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About Film & Animation / Student Member Huy Minh LeMale/Netherlands Recent Activity
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After seeing the new Jurassic World Trailer I kinda got hyped into dinosaurs again and rewatched the original Jurassic Park Trilogy.
I have the Ultimate Trilogy DVD Collection :P

And after watching them, I kinda noticed what was missing from the sequels that made the first one so much better.
Is it the amount of moments where you're supposed to go "ahhhh" and "oooh"? Well... yeah...
Is it the magical adventurous feeling throughout the movie? Yeah... that too...
Is it the fact that the first one simply is the most competently made one? Yes, yes, of course, but I'd like to point to a more specific thing about the first one that made it better.

It's the moments where the adventure is compared to every day life.

The other two movies are all "We have to do this and this and this to survive, let's go!" and all the talking, while somewhat emotional at times, are usually there to move the plot along.

Now you might be saying, "Wait, isn't dialogue MEANT to move the plot along?".
Well, it's ONE of the things it's supposed to do, but far from the only one.
The first movie got it right, adding dialogue that don't really add to the event at hand, but add so much to the scope of the movie.

There's a scene where John Hammond, the creator of the Jurassic Park, is simply sitting at a table, telling Doctor Sattler, one of the main characters, about how he once made a flea circus.
He talks about how the flea circus wasn't actually filled with trained fleas, it's just an illusion made with automated machinery that makes the children go all "Look Mommy! Do you see the fleas?".

On one hand, yes, it's simply giving us backstory about John Hammond and why he wanted to make Jurassic Park.
But there's so much more to it. Besides just being a backstory, it's a great comparison of the whole idea of the movie, that the true illusion is thinking humanity has control over nature.
It turns down your scope of expecting dinosaurs and compares them back to the relative sizes of fleas, making the adventure they're in seem that much grander.

The sequels don't have those moments.
Well they do, but they're so barebones in comparison.

The second one has the ending where John Hammond talks about how the Dinosaurs should be left alone rather than have humans helping them out.
Which is fine as a message, but it's told so blatantly. It doesn't make you think about it, you just outright hear him say "These creatures require our absence, not our help".

The third one has Jack Kirby, the father of the kid character in this movie, talk about a fishing trip they had.
This is in relation to the fact that they just escaped from the Spinosaurus, which is a Dinosaur that attacked them in the water.
Now in terms of how they tried to do it, was actually fine. That's a great comparison of something they just witnessed and comparing them to a much more small scale event.
But now it's the message that's kinda odd. What are they trying to say? That the Spinosaurus fight was dangerous?
Well... yeah... but that's not anything to think about, that thing just tried to eat you, it's pretty damn obvious isn't it?
It's just there to emphasize one single event rather than emphasizing the whole message of the story, which when I think about it, I can't even think of what the hell Jurassic Park 3's main message actually IS XD

I think if anyone wants to learn this technique, they should take a look at the ending of the first movie.
It's just a scene of Alan Grant, the main character, letting John Hammond's grandkids sleep beside him in the helicopter as he looks out of the window and sees some birds flying.
No dialogue, just visual story telling.
It shows the end result of a character development in a heartwarming way and the shows the actual descendant of real dinosaurs, evolving thanks to nature rather than genetic experiments.
It shows that life DID find a way for the Dinosaurs to survive, they simply evolved to smaller animals that have an actual place in the world, instead of the genetic monsters that ended up destroying Jurassic Park.
It reinforces the message of the story, that nature shouldn't be controlled, without any pretentious speeches about it.

THAT is how you end a movie.
  • Listening to: Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime (by Nena & Kim Wilde)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my laptop
  • Playing: Thief
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks
So this weekend I showed the terrible Freddy Got Fingered movie to my good friend :iconcrescotheeko:

I have to say that I've personally never seen him that pissed off at a protagonist XD

But it did make me question something; how many unlikable actions can a protagonist do before he ends up with no hope for redemption in the eyes of the audience?
Because at the start of the movie, both me and him found him annoying, but not enough for us to completely give up trying to hope for him to redeem himself.
It's somewhere at the halfway point when the movie is at the start of it's 3rd act (you know, the part where everything goes wrong and sets up for the climax where everything will be made right) where :iconcrescotheeko: got REALLY mad and kept repeating the words "This COULD've been a good scene, if it were someone other than HIM!".

