Tartakovsky on the boxing of his 2D Clone Wars

As many readers may know or have noticed, I’m not big on The Clone Wars. It’s nothing personal, really: Just another facet of my apathy to the prequel era.

But one thing I do have surprisingly strong opinions on? The original Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars shorts. They aired on Cartoon Network (and online, via Hyperspace) in 2003-2005 between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and they were amazing. Little bite-sized bits of gorgeous, mostly dialogue-free animation that played up all the strengths of Star Wars… And it’s a damn, damn shame that they’ve been so buried, as Tartakovsky discuses in this HuffPo interview.

What would The Clone Wars be with his hand at the wheel? Did Lucas decide his take was too arty, too inaccessible? Was it less likely to sell toys? Did he want too much independence in storytelling? (Probably safe to say that the fanboy nitpicking was not a factor.) I’d have loved to seen a full-length series from him and his team, but I guess it’s just another one for the might-have-been file.

11 Replies to “Tartakovsky on the boxing of his 2D Clone Wars

  1. The current clone wars television show utterly sucks compared to the tartakovsky version. It was amazing and lovable. Lucas showed a serious error in judgement by disowning these.

  2. I loved, loved, loved Tartakovsky’s CW shorts when they aired, but have found (for me, anyway) they don’t hold up well on repeat viewings. There’s just not enough story in them (and probably can’t be, given how short they are) to demand multiple viewings.

    I think I’m just grumpy because the HuffPo writer seems to be trying to sell the idea of a rivalry between the two Clone Wars series. They’re really *very* different types of productions, and it’s kind of like comparing apples to oranges. Can’t we all just agree they’re both entertaining in their own ways?

  3. Also, why *wouldn’t* LFL ignore Tartakovsky’s CW while they’re trying to sell the newer version? It doesn’t mean Tartakovsky’s show has been “disowned”–it’s just not at the top of LFL’s list of priorities right now. (Again, that HuffPo writer’s just making me grumpy by going for the cheap narrative of a conflict between the two shows. Star Wars history gets rewritten all the time–nothing new here.)

  4. I don’t think the 2D series works at longer than 3 minutes. The DVDs kind of prove that. You just get fatigued after a few chapters without any sort of narrative to hang it all together. They’re fantastic as interstitials, though.

  5. I loved them when they aired, but they have nothing on the The Clone Wars. That show is one step away from the films and that step isn’t even that big. The Genndy cartoons were something else. They’re good but very shallow.

  6. A tangent here – FWIW. I just returned from TIFF where a friend was Genndy Tartakovsky’s driver. He brought his entire family, including younglings – all were very good people. He was there for Hotel Transylvania.

  7. The most interesting part of the interview: Tartakovsky pretty much stating that he was their first choice for the Filoni job. I wonder what went wrong in the end. “It fell apart.” Well, that can mean a lot… But his take on The Clone Wars would undoubtedly have been quite interesting. Especially since he never got the time he would have needed to tell a full-grown story. Makes one wonder what The Clone Wars could have become… Yeah, I’m not too much of a fan of the Filoni version. It’s not bad, but it’s all kinda meh… ;-)

  8. The Tartakovsky version is sooooo much better than the CGI version. It’s not even a contest.

    But… They are meant to be watched as little bites, a long series of them probably wouldn’t work. Though having said that the second series was less episodes that were much longer and they still worked. They had good potential to show lots of different bits of action from all over the Republic in a single episode.

    And come on, the Grievous episode was brilliant.

  9. I still love the Tartakovsky CW cartoons, both the first series of shorts and the second series of longer length stories. I’m guessing a Tartakovsky-led CW series would have looked a lot like the second set and I would have been completely fine with that. I loved the animation style and the storytelling methods that relied as much on silence and sounds as they did on dialog.

    I wish the DVD of the first series had kept some of the separation between the shorts that you had when watching them individually. Like, run the whole Mace set together, but then put in a spacer of some kind – the “Clone Wars” title card? – to separate them from the next set. Running them all together end to end to end removes…something. Some of the essence of the bite-size stories.

  10. Nancy, your spot on with the DVD. Though I am now inspired to watch them all again. After I finnish going through the Blu-Ray movie collection of course ;)

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