Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Spence Wild Takes

Here's two more of my favorite scenes by Irv Spence. Spence's animation is what I like to call "Jim Tyer done right". These scenes are insane, yet they remain believeable and retain the aspects of Harvey Eisenberg's layouts.

The last portion of the first clip is by the bland Ken Muse.

The Million Dollar Cat

Puttin' on the Dog

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Apologies to Don Hertzfeldt

...But I couldn't help thinking of this watching all of those Post and Tang commercials.

Go ahead, unleash your twelve year-old self.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Round Five of Looneyness

I finally have the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 5, and of course, it's great! The restorations are absolutely beautiful, on both the Technicolor and black-and-white cartoons. I was particularly impressed with the restoration on a sub-par entry, "The Up-Standing Sitter" (really a Cinecolor release). I've posted some comparisons from an older transfer below.

Some random thoughts on the set otherwise...

- Irv Spence's scenes in "Little Red Walking Hood" may not be his best work, but it's probably my favorite animation of his.
- "Bacall to Arms" is the funniest animated mess ever done by the Warner studio.
- The Clampett Girl Chorus song in "Patient Porky" (horribly lame cartoon, by the way)... What in the hell are the lyrics? Why would they record a song when you can't hear it anyway???
- "I've Got to Sing a Torch Song" is not only incredibly unfunny, but it's also horribly drawn and animated as well (due to Freleng and McKimson's absence from it). The Merrie Melodies of the same season are just as bad. No more of these, please.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Scaredy Cat

Mike Kazaleh broke this one down for me over a year ago, and I haven't gotten around to using it until now.

"Scaredy Cat" is one of the many perfect cartoons Chuck Jones' unit turned out in the late 1940s and early 1950s, so there isn't much that can be said for it that hasn't been said already. For me, the best of these cartoons are the best cartoons, period.

Classes are really time-absorbing so this will be the last breakdown for quite a while. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2007

No More Anonymous

Seeing as I am tired of having endless comments from a guy with a woodpecker fetish, anonymous comments are disallowed. If you need help registering for blogger to leave comments, let me know. Thanks.

Random Warner Art Beauty

There's a large book in the school library, Animation Art: The Early Years, by Jeff Lotman and Jonathan Smith, consisting of classic animation art. Much of it is devoted to cels of the Disney variety (and it's certainly not worth the price on Amazon), but here's a few Warner pieces I found interesting.

Hawley Pratt layout from "Racketeer Rabbit"

Hawley Pratt layout from "Stooge for a Mouse"

Bob McKimson scene from "What's Cookin' Doc?"

Bob McKimson scene from "Falling Hare"

Manny Gould scene from "Hare Ribbin'"

Original title art

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bob McKimson - Sock a Doodle Do

The Foghorn Leghorn shorts always had the funniest animated beatings, so here's a whole cartoon built around them. Great Scribner animation in this one.

Popeye Freaks Rejoice

Please visit Bob Jaques' new blog devoted to identifying the styles of various Popeye animators. Bob is an incredible animator in his own right and is responsible for the best animation in the first two seasons of The Ren & Stimpy Show ("Stimpy's Invention", "Sven Hoek").

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friz Freleng - Foxy by Proxy

Here's an underrated classic I recently took a look at, Friz Freleng's "Foxy by Proxy" (1952). Technically, it's a 'patchwork film', borrowing the premise (and entire opening!) of Tex Avery's "Of Fox and Hounds". But it has a lot of great elements of its own, such as the funniest pack of dogs ever animated (by Art Davis), and a great take on the Avery gag of Bugs 'turning-the-log-off-a-cliff'. Virgil Ross does a great job with subtlety here with Lenny (Stan Freberg) being so stupid that he thinks his 'little friend' has gone away because Bugs has the headpiece on backwards. Ross also animated the ending with Bugs getting one-upped.

There's a lengthy piece here that definitely isn't animated by one of the Freleng regulars, of Bugs trying to get the dogs off his trail. It's beautifully animated and perfectly drawn... Any suspects? [Edit: Mike Kazaleh writes in that he thinks John Carey may have animated it.]

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shamus Culhane - The Painter and the Pointer

Okay, before this becomes the "Disney Comics and Friends Blog", let's take a look at a really incredible Culhane Lantz cartoon from 1944.

This is really an eerily staged and written thing, what with a horribly designed (used only for this cartoon) Andy Panda rigging his dog to a shotgun. You can really see Culhane harking back to his Disney days, with the dog's design being a direct steal of Pluto.

The spiders are beautifully insane characters, attempting to hoist the petrified dog up into the tree to feast on. (The last minute or so is almost entirely animated by Emery Hawkins.)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Disney Treasures: Uncle Scrooge

David Gerstein and his pals at Gemstone are putting out a second volume in their comic book companion series to the Disney Treasures DVDs, Uncle Scrooge: A Little Something Special.

This volume will feature an extensive overview of the character's many artists. None of the others are even close to Carl Barks' level, but guys like Romano Scarpa, Don Rosa, and Bill Van Horn have done some really solid work (all of whom are featured here).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Donald Duck - Timber

Here is a really good Donald Duck cartoon from 1940, directed by Jack King. It features some beautiful animation by Ed Love and Emery Hawkins. The mine cart chase is wonderfully executed.

I also scanned some of the storyboard from this cartoon (art by Jack Hannah and Carl Barks) for your enjoyment. Hannah did the ones that look a little more refined, while Barks did the looser, cartoonier drawings. Absolutely inspirational!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Mystery at Hidden River pt. 3

Strips from November 11, 1941 to December 6, 1941. This is the last time Gottfredson used one of my favorite comic strip villains, Sylvester Shyster.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Mystery at Hidden River pt. 2

Strips from October 27, 1941 to November 11, 1941. Native American stereotypes to follow from hereon.