But the thing is, as annoying as the event that triggered that reaction was, in hindsight it really isn't any worse than any of the protagonist's earlier actions in the movie.
Which made me realize it isn't so much how unlikable the single action was, but the frequency of those unlikable actions.

There's a trope called "Villain Protagonist" were the Protagonist is MEANT to be the evil guy, or at least ends up as the evil villain through character development.
Obviously that character is MEANT to do evil and unlikable things, yet for some reason it usually doesn't make the protagonist unlikable. It just makes you sympathize with them, and look at them as a tragedy.
That's however because a good Villain will never SEE themselves as the villain.
Even when a Villain outright SAYS they're the villain, in their eyes they don't see it as the wrong thing to do.
In the Dark Knight, the Joker pretty much parades himself as the villain, but he also says things like how he's "ahead of the curve", implying he truly believes that he's the "true face" of Gotham. That deep inside everyone is a monster like him and he just wants to be the example.

So what exactly does the main character of Freddy Got Fingered do wrong?
He's annoying, he's unsympathetic to others, he does actions that he himself believes are the right things to do.
He does pretty much everything a Villain Protagonist does, and yet it ended up making him more hated than even the likes of the Joker.
What does he do wrong?

Well the thing is, he ISN'T a Villain Protagonist. He's a regular Protagonist and the plot is written to show that his actions are the "right" actions.
Karma doesn't work for him. For every bad action he does, no bad action happens back to him. And even IF a bad action happens to him, they're just there to punish someone ELSE while he just sulks for a bit and then goes back to his usual self of annoying others.

The thing is, when you write a Villain Protagonist, you make the audience KNOW you're not supposed to root for them. You make it CLEAR that their actions are wrong.
Even if they make GREAT arguments for it, even if they even make you realize how bad the world really is, you're still supposed to be encouraged with the thought that "But still, their actions are wrong".

When writing a regular Protagonist, it's different.
A regular Protagonist has to be relatable. Even if what they do is TOTALLY different from what more than 50% of the audience is doing, they still have to be written in such a way that people would be able to think "Yeah, that's what I would do too if I wanted to do what he did" or at least "I understand why he would do it".
And you're supposed to root for them to reach their goals.
For all that to happen, the character has to at least have some qualities that you can admire or sympathize.
Give them at least a few small scenes that show that the character at least means well, or that they are learning, or that they are at least making an EFFORT to do the right thing.
Make them fail, and fail HARD, make them fail in such a way that you can honestly say "Wow, I feel their pain", instead of making them seem like whiners for giving up when a small failure happens to them.

So back to the original question; How mean/bad/evil can a protagonist be?
The answer; As mean/bad/evil as how kind/good/heroic that same protagonist can be.
It's as simple as that.

The kinder your character is, the more you can at least forgive them for doing a terrible unlikable deed.
You can forgive a character who once murdered an innocent man for money if that same character ended up feeling guilty about it and helped the man's family grieve over his death before the end of the story.
It wouldn't negate the deed as a terrible deed, far from it, but it would at least give the audience something to think about how the bad action ended up turning the character into a better person.

The character becomes unlikable the moment there's nothing to hold on to reason that "at least he/she means well".
If a movie has hundred small events that show how unlikable the character is, there should at least be two hundred small events that show how likable the character is.
It's not even that difficult. Just adding a scene of the character thinking about making his girlfriend her favourite dish after he hit her for being annoying.
It doesn't even matter if he ended up not doing it, the fact he at least THOUGHT about it would give enough of an indication that he DOES care.

