Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Stuffed Yam

Wazzzzuuuuup? The Yam Roll plush doll was actually created quite a while ago but I'm just now getting around to posting pics of it. Here is Mr. Izen cuddling with his new best friend. I'll let you know when these become available to the public. Unfortunately, Emslie bought the entire first batch leaving none available for the children :( . WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!
Oh and we'd just like to give a quick thanks to Aaron and Cold Hard Flash for all of the shout outs. Here it is: "Thanks, Aaron at Cold Hard Flash for all of the shout outs."


Anonymous Pete Emslie said...

Hey, it was an honest mistake - I thought I was stocking up on urinal disinfectant discs...

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Pete Emslie said...

By the way, if you think I'm angry by my mistake, imagine how "pissed off" the Yammy dolls are...

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa that is a HOT! shirt!!! Where can I get one? I love Yam Roll

8:48 PM  
Anonymous U. Stu Pidmoron said...

Hey Pete

You should walk into Michael Collins' office and tell him what you think about Yam Roll, then check out the art on his wall :)
Oh, and copying boring crap isn't art or craft...it's mindless. You need the basics to start off but then it's called evolution. Cut and paste Preston Blair, then go to sleep robot. You might want to question your existence on earth.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous ol'pal from bombay said...

Anybody who enjoyes the classic drawing of a "LIGER" by Napoleon in Napoleon Dynamite , or films of Don Hertzfeldt ,or Beavis n Butthead by Mike Judge , wont have hard time understanding YAM ROLL , all these things have conceptual strength , n shouldnt be insulted by judging per to the conventional standerds.
Its like judgeing cubism by the means of renaissance!

Kudos jon !

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Pete Emslie said...

Truth be told, I'm just jealous because my work is such cloying, repellent trash. I ain't kidding!

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Gerard de Souza said...

I came across your blog.
Not to be presumptuous that I could take a job even if there was one, but here is a test I took for Yam Roll.
You were going to set up in Vancouver at the time.
What did you think of it?
[URL=http://www3.telus.net/drard/gdstest.swf]my animation test [/URL]

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Gerard de Souza said...

try my website link.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I thought that the attack sent to Cartoon Brew was in very poor taste. I also think Amid's response was also in poor taste. How can you judge a show without watching it?

Yam Roll is no worse than Spongebob IMO. It's appealing design, done simply. Is it a great show? Not really. Is it a terrible show? No. If it got more distribution, and a higher budget the show could easily mature into a much better product. It nails its target age group and provides an entertaining 30 minutes of comedy. There is a certain undeniable charm to YR. Though I'm not a huge fan, I have stopped on the show while flipping and was genuinely impressed by the production values and overall style of the show.

Canadian artists have to stop trying to tear each other down. You want to sabotage Yam Roll making it to the U.S.? Why? I'm beseiged by tons of their "derivative marketing ploys disguised as television shows" and no Canadian complains about that?

As a Canadian animation student, I think attacking YR is unfair. I think attacking "Chilly Beach" would be a much better use of your energy.


7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I've never seen your show but I dropped by as a result of seeing the Pete Emslie appeal on Cartoon Brew for people to write to you and insult your work.

Don't worry I'm not doing that ( I came with an open mind ) but I would like to say how dissapointed I am that Cartoon Brew, a site I usually admire, has allowed itself to be used to promote a pointless flamey feud.

I love Preston Blair ( there's a Red Hot Riding Hood pencil test hanging above my desk )and clearly so does Pete Emslie. But I also appreciate any drawing style no matter how naive or simplistic it may appear if it has honest appeal and does it's job on the screen.

If something works it works and nothing 'classic' should feel threatened by it - as the degree of Pete's feelings against you seem to indicate.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Amid said...

I'm Amid...the other half of Cartoon Brew. I just want to say that I think Emslie is way out of line with his comments on our site. You don't like the show, Pete?...Fine. Don't watch it. But don't take it on the artists who are putting hard work into creating the show. If you don't like the quality of animation on your telly, blame the execs who consistently commission craft-less, art-less, poorly conceived animated shows. You're not accomplishing anything by starting a flame war on another artist's blog.

8:03 PM  
Blogger murrayb said...

