Friday, June 30, 2006

What's Cookin' Doc? - Bugs at table


This is a nice example of very subtle acting and strong personailty of Bugs Bunny from a Bob Clampett cartoon.
It's Bob McKimson again.
Oh and here is a nice letter from Milton Grey, an animator, cartoon historian and....timing director on the Simpsons! This guy has his finger in every cartoon pie, so listen to his ass!


"Hi John, Thanks for your e-mail. I gather from it that you have seen my two articles on Bob Clampett (actually, one about Coal Black) that Mike Barrier posted a couple weeks or so ago on his website.
I've gotten quite a few compliments from people for the commentary I did for Gruesome Twosome on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3 DVD set. They said they liked the way I described Clampett's working methods, which led to the unique results he achieved in his cartoons.
I'm surprised how many times I keep hearing, even recently, from people complaining that the later Clampett interviews that Mike Barrier and I recorded have never been published. I guess people don't know that I made all those interviews available in 1999 on the Beany and Cecil DVD under the heading of The Bob Clampett Oral History. I wish more people would listen to that, because what Bob actually says is so different from what people think Bob says, people who have only heard Chuck Jones' lies about Bob.
You are so absolutely correct about Bob's cartoons being ignored by critics, simply because his cartoons are so much more difficult to describe in words than other cartoons (like Jones's) that just follow formulas that have already been described in words. In that regard, I saw a great quote in the March 13, 2005 edition of the Los Angeles Times Book Review, by Richard Schickel. I will paraphrase the quote slightly here for clarity, since I'm quoting this statement out of context:
"Filmmakers are at least sometimes trying to make movies whose meanings are carried primarily through imagery. Films of this sort are often harshly criticized for their inarticulateness. That's because movie reviewers are essentially literary people, condemned to summarize in written language a medium that often produces its greatest effect through purely visual means. The critics naturally love snappy dialog -- in short supply lately -- and complex, novelistic narrative structures. Also, I can tell you, it is easier to quote a few good lines than it is to describe the effect of a subtly orchestrated sequence of images."
Myself, at the risk of sounding like a flake, I spend very little time on the internet, due to an awfully busy work schedule, and I never visit chat rooms because so much of those (I've heard) are just the drivel of very uninformed people. But recently Mike Barrier urged me to read the proceedings of a chat room because a lot of it was about one of my Clampett articles on Mike's website. This "thread" went on for sixteen pages, and it is guaranteed to make your blood boil, as it is basically a rant by about a dozen dedicated Clampett bashers, accusing Bob of, among other things, allegedly taking credit for things that I have never heard Bob trying to take credit for. (And along with Clampett, you and I were also mentioned frequently as over-zealous Clampett disciples.) The chat room, if you want to sit through it, is at

'>http://forums.goldenagecartoons.com/showthread.php?">


Maybe sometime soon you and Eddie and I, and maybe a few other people, should get together and collect all of our articles on Bob's work, and brainstorm some new things to try to describe Bob's work -- and how Bob really advanced the art of cartoon animation far beyond anyone else in his day -- so that no one of us has to feel singled out as a zealous disciple. I hope Eddie has already told you, but recently I printed, in a small private publication called Apatoons, the transcript I typed up for Mike Barrier of the comments made the day in July 1979 that you, Eddie, Rick Farmaloe, Bob Clampett and I got together for the purpose of trying to put into words what makes Bob's cartoons so unique. Even today it is a fascinating read, and I'll give you a copy if Eddie hasn't already. But I really agree with you about the value and importance of continuing something like that, because if we don't do it, probably nobody else will -- just because it is too difficult for most people, even most cartoon fans, to articulate.
Wow, it's getting late, so I have to go. But let's talk some more about these things, and see what we can do.
By the way, I have a sketchbook of my recent drawings at the printers right now, which should be printed in about another week, and I'd like to give you a copy. I don't have your mailing address, but I can give a copy to Eddie to give to you. Also, at some point, I'd like to introduce to you a really sincere fan of yours, who is the guy who directed and produced the cartoon "The Ghost of Stephen Foster".


Anyway, I gotta go.
Your pal,Milt"


76 comments:

Eebs said...

I love how that huge letter ends with "Anyway, gotta go."

Stephen Worth said...

That chat board you posted the link to is a complete waste of time. The only value that particular site has is as a vivid example of just about every logical fallacy on the list paraded out with glee.

I just posted that great Bouncing Ball cartoon with the crazy jungle animals on the ASIFA Archive Blog. Better to watch a great cartoon than to listen to people who don't know what they're talking about talk about them.

See ya
Steve

Jesse Oliver said...

I love the celebrity impressions that Bugs dose in that cartoon.

Gabriel said...

I really believe that if you guys are right justice will be done to Bob Clampett's name. This internet thing allows you to talk to the us, the kids (and some who think they're still kids), and that matters more than what some uptight cartoon connoisseur wannabe thinks. Today we're watching crappy quality videos on youtube, but where were we five years ago? We're moving fast, soon everyone will have access to everything, no one can stop this informational beast! There are tons of us with our ears and eyes open, waiting for someone to show us why those are cartoons are so great (or even point out that they exist in some cases). This and some other blogs are just the beginning!

P.C. Unfunny said...

John,for some reason, you are making me like Clampett more and more.I watched Beany and Cecil on youtube and I thought it was pretty good.You're brain washing me,please stop.

P.C. Unfunny said...

Oh yeah, that link to the debate is coming up with an error message.

I don't really care said...

Stephen Worth said...
That chat board you posted the link to is a complete waste of time. The only value that particular site has is as a vivid example of just about every logical fallacy on the list paraded out with glee.

Sounds like how I remember Sunday School.

More important is I just got Beany & Cecil from Netflix 2day!

Whatever happened to my Dishonest John jack-in-the-box? My brother probably poured gasoline on it...

Franfou said...

all these caricature made by bugs bunny are very well done ! I like Clampett more than before definitly !!!

chepicimo said...

Clampett bashers can suck my left NUT nuff said

Brian P. Stone said...

It's great to have these little subtleties pointed out in the animation. It really gets you to pay a little more attention, notice a bit more. When I was watching these cartoons as I kid, I was aware of the names popping up in the credits at the beginning of the cartoon... Bob Clampett, Tex Avery, etc. But back then, all that was important to me was the star of the cartoon... Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, whatever. Still, now that you're pointing out the creators, their styles, and their timing, it's funny to see that the cartoons that were my favorites when I was a kid were my favorites for the reasons you're pointing out now. I just didn't notice it back then. Did that make any sense?

