The JibJab Blog

Stick Your Face In It!

Scene 07 – Sequester

First, we had to pick how we were going to visually represent “sequestration”. Webster’s defines sequestration as :
se·ques·tra·tion noun \ˌsē-kwəs-ˈtrā-shən, ˌse-; (ˌ)sē-ˌkwes-\
: the act of keeping a person or group apart from other people or the state of being kept apart from other people
law : the act of taking someone’s property until a debt has been paid Sequestration for the US government meant budget cuts and lower spending all around.

It began officially on March 1st! But, how do we show budget cuts visually? Our animatic artist Jeff tried a few different things to get the right feel. He started right away with Uncle Sam to represent the government.

Is Uncle Sam out of money? Or ridden with flies?
Is Uncle Sam out of money? Or ridden with flies?


Maybe he’s shredding money. Look at those bushy eyebrows!



He settled on a mix of these two. There’s nothing more frustrating than a delayed airplane, so that’s where we put our Uncle Sam! Then, our designers got cracking at making final designs. We needed someone to play the part of Uncle Sam, and our wonderful writer Scott (who wrote this, and many other years Year in Review) seemed to be a perfect fit. He put on his best scowl.


We shifted a few elements around from the animatic, and changed Uncle Sam’s pose to a more classic “sitting and waiting at the airport, oh man, where is my plane” sort of pose.

And here is the final design!


As one of JibJab’s resident space exploration nerds, I was watching particularly at NASA’s sequestration cuts. Sequestration not only threatens the mission launch dates of some of NASA’s missions, but it also means that the NASA outreach program has been cut significantly. Which means less sweet, sweet space news. That’s definitely something that would make Uncle Sam pretty bummed out.

Now that I have my emotional inspiration, it was time to get animating. Like most Year in Review scenes, it was quite a fast scene, so I only had time for a pose or two. We want to make sure everything can read, even at a glance! Don’t worry, Uncle Sam! You’ll make it to your destination eventually.

Home | Last: Scene 6 – NSA | Next: Scene 8 – Shutdown

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