The Bikini Proposal: A Parody of the Stupid War in Iraq

Probably one of my most well known animation series, The Bikini Proposal, takes an absurd proposition for the US war in Iraq and runs with it.

Occasionally I've been accused of being sexist for this series but in response to that I would say you're missing the point. The simple fact is, statistically, fewer women in bikinis have been killed in a war zone than those wearing military uniform therefore, logically, a women in a bikini is better protected. It's not about getting women out of their clothes it's about increasing their safety in a war zone!

The entire five part series is shown below as a Revver Video rather than GoAnimate's usual embed format (simply to save space). If you would like to see each individual episode in its original format then I've provided the links below the video.

The Bikini Proposal: Episodes 1 - 5

Links to the Original Episodes on GoAnimate:
  1. The Bikini Proposal
  2. The Bikini Backlash
  3. The Kitten Offensive
  4. The Nude Dog Defensive
  5. Mission Accomplished
The Bikini Proposal was never intended to be a series which is why the first episode ends on a joke and doesn't really contain any unresolved plot issues.

GoAnimate's classic, bikini wearing, Kate character was entirely the inspiration from the start. I wanted to base an animation around her but didn't want to go the obvious dumb blonde, sex toy route that seemed to be her lot in life in so many other animations that featured her.

Although I never break her out of the dumb blonde role, she still is a US soldier and that has to count for something.

Almost as soon as I completed the first episode I had a thought of what if the media found out about this ridiculous idea of dressing US troops in Bikinis? I saw so much potential for humor that I began work on The Bikini Backlash almost straight away.

It helped greatly that the series was made in the lead up to the 2008 US Elections, giving a lot of opportunity to put differing view points across from both sides of Government. No one was safe from adding to the absurdity of the initial proposal with Barack declaring that 'I will ensure our male soldiers have the democratic right to wear bikinis too!'

Once I got into episodes three and four, where I started blowing up cats and suggesting dogs should be wearing bikinis, you kind of knew anything was possible in what is, essentially, a stupid war in reality.

By episode five it was becoming harder and harder to keep the ideas fresh. You can only do so much with GoAnimate's characters without going into some heavy duty customizations.

Whilst episode five, Mission Accomplished, is my favorite, mostly for the timely Wal-Mart/Wall Street joke, it didn't start out as being the final episode. Originally titled 'The Feral Resistance' it was going to feature the bikini stealing cats and their leader.

Unfortunately this required a fully developed custom character, that I started to create, but didn't have the right Flash animation software to make it compatible with GoAnimate's character file format. Hence the head on the Feral Resistance Cats is the only part of this character that made it into the episode.

Had I been able to create that character The Bikini Proposal may have gone on for an extra episode or two.

This series received a special mention as a finalist in GoAnimates initial launch competition in the judged category that had a prize of US$5000.00.

Trivia about The Bikini Proposal series:
  • Dick Cheney doesn't appear until episode five because of my poor knowledge of the US Government. I'd heard of Cheney but didn't know he was Vice President until I bothered to do some research for episode five. Had I known this before hand he would've been in the conference room right from episode one instead of George Bush Senior (who was only there, along with John McCain because they were the only two male republicans I recognized in GoAnimate's political character set after George Bush Junior).

  • Lindsay Lohan's Characature appears as the Newsdesk Reader.

  • The Bikini Proposal is the first time I used GoAnimate's Text to Speech (TTS) voices. Whilst they aren't particularly great I do feel they kind of grow on you. The speech balloons have been left in because TTS is a GoAnimate Beta Feature. I figured it was better to leave the text in just in case GoAnimate decided to discontinue the feature. Plus it helps to understand what the voice is saying in those moments when it's not quite clear.

  • There are a number of my custom props used through out the series, most noteably the Terrorist Cat head and the US Military Tent in episode five.

  • Political Analist Ron Downer's name is meant to sound like 'Run Downer' i.e. he's someone who cynically runs down or puts down political initiatives.

  • The conference room defence expert, Bob Eachway, wasn't named until later episodes and his name is reflective of the English gambling term of putting a Bob each way - as in trying to cover all bets.

  • On the scene reporter, Rosie Chatup, has a name that suggests she talks a lot.

  • Barack Obama, George Bush Junior and Ron Downer use the same TTS Voice (known as 'Dallas'). 

  • The final joke in episode five with Sarah Palin suggesting selling guns to Iraq is a reference to Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq in the mid nineteen eighties when diplomatic relations between Iraq and the US were 'restored'. At this time Iraq began buying all kinds of supposedly 'non military' hardware from US companies, empowered by the Whitehouse to sell them.

Bad Santa - The Unhappy Customer

It was that time of the year... well Christmas 2008 was fast approaching anyway. I hadn't tried GoAnimate's Christmas themed characters so I thought now was probably a good time.

At the same time I discovered classic GoAnimate character, Joyce, looked really cool with a humongous axe from the new Monsters theme. She clearly has a dark side with her green styled fashion sense.

Rather than create a typical Christmas animation with everyone all happy and smiling I liked the idea of an 'anti-Christmas' theme where Joyce plays the part of an unhappy customer... with a literal axe to grind!

Bad Santa - The Unhappy Customer

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This is one of my favorites so far because it's funny and a little off balance. You're never quite sure how it's going to end. Santa's already smashed the door in so he could be quite dangerous, yet Joyce is deadly serious brandishing that axe.

In one early version I toyed with the idea of actually turning it into a bit of a blood bath but decided, not only would it be too hard to do that well (the actions of the Christmas characters are quite limited) but also it seemed just a little too obvious.

What I like is that the ending is really ambiguous, returning the situation to a nervous stand off. It's left up to you to decide what happens next.


GoAnimate introduced their first new theme since the site launched (I think - first new theme since I joined anyway) which was Underdog a US cartoon series that began in the 1960's. UnderDOG NOT UnderFROG is my first animation using these characters which star a little dog known only as Shoe Shine boy who has a Super Powered alter ego called Underdog.

Underdog NOT UnderFROG

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The story is fairly straight forward, I know, but I wanted to try the theme out and try to take advantage of being one of the first people to complete an animation with the new theme. Which can really help to get your work seen on GoAnimate as people are always curious to see a new theme in action.

Underdog, as well as most of the supporting characters apparently used to always speak in rhyme in the original TV series. In my animation you'll notice this isn't the case except in two specific speech balloons that include actual rhyming dialogue from the show.

The 'UnderFROG' reference comes from the TV show in which the crowd, doing the Superman parody for 'Look up in the sky...' would always refer to Underdog as 'Underfrog'.

I thought too that it would be funny if Underdog, like most real dogs, got so distracted saving Polly Purebred that he forgets all about her when he leaves. I don't think the joke worked to well but it saved me having to create a more animated conclusion.

Since I made this animation the theme has been expanded with more backgrounds, characters and props so there is much more scope for story telling than I had for this animation.

The New King of Cartoons

Popular GoAnimate animator, Cartoon King, invited people to continue his original story of the War of Kings. See his animation below.

War Of Kings Trailer - by Cartoon King

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Cartoon King has his own unique style that is more about getting his ideas down quickly and less about creating really polished and professional looking cartoons. It works great for him and I'm sure it means he's always working on something fresh.

However I'm kind of the opposite of that so, when I took up the challenge I thought Cartoon King's original story line could use some editing to make things a little easier to follow. To my mind the original tells the story in reverse so in my version I switched things around into a more sequential chain of events.

The New King of Cartoons - by TET

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Cartoon King had his 'King' character in a kind of 'alternate reality' with TV noise as a background. Since the whole thing had a kind of mystical/supernatural theme I thought why not make the king 'god like' and put him up in the clouds - not necessarily heaven but not necessarily just in the sky on a cloud either. Perhaps an alternate plain in another reality - the Phantom Zone?

Either that or I'd just watched too many episodes of the TV series Monkey as a kid.

The to be continued line was put there because the intention was for other animators to continue the story. I think one or two did but finding their animations could be some what difficult. I know at least one person who did a great next episode but no longer has the episode on their GoAnimate account.