Again, you can make the character do the most terrible of things, as long as they do equally great things in return, they'll be relatable as Protagonists.
  • Listening to: Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime (by Nena & Kim Wilde)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my laptop
  • Playing: Splinter Cell Blacklist
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks
Yes, I'm ditching the Rorschach's Journal stuff, joke got old for me XD

Anyway, I'd like to talk to a song called "Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime", originally by Nena, but the version I'm talking about is one performed by her and Kim Wilde.
You can listen to it here:

Holy crap, I only happened to hear this song on the radio, but now that I've looked it up, I just can't stop listening to it!

Okay, from what I've looked up about the song, the original German Lyrics from Nena were quite different from the English parts that Kim Wilde sings. 

Nena's parts are still the same as it originally was, which are kinda more surreal, talking about building a castle of sand, wheels of fire and talking about the future and all that.

The Kim Wilde parts are in general a bit more down-to-earth, turning it into a more normal kind of love song in a way. Nena's love original love song seems to be more surreal like I mentioned above.

So is this a case a weakening the song for English speaking audiences?

Well I can imagine some Nena hardcore fans feeling this way, and I wouldn't blame them, but this is my interpretation of it.

I think the key to my interpretation is the lyrics: "You don't speak my dialect, but our images reflect".

If you look at Nena's outfit, it's some kind of Biker Girl outfit, while Kim's outfit is a bit more typical, like an adult woman.

I think this song is not about two people loving each other despite not sharing a language, but in fact it's a song about loving yourself.

Nena and Kim Wilde represent someone looking at themselves in the mirror, not identifying with how they look to who they are on the inside.

If you consider Nena to be the reflection, she's pretty much telling the person looking in the mirror to not worry about the dissonance and that she's there to help them, building a castle of sand to keep them warm. Hmmm, could the sand also add to the symbolism of reflections? I mean sand is used to create mirrors, right?

On the other hand, if you consider Kim to be the reflection, it's a tale of a delinquent who want to escape the world they're in and longs to lead a more conventional life. This may be why the video cuts to this guy who uncomfortably looks at the environment he's in. At the end he walks to the light, but gives one last look, seeing one of the guys who was at the party he was in. It could symbolize that no matter what new life you lead, the past will never completely leave you. Sometimes instead of regretting it, you must simply learn to accept it, maybe even love it.

The lyrics about belonging together, anyplace, anywhere, anytime could represent how no matter how much you try to escape from everything, you'll never escape yourself, always finding yourself in reflections and whatnot. It could even be enforced by Nena and Kim constantly doing the same poses opposite each other.

Am I over analyzing this? Maybe.

But you know what? That's how I interpret this song, and why I'm still listening to it as I post this.

  • Listening to: Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime (by Nena & Kim Wilde)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my laptop
  • Playing: Splinter Cell Blacklist
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks
Today I'd like to talk about writing dumb characters.

You see, I've just watched this movie called Freddy Got Fingered, and I have to say, I've never been this angry at a fictional character in my entire life.

This movie has a main character who is meant to be stupid, which I think was meant to be some kind of charm for the audience.
And I'm aware that there are a few people who think he IS charming, as this movie actually has a cult following.
But to me... it deserved all the hate it got.

Now what do I mean with dumb characters? Well obviously; characters who have low intelligence and tend to be kind of awkward, but are lovable because they've got a big heart, they do mean well and their antics are fun to look at for slapstick reasons.
Characters like Frank Drebin from Naked Gun or Son Goku from Dragon Ball or Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove.

Now why is Nord (The main character of Freddy Got Fingered) not as likable as the three examples above?
Well because his low intelligence and awkwardness is ALL he's got.
All throughout the movie he's just being annoying and awkward, never saying ANYTHING that actually remotely sounds like natural speech, doing everything he can to alienate anyone around him, yet he still ends the movie with having a friggin' girlfriend and making his dreams come true. Halle-friggin-lujah...
He DOESN'T have a big heart, everything he does is for selfish reasons and his antics aren't even funny.
They're just outright stupid, and I grieve for any animal he has abused to film what he so affectionately calls "funny scenes".

