Dilbert becomes daily animated strip

RingTales has signed an exclusive agreement with United Media to produce and distribute daily animated versions of Scott Adams’ Dilbert. The agreement covers future strip as well as over 7,000 printed versions of the strip. The first animations have been on Dilbert.com and MSN, but starting today, you can see the animates on YouTube and on iTunes podcast.

“By delivering an animated Dilbert five times per week, RingTales and United Media are blazing a new media trail to the future of comics online,” said RingTales President, Michael Fry. He adds, “with the addition of Dilbert to our already popular New Yorker animations, we’re poised to begin to replicate the habit-forming print comic experience in animation, anywhere people can watch or read comics in digital form.”

8 thoughts on “Dilbert becomes daily animated strip

  1. It’s fun to see, but I agree with Shane. Why does there seem to be such a concerted effort to animate EVERYTHING in hopes of obliterating such a wonderful artform as the personal interactivity of comics? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I would hate, in 10 years, to never be able to open a paper or a website, and instead of finding the 1-2 punch interactivity of a comic strip that was drawn by one cartoonist, to instead have it all delivered to me via an animation team. I love animation, but like Shane said, some things are best left non-animated. It’s bad enough that this is becoming the only path left to editorial cartoonists. Does this have to happen to comic strip creators too? Hm, maybe all comics can just go right to CGI, and totally suck the life right out of them.
    Wow, I didn’t realize how cranky I am about this subject. Me loves me comics. Don’t mess with ’em if they ain’t broke!

  2. This might open up the Dilbert audience to people who aren’t familiar with the work, but I suspect most people who have read Dilbert a lot won’t like these, for the same reasons the tv animated version flopped:

    1) Your mind has created a voice for these characters. To hear them is jarring and, I think, unpleasant.

    2) The animators pace may be way different from your pace, which is again unpleasant.

    3) His exaggerated form of humor works well on paper, but as it becomes “more real” it becomes more stupid than funny.

    4) Scott Adams relies a lot on his reader filling-in-the-blanks of action between frames. You can’t do that in animation. What are they going to do, show an empty screen while you’re thinking and then give the last punchline??

    Bottom line is, I didn’t think these were funny. I think they’d stand a better shot at being funny if they were read and absorbed by your own mind, in your own time and with your own imagination.

  3. Geez, Dilbert has been animated many, many times.

    In addition to the short-lived TV series, there was a series of flash shorts that was posted on shockwave.com in the late ’90s. There was also a 3D CGI version (no kiddin’) that ran on dilbert.com (one thing I remember about these is that they let the viewers change the camera angle to whatever they wanted it to be).

  4. Scott’s persistent, I’ll say that for him.

    Looking through my Dilbert “Shave The Whales” compilation, there are very few strips which would animate well, most would only work as sequential art.

    The reason Dilbert keeps getting animated is because it is one of the few which could be described as a household name. Publishers, networks, whatever, are not interested in exploiting a property no-one has ever heard of, but will do to death anything with a “name” or brand.

    It’s what I call wine bar cred. Execs gather in the wine bar after work, and ask each other what they’ve got coming up.

    You HAVE to hit them with something you’ve heard of. No point in saying “we’re developing an original concept” because that (to a pinhead suit) is like saying “we’ve got nothing”.
    As an animation producer wannabe, I had a great portfolio of excellently drawn, excellently written concepts and had doors slammed in my face when I travelled to Europe. I learned the hard way that if I had the rights to Harry Potter The Animated Series in my pocket, I wouldn’t even need to get out of bed, the phones would be running red hot and the funding would fall into place as if by magic.

    Neither The Simpsons nor South Park would have got up if they’d been pitched in the time-honored fashion. Put not your trust in commissioning executives, at least not in their judge of horseflesh.
    Upon examination there seems hardly a top rated concept, from the Beatles to Seinfeld, which was recognized at its inception by a smart suit.

  5. It’s offical. Dilbert is the new “retread” of comics. Move over Garfield and kiss Dogberts animated ring. Scott should come up with something……..new? imho

  6. While I didn’t care for the TV stuff much I did like this. I never though of comics strips being animated. But the short and sweet structure of these shorts are about perfect. I like that it feels much like a comic strip rather than a story. Thank for the link Alan.

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