Stephen Worth said...

I agree with you, Gabriel. I think the internet is changing how animation history is recorded, and how people find out about great animation of the past.

It used to be that a historian would come out with a book full of text blocks, hairbrained opinions and a couple of grainy pictures and that was it. The author was automatically an "expert" and the "proper" way to question his opinions was to spend six years writing your own book.

Today animation blogs are changing all that. Learning about cartoons is becoming an interactive thing, and different people's perspectives are illuminating the subjects from different angles. A bit of information in one person's blog gains context from a bit of info in someone else's blog. It's pretty exciting.

The truth is in the films themselves... As people get access to the films being discussed, the hot air can't help but be replaced by fresh air.

See ya
Steve

Anonymous said...

Right on, Milt!

I have listened to the Clampett interview on the Beany & Cecil DVD more than once. It, too, has made me livid reading the Proudly Ignorant blabber on that chat board about stuff that could be countered with that oral Clampett interview. Really, where is this hostility coming from, especially from younger fans, towards Clampett? Those people are missing the point of living.

Vermaquale said...

"I wish more people would listen to that, because what Bob actually says is so different from what people think Bob says, people who have only heard Chuck Jones' lies about Bob."

What are these lies and what does Chuck Jones have against Bob Clampett.

antikewl said...

Fantastic Bugs clip! I remember seeing this short on Rolf's Cartoon Club many years ago, in the 80s, and Rolf going absolutely nuts over it.

I wish that show was still around -- maybe kids would still recognise real cartoons today. Perhaps John, Eddie, Steve and co could take up the baton? Make a TV show about cartoons to educate everyone's eyeballs again!

Jorge Garrido said...

>That chat board you posted the link to is a complete waste of time. The only value that particular site has is as a vivid example of just about every logical fallacy on the list paraded out with glee.

Ok, first of all, it's a forum, not a chat room. Second of all, don't paint us all with the same brush. Our web community of classic cartoon lovers is the best site on the forum on the internet for cartoons. Yeah, there are some jerks lke Soqturtle, but alot of cool people post there, including Jerry Beck, Ray Pointer, Thad K, Duck_Dodgers & mmm... donuts, Jon Cooke, Jaime Weinman, Jeff Harris and Matthew Hunter. Half these people post on the animationshow forums that YOU psot on as BIGSHOT. I post there are Toonami. That thread was very controversial and even now Soqturtle is starting controversy in the 1945 Warner News Thread, so yeah, our forum ain't perfect, but it's ALOT better than nothing. I wish we'd fight less but your claim that it is a "waste of time" is flat out wrong.

>This "thread" went on for sixteen pages, and it is guaranteed to make your blood boil, as it is basically a rant by about a dozen dedicated Clampett bashers, accusing Bob of, among other things, allegedly taking credit for things that I have never heard Bob trying to take credit for. (And along with Clampett, you and I were also mentioned frequently as over-zealous Clampett disciples.) The chat room, if you want to sit through it, is at

It definataly made my blood boil at times, Milt. There's alot of anti-John K morons on the site, and even anti-Clampett assholes (!!!) who even say his cartoons "draw attention to themselves too much" Well, isn't that the point of entertianment, is they you get SUCKED IN to the cartoon for 7 minutes. I just ignore these people and discuss great old cartoons. I previously invited John K to the forum, and even though he's pretty contoversial with the memebrs, his knowledge of classic cartoons is unmatched. He'd be a valuable addition. Might I suggest an alias if you choose to post there, John? Another well known cartoon historian uses an alias there. I'd prefer it if you didn't use one, since you don't have any reason to hide.

Man I really want to get that Beany & Cecil DVD but it's not available anywhere for under $100!!!

>I just posted that great Bouncing Ball cartoon with the crazy jungle animals on the ASIFA Archive Blog. Better to watch a great cartoon than to listen to people who don't know what they're talking about talk about them.

I agree, but it's also better to watch a great cartoon than to listen to people who DO know what they're talking about talk about them.

I think Bugs at the table is one of the few times Mel Blanc did impressions! Bugs was an old comedian at heart. Jaime Weinman had this too say:

"Or in the "cheater" cartoon "What's Cookin' Doc?", when Bugs Bunny shape-shifts into various celebrities, everything about the way he's drawn -- eyes, ears, body language -- is appropriate to the parody and to the character of Bugs, with imaginative transitions from the animation of "regular" Bugs to the animation of shape-shifted Bugs; it's funny not just because of the parody but because McKimson's sense of character allows him to emphasize the fact that it's still Bugs Bunny behind the parody."

LOL, I just found this burn on Jaime's site while triyng to find his quote about "What's Cooking Doc:

"Bill Melendez's commentary track for "The Big Snooze" has some good observations about Scribner's style, as does John Kricfalusi's not-all-about-me-for-once commentary on "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery." Here is what looks like a Scribner drawing from that cartoon."

Little did Jaime realize that later, John would be criticized for ONLY talking about Clampett! I think GAC's assesment of your commentaries on the Looney Tunes DVD's sum up the forum's general feelings toward John Kris-fa-loo-see:

"John Kricfalusi also did some commentaries, such as Booby Traps and Tokyo Woes featuring endless praise for Bob Clampett and some negative comments about Chuck Jones." -Pietro Shakarian

"You've gotta love John K.'s immitation of Bugs in the shorts as well (which is surprisingly accurate)." -Thad K

"I'd just like to point out that I loved John K. on the last volume... But here he comes off as some sort of reincarnation of Bob Clampett himself! While I agreed with him on a point or two in his commentary for "Claws for Alarm" with Eddie Fitzgerald, the main point he's trying to get across seems to be that Chuck Jones invented the idea of a boring cartoon." -Thad K

"I am, however, quite disappointed by some of the commentaries here. While John Kricfalusi is a joy to listen to on many shorts, he goes out of his way to bash a few and constantly derides any other director or animator who is not Bob Clampett! In the cases where he shares a commentary with someone else, he will often encourage them to diss a particular director or animator. He even tries to get Bill Melendez to say something bad about Robert McKimson, on the commentary to "Falling Hare"!. Kricfalusi's commentary on "Claws For Alarm" with animator Eddie Fitzgerald is sheer torture to listen to, at least if you're as big a fan of Chuck Jones as I am. I didn't learn or gain anything from it except that these guys don't like Jones' subtler, more limited style, and they liked "Scaredy Cat" better. And this commentary made the cut? shame on them. On the bright side, Kricfalusi's commentaries on "A Gruesome Twosome" and "Wackiki Wabbit" are fun to listen to."-Matthew Hunter

"The best and perhaps wildest commentary is by a man as wild as very the cartoon he comments on. The commentary by John Kricfalusi (of "The Ren and Stimpy Show" fame) for THE GREAT PIGGY BANK ROBBERY is possibly one of the craziest things I have ever heard! Kricfalusi, who often said to be hugely influenced by Clampett's work, confirms so here. Never have I heard a more energetic or entertaining commentary on any DVD — Kricfalusi alone wins the prize. He's obviously a man who recognizes great work when he sees it. He also provides some insight as well (describing why Daffy's body parts wriggled out from behind the "dog pile" of villains)." -Pietro Shakarian

"While Ford is still doing the best overall commentaries, I think the best 'one-time' commentary on the whole set is John Kricfalusi's on "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery". Yes despite how much I disagree with him, you can tell the man really loves this cartoon. Here's hoping he'll be able to do more commentaries on other Clampett classics." -Thad K

Brian P. Stone said...

