What Is “Lost Cels”?

Here’s a heads-up.

What is “Lost Cels”?

Lost Cels is a pun based around a combination of “cel”, a transparent sheet which you can draw things on and was one of the primary tools of Traditional Animation once upon a time, and “Lost Souls”, the debut album from criminally underrated UK Indie band Doves whose work I just ad-

No, I mean, what IS “Lost Cels”?

Oh.  OK, fair enough.

Lost Cels will be a bi-weekly series where I will examine in-depth an animated film or TV series that doesn’t get that much attention for whatever reason.  Maybe it was a bomb at the time of its airing, maybe critics hated it, maybe it was a rather big success at the time but has become forgotten as time has passed on…  If it fulfils one or more of those criteria, and/or it interests me enough, then it is eligible for this series.

Why?

Good question.  Folks who have followed me for a while will know that I love me some animation.  I love the medium to death.  However, I find that the critical and analytical conversation of animation in most circles is limited purely to the works and history of Walt Disney Animation Studios, with the recent addition of Pixar, or the Golden Age of Animation for those who go down more academic circles.  I find this rather infuriating, as it puts a premium on The Big Guy(s) as the only ones worth talking about, which is patently untrue.  Pretty much everything in animation is worthy of conversation, of deep analytical insight, and those who claim to want to have this medium taken seriously but who only focus their critical gaze at Disney end up creating select conversations and devaluing other works.

Such a thing was one of the reasons why I embarked on The DreamWorks Animation Retrospective.  For one of the absolute biggest names in Western Animation today to be shut out of this kind of conversation, with really only Doug Walker’s “DreamWorks-uary” series representing some kind of actual analysis of the studio’s output, felt wrong to me and I felt I had to rectify that, along with educating myself on DreamWorks’ history in general.  It’s much the same here, only expanding that scope out to all of animation and not being hemmed in by having to create and adhere to some kind of throughline for every entry.

DelgoSo, when are you doing Clerks: The Animated Series?

I’m not.  Nor will I be doing Clone High, or Treasure Planet, or The Road to El Dorado, or anything like those.  This series is for genuinely unremarked upon works of animation, not films or shows that have significant cult followings.  I’ll be bending the rules a few times – our first entry supposedly is gaining a cult following – mainly whenever it suits me, but I will mostly be trying to avoid the obvious big names because then that expands my knowledge and yours too.  I mean, I do have entries planned for Don Bluth and Disney at some point, but those are ones that fit the criteria.  If they bombed at the time, or were ravaged by critics, or have faded from most everyone’s memory in the years after they were a success, they’re up for consideration.

Does that mean that you’ve got this series planned out already, then?

Yes and no.  The beauty of this series is that there’s no real end-goal, per se.  I could do this every other week until I hit 50 and still have potential candidates for it.  That said, I do have the first 10 or so entries already in mind, and will probably fill up a mental backlog as the series goes on.  I am, however, also always open to fan suggestions that I can slot in at any time if enough people ask for it or it grabs my attention.

Can you do Clerks: The Ani

No.  Although I guess I will if enough people go on about it.  But then it’s only out of obligation.

Wait, bi-weekly?  Why?

Try staying up every Sunday night until 3am for about 35 weeks writing 3,600 word articles on the minutia of DreamWorks Animation whilst still trying to juggle life commitments, other writing commitments, and university work and see how that treats you.  I kid, really, I think I handled it all quite well.  No, but I am about to enter my third and final year of University, which is already shaping up to provide a lot on my plate, and there is no way in hell I see myself finding the time to do these articles properly with that other workload.

Hence, bHisteria!i-weekly.  This way I can build up a nice backlog if things get too hectic, it gives me more time to handle everything that comes my way without forcing frequent breaks on y’all, and it gives me extra time to make these pieces the best they can be for you beautiful folks.  Also, I’ll be doing TV series in this feature, too, and I guarantee you that 7 days would not be enough for me to do them proper justice.

Anything else?

Nope, that’s about it.  First entry will appear next Wednesday, then new ones will appear bi-weekly on Wednesdays.

Can you tell me what it is?

Nope.  That’s a surprise.

You’re a goddamn cocktease.

But you love me anyway.  I hope.

Callum Petch just wants to see you dancing.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

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