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Jake Ganz @jakeganz

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thoughts on smash collab

Posted by jakeganz - December 26th, 2018


if you haven't watched the smash bros collab, you definitely should, cuz this writeup won't really make sense if you don't: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/723282

between this collab and the DBZ collab before it, @IvanAlmighty and @PhantomArcade have managed to pull off some really impressive feats as collab organizers. it goes without saying that successfully bringing people together to make 30+ minutes (let alone 45 minutes) of animation is nothing to scoff at, but what's even more worthy of praise is how many of those minutes i spent being genuinely entertained. this, to me, is actually really refreshing.

quick trip to 10 years in the past, for a little perspective: back in my day (xd), there was this big debate on NG between people who made video game parodies and people who didn't, to the point where people actually made an audio documentary about it. this probably sounds pretty dumb hearing about it now, especially since nowadays we only attack each other on the internet for crucially important things like not all having the exact same political opinions (xd), but at the time it was a pretty prominent discussion that we all kinda played into, even people like me who just kinda hung out and didn't really animate. 

the simple answer that people concluded on was that you're an asshole if you tell people what they should and shouldn't make, and so people kept making what they wanted. despite this, there were valid points to be made about the quality and effort put into those parodies, as many of them actually weren't really good, especially when you look back at them now and see how they've aged. many people made cartoons solely with the aim to be popular, which in many cases did have an affect on the perceived comedic and artistic value of their work. as people goldrushed over to youtube, content suffered further in the pursuit of stronger profit and more views until it died out almost entirely when the algorithm ceased to be profitable.

what i'm getting at: to watch this collab and see so much animation in one sitting, all done for fun as opposed to profit by web-generation animators, is inspiring by itself — but on the other hand, if this was more of the same milquetoast memebait many of us grew up with, this collab wouldn't be nearly as an enjoyable as it is. instead, what the smash collab offers is a sizable amount of visual comedy, which i strongly feel generally holds up a lot better than humor more based on references and staying current. some parts didn't have strong visual comedy, but where there would've been cringy references and attempts at making things viral and quotable 10 years ago, there's now at least harmless / cute / clever references to the game that at least accomplish the job of not making me angry. for this group to pull that off in 2018 where everyone laughs at absolute nonsense and schadenfreude-bait cringe content, well... shit, it brings a tear to me eyes!

granted not every part was amazing, but the amount of overall quality compared to the collabs we used to have is staggering. visuals were tight — even the less visually impressive parts still typically had interesting aesthetic choices, either pretty BGs, colors, good compositing, or a unique drawing style that if nothing else usually stood on its own and fit the rest of the presentation. it was all clean, really no sloppiness to be found, and use of animation was also really smart, plenty of good use of limited animation across the board. more than topping the newgrounds collabs of yesteryear, what amazes me is the fact that the smash collab brings me right back to the state of mind i was in when i watched the old stuff for the first time: feelings of excitement, community, and a funny sense of regret that i didn't try and participate myself.

tl;dr: ivan is the fucking man, and i think his team's collabs have taken both NG content and online animator collaboration overall in the right direction. whether this is his second collab in a series of many more to come or his last go, i'm really glad this got made and hope to see the flash animators of tomorrow pick up this kind of torch as opposed to the one we left behind when so many of us all let our inner children die and stopped making things just for the fun of it. 

 

favorite parts visually: twistedgrim, bocodamondo, natededeur, spazkid, bassetfilms, andobiki, dreaminerryday, ryanmoberly, nevarky, gr8tree

parts i laughed at the hardest: oddboy, dreaminerryday, srpelo, fantishow, twistedgrim

parts that made me happy tbh: johnnyutah, shigloo, phantomarcade, seanatar, bocodamondo, 3drod, piggybank

 

hope y'all had a merry christmas, also add me on switch if you wanna play smash because i fookin love this game: SW-5063-9204-8627

 


9

Comments (8)

Nicely put, dude.

Reminding me of that audio documentry on video game parodies was a burst of NG nostalgia. What serious business it was back in the day!

I appreciate the kind words dude, glad people feel this way after the killer hours that went into it.

That was sweet jake, thankyou for the kind words!

Can't but agree. :) Was going to say people still make cartoons solely with the aim to be popular, and this is still a shame, but the quality really has increased sooo much since those old days all over! For whatever purpose it may be. Maybe we're just not seeing the full spectrum with all that moved to YT. though. Possibly a lot of animated crap going under the radar there too.

I feel that's both good and bad though, as it's also harder for just any normal dude to dive into animation and make fun stuff without also making it visually appealing on a professional level. But as tools and hardware keep improving so does access to all the stuff you really need to raise your level of animation. Like: tablets. But even then, it suddenly feels like a commitment to start animating, where back in the day anyone would just pick up Flash and throw in a few motion tweens or draw some lines and do whatever they wanted to. Learning by trial and error.

I miss that part of those days, but looking at this collab... I am happy to be alive now too! :D Maybe we're getting into another golden age now. Creativity without bounds. Much agreed. I was surprised how easy it was to let 45 minutes just pass by too.

this was a good write up, except for the part where you leave your switch code or whatever, very unclassy.

I'm pretty impressed by this collab and the ideas of the future as well. I think its been an interesting period of time the last 10ish years. For as much as youtube STOLE from newgrounds, it is good (they probably saw no value in it anyways) that they never captured the collaborative spirit of the animation scene. Love or hate smash / dragonball z / transformers / etc, you cant help but love the spirit of people getting together for the hell of it and flexing their muscles, not for sponsors or subscribez or like buttons, but just for a genuine shared common interest.

I think Ivan and those other guys are doing great things to evolve the collaborative scene, and i think alot of great things are still to come as you said.

The fact NG still gathers people together for collabs to this day is just amazing. I want to start my own collab soon, whenever that might be.

I think you summed up what everyone was feeling pretty well~ The whole collab was super charming to watch for sure