Sunday, July 09, 2006

What's Cookin' Doc? - Bugs waits for award



Here's a phenomenal scene from "What's Cookin' Doc" (1944).

It has many interesting points in it.

It's one of those scenes that's part McKimson and part Scribner.

It starts with Mckimson, becomes Scribner when Bugs turns around and walks to the screen and pulls it down, then turns back into McKimson.


The McKimson stuff as usual is really solid and full of great subtle human acting, but also has a few really cartoony parts-when Bugs yells "STOP!", when Bugs does a take and says "Gasp!", and at the end when he is at screen right and he takes a step-his legs stretch out twice as long and he slides over.

In this long long scene there are no animation "cheats"- no overly squash and stretches, no avoidance of clear poses, no extra head bobs that don't mean anything, no drastic overshoots that distract from the poses. The timing is perfect and natural, you can read everything.

The scene looks effortless yet it took unbelievable skill and talent to pull it off. I don't know anyone alive that could do anything this perfect.
This period of Bugs from 1942-1945 in Clampett's cartoons is the best he was ever drawn and animated and acted. It's this stuff that makes him such a real living character that made him last another 15 years or so with lesser work and depth.

I'll post more scenes from the period later.

And hey! Here's some Amazon links to VHS tapes that have this cartoon on it! Buy them and make Warner Bros. happy!








***VERY INTERESTING FACT! - This cartoon was made by Clampett to poke fun at Friz. Anyone know or want to know the story in a later post?

239 comments:

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Anonymous said...

The real problem is not on TV, TV animation is brilliant and innovative on all counts, limited and full. The real shame is that every animated movie is Shrek meets Pixar.

Dr.Awkward said...

>> [sigh] Oh Dr. Awkward [if that IS you real name...] I want get into a flame war with your evil arrogant ways, but what I said is the Simpsons has great original poses, and a lot of cartoons.... you clowns... [shakes head in shame] <<

Sorry, but when I think of The Simpsons, I don't think of "great poses". However, I DO enjoy the way the characters lips and tongue ripple when they scream or burp (or I did, when they actually used to DO those kinds of things; they don't seem to that anymore.).

"Evil arrogant ways"? What did I do?

Mcnuggetinator said...

>>this is a great scene to copy the drawings from to improve your own!

Thats a good idea! Could you post some screenshots for use to copy from before the jack ass lawyers at Warner Bros. take down that video clip?

I don't really care said...

The real problem is not on TV, TV animation is brilliant and innovative on all counts,

*gosh* --is this the signal for armageddon?

John a said...

It's not a homosexual hand gesture. He's doing the sheepish little boy routine that Curly Howard would do when acting embarassed.Clampett borrowed from the best.

Jorge Garrido said...

>It's not a homosexual hand gesture. He's doing the sheepish little boy routine that Curly Howard would do when acting embarassed.Clampett borrowed from the best.

That's it! I thought he was doing the folded hand thing fags do.

Anonymous said...

[to the amageddon guy]
What, a diffirent opinion? Aqua Teens are the modern Godot, Venture Bros. is just ingenious, and, along with Invader Zim, are VERY well animated [so's the rage here, no?]. Some are abysmal [the new 'The Batman' shows this], some are not. However, the diversity these days is much greater than before.

JohnK said...

>>What, a diffirent opinion? Aqua Teens are the modern Godot, Venture Bros. is just ingenious, and, along with Invader Zim, are VERY well animated [so's the rage here, no?].<<

Then put some clips up on your own blog and explain why you think so.

Jorge Garrido said...

Hah, John got on the front of Jaime's Something Old, Something New! Congrats!

JohnK said...

This Youtube controversy is going to be all over the papers...they are calling me up asking all about it.

I gave them Thad's info too and I think someone may call him to get his take.

Jesse Oliver said...

Hi John

I know that you didn't like the Trailer for The Lost Episodes DVD but to tell you the truth, When I saw the Trailer I was SO EXCITED!!! That Trailer really made my day when I saw it for the first time. As Ren said in "Naked Beach Frenzy"

"I"M SO READY FOR THIS!!!!!!"