Heh... any classic cartoons they showed on TV today though would have all the jokes and violence edited out though.

Anonymous said...

You know what's really funny?

Those cowards... Immediatly ashamed of themselves QUICKLY deleted that thread.

Now it's unable to link to a thread which no longer exists.

I guess that can be construed as one of the fastest and most effective victories on the behalf of common sense and infomred, decent opinions that i've seen in quite some time.

In the temrs of the internet, I do believe that this article, in record time "owned" a very large number of hateful, ill-informed, obnoxious, and ultimatly cowardly "internet bashers"

Typical of their lot.

Now, i'm sure they will proceed to find their way here, to prove (however hypocritically) that they are not cowards and are "big and bad" people with opinions that are still just as uninfomred and just as ignorant and based on negativity and hate then before.

Let the controversy begin!

bardhol said...

It looks like some frames are missing from the first clip at around 36 seconds -- watch the eyes and the hands... is that from the transfer, or was it drawn that way?

Supreme Cat said...

That thread wasn't deleted. John didn't post the right link.

And no, the board is not a waste of time. The site actually has a lot of great information and is the only place on the web you get info on obscure topics like Columbia, DePatie-Freleng, and the most comprehensive listing of Walter Lantz cartoons ever.

Go fuck yourself, Steve.

SUPREME HAS SPOKEN!!!

rodney said...

Oh, come on Steve. You're still pissed off that nobody was willing to give you special treatment because you view yourself as some sort of a celebrity.

A person can learn a hell of a lot more about cartoons on GAC. You posted there for awhile, and never bothered to teach people about cartoons, you just argued about how great all of your little projects are and about how nobody else knows what they're talking about. You made it a waste of time. I'd rather read posts on there than any other "chat board" about animation.

rodney said...

"Those cowards... Immediatly ashamed of themselves QUICKLY deleted that thread. "

Who's a coward? Nobody deleted the thread. It's not our fault that the link's screwed up. Go to the board and search for it yourself. It's still there.

P.C. Unfunny said...

"Go fuck yourself, Steve."

You actually appeared half-way smart until you wrote this Supreme Cat.

I don't really care said...

I have not seen these Beany and Cecil cartoons since they were first on TV when I was 4 or 5. I had no conscious recall of any of it except superficially, but when I watch, it amazes me how much of this imagery is still vividly burned into my subconscious. Sometimes the shapes in the characters and backgrounds are just so pleasing and lively. Not just the visuals --the music, the catch phrases...

No matter what medium Clampett is working in --full animation, limited animation, or puppets --one thing is clear: he was always interested in maximizing the visual aspect, because for him, it was always about selling it to your eyes as much as anything and everything else.

Watching South Park after Beany and Cecil is like asking to be vomited on. Now, I think South Park is funny, but it always strikes me as ironic and disappointing that I am watching a cartoon for the dialogue, and for schematic diagrams of funny situations.

King of [Silent] Cartoons said...

The notion that the "chat board" is a waste of time is utterly tactless. Although its members may have a diverse range of maturities and dedication, as with most online communities, you'll notice that some of the leading collectors, writers, historians and enthusiasts in our tight-knit community of animation history studies do post there. Your opinion is as valid as mine, but don't be quick to make a 'backhanded dig' about an active online community which has been made possible by the deep interests of several private individuals.
-Tom

JohnK said...

Hmmm

I wonder why these comments keep degenerating.

The post is about cartoon acting. I didn't say too much about the scene because I wanted to see what people noticed about it, if anything.

I think I may start using comment moderation, so we can live without the hate and just plain dumb posts.

This whole blog is meant to help people understand what they are looking at when they watch cartoons. It's kind of a big favor to anyone who loves visually clever cartoons and wonders where they went.

rodney said...

John, I'm afraid I don't get it. You give us a beautiful piece of McKimson animation, and then we're told that Milt Gray knows what he's talking about, so we should "listen to his ass". You pointed our attention to it, and now we're being reprimanded for doing what we were told to do.

The cartoon clip is brilliant, and typical of what Mckimson was doing in that time period. How can anyone argue that? People like to argue and claim that they're right. I do, and I know you do too. Not sure why that's being considered such a bad thing........

P.C. Unfunny said...

"The post is about cartoon acting. I didn't say too much about the scene because I wanted to see what people noticed about it, if anything."

Honestly,did you think what Milt said wouldn't be the majority of posts here ? You didn't say much about the acting then put that huge letter by Milt, which dind't talk much about the subject you posted.

Supreme Cat said...

You just put up two brilliant animation pieces and barely commented on them. Then we got a huge-ass letter from Milton Gray and comments from Steve Worthless about how a great website is a waste of time.

Seriously John. We know you're smarter than that. Don't post things to get a negative reaction if you can't handle it.

SUPREME HAS SPOKEN!!!

Shawn said...

Bugs does some great subtle acting in that scene. I like the slight pauses he does between his impressions, and other little things, like how he gently places the carrot on his plate before he views the room around him. The animation is really smooth too.

BTW, I have that Beany and Cecil DVD Milt mentioned, and there is loads of great audio tracks by Clampett, as well as Stan Freberg and other people who worked with Clampett during the Time For Beany show. It never seems that Clampett tries to take credit for someone elses ideas, BUT it's amazing how many things WERE his ideas that he never really got credit for. He innovated so much.
Everything else on that DVD is great too. It's too bad that it's not still available to buy. Everyone should own that DVD! It's great!

Toren Q Atkinson said...

The beauty of the blog, John K, is that it's yours and you can do what you want with it. If you want to start moderating comments, I'm all for it. I don't need to read people insulting one another, I just want the facts, insight etc that you and your associates provide. You're doing a bang up job and I for one appreciate it.