Came from the 'brew, I have to say, there is an ugly "hater" trend going down in 2006. The CBC didn't chose yamroll, the public did. The maple shorts contest was open to ANYONE and Mr. Izen won. There seems to be a trend in design now that crude draftsmanship = honesty. An everyman approach if you will. I think people see the Disney look, and the brand is so tarnished now, they distrust it. It's also hard for the artists to do, given the time and budget constraints placed on today's productions. A WB 6 minute short cost $60000 US in 1940 which is like 2 million with inflation. That's close to what a whole TV season costs nowadays. It's just not practical. (Who said art was practical?)
This sort of thing has been going on in art since the beginning of time. Windsor Mckay, an animation pioneer, was a raving curmudgeon to the animators of the 20s and 30s, ranting how they had cheapened HIS art form with all this rubber hose nonsense.
I'm sure Rembrandt would have scoffed at a Picasso eyes on one side of the face painting, but ol' Pablo could paint a realistic blue clown like nobody's business. Trends come and go, I just hope the baby doesn't get thrown out with the bathwater, and craft dies off. It takes a lifetime to come even close to "nine old men good" so some people have to take up that mantel as well. I find yamroll very amusing and creative. Are the designs my cup of tea? Not really, but I find them braver, funnier and more original than my own. I'm pretty stubborn on what I like (I love Mr. Emslie's drawings for one) but certainly, I can't force other people to follow suit. Ultimately the public will give there yay or nay with the ratings.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jerry Beck is a retard and so is Pete Emslie!!!! Those dudes trash talking Yam Roll on cartoonbrew, CRAZYNESS!!!!! Yam roll is by far the funniest show made in canada!!!! Its funny and for once a TV show that doesnt have retarded writers. FUCK THE BREW!!!!

PS ; Im a big fan of cartoonbrew but man they are so wrong this time. Yam is an amazing show

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My apologies to Amid Amidi, I hadn't realized there were two contributors to CartoonBrew.

This should never have been picked up by a reputable animatin site like Cartoon Brew in the first place. Even when I want the site to rip into things like Loonatics, they always make their point tactfully. I can appreciate that. Respect is respect.

YamRoll deserves its audience. It is original and genuinely funny, which is more than can be said for most of the animated fare produced in this great country (Teletoon, I'm looking in your direction...)

I wish the creators nothing but success and I find myself more than a bit surprised to find that it's generated so much venom from a fellow Canadian artist.

Can't please everyone I guess...


11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is really sad was the line on Cartoon Brew about working to keep Yam Roll off US airwaves.

Um, guys, how about letting *ME* have a look at it, and letting the market decide, or have you elite all lost patience with us poor unwashed masses. Or is it "we" unwashed masses? Oh deary me, this troglodyte dun't know.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Barx said...

I just wanted to thank Mr. Jon Izen and his team who battled the tight budgets, insane deadlines of TV series work and put their blood, sweat and tears in an effort to try and contribute something fresh and original.
Maybe in some peoples eyes it wasn't a success-fair enough-to each his/her own.
Okay, the designs might be a bit crude and unconventional and certainly won't be for everyone's taste, but thank christ someone is willing to try and make something different.
I love the classics as much as the next dude, but it sure is nice to see some experimentation.
As Jennifer Lerew so eloquently put it on her 'Blackwing Diaries' Blog:
'I've always believed a good show could be achieved with tongue depressors--those flat wooden sticks--as characters, with the right story and execution.'

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also came here from Cartoon Brew and can't judge the show because I haven't seen it.

But from the pics online, Yam Roll is clearly just another shameless Don Hertzfeldt rip-off job. Only without the soul or purpose.

Why can't people make minimalist cartoons anymore without galloping straight off with Hertzfeldt's work? Do "indie" animators not have any original ideas of their own, post-Hertzfeldt?

Maybe this Yam show is good, maybe it sucks; but it's definitely not anything original. You guys are hacks.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Matt Wilson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Matt Wilson said...

There's nothing Hertzfeldt-esque about the design at all. You're stupid as hell. If anything, it's closer to the style of Exploding Dog. But not really.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I came here off of Brew too, first I actually thought it must be some sort of reverse psychology trick to make me go look at Yam Roll. Which I now have... So it would have worked, but I couldn't believe how juvenile Cartoon Brew could be.

I think this kind of industry elitism is sad and pathetic. I think the fact that there is variety for the public to choose from is a plus not a minus. And of all the shows you could be bashing, a million bad designed mindlessly produced animations, this one isn't so bad. Sure it's kinda Hertzfeldtish, but all the other stuff out there is kinda disneyish, Barabaraish, or something else-ish. Designs purpose is to use a visual language to aid an idea. Which seems to be the use here, so I can hardly call it bad design.

Shame on you hate mongers, you should be ashamed. You can dislike it, but if you wanna bash stuff then at least make yourself a site that is called Cartoon Bashers and not Brew. I'd like my Brew without hate please!

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here goes another person who came from Cartoon Brew and doesn't understand why they posted that. I never heard of Yam Roll before but from the web site I think the design is kind of cute. It reminds me more of Tamagotchi and other cute Japanese packaging than of Herzfeld.