Thats right, I'm so ready for this DVD! I bet that when the DVD comes out and people start buying it, Paramount or Spike TV will be begging for more R & S cartoons! If this DVD sells well we may get the chance to finaly see the following R & S cartoons.

1. The Willderness Adventure with George Liquor

2. Life Sucks

3. Ren's Bad Habits

4. Hillbilly Hoek

5. The Cellulettes

Lets all hope and pray for more Ren & Stimpy cartoons.

your pal,

Jesse Oliver

Anonymous said...

I am a blogless nomad, but the fact is, television will never have Golden Age quality animation if it has to fullfill a quota of 13-26 episodes. They can usually achieve what a human being does, as in this scene from Venture Bros.-->
http://youtube.com/watch?v=m1sBMHWcUOw&search=venture%20bros

Its good acting. No need for capitals [not VERY...but good]. One can argue that its a series of drawings with good motion, and such is true. With little money for inbetweens [and no need for abstraction] But I'm defending. VB has the greatest acting, an inspiration from Jones, it is the actor who knows he is on stage, with Jones it was older theatre, here it is modern existantilist theatre. Here is another example-->http://youtube.com/watch?v=u6lXe5FgLSQ&search=venture%20bros . Its not Bob Clampett or Tex Avery, but like those directors, its a new style.

That said I think Zim is brilliant for about the same reason, its a new style of animation [weird] and also its more anime than say, WB or Filmation style. Here's a clip-- http://youtube.com/watch?v=YN9rRNk7WRE&search=invader%20zim

I'm refering to after the second as Zim Santa shouts at the peoples. Observe the sickening manners of his suit, the expressions, the way Gir just moves awkwardly like some sickening rat. Its not funny in the WB sense, its funny in the sick sense, the sense Vasquez himself invented.

How much money did you have for R+S btw? I know money is a big concern to most animation companies.

max ward said...

Hey John

How long do you think it took McKimson to animate his very well yet subtle acting scenes?

I don't really care said...

the fact is, television will never have Golden Age quality animation if it has to fullfill a quota of 13-26 episodes.

I don't know if this is true or not, but as Spumco's work aptly demonstrates, much better is possible.

Venture Bros. is a fun story. A funny Johnny Quest satire. Johhny Quest was not a very good cartoon. Neither is Venture Bros. I watch it, I like its sense of humor, but it's not a very good cartoon. If you want to learn why, you are probably in the best place on earth. If you don't want to know why, you are probably in the worst place on earth. Listen to John and learn to discriminate VISUALLY.

The clip you shared is a funny situation, but not because of the drawings. They serve to diagram what is funny, but they add nothing special to it.

David Germain said...

[and no need for abstraction]

What the HELL kind of comment is that?? In animation there is ALWAYS a need for abstarction. Animation is pointless and lifeless without it.

Dr.Awkward said...

>> That said I think Zim is brilliant for about the same reason, its a new style of animation [weird] and also its more anime than say, WB or Filmation style. Here's a clip-- http://youtube.com/watch?v=YN9rRNk7WRE&search=invader%20zim <<

Why do people keep saying Invader Zim is so great? It's all neon, angular sh**! *** ******* ** *********, * **** ******* *** * *********** ****** **** **.

Uh, oh! My words are turning into stars!

Anonymous said...

Boy, 206 posts already! Well, on to my statement. Sorry it's long:

Back in the early 1970's, every day after school, and every Saturday & Sunday morning, I would watch the Warner Brother cartoons. Religiously. Many I saw dozens & dozens of times. Only gradually did it dawn on my little brain that: 1. These toons were made way before I was born, over a period of years , and that a cartoon made in 1955 looks & sounds a lot different than one from 1935, and 2. These were made by men who had different styles of drawing, storytelling and humor, and if you look & listen hard you can identify them. So I tried my best; remember there were no Warner Bros. books back then, very few books on animation history at all, maybe a few obscure newsletters that I certainly didn't know about, and NO INTERNET (you "young punks" have it soooo easy!;)). So I identified my directors through the screen credits, and I guessed as best I could the "Blue Ribbon" reissues. NOBODY, no experts, no books, not even friends or family told me what to think about these guys...and I loved them all, including Freleng (sorry,but at his best he's great), and McKimson (but I did realize that his earlier work had a lot more energy & umph that his later "modern looking" stuff). But Clampett's stuff was truly special, wonderful, & occasionally a bit sick or frightening, which was okay, I liked the occasional glimpse of a "dark side" back then. Clampett characters were goony and loony, far more rubbery than the norm yet still believably solid, so energetic they seem to have electric currents pulsing through them, they practically jumped off the screen & into your lap. At the same time, they could suddenly retreat & instantly compose themselves; be precise & genteel & even effete, with coy little ballet dancer hand gestures.

For me, this keeps Clampett from going over the top: the wildness gets tempered and finessed just a bit,...then he hits you again!
I'm so grateful for blogs like this, as I've learned that Clampett cannily used his animator's talents to get these "push/pull" emotional states. To put it badly: sweet/sour, fire/ice, yin/yang, Scribner/McKimson.

One thing I noticed as a "trade-mark" in my early days, and I haven't noticed anyone else pointing out is Clampett's consistant use of dramatic shadows. Look how Bugs is reacting not to the presenter, but to a shadow, while casting an enormous shadow himself. Throughout his cartoons, Clampett would at the slightest pretext include big bold shadows and shadow gags, right up through "Beany & Cecil". Shadows were no doubt was visually interesting to him, but it gave some of his scenes that unique little touch of disquiet or wierdness (they use those big shadows in horror flicks & film noir, after all). Think of the comic menace the shadows have in "Great Piggy Bank Robbery" or "Wise Quacking Duck". This Bugs scene is especially brilliant for me because Bugs emotional state is magnified by that big black shadow--Bug's dream of glory has gone bad and he's publicly exposed in the harsh light. (Sorry if I'm getting too pretentious) It's a little nightmarish, and Clampett did the best nightmares.~~mmtper

Jorge Garrido said...

> This Youtube controversy is going to be all over the papers...they are calling me up asking all about it.
I gave them Thad's info too and I think someone may call him to get his take.

Wow!

The Butcher said...

First off, thank you for training our eyes on your own free time, John. You've become a real junkie with this internet thing.

So the Lost Episodes DVD should be in Wal-Mart on the 17th, right? I've scraped up enough money to set aside for it. My roomate and best friend are both buying one too! We can't wait to watch the shit out of it!

The moment of truth is at hand. If this catches on, Spumco may once again be in high demand. Are you excited to find out how popular this could be?

Keep posting Scribner and McKimson animation. I'm having fun learning.

Anonymous said...

Umm... no it doesn't. If an art form tries to only get into abstraction, its as bad as being only limited. Its still only one type of an art form. Its simple minded. But people on this blog seem to believe in only one...

I don't really care said...

um, could somebody provide a coherent definition of "cartoon abstraction", so I can get on the same page?

Anonymous said...

Strech and squash.

I don't really care said...

THAT I understand.

BrianB said...

Stretch and squash is an animation principle, not a style. How subtle or extreme it is can be a style. You give me a cartoon without it, and I'll give you a cartoon without weight. The ones that DONT have it are the abstract cartoons. What Clampett is many times is a charicature, though his range is too great to remain simply that.

The Butcher said...

"Umm... no it doesn't. If an art form tries to only get into abstraction, its as bad as being only limited. Its still only one type of an art form. Its simple minded. But people on this blog seem to believe in only one..."

What the hell are you talking about? Only tries to get into abstraction? What does that even mean? Squash and stretch happens in real life. It's just an exaggeration of how your face moves.

Roberto González said...

Robert Hume, if you learn to do Clampett-like stuff in 3-D you'll be my hero! Everybody is trying to look more realistic, and when they try to be cartoony it's in a very crude way like Madagascar. I quite liked the animation in the Ratatouille teaser, though. Still, not very cartoony but quite nice for a 3d flick.

