Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Design Appeal- Mickey Mouse Club - Cute and Wonderful Mickey

YOUNG CARTOONISTS PAY ATTENTION!
I'M GONNA HELP YOU BECOME GOOD...
When I was a kid, I was mesmerized by Disney cartoons-by how cute and appealing they looked and by how smooth and magical the movements were. My only complaint about Disney was there wasn't enough of it on TV.
I used to watch the Wonderful World of Disney every Sunday night and The Mickey Mouse Club every weekday. The shows were really frustrating because they were mostly vile live action. It was like they would just put enough cartoons in the shows to lure the kids in so that they could trick you into watching the amateur live action stuff.
My favorite part about the Mickey Mouse Club was the new animation-it looked different than the classic shorts-it was stylish and modern. The characters weren't just pears and sausages, they were pears and sausages with corners on them. This is different from what we have today. Now we have just the corners, but the nutritional parts have been thrown out.
Anyway look how Goddamn cute Mickey is in these great openings. When they talk about the importance of "appeal" in the Disney books, this is it in its highest form.
Mickey not only looks great in his design-he has all the fundamental principles of good animation drawing to back up the slick and stylish finish.
Solid construction.
Line of action.
Clean silhouettes
Perspective.
Squash and Stretch.
Asymmetry.
Organic forms.
http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2006/03/you-better-learn-to-love-classic.html
Disney animators were great at all the fundamental principles of animation and that's where it should all start! Without fundamentals, you really limit what you can do from an entertainment point of view.
You should see this stuff animate-look at the nice perspective on Mickey's cane-it really is effective in motion.




It's also cool that each animator-even though he followed the basic 1955 model of Mickey, still ddrew him slightly different.
This is my favorite of all the openings-the cowboy sequence. The way Mickey twirls his lasso while jumping through the hoops is amazing. What skill these animators had!


****TIP to Young Cartoonists!****
If you wanna learn how to draw for animation, copy these poses as exactly as you can-then go and copy the other great cartoon poses from classic cartoons all over my blog. If you do this a lot-and I mean a lot...you will absorb the principles I talked about above.
Get the Preston Blair book too and he explains how the principles work!
But start copying now and maybe someday you will be able to work for me (or any other real cartoonist).

In fact go buy the DVD collection of the color Mickeys and copy from all the cartoons on there!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000BWVAF/qid=1146608716/sr=8-3/ref=pd_bbs_3/002-0978918-1199251?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=130

WANNA LEARN TO INK? Ask Katie: http://funnycute.blogspot.com/2006/05/inking_01.html

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks John! I guess this is pretty much the answer to the question I posted towards you just a few minutes ago in your last blog post. Thank you so much!

Aar!! said...

I would've liked to see some classic Mickey animations but it's waaay before my time! I was born in '88 so the only cartoons I ever got into were Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

Wow, this is one of first really nice things about Disney you've said. This should shut up all those schmucks that think you just hate Disney because it's Disney.

Call me an idiot, but I think cheesy old rubber hose Mickey was more entertaining than creepy flesh colored Mickey...

But once again, thanks for the informative stuff! Maybe one day I won't suck!

Shawn said...

>>This should shut up all those schmucks that think you just hate Disney because it's Disney.<<

I don't think we "schmucks" ever said that. Disney has some great drawings too. But just because a lot of us think the animation from Fleischer's or Warner's is more fun to watch doesn't been we're all about Disney bashing.
I'm not ALL about Disney bashing (all the time)...but Disney does make my teeth hurt.

Anonymous said...

mickey shooting? with a real gun? they'd never play that cowboy opening on Network TV today.

Julián höek said...

hi john. thanks for the tips you post every day!!! i check your blog every day, it's very inspirational for me!
i'm from argentina and i'm working on "Patoruzito 2" it's an animation feature based on a character created back in the 40's by Dante Quinterno. it's very old fashioned with big cheeks and lots of line of action. the character look very simple but it's quite hard to draw it right. I don't quite like them but it's my first job in the animation industry so i guess doing something with an old school style must be something positive for my learning prosses and a great point of start(beside the fact of been working in an actual animation studio where i'm learning a lot)
any way, if you wanna see some model sheets of the chararacters i put some of them to download in my site and if you want to drop by my blog and post a coment it would be like a nice kick in the nuts!

http://www.jfumagalli.com.ar/patoruzito.rar

keep up with the post 'couse i love them!! bye!

