American animator, director, writer and producer Genndy Tartakosky in his studio. (Photo by Evan Hurd/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Samurai Jack's Initial Run Was Saddled With A Major Story Limitation
Genndy Tartakovsky is a master of visual storytelling through animation, and has worked on everything from "Dexter's Laboratory" to "Star Wars: Clone Wars" in his nearly 30-year career. One of his most ambitious projects was "Samurai Jack," which tells the story of a stoic samurai flung far into the future by the demon Aku, and his journey to return to the past.
In its early days, "Samurai Jack" faced a limitation that ended up becoming a benefit. Because Cartoon Network, the show's TV channel, tended to air episodes out of order, Tartakovsky didn't want Jack to be "super-dark in one episode, and cheery in another," but the first 52 episodes of the show also shouldn't be "episodic, which hinders your character growth."
Tartakovsky continued, “that forced us to make him more even-keeled, and we played him as a stoic samurai hero, unaffected by everything he’s going through.” Jack's never-ending journey made the ultimate series finale — aired in 2017, 13 years after the show first went off-air — all the more rewarding, as Jack finally obtains closure.