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Sunday 26 October 2014

Jason's quirky cartoons win world audience

A HOWL ON THE INTERNET

JOE LEOGUE

Published 09/08/2012 | 08:52

THE man behind a series of hilarious animal cartoons that are taking the internet by storm has been revealed to be a 27year-old student from Kanturk.

The Sminky Shorts series, produced by Kanturk man Jason Sullivan - under the pseudonym Andrew James, has been viewed over 500,000 times since his first cartoon was posted on YouTube just two months ago. A NORTH Cork-based animator is taking the internet by storm with a series of hilarious cartoons featuring foulmouthed animals.

The Sminky Shorts series, produced by Kanturk man and Colaiste Treasa past pupil Jason Sullivan under the pseudonym Andrew James, has been viewed over 500,000 times since his first cartoon was posted on Youtube just two months ago.

The cartoons include a reluctant horse, a fat rabbit searching for a new home, a speed-demon turtle and a pair of rodents mourning for the victim of a mouse trap.

Jason, who had worked as a freelance graphic designer, is now going into his second year of studying multimedia in CIT.

"I'm mostly self-taught," Jason told The Corkman this week, "but doing the course has really spurred me on.

"I have always wanted to do a pilot episode, and have done these cartoons for a bit of practice, but the reaction to them has been great, and people wanted more shorts."

Jason, who provides all the voices for the cartoons himself, says the key to their popularity is the viewer's ability to recognise the situations the animals find themselves in. One of the cartoons features a doting donkey fawning over an ugly foal, for example.

"You would see someone talking about how cute a baby is, and it could be awful. Or with the mice, I wanted the conversation to sound like it came from any Irish funeral. It's about relatable stuff in a different setting," he explained.

However, some of the ideas for some of the shorts - such as the fate that befalls a hunting tiger - just 'come to him'.

Jason says the series have led him to become proficient in the animating software, and the success of the Sminky Shorts has seen that potential pilot episode put on the long finger - for now.

To view the Sminky Shorts visit youtube.com/sminkyanimation.

Sminky, by the way, is a word Jason and his brother made up, and means (something like) 'that's really nice'; as in 'that's sminky'.

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