Kevin W. Martinez said...

Hi John,

As an aspiring animator, i found your post on the MMC openings very interesting, insightful, and influential.

Just a few Minutes ago, i was describing your latest post to my big brother (himself a incredibly talented artist in his own right). I told him that "The Ren and Stimpy creator said on his blog that if i wanted to become a really good animator, i should start copying poses from the MMC openings and learn from them, The Bob Clampett cartoons, and others). I showed him my attempt at drawing a scene of Mickey fixing his tie and looking at the audience, and asking if they "look pretty"

His response included the following points.

- The reason you recommend the MMC openings and the Clampett cartoons is because they were such a big influence on Ren and Stimpy (he added that Ren and Stimpy was basically a raunchy version of a classic 1960's cartoon)
- If I REALLY wanted to become a good animator was to discover and develop my own personal style.
- Things you applaud the MMC openings for such as Perspective (including the vanishing point, which he explained to me in detail), Line of Action, etc. are Remedial Art techni1ues (which he compared to remedial Algebra), and that the skills REALLY needed for an animator to be successful is computer skills in Flash, Maya and other programs ("Anyone can make a Flash Cartoon. We could make a Flash Cartoon right now"). He also said something along the lines of "The only thing hand-drawn about Pixar is the conceptual art"
- Someone could easily amke something akin to the MMC openings and the Clampett Cartoons in Flash. It would just require more frames.


Anyway we had a nice long discussion about Animation and Art, and i thought it might intrest You, John.

Anyway, I gotta go. Have a nice Day

- Kevin Martinez

jorge garrido said...

^If those fundamentals are so remedial how come nobody does them anymore?

John, will you have a post on each of the fundamentals? I love how specific your blog is in liting them:

Solid construction.
Line of action.
Clean silhouettes
Perspective.
Squash and Stretch.
Asymmetry.
Organic forms (check)

Also, how many years of copying until we become good? I mean I know an artist always grows and you're always learning and it's a lifelong journey and all that crap, but how many years does it take until one become decent? (PLEASE don't say everyone's different, ballpahk it)

Now the fundamental question is, what is it about this Mickey that makes him so appealing? I believe it his sheer joy at his rope ricks and dancing. His facial expressions really tell you (in a broad way) that he's really having fun. The 9th picture especially, especially when he does his wide smile! Jusr pure joy and inncoence, even when he's shoiting guns!

Evan said...

i never guessed you were so into mickey mouse, interesting post.

Kitty said...

Thank you for the tips as always. I remember this show when I was young. Mickey Mouse was my HERO.

Eric C. said...

John,

Every animator is different right, will this make our own style of animation better ?

_Eric

trophiogrande said...

Thanks for the post, well thanks for all your posts! We are in the process of redo-ing the text books where I work and the cartooning book was a mess because they didn't get any of the instructors who like cartoons/cartooning write the book. It's nice having your blog becasue they recognize your name, and can show what you are saying and tell them this is what cartooning is. As far as the guy (ok his name is Kevin) whose brother said he should learn the computer programs, go ahead and learn them. Learn the fundamentals of cartooning also, because the best web cartoons out there are done by people who understand the cartooning principals and can draw with a pencil like you wouldn't believe!

JohnK said...

>>
Every animator is different right, will this make our own style of animation better ?<<

Hi Eric,

Good drawing makes everything better. Style is the last thing anyone should worry about. That comes naturally.

Trust me on this! Even if you think everything else I say is crap. This I know from direct experience of working with hundreds of artists. The ones who draw best have the easiest time adapting to whatever style.

JohnK said...

Hey trophiogrande,

where do you work?

Nico said...

Along with the first 4 or 5 years of Mickey's career, these intros are my favorite models of him.

Compare him and the rest of the classic characters to ANY cartoon today. On Nick, CN, even MODERN Disney.
The appeal and attractiveness of Mickey, Bugs, Daffy, Popeye... it's quite simply no contest.

Randy said...

John, it's wonderful you've taken the time to offer so much of your insight. I feel like I've learned volumes just from reading your blogs. Keep it up. You're an inspiration to us all.

Joel Bryan said...

