Retarded Animal Babies

2015-01-21 01:06:22 by Dave

Hello strangers!

I used to make this series back about eight hundred trillion years ago called Retarded Animal Babies. Life events spanning a dozen years prevented any more than only 23 episodes to have been made for the series (slacker!), but it was a fun, sporadic, and rewarding ride. There are still a lot of fans out there; enough to have made the DVD sell out at the Newgrounds store. I still have a small box of them left, so I've once again made the DVDs available for sale on my website, but once they're gone, they're gone.

RAB used to always shoot up to the #1 spot in the Portal ten years ago, and as the first few vanguard episodes were uploaded in 2003, viewers very early on were split cleanly into "love" and "revile" categories (with around 95% being in the first category, thankfully). Eventually though, the heyday ran its course. As more time rolled by, it was becoming clear that the series wasn't aging very gracefully, and a new category of viewers - specifically the "meh" category - were starting to represent a larger and larger pie slice. I never stopped being in the "love" category myself, as tough as it was to fit animating-for-fun into my daily routine. But the viewership dropped, interest in a second DVD was sparse, and I was more demanding on myself than ever to deliver bigger & better entertainment on a shoestring budget (did you know I made the first one in 29 hours? Episode 23 took half a year...). I was fighting a losing battle to keep my disgusting little fingerless friends alive! Plus, I had already become a much bigger fan of the new Portal offerings than I was a fan of my own.

That's when I knew it was time to just let it go. I'm proud of the series, for all its filthy horror. I don't have anything else to prove with it. It kicks balls. I love that I made it. I'm proud that I was able to keep it as fucked up and raw as it is, and thankful for a site like Newgrounds to allow it to exist at all.

So now it's been, what? Four years? Four years since the last episode came out... and you know, I still connect with people routinely about RAB. And never once is it a person from the "hate" or even the "meh" categories! In fact, out of around 150 people at my new job in New York, there are fully three people there that are RAB fans!

And I even sold a DVD just three days ago (no, not to a work colleague...).

So, it's like... is it dead? Is it alive? Is it all just in the past? The answer to all of those questions is YES. The series itself is in the past, but the conversations about it are still happening. This has inspired me to (finally, heh) create a Facebook page for Reatrded Animal Babies. I'll stick weird old shit in there from time to time, and we can all talk about the show, and you can all drop by once in a while and bark at me to make new stuff.

And maybe someday, who knows? If the barking is loud enough, and it happens regularly enough, who the fuck knows.

I would personally prefer any presumed future of RAB to involve getting back to the fun randomness that made the series what it was back in 2003. As much as I loved (along with most of the fans who cried out for episodes that were "nice and long") the episodic nature of 21, 22, and 23, RAB wasn't ever originally about storytelling; it was about bash-yourself-in-the-face-with-a-dildo-made-of-solid-osmium stupidity.

It was about being "retarded" in every glorious, insensitive context that terrible, wonderful, fucking curse (this word alone helped create RAB's popularity while preventing its further success) of a word evokes.


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2015-01-21 02:09:51

Maybe it's a middle aged thing, I know my creative drive is up on blocks. After a while, everything in life looks like a retread of something we thought was cool in the past. There's nothing new and awe inspiring going on, so what's to kick the imagination's ass into gear?

We were retarded because we didn't know any better, there were still mysteries and adventures over the horizon, and it was easy to jump into the fray with our own mysteries and adventures... didn't matter if it was derivative, you take what you want from the salad bar, and leave the rest.

I guess 'problems of the future, today' can still be a relevant premise, but to me, today all looks like any one of several crappy 80's-90's post-apocalyptic flicks, I used to watch a few decades ago |: Maybe Bunny should get driven into a one rabbit holy war against... Bruce Willis? addictive Oreos? Pokemon?

Dave responds:

Crazily, I really do think I was on the right track with RAB1-4, where if you asked what they were about, the response would be "they run around and do shit." After RAB4, which took quite a while to put together, I said to myself, "self, if you spend this long actually just working on one storyline, you'd end up with something like half a whole TV episode!"

And that's what happened! And it was great! But it was also the end of true randomness. This dystopian internet thingy in which we all reside subsists on funny, random shit that lasts as little as 7 seconds long. There's no point trying to go for anything too drawn-out unless it's being delivered on something as old-fashioned as a recordable disc or even a telly-o vision (remember those?).


2015-01-21 02:28:39

800 trillion years ago? Feels like yesterday, man... Thanks for all the good shit though dude, good luck in whatever you're doing.


2015-01-21 02:53:31

Hey Dave! Your RAB series was one of the first in my memory of prepubescent glory that was NG circa 2003. As raunchy and disgusting as some of RAB was, I always found it ironically clever overall (ham salad is quite good). Best of luck with everything, and, as you say, "who the fuck knows?"


2015-01-21 10:37:25

Someone in a thread on the BBS asked about Newgrounds characters (or rather, mascots) and on my list was "Every Retarded Animal Baby." They were all pretty loveable, I thought the series (from my view as 14/15/16 years old) was that it was the evolution of Stick Death meets decently drawn cartoon animals. Always been a fan.


