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Craig McCracken (born March 31, 1971) is an American animator, writer, and cartoonist, known for creating the animated television series The Powerpuff Girls, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and Wander Over Yonder.
- [Question from the audience]: "If you could pick only one thing, what is the most important thing when it comes to creating and running your own series?"Craig McCracken: Characters. Great, likable characters that resonate with audiences. That's the most important thing. Concepts will get you to try out a show, to tune in to a show maybe, but concepts don't keep you watching over and over again. If you're not engaged with the characters and the personalities of the characters, you're not going to continue to watch that show.
- Cartoon Crash Course (October 21, 2020) episode 10, at approximately 22 minutes
- A lot of people come up with these really elaborate concepts, and they get into the weeds of the concepts and how the story's gonna be. That's not what executives wanna see. They wanna see characters that they can engage with, and, also it sounds a little cliche, but the so-called "elevator pitch" or seven words, "try to describe your show in seven words", is a really good exercise. I found it just... work through, y'know, what your idea is about. That elevator pitch is basically "I've got a few seconds to tell somebody my idea, how would I say it?"
- Cartoon Crash Course (October 21, 2020) episode 10, at approximately 1 hour and 13 minutes
- The main inspirations for Powerpuff for me were the '66 Adam West Batman show, and Underdog.
- Cartoon Crash Course (October 21, 2020) episode 10, at approximately 1 hour and 14 minutes
- When I first did my first short for Powerpuff Girls, and we focus-tested it, I'm sure people have heard this story, we showed it to a group of 11-year-old boys, and they said "this is the worst cartoon that has been ever made and whoever made it should be fired." I'm sitting in the room with all the executives watching these 11-year-old boys destroy the show, and... I was like, I went back to the studio and I started redesigning the characters and I gave 'em fingers and I made them more accessible, and I was like "they didn't get it, they didn't get it..." [...] I took that criticism and went, "what did I do wrong? What wasn't I communicating? How I was I not telling this idea clearly?" And what I realized I was doing, is I had been making it in my head for so long, I made an episode that was like a third season, middle-of-the-season episode. And I'm like, "No, you gotta go back to the very beginning of the idea" [...] and just kind of step the audience through the idea and introduce them. Even though it seems like old hat to you, and you're like "well that's boring", but that's what the audience wants. Tell them a story. Who are they, these characters? Why should I like them? Don't be so ironic or high-concept-y.
- Cartoon Crash Course (October 21, 2020) episode 10, at approximately 1 hour 34 minutes
- When I was a kid I spent a lot of time playing with the artisticly rooted pieces of junk that George was selling me. My wife Lauren did the same the only difference was her junk was pink and had combable hair. Either way these toys were far from junk, in fact they were our lives. Everyday we would make up characters, worlds, and adventures for them. Lauren's My Little Pony world was no less valid than My Little Star Wars world.So imagine little Lauren's surprise when she heard there was going to be a cartoon of her favorite toy! Imagine her dissapointment when the cartoon didn't live up to the world she had created in her head. Maybe she wouldn't have been so upset if she realized that cartoon was only bad because it was produced by a bunch of dudes who couldn't believe they were working on My Little Pony, uggggh. Imagine if they let HER make it, she knows why girls like Pony, she knows what will make it fun and cool.Now imagine 30 years later in some crazy cosmic coincidence she actually does get a get a chance to finally bring that world she's had in her head since she was a little kid to life! Maybe just maybe if she can traverse the waters of notes, schedules, and executives she can finally inject a little a artistic integrity and creative vision into it and make a MLP that girls will actually really like.Heck I even like it now and I hated that lame Pony junk, it wasn't cool like my Star Wars junk.
- Response to Amid Amidi (April 13, 2010) "Ruby-Spears and Sid and Marty Krofft Team Up", CartoonBrew, about Star Wars having "artistic integrity" while My Little Pony is "junk". Commented on April 14, 2010.
- When [Powerpuff Girls] was tested, everyone hated it. There were 11-year-old boys telling me I should be fired and it was the worst cartoon they've ever seen in their life.
- What a lot of people have found out about Powerpuff Girls is initially they just think it's this little girl thing that's lame like My Little Pony or whatever. Then they watch it and they’re like "Wait a minute, this is really funny, and this is really good, and it's actually, you know, entertaining."
- Morning Edition (November 15, 2000), "Powerpuff Girls", NPR