I used to love "Wonderful World of Disney" when it featured animated stuff and I hated it when it was live action, too. But we watched it just the same, eating popcorn.

There's a great book called "The Disney That Never Was" that's full of amazing pre-production art on all the cartoons that never got made. Good drawing was the basis for everything there... it all started, from shorts to features... with incredibly well-drawn artwork and sketches.

You look at them and they're light years ahead of stuff that's being done now and you wonder why in the hell didn't they make this movie or that short?

The sad thing is... their shorts were rarely funny. Other than the odd Donald cartoon, or the occasional Goofy. But man they animated the beejeezus out of them and the characters just pummel you over the head with appeal.

The MMC intros were tons better than anything that was actually in the show itself.

Another really kick ass post! I wish now I hadn't squandered my youth on drugs and rock and roll.

trophiogrande said...

I work for the Art Instruction Schools, it's a correspondence school. They have "Tippy" the turlte, the pirate, and an old guy who doesn't move his upper lip when he speaks in their ads. I know most people think the school is a joke, but it does provide a good service, and the students who apply themselves will improve. I don't blame the managers for not letting the cartoonist write the book, because we can be difficult to work with, but they should listen to what we are telling them before we get difficult. Anyhoo, It looks like the cartooning book will be redone after June, so hopefully it will go better the next go around.

Thad K said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robert Hume said...

I wish now I hadn't squandered my youth on drugs and rock and roll.

That's why I'm squandering/have squandered my own on Daffy Duck, Woody Woodpecker, and Tom & Jerry! You don't need drugs with those guys!


Here, here!

Kris said...

I am kind of baffled by anyone saying that "developing a personal style" is more important than learning how to draw well in general. I know that my collection of cartooning shortcuts were acquired by copying cartoons I thought were appealing or interesting.

I also learned a lot about the general art principles (like perspective) from life drawing. I know a lot of cartoonists don't like life drawing, but it's a good way to develop general drawing skills that can be adapted to cartooning.

Marc Deckter said...

MORE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB IMAGES HERE

Kevin Langley said...

Great post. I've never been a Disney fan myself but when it comes to solid drawings and animation the golden age stuff is top notch.

David Germain said...

I am kind of baffled by anyone saying that "developing a personal style" is more important than learning how to draw well in general. I know that my collection of cartooning shortcuts were acquired by copying cartoons I thought were appealing or interesting

I remember seeing and old interview with Chuck Jones where he said "I don't see how anyone can develop their own style without trying to copy someone else's first." So, I guess if Jones were alive he'd reiterate what John said a few posts ago. I, for one, agree with both of them.
By the way, that Mickey animation looks like it was done entirely on ones. It looks uper-smooth as a result. Congrats to Lounsbery for doing such a great job.

R said...

Now we're talking! I'm SO glad you posted this instead of some rant about Silly Symphonies...everyone knows what makes that stuff lame, and lousiness is best left ignored altogether.

Except Christopher Hart; we must ROAST this bastard's ass proper!

P.C. Unfunny said...

"Compare him and the rest of the classic characters to ANY cartoon today. On Nick, CN, even MODERN Disney.
The appeal and attractiveness of Mickey, Bugs, Daffy, Popeye... it's quite simply no contest."

That is because alot of today's cartoonist don't give there charcaters any sort of personality,they are merely props for there crappy gags.Also cartoon characters are no longer versatile,notice how cartoon characters today are always in the smae place or setting ? Old school cartoon charcaters whould be in different eras or different places.

Adam B said...

Hi John

Im not a fan of Disney but do use ever use some techniques from the Disney studios in terms of animation?, I know they have some bad techniques- like animating the legs and hips of the character first, then whacking the torso on the top after the legs have proven to animate well,but in
"Animation From Script to Screen"
by Shamus Culhane he said that one good thing he learnt from working at Disney was that when they drew poses, they drew the most important parts of the character first in relation to the pose (eg if the charcter was reaching out the grab something they would draw the hand first before anything).This is supposed to help the drawing by giving it life and forshortening etc. Do you agree with this drawing principle?

Lee-Roy said...

Great points here. I'm going to absorb it for a bit...

oolong said...

