Tag Archives: G.I. Joe cartoon

Behind the scenes of G.I. Joe – PSA #10 Storyboard

G.I. Joe PSA

Endorsed by the National Child Safety Council, a non-profit founded in 1955, the now infamous G.I. Joe public service announcements (PSAs) were created to elevate the series’ profile as an agent for pro-social values and to ward off criticism from parents’ groups that the G.I. Joe cartoon was a) violent and b) a half-hour toy commercial.  35 PSAs were created in all, with topics ranging from not giving in to peer pressure, to nutrition, and to owning up to one’s own mistakes.  The format was likely borrowed from Filmation’s 1983 series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  In that show, at episode’s end a marquee character would directly address the audience and refer to an incident from the proceeding episode.  The Joe ones were different, working both in “regular” continuity wherein the Joes spoke to kids in-scene, and not the television audience, but also a kind of parallel universe where the Joes were always near suburban danger and utterly lacking in top secret status.

For Footloose’s rapid-fire instructions, PSA #10 is one of my favorites — there’s no way I’d remember what to do in my own soccer crisis unless I had a transcript handy.  Also, this is perhaps one of three incidents in all of G.I. Joe animation 1983 to 2000 where the animators showed blood.  I appreciate the added dash of seriousness.

Here’s the storyboard for PSA #10.  I should know who drew this, but don’t.  I’ll check my sources and update this post when I can.

G.I. Joe PSA #10 storyboard pg 1

G.I. Joe PSA #10 storyboard pg 2 of 3

G.I. Joe PSA #10 storyboard pg 3 of 3

For those unfamiliar with storyboard formatting, here are a few items of note:

-The second panel — the stretched out one — represents a camera move.

-The numbers under the panels represent length of footage in feet and frames.  Old school film editing (and animating) was measured not in seconds/frames, but in feet/frames, with a foot being the physical length of 16 frames of film, and a frame lasting 1/24th of a second.  So where it says “SLUGGED BOARD” at the top left of page one, the board artist has timed out to the audio track each shot’s duration, or is providing a time table for the animators to show how long each shot should last.

As a special thank you, I’d like to acknowlege YouTube user PSAGIJoe, who has uploaded the original, non-satirized PSAs.  You can find them here.

1 Comment

Filed under Animation, G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes of G.I. Joe – Heath Snake-Eyes

Today’s art peak brings you several photocopies of Russ Heath’s model sheets for the 1985 season of the animated G.I. Joe.  While the Snake-Eyes action figure was iconically all black, the TV series had previously shown him in dark blue.  (All black doesn’t “read” well in animation.)  For 1985, SE went dark grey, which to my eye reads better than the dark blue and works better as a stand-in for black since dark blue is already associated with Cobra.  Russ Heath’s front view:

Clearly based, as many of his drawings were, on Hasbro’s internal presentation artwork:

This one, a black and white photocopy, doesn’t have a signature, and I’ll admit I don’t know who painted it.  To my eye it’s not Ron Rudat — the proportions and clothing folds don’t match with work that I know is Rudat.  The anatomy is tight, which says George Woodbridge, but his Joe work was colored and black ink, not rendered paintings.  Maybe one of you eagle eyed Joe collectors can correct me in the comments.  There is a slightly better reproduction of this image, still a black and white photocopy of a color photocopy, though, in Vincent Santelmo’s Official 30th Anniversary Salute to G.I. Joe.

Two more views by Heath:

And SE’s undercover disguise, drawn by Bruce Timm, from the beginning of “Battle for the Train of Gold.”  To give you a sense of the timeline, this was drawn in August 1984, and the episode aired 14  months later.

And what appears to be an unused alternate from same.

I’m not sure where in the storyline of “Train” there would have been an opportunity for SE to wear this, but there is a horse farm in act 3, so who knows?

3 Comments

Filed under Animation, G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes