There’s no shortage of news this week surrounding Fox and their animated programs both present and future, but I haven’t found anything on this so I figured I’d take a stab at highlighting an interesting coincidence with the animated intro for their new show Raising Hope. Exhibit A In 2005 animator Run Wrake with funding from animate! creates a brilliant and delightfully bizarre animation called Rabbit utilizing a unique style blending typography and cut-out characters reminiscent of Scott Foresmans 1950s era Dick and Jane books. For two years Rabbit wins numerous awards from film festivals around the world. Exhibit B In September 2010 Fox airs Raising Hope a new comedy starring Martha Plimpton with an intro by LA-based Shine Studio (sorry can’t embed). Topically these two pieces that are very different. One uses seven animated vignettes over 60 seconds to give quick backstory of the shows main characters, and doubles as opening credits. The other is an 8-minute short film about two evil children who discover a jam-eating monster trapped in the abdomen of a rabbit that has the power to turn bugs into diamonds. The childrens insatiable greed leads to their tragic demise when they’re eaten alive by insects. So there’s that. But stylistically there are some things that are uncannily similar. Both use typography to label objects. Both use the same hinged arm animation style to make the characters move. In one scene both even utilize a labeled “house” and “van”.
I personally don’t feel too strongly whether this is a simple coincidence, an acceptable homage or blatant copying. There are probably more differences than similarities, but it does make me go hmmm. The moment I saw it on TV I wondered if Run was involved with the project. I haven’t heard back from him via email but would be curious to know his take.