This is not to say an idiotic jerk can't be funny. On the contrary, they can be hilarious.
But they're hilarious because they have the reactions of the OTHER characters.
Because the OTHER characters are likable, you can instead just love to hate the idiotic jerk, since you relate to the other characters who rightfully are annoyed by him.

It, however, doesn't work if the OTHER characters ALSO are unlikable jerks!
Freddy Got Fingered has a whole cast of characters who all have to put up with Nord's antics. That SHOULD be a nice set up to have some funny reactions.
But Tom Green (The director and writer of the movie, also the actor of Nord) seems to be unable to realize that his character is in the WRONG here, so he writes all the other characters as unlikable so the viewer would "logically" be on Nord's side again.

Here's the problem; just because the ones opposing a character are unlikable does NOT mean that the character in question suddenly becomes likable!
Let's say there's a character named Bob. He kills puppies for a living.
Then you have a Terrorist. He breaks bicycles of 9 year olds.
They meet and you have Bob annoying the Terrorist, with the Terrorist getting a well-deserved "funny" angry reaction towards Bob.
Well, obviously the Terrorist isn't likable, but that doesn't stop Bob from being the jerk who KILLS PUPPIES FOR A LIVING!
Instead of switching our hatred for Bob to the Terrorist, all you did is give us TWO people to hate!

Now how WOULD a dumb character work?
Well, how about give him a bit more depth than just being stupid?
Doesn't even have to be something innovative. Just have the dumb character at least mean well in everything he does.

Make him honestly not see that what he's doing is wrong, have a scene where someone calmly explains to him why something he's done is stupid and have him actually respond with;
Idiot: "Oh... gee, I didn't think of that... Sorry, Old Man Jenkins, I didn't realize the anvil was going to be heavy... Is your back okay?".

Have him propose to his girlfriend and have the proposal play up the charm of his stupidity, like;
Idiot: "Mary, when I first met you I never imagined that I'd be popping the question in front of this big romantic fountain... I actually imagined popping the question inside the USS Enterprise, but I just found out yesterday that Star Trek is not a documentary..."

Have him be optimistic and simply trying his best to cheer up a friend, ignoring the fact that the friend is grumpy because he just thinks it's his duty as a friend to cheer him up;
Friend: "I just lost my job as a Game Designer"
Idiot: "Oh, that's terrible! What's the reason?"
Friend: "They think my knowledge and ideas of games aren't up to the company's standards."
Idiot: "Come on, that's nonsense! What kind of ideas were they?"
Friend: "You're trapped in a building with killer animals, you're supposed to escape."
Idiot: "Ooh, so kinda like Mario?"
Friend: "What? How the heck does that resemble Mario?"
Idiot: "Well you know, you jump around, roll into a ball, run through a goal sign..."
Friend: "... You mean Sonic the Hedgehog?"
Idiot: "No, Sonic's the girl with the sword and shield, right?"
Friend: "You mean Link... from Legend of Zelda... who's a guy?"
Idiot: "Wow, you know so much about games! Can't believe the company thinks you're not up to their standards!"
Friend: "..."

In general if you want a character to be likable, whether they're stupid or smart, they have to be more than just their intelligence.
You have to look beyond just their own personality and look at how other will perceive them, both the audience and the other characters.
A character is always half of what he is inside and half of what others perceive him on the outside.
Regardless, a Protagonist has to be able to carry the audience with him, and while it doesn't HAVE to be because they're likable (although it's very much preferred), they still have to at least give the audience something to think about, or something to be entertained about.
  • Listening to: My Adorkable Fangirl (by Huy Minh Le)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my laptop
  • Playing: Splinter Cell Blacklist
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks
Today I'd like to talk about the importance of limiting your colour schemes.

