven Era of Animation and the Second Dark Age!

Here's what you need to understand: The MPAA does not like movies where the protagonist or any kind of "good guy" is a villain. The reason Greedo shot first was because Han would've looked like a Bad Guy if he killed someone in cold blood, so it was censored to keep it PG because PG-13 was considered a Big Deal at the time. Notice how every subsequent version has the interval of their shots getting closer until they fire at the same time. The problem, however, is that while the general standard for a Live-Action movie is now PG-13, to the point where The Avengers showed you can market them to schoolchildren, the standard for animation has remained PG. It even dragged down live-action movies, where PG in those is considered a "Kids Movie". And since the Assembly Line mandates all animation must be PG, then it'll be trapped to the image of a children's medium as long as it stands.

How does this relate to Megamind? See, because of the PG rating, the movie makes Megamind into a cartoonish supervillain. However, because the children's sympathy (or, more cynically their imitatability) must remain with Megamind, it establishes as soon as possible that he's only bad because he had a hard childhood, that he's a Misunderstood Character (TM) and if given the chance he would be a hero in a heartbeat. This is the reason why when Titan suggests the villain engages in, gasp... villainy Megamind objects; not because it's wrong for a hero to do this, but because Titan wants to drag him into it as well. He's not a villain, he's a sad sack who needs to be awakened, much like the audience needs to be awakened that THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!

So, who's in charge of this blunder? Well, the director, Tom McGrath had roots in Ren and Stimpy, KaBlam, and the Madagascar series, but I bet he lost creative control as soon as it became animated. The writers, where the real fault lies, are a pair of writers, one named Some, the other named Guy. Together, Some Guy have a combined total of zero movies and TV shows worth of writing experience, and would later go on to write the Penguins of Madagascar movie, which everyone hates. This is the reason we have to critique these movies writing as harshly as we have to: if we keep showering praise on the experienced director, Some Guy won't learn from their mistakes, will stay Some Guy, and when they lose their protective shield will turn out a blunder which will send their careers into the toilet. Anyone Can Write, but they need to be cultivated, not ignored under the impression that the director will handle it, otherwise they won't write well. About the only saving grace I can offer these two is that The Penguins of Madagascar isn't on the chopping block, but only because it's been devoured by the horde before I even saw it, and I saw it gave everyone food poisoning.

And because it needs to be stated again, THE ASSEMBLY LINE IS KILLING ANIMATION! It's killing creativity, killing diversity, it's slaughtering originality! After all, in The Executive Driven Era of Animation And The Second Dark Age, the Assembly Line can muscle you into doing what it wants, even when you want to make a Hard-R comedy.
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deviantID

Darkton93
Leonard Lawrence McCoy
Artist
United States
Current Residence: Washington
Favourite genre of music: Soundtrack
Favourite style of art: Anime
Operating System: Windows XP
MP3 player of choice: Windows Media Player
Wallpaper of choice: 3050 Upgrade cover
Favourite cartoon character: Vegeta
Personal Quote: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and if you disagree you are not a true fan.
Interests
*sigh* Looks like I have to clarify things for you again. Let me repeat this to you and hopefully you'll actually listen this time.

The Block button was designed for one use, and one use only: to keep people from harassing others. If someone is constantly spamming you with hate-mail, threatening to kill you, or just plain questioning your sexuality (as is so common around the internet), and they just won't stop, that is when you block them. It was NOT intended to be used as a way to keep a dissenting opinion out of your account. What you're doing is sending a message that I'm only entitled to your opinion and not my own, and you won't give me any chance to correct myself or make any apologies. Even when I give well-constructed arguments, you just insult me, say that I've been insulting you, and keep me from voicing my opinion further on the matter. Back at school, the school operated on a one-strike-you're-out system for those with disabilities. This is an unwelcome throwback.

So please, before you use the block button, think to yourself, "Is he harassing me? Is he going to apologize? Or am I just doing this to stifle other's opinions?"

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:iconfarand:
Farand Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Welcome to TheWritePlace, Leonard! :glomp:

Here are some handy links that you might want to check out:

Our Rules - very handy for orienting yourself within the group, and especially so when it comes to submitting your work. :nod:

How To Get Involved - if you fancy joining out team, you might want to take a look at this. We have a wide range of positions available! :eager:

Our chat room - a safe and inviting place where you can chat with us about - well, pretty much anything. :faint:

The Geek's Guide to Lit Groups  - a comprehensive guide to all the active literature groups on DeviantArt. :reading:

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, by all means let us know. This group is for you - we want you to have the best possible experience here! :D

Regards! :cookie:
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:iconcomputermanmik428:
COMPUTERMANMIK428 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015
hey you take request if so what kind?
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:icondarkton93:
Darkton93 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015
Let me know what you want, and I'll determine from there.
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:iconcomputermanmik428:
i was think of powerpuff girls z attending school underwater. :) btw if you need help look up powerpuff girls z watery school days.
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:icondarkton93:
Darkton93 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015
'Fraid I can't do that. Anything else you want to try?
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(2 Replies)
:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Edited Sep 16, 2014
alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/art… The Pony POV Seies' Finale Arc, three years in the making has begun. You were there at the start. Be there at the beginning of the end too! It'll be fun! :-) Heh. Trust me on this. 
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:icongojira012:
Gojira012 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013
By the way did you read the rest of my PPGD Rewrite
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:icondarkton93:
Darkton93 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
Eh, I tried. I couldn't seem to get past 3. Seemed a little confusing with the changing formats. It also seemed a little copy paste.
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:icons7alker117:
S7alker117 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you so much for the fav!! :highfive:
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