Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Exaggeration - Eatin' On The Cuff (1942)

Here's a nice note from Paul Etcheverry about Bob Clampett:
Hi John -
Heard you gave a fantastic show and in-depth look at the incomparable films of Bob Clampett in Ottawa. I'm glad you got to know Bob and spend time with him; he struck me as a fun guy.
Bob Clampett is very important to me personally. The same day when I met Bob I bought my first 16mm films - PORKY IN WACKYLAND, PORKY'S PREVIEW and PORKY & GABBY. He was uncommonly nice and generous with his time to me, then a goofy 17 year old long-haired rock guitarist obsessed with music and old movies (now I'm the same thing, only 50). He was also very supportive of my efforts to get recognition for animated cartoons as an art form and was the only "Golden Age Of Cartoons" icon I heard say nice things about such lesser known non-Warner Bros. directors as Hugh Harman and Sid Marcus (who produced some absolutely wonderful work in the 30's and 40's, artistic flaws notwithstanding). That said, when I started doing interviews for MINDROT a few years later, I was very surprised - shocked - by the controversy and hard feelings that seemed to surround Bob in the business. It never made sense to me at all; in my conversations with him, if anything Bob was effusive in his praise of other artists, more interested in talking about stuff that inspired him - whether it was the exciting swing music of Duke Ellington or the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Willis O' Brien's innovative stop-motion animation in THE LOST WORLD or Tex Avery's cartoons - than about his own work.
The other thought I would like to convey is how strongly Bob felt about his artistic collaborators. Bob's eyes lit up whenever I said the words Rod Scribner or Manny Gould. He loved these guys! Also got the impression that Bob was tremendously fond of Tex Avery, not only as a groundbreaking director and comic mind but as a person.
So, not only are Bob's films still the best, I'll always have a soft spot for him and am proud to have worked, in collaboration with one of my heroes, the incredible Mark Kausler, on one of the first published filmographies of his work.
Also much enjoyed the blog postings on the early seasons of the Flintstones, still the textbook case on how to do limited animation right, with funny character designs, good acting, solid storylines, excellent music & voice acting and (to quote an obscure Beach Boys song title) good timin'.
Have fun in Canada. The Ottawa Festival looks like a great time.
Your pal,

Paul












15 comments:

Sean Worsham said...

Acting in animation that is almost never seen today. Standards like this are hard to achieve!

Nico said...

that's awesome stuff. I looooooooooooooove that cartoon.

Hey John, Weird Al's new album came out TODAY! And I FINALLY got to see the music video you and Katie did! it is AWESOME. You should make a post about it!!

Eebs said...

I just watched the Weird Al video last night and it was completely awesome. I agree that you should do a post about it if you can-- great work!

PsychoWiLL said...

http://www.fivesidedsquare.com/silentfilm3.html
I hate to shamlessley advertise, but there's a part (that lasts about 3 seconds) in the animation, that's based off of old cartoons.
It would have worked out better during the animation festival, but it's a movie clip.
And just to gain some short-term support, I'll go with the crowd and Say "Wow, what a genius you are! Post some info on the Weird Al Stuff!"

NARTHAX said...

So, what's the title of Weird Al's new CD?

Jorge Garrido said...

"Straight Outta Lynwood" Get the DualDisc edition, that's the one with the videos.

This clip is awesome! The first two screenshots John put up represent the main two poses and she zips between them very quickly, but they're not just inbetweens between those two extremes, especailly in the close-up. I also love how she skips on the water and then goes UP, which makes NO SENSE! And the way her wrist practically bend up, like some physics, inertia thing or something.

I dunno, I didn't find as much exagerration here as othe Clampett clips, but lots of other stuff, like rhythm/timing between the ice cubes and the timing of the wisecracks, and the fall. When I think of exagerration, I think of Tweety throwing a piano or something and holding an upside down pose in the air for a few seconds. I actually dreamed about that last night.

Art F. said...

i like the exaggerated facial expressions in this cartoon. when i was a kid, i always wanted moths to eat my clothes so i could catch them in the act and see if it was like the cartoon. i'm gonna have to check out that Weird Al video also.

copernicus said...

hey, Weird Al sent the gang at Copernicus studios a bunch of copies of his new CD,STRAIGHT OUTTA LYNWOOD.(which is great because it doesn't come out in Canada till the third) what a swell guy! the CD is really hysterical.Not only does it have 'Close but no Cigar' by John K., but there's a Bill Plympton vid, a robot chicken stop motion vid, kareoke,and a behind the scenes in the recording studio. THANKS AL!

David Germain said...

Bob's eyes lit up whenever I said the words Rod Scribner or Manny Gould. He loved these guys!

What would his eyes do if you mentioned Virgil Ross' name?

Anyway, I tried to buy Weird Al's new CD yesterday but I couldn't find it anywhere. Worse yet, at Future Shop and Best Buy there was a big sign at the door showing all the new releases for September, October, and November. Weird Al wasn't anywhere on that list.

Where did everybody buy their CD from?

Eric C. said...

That was funny. Clampett was extreme acting, music and very funny stuff. Totally.

Hey John,

this might be a silly question but...Is Bob Clampett's wife and daughter/s as crazy as he is?

_Eric

JohnK said...

Bob said Virgil was a really good animator. He did a lot of animation for Bob, including some great stuff on Coal Black.

He also said Virgil wasn't totally happy working in that style and was more suited to Friz' cartoons.

snuh said...

John, I'd thought you'd enjoy this post:

http://snuh.livejournal.com/144718.html

Brett W. Thompson said...

Fascinating. I wish I'd met Clampett at 17!

Jorge Garrido said...

How come everything happens when you're 17? Clampett started at Warners at 17, Paul met Clampett at 17, and I first started seriously studying cartoons and animation from blogs, the Preston Blair book and stuff, and I'm 17, too!

benj said...

Great post John!
Great post Shane!