Like most brilliant ideas, Doogtoons was born from a bunch of dudes hanging out and drinking 40s. Doog – or Doug Bresler – is an actor, filmmaker, artist, and musician, who recorded a conversation between his two UCSB college buddies, Nick Lejeune and Haig Ourishian, created an animation to accompany the recording, and submitted the piece to a digital film festival in 2002. Bressler then created a podcast of the Nick and Haig cartoons in 2005, and the Doogtoons website followed. The site is now a production company focusing on short films and web series that feature interviews of real people who Bresler transforms into animated characters in interesting situations.
The Doogtoons philosophy, “cartoons of the people, by the people, and for the people,” means that animation can be an outlet for the everyman. Not only does Bressler encourage everyone to create digital animation, the Doogtoons cartoons themselves are about ordinary people saying and doing ordinary things in absurd ways. “Nick and Haig” episodes accentuate the absurdity of their stories, while drawing the viewer into the characters’ personalities, making them rather endearing. Episodes are generally less than a minute long, and are all created by Bresler himself. In addition to the Nick and Haig series, there is a collection of strangely heartwarming dirty jokes, as well as interviews with an unlikely ninja, Weird Al Yankovic and Tommy Chong. The site also includes a “pick of the day,” a moderated discussion board where viewers can leave video clips from anywhere on the internet about anything they want, as well as a forum for people to discuss ideas or frustrations concerning Doogtoons, and to post more random video clips. A gallery of animation stills, a Myspace music page for Bresler’s experimental music projects, and a news blog are also featured.
Bresler choses exceptionally revealing images to illustrate his interviews, like his drawing of Weird Al as a child wearing a pink tutu and lipstick in order to demonstrate his need for attention (actually not much weirder than how Weird Al actually looks).