Hey John K, a question from a 'young cartoonist':

This is a little off topic, but what are your thoughts on rotoscoping as far as how it relates to developing animation skill in general? I've been wanting to try making a short music video using it for a while, but should I approach it as:
- a practice that will help me get better at traditional animation as well
- a technique that should be kept separate from traditional animation skill wise
- something i should avoid doing until i am already really good at the fundamentals of animating freehand
?
thanks for any insights you can provide

JohnK said...

>>- something i should avoid doing until i am already really good at the fundamentals of animating freehand<<

Yes. Avoid it altogether. It doesn't help anything. It looks awful.

JohnK said...

>>"Animation From Script to Screen"
by Shamus Culhane he said that one good thing he learnt from working at Disney was that when they drew poses, they drew the most important parts of the character first in relation to the pose<<

Don't listen to anything Shamus Culhane has to say. He was a crappy animator and director. Really sloppy.

Just look at the drawings he put in his book that he's so proud of. Doesn't that say it all?

David Germain said...

Just look at the drawings he put in his book that he's so proud of. Doesn't that say it all?

I know Shamus Culhane animated most of the lion's scenes in Inki and the Mynah Bird (by Chuck Jones c. 1943). That would be another good reference to see whether Mr. Culhane was sloppy or not. I remember it looking pretty good, but I haven't seen that cartoon in a while. I'll have to dig it out and take a closer look sometime.

Shawn said...

John K thinks he knows everything. And I think he knows everything too.

Tony said...

Hey John,
just have a look at a few minutes of my student short and tell me if you like it. Would be great to have some comments from a person like you!!

I enjoy this blog, thanks man!!

Ben Williams said...

Just been over to Katie's blog and read her great post on inking. She talks about a 2 page memo she got at Spumco on inking but she said she's lost it. Have you got it by any chance? If so, could you post it up?

Adriaan said...

godver. you see john. You're surrounded by idiots. They gave you a crown and you took it. Don't you have shows to make instead of chasing teenage girls and blogging?

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to anything Shamus Culhane has to say. He was a crappy animator and director. Really sloppy.

His Woody Woodpecker and Swing Symphony films are miles away from being crappy.

JSL said...

Disney live action is the bane of my existence. I swore I'd never watch another one after "Cool Runnings", but was bambooozled by the hype over "The Chronicles of Narnia".

I know it's a kid's movie, and I know they look like they really tried. But felt armor?

FELT ARMOR?

I'd be lying if I didn't say I was praying for the death of those children in every scene.

-JSL

Lex10 said...

So- THAT's where you got "old man hunger was nibblin' at their bellies" back in the Ren & Stimpy days - the interminable "vile live action" you speak of eh?
Very funny. Thanks.

Ren and Stimpy 2600 said...

Hey John, you should check out my Powdered Toast Man drawing at http//:www.cartoonist22700.blogspot.com. It would be cool to leave a comment on my first drawings on there. Thanks John


Jared Smith

JohnK said...

>>
His Woody Woodpecker and Swing Symphony films are miles away from being crappy.

They are sloppy as sloppy ever got. Compare them to the slick and fast moving Dick Lundy cartoons of the same period-sometimes with the same animators!

Duck Dodgers said...

JohnK said ....


( the Culhane Woody Woodpecker and Swing Symphony) are sloppy as sloppy ever got. Compare them to the slick and fast moving Dick Lundy cartoons of the same period-sometimes with the same animators!


I have to disagree ( and I'm sorry to).
But I prefer Culhane to Lundy.
Lundy's cartoons are too soft in the gag impact while culhane are fast and funny, like "The Barber of Seville","The Greatest Man in Siam", "Woody Dines Out","Abou Ben Boogie"...

The Lundy cartoons are highlighted by terrific animation, mostly the work of Fred Moore.
But many of the cartoons are simply stupid, like "The Mad Hatter", or did not show all the potential that they could, like in "Banquet Busters".
the Lundy cartoons are too Disney-like. Marvellous animation, soft gags.
On the other had, the Culhane cartoons got a better timing ( terrific cuts) and greater gags.

My opinion, of course.

JohnK said...

What about "Solid Ivory" among many?

Shamus Culhane's cartoons are way slower and mushier than Lundy's. And drawn so badly!

Everything about his work is mushy and unsure.

Jacie said...

