Sunday, June 05, 2011

The unexpected beauty of Francine

Every once in a while, an animated show surprises me with a shot or sequence above the norm. Contrary to many who would bash McFarlane series for being cheap and static, I find them endearingly efficient by necessity. American Dad is more story driven and has only gotten stronger in its short lifetime (whereas I find Family Guy falling fast, albeit still amusing), and when they "spend the money" it's a great bang for the buck. While Family Guy has its moments, they are primarily for shock and guffaw, whereas American Dad showcases much smarter payoffs and more than a few that are downright genius.

And yet something more subtle can have just as nice an impression-- the screengrabs here from the recent episode "Flirting with Disaster" caught my attention instantly for their staging, composition, and color.

These are two beautiful stills, surely by intent, because the gag that follows is a real kicker.