2015-01-21 14:42:52

I was just mentioning how RAB was one of my favorite newgrounds series on another site a few days ago. The episode where they travel through the internet sticks with me to this day, especially where they stumble across Happy Tree Friends and puppy exclaims, "Hey they're totally copying us!" RAB is a true relic of early 2000's internet humor and culture. I wouldn't be surprised if on one of those TV specials that covers individual decades had a segment of gorey flash animation and included RAB! :)


2015-01-21 17:10:18

Dave do what you do best


2015-01-21 18:45:13

Well, unless it's mainstream content (90, 60, 30 minute clips), I guess the more watched things online are definitely at or below 5 minutes in length. So anything longer or less glitzy than a music video, wouldn't garner that many views... it's how much effort you expend, to get those views I guess :\

You haven't done that badly in the past, but YouTube and streaming services, have really corralled the rank and file internet user away from sites like this. Either people are BSing in forums or watching/playing on a handful of sites, and don't want to get their index fingers dirty poking around a site like this, despite the content.

I half think sites like Newgrounds should band together and create a cable channel. You remember how cool cable was? Prism was a good channel... a lot more companies had channels online then, but, consolidation happened, yippeee


2015-01-22 04:44:40

RAB made me visit and favour newgrounds back in the old days.
Back when flash movies were not so polished, it's fantastic to think that really funny cartoon series were possible, all from the mind of either a small group of friends or lone gunmen like yourself.


2015-01-22 13:27:02

Yes, RAB was amazing, but what I want to know is what you plan to do next. How about another IP for shorts or a series?


2015-01-22 13:30:56

Bark! (That means Im one of those who want more Rab.) Hey its good to see that you haven't completely abandoned us here at Ng. :) I do agree with VicariousE, I dont think Rab stopped being popular here on Ng, its just that Ng became less popular as a site in reacent years and lets face it, youtube could never handle the cheer rawness (and awsomeness) of Rab! If I had a facebook account I would definitely like it or whatever you do there. Maybe you should consider to make something small on the facebook page for the fans, like a short comic strip or something from time to time. :)

Ps. What ever happened to Mother in lol?


2015-01-22 18:26:33

I practically learned english with RAB thank you, your stuff and NG johnnyutah's stuff helped to mold me into the horrible cussing non-native english speaker I am today.


2015-01-22 21:05:16

A half-dozen years ago or so, I wrote you an email asking about what advice you would give to a novice animator something along those lines. Don't remember the question well, but I do remember your response.

You said, don't let your yourself get boxed in if you create something popular, because then all people will ever ask for and expect is more of the same.

I know your life's priorities have changed since that time, but in light of that solid advice, I think that if you were ever to take up the animation stylus again, your best bet would be to take the hiatus as an opportunity to reinvent yourself. I liked RAB and Sci-fi Guys, and I'd to see what else you can come up with.


2015-02-02 22:16:54

I've been a fan since the beginning, and I still drop by NG every once in a while. I say thank you for this amazingly stupid series. It brought much joy to me in my early 20s, and it just makes me that much more honored to have been a part of the aberration that was the Newgrounds heyday. I wish you the best on your future endeavors.


2015-02-10 12:05:16

i love this series still come back every now and again and binge watch the whole thing to harken back to a happier time when seeing rab on the front page was a major event distracting me from the day to day seems like all things get worse the longer life goes on maybe it's because we grow more and more aware of the shit in life as we get older but i think i forgot what i was trying to say i would like to see more rab content even if it was just some quick random shorts


2015-03-11 06:44:14

As a fan of the show pretty much since the beginning (I even won a drawing competition back in 2009 or 2010), what I'm reading is bittersweet. Bitter because the show has reached its end but sweet that you aknowledged and shared your love for this ridiculously charming little series.

Having said that, a last hurrah episode wouldn't be too much to ask would it? Just a single minute of the five furry friends being random and saying goodbye to us fans. No story, no backstory, no nothing. Just a field and 5 retarded animal babies.

Anyway, thank you for this message and thank you for the series. Will probably have a nostalgic re-watching right now.


2015-03-24 04:06:25

dave im gonna need you to make more, in fact, the format is perfect for "kids" these days everything short sweet and to the point. What you should do is try to start a kickstarter to fund a second season, or better yet, take it to adult swim. theyd eat it up, and i bet there are fans ! i know a few guys that work for cn and animation is the most respected art form. so dave i emplore you, gold like this shouldnt just live and die on the internet. This deserves a broadcast, a TV broadcast preferably. (im pretty sure because theyre animals you can get away with most of the dicks on the animals) this deserves to be on tv as much as "family guy" or "robot chicken" It could be HUGE. Just think people could respect your art, and you wouldnt even have to make/pay for it, assuming they give you a 6 figure budget per epsiode. Im gong to email adlt swim right now ! also are there any left ? i want the dvd please and thanks for listening Dave.



2015-12-13 13:40:38

23/23, would watch them all again.


2016-03-27 04:32:32

Hey man, just wanted to give a thanks for making this awesome series!

started watching it back when there were like 9 episodes, i think i was like 7 years old at the time or something (wayyyy to young for this show basically hahahaha) and i'm not gonna say this show didn't largely contribute to my shockingly eccentric personality in my childhood, but at the same time i'm glad i turned out the way i have, and crazy shit like this that i found on newgrounds in my early childhood was a MASSIVE part of that!

thinking of rewatching them all now for the nostalgia. just wanted to say thanks for making these, they're legendary, and best of luck with your future endeavours in life!