I love Cartoon Brew and all the great work Jerry Beck has done for animation, but I think he's a little closed minded about different design styles. Personally, I think it's possible to enjoy everything from the ridiculous detail of Richard Williams to something simple and crude like this. I find it WAY more appealing design than many popular American shows such as Family Guy, Aqua Teen and that show on Nickelodeon about kids who are spies. And not to be personal but I am more interested in watching "Yam Roll" than that "Hornswiggle" thing Jerry has been hyping up forever.

So anyway, don't take it harshly, you guys are fine, and yams are delicious.

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Yoursh Ow'san Eyesore said...

Came here from the 'brew, watched the clip, perused the designs. Don't give half a hoot about anybody's politics, the nitty gritty is that this show looks 100% rubbish. I would further say that if this is "the people's choice", then the barbarians are well beyond the gates. Also that the craft of animation, and perhaps design along with it, is dead as a doornail. Spongebob looked divinely inspired compared with this twaddle. What a world, what a world.

2:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came here from Cartoon Brew, too.

I think Yam Roll is cute.

Amid and Jerry hate everything. They're like the Simon Cowell's of animation. :)

3:32 AM  
Blogger ZSL said...

I cant beleive Jerry would waste a whole post to allow such a silly feud become so well known.

I saw the pilot to this show when it first got online thanks to a link on coldhardflash and I thought it was quite cute and silly and fun to watch. The art style is wiggly and crude, but good lord, thats how its supposed to look!

Whats happened to the internet that has caused people to senslessly attack each other like this?

People need to realize that not everyone draws or animates the same. Thats what makes animation an ART.

4:43 AM  
Anonymous C. Augusto Vald├ęs said...

Came here though Cartoon Brew too and will have to agree with Emslie, If a young animator wants to do yamroll he/she won't have to aim very high and somehow will not feel compelled to improve. It is things like this that make younger generations disdain dynamic composition and anatomy as important animator skills and instead rely on walking doodles to tell unintelligent stories.
Keep up the lackluster job.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do the anti-posters have to be so nasty and personal? I might agree with some of their points but the curse of this method of communication is people can hide in the dark throwing out the kind of abusive language they'd never dare use face to face.

On a more positive note, well done Amid for being your own man and posting what you did. Pete Emslie is someone many people will have heard of now. I wonder if that's why he did it, rather than try to make a interesting piece of animation?

7:10 AM  
Blogger Jason C said...

Regardless of the design style, I've seen a few clips of Yam-Roll and have to say that they did have some laughs.. Some weird what the hell kinda laughs. But laughs none-the-less. That's more than I can say for alot of things being aired nowadays.. Both animation and live action..

I also find it strange that alot of people are posting their strong comments anonymously.. If you really beleive something. whether it's pro or con... stand behind it.. and attach your name to it. Cheers to all who did just that.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous mr.i said...

Hey Folks...my friend sent me the link that Pete posted on Cartoon Brew.

I'm not sure why Pete is so mad. I responded to his first post pretty honestly saying we appreciate all comments, even if you don't "understand" the design of the show. After that...lots of folks have jumped in(some are a bit harsh!!), and Pete kept coming back to the site.
I am an artist that is working hard and trying to have fun with a medium that can be used in any number of ways. The range of animation style from independent, to commercial saturday morning is huge. I don't think I should try and limit myself to one ideal. I have been taught the basics, and now take from them what I want. I am simply trying to have fun with the opportunity i have...and it's a great opportunity...and I am having a ton of fun!!!
I cannot compare myself to any innovators, but is Maclaren a hack because his work is not based on classic cartoon styles? Is it not simply a style of animation?
I guess Pete did not like how people responded to his posting (which we left up out of respect) so he decided to start the anti-Yam Roll campaign. There is nothing I can do about that, but as an artist, I think a personal conversation about art and style would have been a proffessional thing to do.
Anyway...keep on drawing folks
signed - MR. I, the co-creator of YAM ROLL

8:08 AM  
Blogger R said...

Another Brew-head here, I'm afraid.

I couldn't believe Beck was abusing his position like that, but it DID make me look at the site, and I like what I see! The short was funny and kinda cute, it's certainly not a 'Coconut Fred' style Spongebob rip-off. If a channel would pick this up in the UK, I'd watch it no problem.


8:29 AM  
Blogger mike g said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Matthew Luxich said...

Ok i haven't even started my blog yet but the article on cartoonbrew made me angry(that someone would slam someone else's design) and interested to see whats this is all about that i had to comment.

I gotta say what i saw on your website and the stuff on here i like it. It might not be the most intense animation but the gags are fun and it is a different style then what i am used to seeing(another cartoon produced in flash?)... Good for you and the sucess you are seeing and i hope you get picked up in US.

