Bronyville Extra: A Weekend with Jayson Thiessen

Happy Sunday everypony! Here’s you a late weekend addition to your podcast lineup. As we mentioned, we had an awesome time at Animation on Display and as part of that weekend we were able to secure not one but two interviews with MLP:FiM Supervising Directory Jayson Thiessen. We do want to thank him for giving us his time and being a totally awesome guest for our show. The first segment is part of a private podcast recording done in the Green Room at AOD and the second is part of a MLP Creative Q&A. We hope you enjoy.



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12 Responses to Bronyville Extra: A Weekend with Jayson Thiessen

  1. Pingback: » Bronyville Podcast Interviews Jayson Thiessen at AoD

  2. avatar NightStarX

    Wow. Ren and Stimpy, one of the very best animated television shows of all time, if not THE best animated television show of all time gets mentioned as a major, driving influence to Jason, and the crowd boos it??

    What kind of morons were at that convention??

    • avatar NightStarX

      Honestly, that reaction to R&S from the audience really disgusted me, greatly. I love Friendship is Magic a lot obviously, but this really brings home the fact for me that a lot of the other fans of this show are people who have never watched a cartoon before in their lives, and don’t know a thing about good animation from the past, whatsoever.

      Ren and Stimpy was a brilliant show that completely reinvented the entire concept of a quality-based, personality and creator driven animated show pretty much single-handedly after a long extended period in the 80′s where animation was an assembly-line production.

      Nearly every aspect that exists on Friendship is Magic today, from the quality of of storyboard driven, artist driven work as a creative input, to cartoon acting and expressive drawing, to the usage of the normally restrictive layout stage as a place for creative direction was pioneered directly from John K and the R&S team.

      Without R&S to put artists and creators directly back into the cretive process of animation, you would not have a show as good as Friendship Is Magic today, and every single one of those people should be cheering, not groaning. Becuase everyone from Jason to Lauren Fust owes nearly all of their opportunities today to John K and the success of Ren and Stimpy.

      And they themselves would tell you that. So no one should ever dare put down that show. If Jason cites it as an influence, you should accept it as an influence of his.

      I love this show, but some of the fans can be so massively ignorant about actual animation history, and what they should be respecting, and what paved the way for what they enjoy today, sometimes.

      • I do have a hypothesis as to why people would react to “Ren and Stimpy” in such a way. It’s very possible that they weren’t even born by the time it originally aired (its final episode on Nickelodeon was in the mid 90′s, a depressing-to-note twenty years ago). A lot of attendees probably didn’t have any experience with it, and instead, associate “Ren and Stimpy” with its disastrous foray on Spike TV.

        If the entirety of “Ren and Stimpy” was the Adult Party Cartoon reboot from 2005, yeah, I’d also be questioning Mr. Thiessen’s judgment in using that as an influence. But I agree whole-heartedly, the original “Ren and Stimpy” from the 90′s is a staple of animation history, and one of the greatest driving forces in television’s style and character.

        • avatar West Meadow

          It wasnt a large group giving a negative response. It was probably just one or two guys who just didnt like the show. Even though I agree R&S was an amazing show, not everyone has to like everything. Though a bit of respect is always necessary.

    • avatar Hackwrench

      I could let the “boo”s slide if Jayson had been talking about the Adult Party Cartoon of 2003, but he wasn’t. The first season of Ren & Stimpy in 1991-2 was genuinely funny and so innovative relative to the cartoons of its time that it ended up changing the industry. It and, I’d say, Tiny Toon Adventures are what led US cartoon production from He-Man and Thundercats to Beavis & Butthead, Animaniacs, South Park, Family Guy, and Spongebob. Animation creators simply cannot overestimate the importance of those cartoons premiering at the time that they did.

      From the comments I’ve read so many times on YouTube, EqD, ponychan, and elsewhere, too often do I get the impression that most of the internet audience has no recollection of popular cartoons before about ten years ago. For a fanbase of self-proclaimed animation enthusiasts, their lack of historical familiarity is jarring. Are they too young to have known? Are they too sheltered? Do they only watch sugar-coated Disney stuff?