Ollie said...

Ha! Those impersonations were great.

-Ollie

Thad K said...

John,
It's your blog and you can do what you want with it, but you can easily just delete the offensive posts in question by clicking the little trashcan.

But I do take offense to Steve saying that the website I help run and established is a waste of time. I'm proud of the GAC community, and really I don't think it needs to be justified to anyone. The fact remains is that we have Jerry Beck, people at TCM, and Warner animation and even Filmation veterans among our members.

Well I'm done for now. See you in the funny papers.

- Thad

Supreme Cat said...

Hey Milt! I hope your blood DOES boil over something so small and petty. It just exposes you as the middle-aged fan boy you really are.

SUPREME HAS SPOKEN!!!

Vermaquale said...

I like how every action that Bugs does is done for a reason. It's not just a bunch of drawings that make him move. It makes him more alive.

Kevin W. Martinez said...

I'm assuming that the GAC thread Mr. Grey is referring to a recent one which started off with someone inquiring about what Clampett did after he left the Warner's cartoon studio in 1945 (It lasted 16 pages before being locked). If that's the one, i was in attendance for it (as the one-and-only Leviathan), and while i didn't participate too much in it, i was able to read every comment posted and hear the various sides of the arguments levied. Although it probably carried on for longer than it should have, calling it the "drivel of uninformed people" would be totally unfitting. Besides, Any "anti-Clampett" opinion that was expressed therein didn't go one page without an equal rebuttal.

These Clampett discussions eerily mirror the Political and Religious "discussions" that poision certain other forums on the internet: You have one group of people that see things one way, another group that sees things another, and they'll carry on heated and lengthy debates without hope of ever reaching any sort of consensus. That having been said, inflammatory comments like the one Milt made really don't help matters.

Anonymous said...

mi fabirt cjartoons is da one where nbugs and daffy duk say du k seaso rabbit season. that one wa bob clampeitts best!!1

Dr.Awkward said...

>
mi fabirt cjartoons is da one where nbugs and daffy duk say du k seaso rabbit season. that one wa bob clampeitts best!!1

<

Are you illiterate, or are you just typing too fast and carelessly?

furball said...

Tell it like it is John. It would be good if the voice that made the most sense was the loudest for a change.

Jesse Oliver said...

"Hey Folks!"

You will not believe what I found at Walmart yeasturday. I walked over to the $1.00 DVDs and I found a DVD that had the very rare Clampett classic "Bugs Bunny Bond Rally". That has to be my favorite Bugs Bunny design. If you folks want to buy it you can find it in Walmart or any kind of Dollar store.

Jesse

furball said...

I forgot to add, top example of 'subtle' acting. Those movements through faces and pose set the bar pretty high.

Dave_the_Turnip said...

I normally don't post much here cause i have a hard time articulating what is so brilliant and entertaining about most of the clips you post.

The same problem as those historians eh :)

I do however enjoy reading other people giving their opinions on the subject. I could do without the insults though. I wouldn't mind if posts were moderated.

Stephen Worth said...

The problem was the link to that discussion board. That's the place where all your "anonymouses" come from.

See ya
Steve

rodney said...

Steve, this thread has two anonymous posts, and they're both not exactly for GAC. As per usual, I just don't understand what you're trying to say.

Tibby said...

Fight! Fight!

Eh - I just like all the presentations of Bugs and what is trying to be done. Heh - I'm just here for the cartoons, and the education. Getting deep into chat and forums can be a dangerous thing.

Anyway - I made a little animation. Since cartoons is love, I present my stupid chicken cycle. I like chickens!

http://www.deviantart.com/view/35507487/
Me lame now.

J. J. Hunsecker said...

I also post on GAC, which I think is a good website. I was involved in that Clampett discussion -- I was one of his defenders. Actually, it was mostly my fault that thread lasted 16 pages (or whatever) before being locked, since I posted so many lenghy rebuttals, especially to one Sogturtle.

I like reading the posts on John's blog, too, even when they are argumentative and in disagreement. I don't think Mr. Kricfalusi needs to moderate the comments here. Most are in support of him. The others are easy to ignore.

That clip of Bugs Bunny is from one of my favorite cartoons. The idea is so clever -- Bugs as a real life celebrity, with all the ego that goes with it. In terms of subtly, I like how Bugs wets his finger and smooths down the 3 hairs on his head, in order to look presentable to accept the award he is so sure he is going to win.

JohnK said...

>>These Clampett discussions eerily mirror the Political and Religious "discussions" that poision certain other forums on the internet: <<

Well not quite.

I post lots of examples and explain what I see in them.

People disagree anyway without presenting examples of their own to refute what they disagree with.

Kevin W. Martinez said...

"Well not quite.

I post lots of examples and explain what I see in them."

Oops. Sorry for not being more specific, John. i was actually referring to the Clampett discussions on the various forums, (like the GAC one mentioned)

Naomi said...

This is actually one of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons. I like how his face and expressions change so smoothly and quickly.

The great thing about Clampett is that he didn't half-ass anything. I think his work is quality, but underappreciated.

David Germain said...

Yeah, John, your link to GAC doesn't work. But this one should. By the way, I'm also a "Gaccer". I go by Daffysleftfoot. B) (I'm a BCDB-er as well. There I'm damfine)
I find Sogturtle quite informative actually. Sure, he may come across as a little too sarcastic at times, but he actually has the evidence to back up his claims. That alone puts him several steps above the anonymous douchebags that post here.

As for Milt Grey's blood boiling: Yes, Bob Clampett was a brilliant artist and indeed does deserve more press than he's gotten. But I'm not going to be a Pollyana about it and deny anything that makes Bob less than perfect. Personally, I would prefer to see a Bob Clampett biography presented with the absolute truth, warts and all, than some propaganda piece. It's important that we see these great artists as human beings so that we can better appreciate their accomplishments.

Kali Fontecchio said...

I like how his carrot becomes his prop gun- amazing stuff!

Hammerson said...