Now onto PETE EMSLIE. After viewing your website i can see why this style would aggrivate you. It's not the normal cookie cutter style you are used to producing and used to seeing... Its nice to see new inventive ideas coming out and its quite humorous to see the style that everyone was doing in the 80's-90s is getting limited viewing now. And the artists that were producing it Pissed off and bitter...

Instead of focusing all your negativity on something that doesn't look like everything why don't you focus on honing in on an original style so you one day would have something original and stylized to share.

thats my two cents.


9:36 AM  
Blogger mike g said...

ya, im a little confused by what happened here too. for the record, im a regular brew reader as well and was also the animation director on yamroll.

i think its a little unfair to undermine a project with the argument that " its not conventional animation, therefor it has no value".
as far as im concerned, different isnt wrong...its different.

as for mr.pete, what happened to the simple camaraderie of being in the animation biz together and sharing the same passion. shitting on my, or jon's face wont make a better cartoon or cartoon industry. a ton of talented people worked together to make this show ( yes, talented and like you pete), all with integrity and an appreciation for the art. its hilarious that we cant post something on a blog called "the super fun happy yamroll blog" without having to worry about the production value being critiqued. this blogs purpose is to have fun and to make a few people laugh, which by chance is the same reason for the show and the same reason for making the show. if you dont like it, thats fine and dandy. if you feel threatened enough by it to involve cartoon brew to try to undermine us who made it, then why not create your own show and put it on t.v.?
not that easy?
then please at very least have enough respect for the work we put into something WE believed in to leave it alone and let it speak for itself.

if it crashes and burns...you can say "i told you so".

mike geiger
yamroll animation director

10:03 AM  
Blogger Soviut said...


How old are you exactly? I could have sworn that someone such as yourself wasn't in the 6-11 year old demographic. But hey, if you're going to spend time "disecting yam roll" then who knows, maybe we CAN include in you said demographic, perhaps an even younger one. Its great to see lots of 40 year old douche bags taking the time to shove another stick up their asses before logging on to post their oh-so-clever forum jabs.

Something you need to understand about Yam Roll is that its "STYLELIZED". What that means is its drawn the way it is "ON PURPOSE". I know someone who only draws derivative, generic, Disney-esque characters might have trouble understanding that, but do your best. See, maybe I should harp on you for including a "pretty girls" section on your site, but maybe you were trying to be ironic by calling them "pretty". I guess your "25 years of experience" has gone a long way to stamp out any sense of style, flaire, or unique thought in your work. And I'm sure that "How to Draw Cartoon Wildlife" book really came in handy when you were setting up your website.

Write me back when you've done something other than a diaper commercial.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Yam Roll said...

The name "Happy Kingdom" is becoming more ironic on a momentary basis! Sure is a lot of reading to do today. Look at that hit counter roll, baby!

12:28 PM  
Blogger jocko said...

Like Mr. Emslie, I too spend my days despising you. Not because of your show, which is brilliant, but because I had nothing to do with developing your talent.

Plus you're taller than me.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous mr.i said...

I am not sure if we have ever met, but just so you know, i have stopped wearing high heels, and my discs are already compressing. For the love of all things craftless--Leave the hate at home :)

1:11 PM  
Blogger james_william_walsh said...

"be nice"

1:33 PM  
Blogger Schmiddy said...

Yam Roll is great!!!. Bashing other artists is lame. the show "has been getting a free pass for too long"???? WTF??!?? Building a support network to bash the show??? Think of all the artists that work hard on the show before you go out making a statement like that.

Emslie: If your intention was to piss off a lot of talented artists in the animation community- goal achieved.
If your intention was to come off as a total arrogant jerk - goal achieved.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Brian_Orion said...

I feel Yam Roll really stands out in the TV animation market, it's random and abstract humour have endless possibilities for gags. Stories have been endlessly cliched and microwaved over the years and Yam represents a breath of fresh air.

This talk back presents some intellectual arguments. To dumb the comments section down a shade, I think that

-Disney Dollars are sure fire corporate investments.

-Paul Reiser is, was, and always will be the funniest man alive.

-Global warming is caused by leaving the heat on in geography class.

-A sequel to Waterworld with twice the budget and Ben Affleck playing a gay Jamaican as Costner's sidekick is a can't-miss prospect.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Brian_Orion said...

What a verbal raping. I bet Yam Roll would still be on CBC if he did a walk-on appearance on Coronation Street. Think of the crossover potential.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Yam Roll said...

Well that cooled off quickly! Good to see we're all friends. Let's never fight again!

9:32 AM  

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