Very cool! ha! love King Mickey!Long live Mickey! Rah! Rah! Hey you like art, Check out E3B and IED on my blogspot Dear Tree House. I'm a painter! I paint bombs, cartoon birds (E3B) and strange things. Ottawa Artist!

forlackofbetter said...

Mr K.
First time poster, long time lover of your work. I wish I'd been able to post on your last update cause you had somethig i've been dying to know about for awhile...Late Night Pussy...I've been DYING to see it. Have any suggestions of where a person can find that bad boy? Maybe it's something you're not proud of, who knows...who cares? It looks fantastic but I found out way late about it...so, if you know anything, you got insider info, that'd be awesome. Anyway, great stuff all the same, and I'm sure you'll keep it up for a long time to come. later.

R said...

>> Just look at the drawings he put in his book that he's so proud of. Doesn't that say it all? <<

Nope, I got three words that say even more:

Rocket Robin Hood
(on which he is credited as exec producer, but the drawings look like his) For those who haven't seen it, think one level down from 60's Spider-Man for production values.



But back to Mickey.

My favorite drawn Mickey is the Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia, done by - guess who - Preston Blair.

NOW you all have no excuse not to get that Blair book.

Anonymous said...

well, LackOfBetter... It would probably be a good idea to search the internet for it's correct title, "Weekend Pussy Hunt"

You'll find a lot more that way.

Brian Romero said...

Thanks for these screen caps Marc. It was also cool to meet you at the archive yesterday! Sorry I butchered the spelling of your name in the previous post.

:-(

P.C. Unfunny said...

Hey John, what do you think of animator Richard Willaims ?

Nick W. said...

To John K. - do you like René Laloux's LA PLANETE SAUVAGE [FANTASTIC PLANET] from 1973?

Eric C. said...

>>>Even if you think everything else I say is crap.

I don't think that way at all John.

I agree with almost everything you say.

It's just the part of going really edgy with sexual humor. I just make a limit on myself, my own work is all. Just giving sujections is all, no harm done.

I love your work John, It's what got me very interested in animation.

_Eric

Marc Deckter said...

Thanks for these screen caps Marc.
You're welcome!

Sorry I butchered the spelling of your name in the previous post.
Hey, no problem! I consider it a special bonus when I see my name spelled correctly.

It was good meeting you too - have a nice rest of your trip!

P.C. Unfunny said...

>>>Even if you think everything else I say is crap.


With the exception of your opinion about Friz Freleng's work and some other things, I definetly don't think that either. You are running the most informative and educational blogs about learning animation, you can't get better then this post and perivous one about buying the Preston Blair book.

Thad K said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rastaman Vibration said...

after frequenting this post, does anyone else find themselves constantly anaylzing cartoons? whether its a TV commercial, an episode of the Simpsons you've seen a million times, or a Ren and Stimpy on youtube. it kicks ass knowing what to look for, and being able to point out why something is lacking. this forum is teaching us a lot.

Duck Dodgers said...

John K said ...

Shamus Culhane's cartoons are way slower and mushier than Lundy's. And drawn so badly!

Sorry but I'm a real Culhane fan!
And I don't think that his cartoons are slow. Look at the amazing cuts in "The Barber of Seville", "Ski for Two".

And "The Greatest Man in Siam" and "Abou Ben Boogie" are marvellously drawn. The animation of the girls is very good in these two entries. And the background too are very good in these two cartoons
He also did some great Andy Panda cartoons, like "Meatless Tuesday" and "Mousie Come Home".

I like the Lundy's cartoons too but they are not as funny as Culhane's ( even if the animation is more fluid and Disney-like).
Lundy's are too soft, like Disney's, they can make you smile but not laugh too much.

Some of my favorite Lundy cartoons include "The Poet and the Peasant", "Musical Moments from Chopin", " Apple Andy", "Smoked Hams", "Playful Pelican", "Crow Crazy" ( I love Milo, the Dick Nelson voiced dog)

Trevour said...

Does anyone know who designed the original Mickey Mouse Club logo?

Gabriel said...

To John K. - do you like René Laloux's LA PLANETE SAUVAGE [FANTASTIC PLANET] from 1973?

I'll build up on that question: John, do you care for animation outside of the cartoon genre?

jorge garrido said...

My question for you guys is where do you even see Woody Woodpecker cartoons, let alone so you can compare Lundy and Culhane? They're not on TV and they're not on DVD! I've only seen one, Pantry Panic and I loved it, and some clips on Thad's site but I wanna see more!