I disagree with claim that GAC forum is a total waste of time. There are some knowledgeable people there (also several John K. supporters too), and lot of interesting info can be learned from various discussions when you're able to mentally filter out the ignorant or malicious stuff. The forum does show its ugly side whenever there's a thread about
Clampett or John K.
Clampett threads are usually invaded by a certain individual who leads a weird personal crusade against Clampett, his fans and supporters. He's got some knowledge, possess lot of documentation, and sometimes rises some valid points, yet has an ridiculously strong anti-Clampett bias.
One of his particular obsessions is his constant proving that Clampett's cartoons were not popular with the audience and WB executives, and not considered as
influential in any way among the members of the animation industry. I found this notion hard to swallow, and it's the exact opposite of what John, Steve and other people are often saying. While I'm absolutely convinced that Clampett was a major influence in the way the Looney Tunes evolved from the late '30s to mid-'40s, is there any strong evidence about the popularity of his cartoons among the '30s and '40s audience? Did the audience of that time considered his works as too disturbing and intense? Were Clampett's brilliant achievements recognized by his colleagues? Freleng, Avery and (from the late '40s) Jones were all well known and respected in the animation industry, yet is there any recognizable Clampett influence in the works of the other studios?
In my opinion, Clampett's masterpieces made during his last four years at WB are possibly the most advanced and unique cartoons ever produced by a Hollywood studio. Were they recognized as such, at the time when they were made? It is a quite interesting topic for further discussion.

LeoBro said...

Getting back to Bugs' acting under the Clampett/McKimson touch, here's a brief portion of a scene from "Tortoise Wins By a Hare" in a Flash tool where you can view the animation frame-by-frame. It's the part where bugs explodes with "How does he *do* it?!!"
Pretty amazing.
http://punchandbrodie.com/toonalyzer/hare2.html
(It's a big file because I exported individual frames from the DVD.)

Anonymous said...

The last clip seems pretty generic to me.

But that first one has all sorts of goodies.

I love the "tip of the hat" gesture and the portion where he dusts himself off and slicks his hair back.

The caricatures of the stars are fun too without the stiffness sometimes associated with animated caricatures.

When you first started this blog, I looked forward to your new work. Now I enjoy these cartoon history posts more.

But He-hog does have a special place in me heart.

LeoBro said...

The above as a link:
How does he *do* it?!!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love Bob Clampett's work. GRUESOME TWOSOME is among the greatest cartoons ever committed to celluloid.
That said, I'm aware of Clampett's filmography as presented in FILM DOPE in the 1970s. Compiled by Clampett himself, the filmography credited him for working on many cartoons that others (including the given cartoons' directors) have since disputed his influence on.
This, obviously, is where the claims originate that Clampett took credit for the works of others. It doesn't matter how kindly he spoke of those others as people, either at the time or later on; he still evidently did something to incur their wrath.
And you know something? Whether or not his claims in FILM DOPE were accurate, I still treasure Clampett for the many great gifts I know that he gave me. And I'm also perfectly willing to believe that he was for the most part a kind and great person, if imperfect.

Moving on, I also love Chuck Jones' work. A BEAR FOR PUNISHMENT, to name one, is another of the greatest cartoons ever made.
That said, I'm aware of what all the evidence shows me is Chuck's personal egotism. While perhaps legitimately driven to some criticism of Clampett by the FILM DOPE filmography, Chuck carried it way over the line, omitting mention of Clampett's achievements from his own works and memoirs and -- ultimately -- turning himself into exactly the kind of braggart that he'd earlier claimed Clampett to be. But once again, you know something? Whether or not Jones really was the kind of egomaniac that he appears to me to have become before his death, I still treasure Jones for the wonderful cartoons that he gave me.

Get this: my feelings about Clampett's and Jones' personal faults HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH WORSHIP OF THE OTHER GUY. As you can see, when I find fault with Jones as a human being, it's not because I'm a Clampett partisan. Nor am I finding fault with Clampett because I'm a Jones partisan. I'm finding fault with each man because the evidence right in front of me suggests they were both imperfect individuals.
And they both still made great cartoons.

There are a lot of people on this blog who take the Great Clampett/Jones Feud very seriously, in part because feelings were genuinely hurt. I understand that.
But I'm tired of these emotions being taken to such an extreme that one cannot praise one man without it being seen as a veiled attack on the other guy.

Not EVERYBODY is with you or against you. Just because I'm not a Hatfield doesn't mean I'm a McCoy.

Anonymous said...

I just said this about FILM DOPE:
"Compiled by Clampett himself, the filmography [in the magazine] credited him for working on many cartoons that others (including the given cartoons' directors) have since disputed his influence on."

It has occurred to me that Clampett partisans on this board are almost certain to challenge me here -- to show one of these disputes that was not initiated or amplified by Chuck Jones.

Very well. Tex Avery to Fred Mintz, December 2 1975 (as cited by a poster in another thread here): ""I am now in the process of trying to stop an IMPOSTER [sic], BOB CLAMPETT from spreading the word that he is the father of Bugs Bunny!---When I made A WILD HARE he was busy in another building knocking out Porky Pigs!"

So there you go: a dispute with Clampett that did not involve Jones.

But hey, Jones partisans... you're not off the hook either. I'm not badmouthing Clampett to build up your guy; I still consider Jones to be as flawed an individual as Clampett (if not considerably more so!). Jones was guilty of ridiculous and unnecessary egotism.

And of making brilliant cartoons. Just like Clampett.

(This is so easy. I'm so capable of loving these two directors' work while conceding that neither was a perfect person. Why don't some of you partisans try it sometime?)

C. A. M. Thompson said...

It's amazing how much information McKimson was able to get into just a few seconds of film. You can tell from Bugs's expressions that he's noticing the people in the room and making eye contact with them before he launches into his impressions of them.

Anonymous said...

I find this scene to be extremely impressive, and since there seems to be a lack of commentary about the actual clip, figure I'll talk about it.

What's really striking to me about this scene is how Bugs is conveying aspects of not only his but the celebrities he impersonates personalities. And I'd like to say that "how" is what I really think is the key word here, and that I think is the number one reason a lot of people (such as the critics that Milton discusses in his letter) don't really get what's going on.

If you just simply focus on what Bugs is doing, you really at it's most basic come up with "Bugs is talking". The step up would be "Bugs is talking while making gestures". Neither of these descriptions is particularly exciting, but they're accurate in a sense. What's missing is HOW Bugs is talking and making gestures.

For example, look at Bugs' hands as he goes through the scene. When he grabs his ears and pulls them around his face, the way his fingers move convey the feminine personality of the celebrity he's impersonating; it's not simply a matter of his face becoming a caricatured version of the celebrity.

When he impersonates Bing Crosby, Bugs hunches his body and sways; his ears fold over to simulate Crosby's slicked hair; and again with the hands, just look at the way he holds the microphone. He isn't simply gripping it, he almost gently cradles it which fits perfectly with the manerisms of a crooner like Crosby.

