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My first animated series "Action! It figures" from 2003. Part 1 of 3

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/mBCL0RajwXg

I'm continuing to look at the old cartoons that I did. Right now I'm gonna look at the very first short series run that I did of a cartoon about my son Dexter called "Action! It figures".

How the cartoon got started

This series was back in like 2003 I think. My son Dexter and I had been watching old Huckleberry Hound cartoons by Hanna Barbera that I had on DVD because I love those things! So this flash cartoon series is supposed to be in that style. 

Edited the audio and storyboards

I went online and I found a library from a site called Sounddogs and downloaded the free low-quality versions of cartoon-type background music. So the audio on this has kind of a hiss to it because I downloaded really low-quality audio for the music, which is too bad because by this time I had figured out how to record the voices properly for my cartoons. 

This cartoon was going to be a three-part series and each episode was a little over a minute long. 

To lay it out I was using video editing software Vegas at that time. I added the voice recordings to the editor and then imported the storyboard drawings I made. The process was to match the storyboard sections with the voices or scene changes in the editor. So this cartoon was my first foray into scenic layouts! I was really excited about that.

Main character backstory

In the cartoon, Dexter's character is a karate fighting super scientist cuz... I don't know? We begin by meeting him in his secret lab. Also, I was still hand-drawing all of these cartoons, so I inked them and scanned them into Flash to make these.

image of cartoon boy with a mask
Screenshot of Dexter from the cartoon

In the beginning, Dexter's drinking strawberry milk, and that was because at this time he loved this strawberry milk that we used to get. They came in little individual plastic bottles so I worked that into the story because it was one of his things.

Funny thing while recording the voices

Here's a funny thing, as I'm recording dexter's parts in this he kept throwing in his own little style to the voice, which is fine! But there are things he would do. 

In one part of the story he was supposed to say "the secret lab of justice" and he called it a "lair of justice" and said it in this triumphant type voice.

gif of cartoon boy
Dexter animated gif "Secret lair of justice"

The other part that kills me still to this day is when he's giving the backstory on the evil action figure character and he goes "snuck out of the housssssssse" Ha!

He says it with this long trailing "S' sound 

Since he kept doing that I worked a part into the cartoon where I had him say the phrase "gianter body" and then I corrected him saying "that's not a word" to be funny. 

Then of course that's me doing the voice of the action figure in the cartoon doing my superhero voice.

Background artwork

In the last cartoon I made that I talked about, I had someone else draw the backgrounds and they were very detailed. This one I spent so much time on a lot of the other aspects, watching it now some of the backgrounds are kind of like, pretty simple.

image drawing of evil lair on a mountain
Background 1

image drawing of house siding
Background 2

image drawing of suburban street
Background 3

Whatever they're fine.

Action Figure's logo design was inspired by John Ritter

I'd like to point out on the action figure character it says "AF" on his chest and it stands for Action Figure because it's just a blank action figure.

image drawing of cartoon man
Action Figure from the cartoon

But the style I drew it is a throwback to an old movie that only I and a select few people remember. 

The movie starred John Ritter from Three's Company and he plays a superhero. The movie is called "Hero at Large". 

I drew the logo very similar to what his was like on the costume. I remember that as a kid I thought that was the coolest movie and I used to draw the logo all the time.

John Ritter in the 80s movie "Hero at Large"

It was an "A" that was drawn out of a lightning bolt. 

So that's it for this episode from this cartoon! I got two more in this three-part series from around 2003. Next time I'm gonna do part two of the storyline and talk about the background of that!

Here is a Pinterest image for this post you can save for yourself!

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