>>Except Christopher Hart; we must ROAST this bastard's ass proper!

A few years I bought one of his books on how to draw comic book heroes and didn't lern a thing. All my hopes and dreasm were in that book. When I look back on it now, it wasn't very good at all.

>I'll build up on that question: John, do you care for animation outside of the cartoon genre?

Cartoons aren't a genre. And how can animation not be cartoons? Do you mena effect animation or stop motion?

Gabriel said...

Cartoons aren't a genre. And how can animation not be cartoons? Do you mena effect animation or stop motion?

Refer to John's article about the Fleischers (I mean the article that was in the old Spumco site). The first part of it is called "animation vs. cartoons". There are tons of animated stuff out there that are not cartoons.

Gabriel said...

For example, guys like Norman McLaren, Len Lye or Oskar Fishinger were animation artists, but I don't think they were cartoonists.

Here's the article I mentioned.

david gemmill said...

awesome stylized mickeys! and animation as well! thanks for posting all this great stuff john

Anonymous said...

Hey John K.

Have you ever seen this cartoon made by the National Film Board Of Canada called "Get A Job"? The short film was made by Brad Caslor in I think 1985. It's pretty cool. The style in that cartoon looks like the old disney cartoons and other cartoons from the 1930's and 1940's. I know you hate any cartoon from the 80's but I always felt that the National Film Board Of Canada cartoon films were creator driven.

Jesse

JohnK said...

>>National Film Board Of Canada called "Get A Job"? The short film was made by Brad Caslor in I think 1985. <<

It's fantastic! Brad is a big Clampett fan and his animation is very much like the 1944 style.

Anonymous said...

Hey John K.

You should put on this blog some of your color theories. Because I know you hate pure primary colors in cartoons. If you want to see ugly color go watch Fairly Oddparents by Butch Hartman. The colors in that show just make your eyes burn! I love the BG colors in the APC episodes of Ren & Stimpy. I also love the ones by Bill Wray & Scott Wills. I know you have alot of theories about color so lets read theme.

"WERE TIRED OF LOOKIN AT CANDYCAIN LAIN EVERY DAY!!!!"

your pal,
Jesse

Anonymous said...

Hey John,

Keep bringing these construction posts to your blog. Lots of great pictures to draw and lots of stuff to learn. Thanks alot!

Max Ward

Lollypop Joe said...

Some one that think "Solid Ivory" ,a generic-story cartoon, is the best of Woody cartoons and thinks its better than Culhane's Woody cartoons does not merit to be heard."The Barber of Seville","The Greatest Man in Siam", "Woody Dines Out","Abou Ben Boogie"and "Who's Cooking Who?" are much better than anything John K. produced.

Shawn said...

Hey, where the hell is everybody finding these Woody Woodpecker cartoons??? I've been on an endless search for those cartoons, and all they ever have on any tapes is Panty Panic. I want to get some of the cartoons you guys are talking about. Where are they??

junior said...

are much better than anything John K. produced

which in turn is much better than any stuff you produced. How is it that you measure merit by people's opinions? The merit is high when their opinions are the same as yours?

P.C. Unfunny said...

Hey, where the hell is everybody finding these Woody Woodpecker cartoons???

I found some on YouTube.

Marc Deckter said...

Shawn said...
Hey, where the hell is everybody finding these Woody Woodpecker cartoons???


Hi Shawn - many of these Woody Woodpecker cartoons are on the Columbia House "Woody Woodpecker and Friends "DVD set.

You can find a couple of customer service phone numbers at the bottom of this DVDtoons forum thread. I'm not sure what the status is on this collection, but maybe they have discs left they can sell you?

Good luck!

Kris said...

John, do you think all rotoscope is awful? I know in modern use it typically looks wretched--human characters in Don Bluth films are the most terrible-looking example I can think of--but I know Fleischer did some really fun, cartoony combinations of rotoscope and freehand animation. Look at all the cartoons with Cab Calloway songs!

Minnie the Moocher
Old Man of the Mountain
Snow White
I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You (starring Louis Armstrong's disembodied head and some racist caricatures of his orchestra)

I think Koko was actually usually rotoscoped even when he wasn't being Cab Calloway--I know the character was created to test the rotoscope when it was still new.