It's important to note that none of these things are critical to understanding what's happening, in the most basic sense, but they are absolutely critical in conveying the personality and attitude of the character!

Many people may never notice these things, and even people who look out for them may not consciously be able to pick them out after only one viewing or without the aid of frame-by-frame playback.

So then I think the obvious question that results is "Why bother going to the effort of utilizing these subtleties if most people can't even spot them?" And the justification for this (in my opinion) is that even though many people would be able to point them out (or let alone verbally explain them), even the densest of viewers can feel the result of these subtle actions.

I bet if you had people watch this clip, and then had them watch an edited version of it with the subtleties removed and the inbetweens made "mathematically" so to speak, they would understand, and more importantly FEEL that something was lost; they just couldn't tell you what.

Sorry for being long-winded, and I'm trying not to come off as pretentious, this is just something I feel very strongly about.

One last thing I'd just like to mention is I think a big factor in the reason that subtle animation has become almost non-existent in popular animation is voice acting. Mel Blanc was a god of voice acting, but the "animation acting" as I'd like to call it was strong enough to stand on it's own back then.

I think now people have come to use voice acting as a crutch; an excuse to use virtually no animation acting. I find Family Guy hilarious, but I'm willing to bet if I hit the mute button on my remote it would instantly turn into the most boring crap ever.

Randy said...

Nope, King of the Hill is the most boring crap ever. I defy anyone to give me an example of more lifeless "animation."

Anonymous said...

Two Stupid Dogs

Anonymous said...

No, King of the Hill is worse. 2 Stupid Dogs is bad, but not as bad. Hey everyone, check out this R&S blog:
www.stinkywhizzleteats.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favourite Bugs cartoons ever...cracks me up every time.

Buh buh buh buh duh buh....BURP.

J. J. Hunsecker said...

LeoB said...
Getting back to Bugs' acting under the Clampett/McKimson touch, here's a brief portion of a scene from "Tortoise Wins By a Hare" in a Flash tool where you can view the animation frame-by-frame. It's the part where bugs explodes with "How does he *do* it?!!"
Pretty amazing.
http://punchandbrodie.com/toonalyzer/hare2.html
(It's a big file because I exported individual frames from the DVD.)


That scene is by Rod Scribner, not McKimson.

Kevin W. Martinez said...

Nope, King of the Hill is the most boring crap ever. I defy anyone to give me an example of more lifeless "animation."

The Dilbert cartoon that Aired on UPN, of course!

Anonymous said...

"Many people may never notice these things, and even people who look out for them may not consciously be able to pick them out after only one viewing or without the aid of frame-by-frame playback."

Nice commentary, but since this scene is ALL ABOUT Bugs doing his impressions, and his face and hands are the focal point of the frame, I hardly think it's as subliminal as you suggest. In fact, everything you describe is blatantly, glaringly obvious at the very first viewing.

These were projected huge, on a BIG screen, remember. I think the way Bugs moves his hands, sways, etc. etc, is the whole point and is the reason his impressions of the stars are funny! It's supposed to make the audience laugh because they notice this same stuff.

andy dufresne said...

Great clip!

It goes me back in my school years and I guess this is the reason I like it so much.

I don't really know if this is really a classic or I think so because it concerns MY youth.

Anyway, I love it so much, my son loves it too, if this says something...

Ian M said...

Wow. That's really weird. I was watching one of the huge collection DVDs the other day, and the difference between the acting in that scene and the acting in some of the other scenes is sort of startling.
For one, Bubs moves really naturally in this. Not like cartoon naturally, but person naturally. All the transitions and what would usually be idle animation are all really super smooth. I kind of wish I had one of my DVDs with me right now so I could check out a different cartoon to double check my guesses, but I have to say that there isn't a lot of unneccessary animation in this like there is in a lot of cartoons, and concidering that this is has almost no holds that's pretty impressive.

supreme cat said...

Three cheers for the anonymous guy who made those two continuing posts. More truth in that than anything else I've read on the subject.

SUPREME HAS SPOKEN!!!

:: smo :: said...

wow john thank you very much for that! is the beanie and cecil dvd still available? i suppose i should check amazon...it's amazing how much better beanie and cecil limited animation looks than stuff on tv today! and it would be awesome to have those commentaries.

i remember when i realized all the cartoons i liked were clampet's and that the jokes jones took from him [daffy: "duck season fire!"] were funnier in the clampet toons too [porky: "i'm an eagle and i'll prove it to you right now!"].

and you should definitely meet the guy who did the ghost of stephen foster video! it's amazing and clsoely parallels bimbo's initiation! awesome! i referenced it a lot for my thesis right next to those betty boops. that guy is good!

Anonymous said...

awwww, i wanted to see the rest of the bugs clip!

Kris said...

As a kid, I remember finding the later, "talkier" Looney Tunes rather boring, including Jones's later stuff (where he really shows his own style). Clampett's stuff was wild, fast, visually oriented. Now that I'm older I'm better able to appreciate the slower-paced Looney Tunes, but I think Clampett's a lot more fun to watch.

Speaking of which, what ever happened to "The Bob Clampett Show" that used to be on Cartoon Network late at night? Were the ratings too poor, or was it just an issue of "edgy" new cartoons and anime becoming popular for teenagers?

P.S. To the person who was complaining about King of the Hill: in the world of lifeless prime-time animation (with such contenders as South Park, The Simpsons, and Family Guy), King of the Hill is the best out there. It's not as good as older Simpsons, but as far as characters, story, and acting (visual and voice), it's miles ahead of new Simpsons episodes or Family Guy (which are basically the same thing these days).

Arguably Family Guy is a lot more lifeless than King of the Hill.

Jorge Garrido said...

You DO realize that John K worked on 2 Stupid Dogs, right? That was Fred Seibert's first series at HB that kicked off Hanna Babera'a second golden age. After that came What-A-Cartoon! which led to Dexter's Lab and other shows like that. It was a good show. I saw an episode where they went to "Bob K's Cartune Camp!" and he taught them how to be good cartoon canines. It was hilarious! It made fun of Disney, Beany & Cecil, and Ren & Stimpy!

Hey I posted a comment here twice and it's not here. It doesn't say it was deleted, either, so I must have made a mistake in posting it.

To Dadvid Germain: I think my main problem wiht Tim aka Soqturtle is how smug he is, and the way he overuses bold, captilization and emoticons. It's really annoying. Every one of his posts reads like this:
[b]
Notice that Michael Maltese credited ONLY the three Schlesinger directors but NOT the Katz director!! :O:O:O Could it BE that he was TRYING to tell something about the pecking order at the STUDIO?? ;) I guess this DISPROVES Mr. Kricfalusi's FALLACY that Bob was INFLUENTIAL AT WARNERS!! :O
[/b]

To the anonymous who did the REALLY long post near the end:

That was an amzing cartoon analysis! Trust me, you weren't rambling! What's your name? You should post here more often!

