Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tashlin and Davis - Stylized Timing - Plane Daffy

Great timing in animation is extremely hard to do, and it's even harder to make it unique.

The thing that's always stood out to me in Frank Tashlin's 1940s cartoons is how stylized the movement is. Daffy in particular always moved beautifully.

In other directors' cartoons, characters snapping from pose to pose looks cheap with a lot of brush blurs, and in the case of Freleng and McKimson's shorts, badly drawn. The animation in Tashlin's shorts is unique and unlike any other director's in the history of Warners.

Lots of animation in Tashlin's shorts seem to use leftover drawings, but it's pieced together so well it looks more like it's intentional than an error. In my opinion, Tashlin was as every bit exaggerated (or 'cartoony') as Clampett, only Tashlin was more sophisticated, while Clampett took a more sophomorphic approach to it (that is not a bad thing).

Art Davis seemed to be Tashlin's favorite animator, or at least his best one, as he is behind all of those great scenes of sophisticated 'cartooniness'. These techniques are seen nowhere in Davis' own films of the late 40s, nor in his animation for Friz, so it goes to show you what a great director and a great animator are capable of when they are working at their full potential.

These two clips are from one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Plane Daffy (1944). Look at how beautiful Daffy is in these scenes! Go out and buy the new Looney Tunes set, because it's worth it just for this cartoon, and the other Tashlin shorts, alone.

Plane Daffy 1
Uploaded by thadk

Plane Daffy 2
Uploaded by thadk

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