Now there's lots of people out there who complain about how many games seem to have this "Real is Brown" mentality and that it really desaturates the fun out of the aesthetics of games and all that.
And while recent games seem to slowly move away from that, thankfully, I also do agree that it's a stupid mentality. But in fact for a different reason.

You see, giving your scenes the hue of a single colour is a GOOD thing.
Or at least it is if it's done as a default.
I don't think the "Real is Brown" is stupid because they're turning everything brown, I think it's stupid because they ONLY use brown.

I've seen many recent games trying to tackle the mentality by making their games full of VIBRANT COLOURS and while it looks fun the first few hours, after a while it just becomes a bit of a headache.
You need to balance these things out. The times when the place is filled with vibrant colours are supposed to be the SPECIAL moments.

Now, am I saying that unless you're in a fantasy world, everything should be given the default colour brown?
Of course not. I'm just saying that you should give OTHER hues a try.

Look back to the first two Pokemon games, Pokemon Red and Blue.
Notice the sprites of each building and mountains and whatever.
They're exactly the same.
Yet if I would show some classic fan a screenshot, most would be able to tell which city the screenshot was taken.
That's because each area had a different hue of colour.

You see, the hue of a singular colour "glues" the whole picture together.
It helps making two separate assets look like one big whole.
This isn't saying that everything in a city should be coloured green. I'm instead saying that one certain colour should be given more focus than all the others.
Look for example at the first Sonic the Hedgehog game.
You start in a level which has lots of green and brown with a blue background. Then you go into a level where it's green and purple with a reddish background. Then you enter a level with a brown and yellow with a dark blue background.
They're appealing to look at because there's JUST enough colours to focus on, not because there's LOTS of it.
The creators gave you a different colour set per level, but they never overdid it PER level.

Now, am I instead saying that we should NEVER use huge amounts of colours at the same time? Not at all.
Let me point out to one of history's best uses of colour: The Wizard of Oz.
The movie started out in sepia-tone.
Back in the day of that movie, they're usually seen as the standard look reality has in movies, mostly due to technical limitations.
But the moment Dorothy enters Oz, BOOM! Colours alore!
Eventually when the group enters a forest or the Witch's castle and whatnot, the colours actually start being one-tone again, but the introduction of Oz was FILLED with different colours.
That's because the introduction is supposed to be the "Wow" moment. The moment where you'd be like "Holy shit, this place is beautiful".
After that is done, they decide "yeah, the point is made, let's go back to making the place easy on the eyes".

In conclusion, choose your colours wisely.
There are moments where it's appropriate to bombard the viewer with colours, and there are moments when it's best to fade the colours to a singular colour. Yes, that includes brown. 
  • Listening to: My Adorkable Fangirl (by Huy Minh Le)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my laptop
  • Playing: Splinter Cell Blacklist
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks
After seeing the new Jurassic World Trailer I kinda got hyped into dinosaurs again and rewatched the original Jurassic Park Trilogy.
I have the Ultimate Trilogy DVD Collection :P

And after watching them, I kinda noticed what was missing from the sequels that made the first one so much better.
Is it the amount of moments where you're supposed to go "ahhhh" and "oooh"? Well... yeah...
Is it the magical adventurous feeling throughout the movie? Yeah... that too...
Is it the fact that the first one simply is the most competently made one? Yes, yes, of course, but I'd like to point to a more specific thing about the first one that made it better.

It's the moments where the adventure is compared to every day life.

The other two movies are all "We have to do this and this and this to survive, let's go!" and all the talking, while somewhat emotional at times, are usually there to move the plot along.

Now you might be saying, "Wait, isn't dialogue MEANT to move the plot along?".
Well, it's ONE of the things it's supposed to do, but far from the only one.
The first movie got it right, adding dialogue that don't really add to the event at hand, but add so much to the scope of the movie.

There's a scene where John Hammond, the creator of the Jurassic Park, is simply sitting at a table, telling Doctor Sattler, one of the main characters, about how he once made a flea circus.
He talks about how the flea circus wasn't actually filled with trained fleas, it's just an illusion made with automated machinery that makes the children go all "Look Mommy! Do you see the fleas?".