      While a “yes” answer to any of those questions reveals a poor excuse for ignorance on their part, there is at least one difference with which I have to agree: TV of the 80′s and 90′s often aired animation made decades before then: the original Looney Toons and Disney shorts, Scooby-Doo Where Are You, The Alvin Show, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Yogi Bear, Jetsons, Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera toons, Gumby, Schoolhouse Rock, etc. Viewers in the 80′s-90′s were frequently exposed to a wide range of historical styles and cultural influences on the same TV channels that aired newer cartoons, not on some extra cable package that cost more and most people didn’t have. Programming blocks mixed new and old right alongside each other, and audiences were exposed to more cultural watersheds at a faster rate.

      There have been lots of shows and characters (not the ones I mentioned) that evoked similar reactions and had similarly unexpected fanbases as Friendship is Magic, but most of the internet fans seem to have either never heard of them or never watched any of their episodes. I feel like a little piece of history is being forgotten, and the implications are like a punch in the gut.

  3. avatar NightStarX

    I’m sorry, I misspelled Lauren Faust. That was a typo, I didn’t catch before I hit enter. Lauren is amazing, and wonderful, and she deserves just as much respect for her contributions as John K does. I apologize for the typo, I didn’t meant to write it like that.

  4. avatar NightStarX

    Let me also add that Ren and Stimpy and Friendship Is Magic share an overabundance of similarities.

    First off, the expressiveness of the Main 6, all of the great macro images and funny reactions you see all over the internet, especially owing to episodes like Party of One and Lesson Zero… you would never see that if R&S hadn’t pioneered it. But even more subtle than that are the character’s faces when they register any kind of expressive emotion that doesn’t fall into the generic categories.

    If anything ever contributed to everything that makes Friendship is Magic a huge success today, and those reasons why, between the stock, generic, assembly line production of Generation 1 ponies to the expressive, cartoony, character driven, creatively helmed storyboard/artist driven hard work and unique expressive personalities from the layout stage, it was soley Ren and Stimpy and it’s innovations of every part of the made-for-television process that everything from Spongebob, to My Little Pony owes EVERYTHING to, it’s Ren and Stimpy.

    It really upsets me to know that there are a lot of pony fans today this ignorant to not understand, respect, and admire why the cartoons they enjoy today are as good as they are, and where they got almost ALL of that from. Ren and Stimpy was THE groundbreaking show in the 90′s that brought all of that innovation, and it’s where all of it springboards from.

    Animaniacs, while at times decent, and I admit was a good show, relied too heavily on dialouge and script-written words on paper from writers, not artists, rather than expressiveness or artistry, and doesn’t deserve nearly as much of the praise for everything that makes cartoons today what they are.

    Friendship is Magic is done with Storyboards. For modern television, Ren and Stimpy pioneered this. Friendship is Magic has expressive, believable characters that can be drawn to either extreme from wacky exaggeration to subtle cartoon acting cues. Ren and Stimpy pioneered this. Friendship is Magic relies on a greatly talented, crew of super talented artists and people with a definitive creative vision to get across, who turns out quality because of the team involved. Ren and Stimpy pioneered this.

    Literally everything that makes MLP work with their fans today, is because Ren and Stimpy set that tone and PUT creativity back into cartoons, and revived creator-driven animation to the potential you enjoy now. Don’t ever forget that.

  5. Pingback: The Screw Box #2 « The Daily Oat

  6. avatar The Mississippi Slipparound

    Actually, I’d like to point out that the “expressiveness” popularized by Ren & Stimpy didn’t originate with it (don’t get me wrong, R&S is one of my all time favorite cartoons that I still watch today). That would have been Bob Clampett, who John K states is his all time favorite cartoonist and greatest influence. John even does commentary for several Clampett cartoons on some of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVDs, and his reverence for the man is quite apparent. So while John/R&S may have re-popularized the whole “expressiveness” thing, Clampett originated it.

    Check out The Great Piggy Bank Robbery sometime. That short is rife with influences for R&S.

    And as for the booing, watch this clip and replace Stimpy and Sven with the audience. They deserve no less.

  7. avatar Zeeth_Kyrah

    Well, congratulations. You two are basically in the top tier of all brony fandom, in terms of contact with The Makers of the show. While I’m sure that boosts your egos quite a bit, you’re not showing any signs of overly swelled heads to this disconnected listener.

    As for the huge rant over Ren and Stimpy, above, I actually know people involved in the creation of that show. I respect them. And I don’t watch R&S anymore; the grossification of things went too far, and even when it was regularly on TV, I avoided it as much as I could because of that.

    But the animators, and the animation itself? Worth paying attention to.

  8. avatar Swagga

    The Master of Ponies speaks!

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