That aside, one of the nice features of GoAnimate is that if you see an animation you like but think could improve upon, if the animator allows it, you can just load a copy of their animation into the Studio Editor and mix it up all you want.

Great Campaign Moments

I was playing around with the political characters on GoAnimate when I hit upon the idea that it would be very easy to turn each character into a puppet. This led to Great Campaign Moments being created. A short idea that I thought I might turn into a series but never did.

Great Campaign Moments

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There is so much humor that can be derived just from making one political character speak their opponents party line like they mean it. Puppets is one way to achieve that but there are so many others.

What if Barack Obama started a clone army of John McCains all chanting "Yes we can!" There's an animation I would've liked to have seen.

A Batty Halloween Accident

Batman is a guilty pleasure for me. He's a character I love (but not in an icky kind of way). Which is why Batman is a recurring theme in many of my animations. A Batty Halloween Accident is a good example.

The scene is set with Frankie and his bride going out to celebrate Halloween with a night on the town. Unfortunately their driver is distracted by Frankie's beautiful bride and before you know it they've accidentally run over Batman...

A Batty Halloween Accident

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Obviously this animation was created during the 2008, USA Presidential elections. The idea of John McCain as Batman just seemed funny to me since on some of his platforms they were trying to bill him as a hero.

At the same time anyone who wasn't a Republican supporter was concerned about the idea of Sarah Palin being one step removed from running the USA. Most didn't think she had the brains or the credibility to even stand in for John in a time of need.

I don't really know if Sarah is that intelligent or not but, since both she and John McCain weren't shy about sending themselves up on Saturday Night Live, I figure they'd both get a laugh from this.

Fight - Palin, Obama, McCain and More.

GoAnimate was launched during the 2008, USA Presidential Election year. Consequently (and with good fore sight) they created a lot of political characters of election candidates and White House Staff.

Oddly though many of the characters were designed for political fist fights. When I made Fight! I hadn't seen anyone animate the characters as was intended - with them hitting each other - and I just wanted to see what that could look like.

I tried to make the environment play out like a video game, kind of like Street Fighter, whose characters are now available on GoAnimate but weren't when I made this.

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Strangely enough Barack Obama was not created with any fight moves hence he opts for a dance off instead. It's all just for a bit of fun!

Making General Hospital

Have you ever watched a movie on DVD with the directors commentary? If that's the kind of thing you enjoy then Making General Hospital is for you. There's no sound except for my narration describing how the animation was created.

The narration idea came about because, as I explain in the animation, I was having a lot of problems with GoAnimate's Audio time line in their studio editor. Two days later I was still having problems so I just threw my hands up in the air, recorded the voice track and left it at that.

As a result you get some nice insights into how I develop my animations, proving once and for all that I don't use story boards. I really do make things up as I go along.

The actual storyline of Making General Hospital features some nice ideas that I wished I could have developed further. In particular combining GoAnimate's Monster theme backgrounds and characters with its Doctors and Hospital backgrounds and characters. There's a lot of untapped comedy there I think.

Also, my parody of Scooby Doo characters, towards the end (Screwby Doo) using GoAnimate's own resident dog and other characters. I thought I could make a series but shortly after this another GoAnimate user, Reddplague, came up with the idea and created The Mystery Gang. Which I thought was far better than anything I might create.

Mystery Gang: The Spooky House - Episode 1.
by Reddplague

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One Night In Paris

One Night in Paris is a short animation to showcase the blinking cat head that I created myself. The head is based on the cat face that appears in my artwork series Dangerous Career Cats.

There's nothing particularly impressive about this animation. It is, at best, mildly funny. I never had any plans for my cat head it was just something I created as a way of learning the free animation software called Pencil Animator. Which is the only free software I've found so far that can create animated shockwave files.

At the time of this post you still can't create your own characters for GoAnimate (the same as GoAnimate's own characters) however you can create animated heads for use with existing character bodies. Note that Pencil Animator is only suitable for creating animated props/heads for GoAnimate. It wasn't able to save files correctly for complete GoAnimate characters.

I do know the site is working on creating your own characters - having been able to test this feature as a GoAnimate Beta Tester. However it still has a lot of problems.
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