To John K: You can't expect to say something or post something provative and then wonder aloud why people are mad! Milt's post was controversial, and while I mostly agree with him, he shortchanged our great GAC forums and J.J. who defenced you and Clampett.

If anyone is wondering if there's a show that's got worse animatiion than King Of The Hill: Go read Jaime Weinman's post, "Why I Hate Family Guy" Yeah, you can tell I'm a big fan of Mr. Weinman's blog writings. To paraphrase him, The Simpsons and King Of The Hill may not have classic style animation, but they act with their faces and hands. The characters have at least two facial expressions. Family Guy has the most bland expresionless characters I've ever seen, almost as bad as that animated Dilbert show.

J. J. Hunsecker said...

Jorge Garrido said...
Milt's post was controversial, and while I mostly agree with him, he shortchanged our great GAC forums and J.J. who defenced you and Clampett.

Thanks, Jorge!

Jorge Garrido said...

Soqturtle, if you're reading this, I'm sorry I said that about you. I shoy my mouth off without thinking once again. I was wrong about you. I'ma leave the post up so everybdoy knows what an ass I was.

JJ, I'm still your good friend, too.

You two stop fighting!

Reg Hartt said...

Below are the intros for this week's Tex Avery/Friz Freleng programs. Decide for yourself if they fit the description "verbal diarrhea" some fans give them.--Reg Hartt.


Friz Freleng:

Animation fans, like STAR TREK fans, tend to be Peter Pans (boys who have never grown up). That is why the most adult of all the Warner animation directors is their least favorite. It is also why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted him his five Academy Awards (TWEETIE PIE, 1947; SPEEDY GONZALES, 1955; BIRDS ANONYMOUS, 1957—the most adult oriented cartoon ever made; KNIGHTY KNIGHT BUGS, 1958; THE PINK PHINK, 1964—the most seriously adult blend of animation and jazz ever. It is so subtle most folk don’t really catch on to what is going on. That is the first sign of a real master at work; we never see his/her hand..

Friz’s film speak to the adult concerns of sex, status and survival; things that us grown-ups deal with every day. Kids spend their lives pretending these thing do not exist. That’s why we have a generation that refuses to get out of school.

He began his career as an animator at the Kansas City Ad Company (where Walt Disney started). He came to Hollywood to work on Walt’s OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT series. When Walt lost the series he joined Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising in their search to find a producer for their BOSKO, THE TALK-INK KID, the first sound synchronized cartoon character. Said Friz, “We all thought Walt was going broke. He fooled us by going broke in reverse.”

Leon Schlesinger picked up their series which he got Jack Warner to release (at a key moment Schlesinger had loaned Warner the money to finish the ground breaking film THE JAZZ SINGER with Al Jolson)as LOONEY TUNES.

By 1933 Freleng had become an animation director. “We never had the kind of Academy Award budgets Disney had so I thought we would never win an Oscar,” Mr. Freleng told me.

In 1947 Friz won the first of five Oscars for TWEETIE PIE, his first film with Bob Clampett’s Tweety and his own baggy pants clown character, Sylvester. The story goes that cartoon producer Eddie Seltzer told Friz to pair Sylvester with a woodpecker (Walter Lantz’s Woody was then a huge star). Friz was set on using Tweety. A fight ensued. Finally, Friz gave Seltzer the pencil, said, “You do the picture,” and walked out. That was on a Friday.

That Monday morning Friz got a call from Seltzer who told him to do the picture his way.

More than any other director Friz Freleng summed up the feistiness of spirit which is the hallmark of Warner animation in this period.

His films are impeccable examples of comic timing. Freleng is the only animation director gifted with the comic spirit of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and latter day clowns like Woody Allen (again the least audience appreciated and the most adult of modern film artists).

In 1980 when I invited Friz Freleng to Toronto to lecture on his career I asked him if he would care for a fee. “Can I bring my wife?” he asked. I wondered what made him ask a question like that. “Of course,” I said.

“In that case, there is no fee,” he replied. I found out later that the art galleries, colleges, museums, schools, theatres and universities all said there was not enough money in their budgets to cover the cost of his wife, Lily. Friz would then charge them a fee ($10,000.00) that covered first class air fare for Lily and gave her shopping money when she was out of town. I learned from him that when we meet cheap people we must become expensive.

He was surprised to discover we were not going to show any of his films. “People can always see the films,” I told him, “they won’t have the chance to meet and learn from you up here but this once. I do not want to waste a moment of it.”

“I don’t think people will be interested in me without my films,” he said.

“Trust me,” I told him.

It was a marvelous three days. It was like having Picasso or Pietro Annigoni as a guest lecturer.

“I am only going to talk for half an hour,” Mr. Freleng told me the first night. Three hours later he walked out on a crowd hungry to return. They did for the next two nights.

You will know why when you see the wonderful films in this program. No adult can watch a film like BACK ALLEY OPROAR (1948) and not gasp as Sylvester’s musical repertoire runs the gamut of the “Largo Al Factotum,” from “The Barber Of Seville”; la-la-la-la-ing the “Second Hungarian Rhapsody”; a multitrack falsetto “Sextette from Lucia Di Lammermoor” at the climax, to rousing choruses of “Moonlight Bay” and “You Never Know Where You’re Going ‘Till You get There!” to an incredible (at first Sinatra-ish then Spike Jones-ish) show stopper of ‘Angel in Disguise.” (Kudos, by the way, to Will Friedwald and Jerry Beck from whose book, THE WARNER BROTHERS CARTOONS (Scarecrow Press edition, not the later one) I was able to glean this information. Jerry’s love for the field shines through all his work. If you are going to appreciate this series at its fullest buy his books and do your homework. The more you know the more you will enjoy the work.

Then, just when we think we have seen everything, we encounter the absolutely brilliant CLEAN PASTURES (1937) a loving ode to the music of Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and more that leaves us on the right side of Paradise when it’s done. Unfortunately, this cartoon today is banned. The reasons for this are silly. The film is too damned good to stay banned. The print in this program comes from totally first rate pre-print materials. This is a rare chance not only to see the film but also to see the film in a print that does it justice. When you walk out after this program you will agree with me that Friz Freleng may well be the best director of adult animated cartoons ever to grace the medium. He was a helluva nice man and a real sweeetheart. He loved the medium. I am fortunate I was able to call him a friend.—Reg Hartt.