On one hand, yes, it's simply giving us backstory about John Hammond and why he wanted to make Jurassic Park.
But there's so much more to it. Besides just being a backstory, it's a great comparison of the whole idea of the movie, that the true illusion is thinking humanity has control over nature.
It turns down your scope of expecting dinosaurs and compares them back to the relative sizes of fleas, making the adventure they're in seem that much grander.

The sequels don't have those moments.
Well they do, but they're so barebones in comparison.

The second one has the ending where John Hammond talks about how the Dinosaurs should be left alone rather than have humans helping them out.
Which is fine as a message, but it's told so blatantly. It doesn't make you think about it, you just outright hear him say "These creatures require our absence, not our help".

The third one has Jack Kirby, the father of the kid character in this movie, talk about a fishing trip they had.
This is in relation to the fact that they just escaped from the Spinosaurus, which is a Dinosaur that attacked them in the water.
Now in terms of how they tried to do it, was actually fine. That's a great comparison of something they just witnessed and comparing them to a much more small scale event.
But now it's the message that's kinda odd. What are they trying to say? That the Spinosaurus fight was dangerous?
Well... yeah... but that's not anything to think about, that thing just tried to eat you, it's pretty damn obvious isn't it?
It's just there to emphasize one single event rather than emphasizing the whole message of the story, which when I think about it, I can't even think of what the hell Jurassic Park 3's main message actually IS XD

I think if anyone wants to learn this technique, they should take a look at the ending of the first movie.
It's just a scene of Alan Grant, the main character, letting John Hammond's grandkids sleep beside him in the helicopter as he looks out of the window and sees some birds flying.
No dialogue, just visual story telling.
It shows the end result of a character development in a heartwarming way and the shows the actual descendant of real dinosaurs, evolving thanks to nature rather than genetic experiments.
It shows that life DID find a way for the Dinosaurs to survive, they simply evolved to smaller animals that have an actual place in the world, instead of the genetic monsters that ended up destroying Jurassic Park.
It reinforces the message of the story, that nature shouldn't be controlled, without any pretentious speeches about it.

THAT is how you end a movie.
  • Listening to: Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime (by Nena & Kim Wilde)
  • Reading: Those Two Guys Screenplay
  • Watching: The screen of my laptop
  • Playing: Thief
  • Eating: Food
  • Drinking: Drinks

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deviantID

XNinjaRed
Huy Minh Le
Artist | Student | Film & Animation
Netherlands
:iconapinkishblue::iconxninjared:

Favourite genre of music: Pop/Rock
Favourite photographer: My father?
Favourite style of art: Manga
Operating System: Windows XP
Favourite cartoon character: The Grim Reaper
Personal Quote: "It's not Survival of the Fittests, it's Survival of the ones who dare to cheat."
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:iconcrescotheeko:
CrescoTheEKO Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
:w00t: :party: Happy Birthday!! :party: :w00t:
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XNinjaRed Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014  Student Filmographer
Thanks, buddy :D
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:iconcrescotheeko:
CrescoTheEKO Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2014
You're welcome! ;3
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64SuperNintendo Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Happy birthday!
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jannoo Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
Hmm, it's a long time ago you uploaded something.... When will you upload something new? =D
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LanProwerKopaka Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011
Hey, I've tagged you!
[link]
Hope that's okay. :D
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Simmszs Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank u much for the dA watch :dummy:
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Tsuki-SoraRuki Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:icongroupjoinplz: :iconcreation-inspiration:
we're so honored you join this group
here are a things you need to know about CI
more information is here
for the rest I wish you a great time at Creation-Inspiration
and feel free to upload your creations anytime ^-^
regards, Crew Of CI
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nekorandomnessqueen Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday! :dummy:
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XNinjaRed Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Student Filmographer
Ah gee thanks, didn't think anyone on Deviant Art would notice.
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