In the right hands rotoscope can be used to fascinating effect. Not right for a young cartoonist/animator, I'll agree there, but I don't think all rotoscoped animation has to be stiff, lifeless, and terrible-looking.

Shawn said...

Thanks Marc! I'll look into that!

Anonymous said...

Does any body notice that in the Porky Pig In Wacky Land cartoon theres a scene where a half cat half dog creature was fighting? Do ya think thats where Peter Hanna got the idea for Nickelodeon's cartoon show CATDOG?

Clinton said...

I don't know if anyone has been drawing those poses or not. If you have, link me, I wanna see them. Here's mine, tell me what you think. http://soggygrits.blogspot.com/

Evan said...

John, was Mickey a major influence in creating Stimpy? If not directly, perhaps subconsciously? It seems logical given Stimpy's lovable character type. I notice similarities such as the shape the black area follows on Mickey is similar to the dark red area on Stimpy, the white gloves, shapes of eyes, nose and feet, etc.

Anonymous said...

>>Shamus Culhane's cartoons are way slower and mushier than Lundy's. And drawn so badly!

Everything about his work is mushy and unsure.<<


Even his work on "Swing You Sinners"?

Adriaan said...

Godver. Nuff said about his animation, Shamus could whip up a damn fine casserole though.

Hans Grotz said...

"but I know Fleischer did some really fun, cartoony combinations of rotoscope and freehand animation. Look at all the cartoons with Cab Calloway songs!

"

But they'd be much better without the rotorscope,look how unpleasant with the character's body turns to "humam'sbody" when rotorscope cames to act.

Ren and Stimpy 2600 said...

I'm just writin again to see if you checked out my drawings yet at www.cartoonist22700.blogspot.com.




Jared Smith

Mr. Semaj said...

(additional generic post compliment)

Like some, I too, was more interested in Disney's cartoons than their live-action, not that I didn't try to stomach their live-action efforts occasionally.

My favorite form of Mickey Mouse was Ward Kimball's rendering of the character in "The Little Whirlwind". Mickey is funny, interesting, sympathetic, and so full of life. They seemed to have found the balance (that would eventually be lost again) between the cartoonish mouse that most fanboys want and the bland mouse that he was pressured to become.

The Mickey Mouse of 1941 is, to me, the character in his most comnplete form.

Daniel said...

Wow! You know a lot about animation! These articles you write really help a lot, especially since I just got into the whole animation thing not too long ago.
I do figure drawing in school and I usually do them so quick that i end up with so much that i always considered doing animation. Though I have a question I bought a drawing tablet for my computer so I could draw dirctly onto Macromedia Flash.
Thanks again!

Danny

Dan said...

hi john, although u have posted this zillian years ago, but I still like to say I am very much agree with you about learning the fundamentals.
I think the fact that you are asking us to learn from the classics, is NOT because you want us to reproduce mickey mouse style, or chuck jones', but to learn the fundamentals from copying the classical art. after being really good at the fundamantals, we can do whatever style we want, and express our own statement, and possiblely work out sth even better than the classics. but all the after words, will be based on solid fundamentals first.

interestingly, me myself have been studying in different fields. Physics,business, live actions and such (not necessary that im really good at any of them, haha), and thats what i found about learning all subjects, the FUNDAMANTALS.

i really apprieciated all your effort and posts, it is really good to hear things different from the "all disney is good" voice. And ya, i will try my best to follow ur 3 year animation courses outline to train myself, and do hopefully to work for you one day. (btw, it was really nice meeting you in 6PH and the Archive last saturday:P)

SparkyMK3 said...

Hm, i can certainly agree about Culhunes Woody shorts-those are some of the sloppiest, poorly timed cartoons ive ever seen-i can barely even sit through them on the first Woody Woodpecker collection. Dick Lundy was a HUGE step up, no doubt about that.

That being said, i still like the earliest cartoons directed by Walter Lantz himself and Alex Lovy-i love the loose wackiness of those early shorts, as well as Woody's original design-it's one of my all time favorite cartoon character designs. The early shorts are worth watching for it alone, as well as Mel Blanc's performance in the first four cartoons.

Ruben Espinoza said...

Why oh why am I always late to find such awesome information! These are so awesome!