John, I would like you to read Jaime J.Newman blog, especially where he talks about the storyboarded cartoons and the ones with a script (I read it yesterday but I can't find the link now...some help?). I would like you to comment about this in the future, but I quite agree with Jaime. If I knew more english I would be writting his articles.

john a said...

Robert, 3-d animation will never reach the level of sophistication that a buch of guys with pencils sweated out over 50 years ago,a computer might be able to make an object appear to be 3-D,it can render all kinds of pretty textures nine ways til Sunday, but no computer will ever create a character that is 3-D in the way Bugs Bunny is 3-D.

Jorge Garrido said...

>John, I would like you to read Jaime J.Newman blog, especially where he talks about the storyboarded cartoons and the ones with a script (I read it yesterday but I can't find the link now...some help?). I would like you to comment about this in the future, but I quite agree with Jaime. If I knew more english I would be writting his articles.

Jaime has the 2nd best blog on the internet, but I disagree with alot of what he says. (Same with the owner of the best blog on the internet)

Anonymous said...

When John starts discussing Chuck Jones, although he may have some other points he wishes to make, this is something I would like to see addressed. Or if any of his professional compatriots wants to pick up the gauntlet on their blogs, fine by me. Because, it is more a technical question than an strictly artistic one.

I know from reading Chucks various heavily illustrated biographies, or, seeing those drawings, that as a director, he might still be drawing a considerable number of poses and extremes, beyond storyboarding, to be handed to animators. Perhaps 300 or 400 or more drawings going into 7 minutes. Enough to possibly delineate every second of action or 'acting' in the short with at least one drawing.

How might this amount of information compare with the typical 'packet' that a korean shop such as Rough Draft might receive to finish, during say Ren and Stimpy?

Julián höek said...

hi john, can you help me out here. i found out on the internet a looney tune call "CRAZY CRUISE" and the director's name is not credited in it so i looked up in some pages and said that it was directed by both clampett and avery. it looks more like an avery cartoons to me, with lots of little gags like the oil spit or the veronica lake. was it actually directed by both??
perhaps the last part looks more like clampett when the black folk talks to the camara but i'm not shure. do you know how's the story behind this toon and if it was actually directed by both of them?
thanks!

JohnK said...

Hi Julian,

>>perhaps the last part looks more like clampett when the black folk talks to the camara but i'm not shure. do you know how's the story behind this toon and if it was actually directed by both of them?<<

Tex Avery went to MGM in 1942 or so.

So he had a couple cartoons that weren't finished and Bob Clampett took over his unit of animators and finished them.

He did the end of Crazy Cruise-the black guys and the rabbits.

JohnK said...

Hi Julian,

>>perhaps the last part looks more like clampett when the black folk talks to the camara but i'm not shure. do you know how's the story behind this toon and if it was actually directed by both of them?<<

Tex Avery went to MGM in 1942 or so.

So he had a couple cartoons that weren't finished and Bob Clampett took over his unit of animators and finished them.

He did the end of Crazy Cruise-the black guys and the rabbits.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't getting a terribly good frame rate from the youtube feed, perhaps 2 frames a second. So I am not catching subtleties of movement as much as key poses

Am I the only one that saw BVDs when the screen was first pulled down? (they became popular with Johnny Weismuller, because Tarzan looked silly in boxers)

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Anonymous said...

Hey, FINALLY got to communicate with ya after 15 years of the beloved REN AND STIMPY (and I agree with Kevin langley, with whom I've communicated with on several messageboards) on the Jack Shaindlin (also the older Associated Prod.Muasic) cues used on your shows ) (Philip Green's QUICK DRAW ones were used, for those wondering on BOO BOO AND THE MAN).

Always enjoyed wathcin' your show, and have communicated like so many with Steve Worth aka "Bigshot' of your company.

Steve C. (Who prefers McKimson, Art Davis, Tish Tash and Clampett to the more recognized Jones Warner Bros.shorts and kinda kinks that the post-1953 Daffy's inferioir to the earlier one..:)

Mattieshoe said...
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Mattieshoe said...
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