Tuesday, January 30, 2007

This Was Before Family Guy

I think all the kids in internet land might not realize that their beloved Family Guy made reference to the Gene Kelly film "Anchors Aweigh" (1945), which is amazing as that was made before Seth McFarlane was born. I guess they're running out of 80s sitcoms to make fun of.

For the record, this scene, with Jerry, was animated by Ken Muse, Ed Barge, and Ray Patterson. (By now I think all of you can tell them apart.)

It might be me, but I can't fall for the supposed 'magic' of this scene. While I love the fact that something as 'off-model' as Ray Patterson's great animation made it through to one of MGM's big budget musicals (which could only be topped if Irv Spence's animation made it in), the fact that Jerry is imitating Gene Kelly's every move kills off a lot of the character's believablity that made those Tom & Jerry cartoons of the mid-40s so great.

I still like it more than the Esther Williams scene.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fighting Tools

I love the Private Snafu cartoons Warners made during WWII, and I feel that the very best of them, "Spies" (1943, Jones) and "Fighting Tools" (1943, Clampett), are among the best cartoons the studio ever did.

I think everyone knows by now what Bob McKimson and Rod Scribner's animation looks like, so it's not necessary to point them out. It may have just been done by both of them, as these are only half the length of an average short released to civilians. I'm certain Ted Geisel worked on the story of this cartoon as well.

Oh and a warning: The ending may not necessarily be in, um, good taste to some people.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Feline Frame-Up

I really don't know who animated what in this one (Greg? Mike?), but I think it's a seriously underrated cartoon, and one of my all-time favorites.

Claude Cat had changed at this point from a mental patient to a right bastard, and he works really well in this cartoon, playing the villain and sabotaging Marc Anthony's relationship with his master (Robert C. Bruce in one of his only 'character' roles, he was usually just the narrator) and foundling Pussyfoot.

The scene at approximately 02:11 is one of the most hysterical pieces of abuse ever put on film.

Mike Maltese slightly remade this as the Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Helter Shelter" (1955), which of course isn't nearly as good because Chuck Jones wasn't handling it.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Harris - Whoa Be-Gone!

The hell with all you Road Runner bashers! Here's one of the greatest gags ever put on film... From "Whoa Be-Gone!" (1958). Directed by Chuck Jones, written by Mike Maltese, and animated by Ken Harris.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Johnny Gent Animals - Philharmaniacs

Johnny Gent is known best for his animation on Popeye, because it's certainly his best animation... But he could sure animate funny animals too!

Here's one of the few non-Popeyes at Famous he animated on (and is actually credited), "Philharmaniacs" (1953). I'm not sure how much of this footage he animated, but I'm sure he did the kangaroos, giraffe, and the cow. I love the hybrid of his animation... A holdover of the Terrytoons drawing style blended with the Famous designs. It equals some awesome animation.

This one is a semi-remake of the Fleischers "A Cartune Portrait" (1937).


Friday, January 19, 2007

Taras - Quack-a-Doodle Doo

Here's some more Marty n' Huey fun, this one from the tub of lard's debut, "Quack A Doodle Doo" (1950). Taras is one of the few New York animators who understood the Hollywood way of animating. Others included Johnny Gent, Carlo Vinci, and Steve Muffatti (who I plan to highlight eventually!).


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Git Along Little Duckie - Marty Taras

My dirty secret is that I love Famous Studios cartoons. I know they're not the greatest things ever done in the medium, but there's still a charm (?) to them that makes me love the shorts.

40s Popeye, Little Lulu, Herman & Katnip, Buzzy, Baby Huey, and the early Noveltoons are great. Casper and Little Audrey can burn in cartoon hell for all I care though.

Marty Taras was a great talent at the Famous Studios, and like Johnny Gent, he was a good as anyone on the West Coast. He did a lot of great comic book work too, like Rags Rabbit, which J.E. Daniels has posted here.

I think these scenes from "Git Along Little Duckie" (1955) are his. Warning to the squeamish: the second clip is about as vile as classic cartoon violence gets... Which is why I love it.



Sunday, January 14, 2007

Harris Musicals

More examples of Ken Harris being given the hardest scenes to do in the Jones cartoons... These are some of my favorite scenes in any cartoon!

"Scent-imental Romeo" (1951)

"A Hound for Trouble" (1951)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Harris - Bear Feat

I'd like someone to tell me what's 'wrong' with this scene (other than a Bugs Bunny Sunday page existing in a 1928 newspaper). A scene like this clearly shows Harris mastered the skill of subtlety (Bob McKimson and Virgil Ross certainly did too).


Thursday, January 4, 2007

Disney Pathos: Donald's Dilemma

I wonder why Jack King's work on the Donald Duck series is so reviled. I know many of them aren't very funny, but they're well-drawn and have some really imaginative staging. This short, "Donald's Dilemma" (1947) is no exception, and I think it may be his very best film, not to mention one of the best with the character.

Donald's Dilemma
Uploaded by thadk

I guess people say how Jack Hannah was superior to King because they just like Chip n' Dale... Yikes.

Emery Hawkins did most of the animation at the beginning with Donald and Daisy walking in the park, and Don getting clobbered by the flowerpot. He may have done more in the short, though I can't say for sure.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Casey Bats Again

Happy New Year!

Here's a Disney cartoon I was watching on the "Melody Time" DVD (you know, the one where they digitally erased Pecos Bill's cigarette). Right when I saw the opening credits with the two credited animators, John Sibley and Fred Moore, I said to myself "This had better be one of the prettiest cartoons ever made!"

I'm not a giant Moore fan, but appeal is an important factor in animation, and Moore's drawings and animation sure as hell have that. I think this is the last cartoon he ever worked on, as he died almost two years before it was released.

Casey Bats Again
Uploaded by thadk