A Reg Hartt introduction to The Films of Tex Avery:





“Make your pictures as much like Walt Disney as possible,” producer Leon Schlesinger told Tex Avery when he arrived at the LOONEY TUNES/MERRIE MELODIES CARTOON STUDIO in 1935. Avery figured the only person the audience wanted to see make pictures like Walt was either Disney or Lantz. Certainly not him. His chief rule became to ask himself what Disney would do. Then Tex went as far as he could in the opposite direction.



Avery had begun his career on the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit series at the Walter Lantz Studio where he was working under director William Nolan. Nolan had long ago grown tired of creating animated films. He spent most of his time in the bar across the street from the studio leaving Tex free to do as he pleased. With him from the Lantz Studio Avery brought animators Virgil Ross and Sid Sutherland.



Said Avery in Joe Adamson’s excellent TEX AVERY: KING OF CARTOONS , “Bill Nolan, who was Lantz’s partner, had a crew, and Walter Lantz had another crew; there were two crews. I’d sell Bill a few gags once in a while, and he said, “’Why don’t you do a story?’ I wrote two, and he said, ‘Go ahead. Make them.’ …It was that loose. I was having money trouble at Lantz’s. I heard there was going to be a change at Warners, and I applied, I said I’d directed two cartoons. Looking back, I don’t know why or how Schlesinger gambled on me. Evidently he was quite desperate…He said, ‘I’ll try you on one picture. I’ve got some boys here—they’re not renegades, but they don’t get along with the other two crews. They’re not satisfied with the people they’re working with.’…He gave me Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, and Bob Cannon. Chuck was creative; so was Bob. Bob Cannon was a terrific draftsman. And they were tickled to death; they wanted to get a ‘new group’ going, and ‘we could do it,’ and ‘let’s make funny pictures.’ It was very encouraging, and a wonderful thing to step into, since I had so much enthusiasm in the people and they were on my side. Most of the time, you go into a new studio and, boy, they start cutting you up!



“We worked every night—Jones, Clampett, and I were all young and full of ambition. My gosh, nothing stopped us! We encouraged each other, and we really had a good ball rolling. I guess Schlesinger saw the light; he said, ‘Well, I’ll take you boys away from the main plant.’ He put us up in our own little shack over on the Sunset lot, completely separated from the Schlesinger Studio, in some old dressing room or toilet or something, a little cottage sort of thing. We called it Termite Terrace. And he was smart; he didn’t disturb us. We were all alone out there, and he knew nothing of what went on.”



When Avery left Warner Brothers in 1941 after an altercation with boss Leon Schlesinger over a gag cut from his picture HECKLING HARE he had laid the foundation for what we now think of as the Warner Brothers’ cartoon and created the pictures in which the characters of Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny were perfected. He had enriched Warner Brothers animation beyond the wildest dreams of avarice. He had also signed a contract on arriving that gave the studio right of first refusal and sole ownership to all his ideas while in their employ. While others made fortunes Avery was not to profit from his creations. Neither were Friz Freleng, Frank Tashlin, Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Robert McKimson nor any of the other great creative talents that worked on the creation of these brilliant films. The day would come, in fact, when they would find themselves, after years of dedication, out on the street without a job.



When I was in Hollywood in 1990 for Grim Naqtwick’s 100th birthday party Sody Clampett told me about the difficulties John Kricfaluswi was having with his new ted series (REN AND STIMPY). I said to Sody, “I do not see the point in doing creative work for anyone unless we own our ideas.” “I agree,” she said. When I had Friz Freleng in Toronto in 1980 he was asked which character was his favorite. “My wife likes Bugs Bunny but I like the Pink Panther. He is making money for me,” said Friz.



This isa the one lesson young people working in animation should learn and refuse to learn from these old masters. You must own your ideas. Thankfully, most young people in the music industry have learned this. A young musician stopped me one day and said, “Boy! Am I ever glad I listened to you!”



“What did I tell you?”



“You said to never sign a contract unless you are given ownership of your work. My band was approached by …….They all signed the contract. I remembered what you said. I took it to my dad’s lawyer. He read it. He said, ‘If you sign this contract you will give up all your rights in perpetuity and you will not make a nickel. Everything, from the limo on down will be charged as an expense. Do not sign this contract.’ Boy, am I ever glad I listened to you.’”



“Hang tight, kid. Hone your craft. A better deal will come along. As NAKED LUNCH writer William S. Burroughs put it, “The Devil’s bargain is a fool’s bargain. We think we are getting something for nothing and wind up giving up everything for nothing.”



Tex Avery arrived at Fred Quimby’s MGM Cartoon studio in 1942. Said writer Michael Maltese, “The day I met Fred Quimby, he says, ‘I hear you’re from Warner Brothers Cartoons.’ I said, ‘Yes, Mr. Quimby.’ He says, ‘Well, look, if you’re going to work with Avery, have this understood. We will not stand for any of that Warner Brothers rowdyism in our (MGM) cartoons!’” Avery added, “Heh, heh, heh! We had heard it, too.”



Well, Tex figured it would not be cool to quit so he set out to get fired. He shot off a series of brilliant films beginning with THE BLITZ WOLF featuring a wolf as Adolf Hitler (The name “Adolf” actually means wolf in German and Wolf was Hitler’s favourite nickname), DUMB-HOUNED in which the character of Droopy was introduced and climaxing with the brilliant RED HOT RIDING HOOD which was the rowdiest cartoon made anywhere up till then. The film was a huge hit. The army ordered copies of the film for the troops overseas. The censor cut the film. Said Avery, “Actually, we were thinking of the army when we made the first one in that RED RIDING HOOD group. We had the sergeant there to help plan the training films, and when we finished cutting and dubbing the first RED RIDING HOOD, we got it down to the projection room where we always ran the picture for the producer and the whole group. And the sergeant spotted the thing and he roared. We had it rather rough on the reaction of the wolf, you know, steam coming out from under his collar and all that. When the censor saw it, he said, ‘Boy, he’s getting too worked up,’ so we had to trim and juggle and cut back. It got back to Washington, to some colonel or whatnot, that the censor had cut out quite a bit on us. Finally, Louis B. Mayer got a telegram from the colonel, saying he wanted an uncut version of a RED RIDING HOOD cartoon for his personnel overseas. The studio dug around, and I don’t know how many prints they gave him but, man it went over great overseas!”



Naturally, it is an uncut RED RIDING HOOD you’ll be seeing in this program.

Continued next week…

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