Friday, September 22, 2006

Timing/Pacing - A Tale Of Two Kitties (1942)







Here's a sample of one of the many clips Marc Deckter has prepared for me to show how incredible Bob Clampett is tomorrow at the Ottawa festival.



When the historians talk about Clampett, they really don't understand the vocabulary of animation, let alone animation direction well enough to really describe his achievements.

They usually grudgingly give him credit for 2 things: surrealism and being "wild". Well, he is both those things but he is also a master at every other animation principle and incorporates ideas from other mediums as well.

I think he is by far the best animation director when it comes to timing and pacing. He can cram more ideas and information into a second of film than any other director in history. He not only fills every scene with info, he makes it all read clearly!

This crazy sequence from Tale Of Two Kitties shows just how well he can take an idea and build it and make it get more and more exciting through quick cutting, tighter and tighter shots, great music, contrasts in the angles and scene lengths and stunning animation. He weaves together all these separate disciplines to give you a sensory experience no other medium can provide-and no one else in his own medium.

Bob is in a total class of his own. There are cartoons-the most creative art form in history, and then there is another medium even more inventive and fun than cartoons-The Bob Clampett Cartoon.

Come down to the National Arts Center in Ottawa tomorrow at 4:00 and I'll show you lots more of what makes his cartoons so great.

Then at 7:00, come back and watch film prints of his best cartoons. See what is possible in an animated cartoon when you let truly creative people do what they were put on this earth to do!





28 comments:

Taco Jack said...

"Is there an insurance salesman in the house?"

The timing on that (just like every other part of this clip) is just perfect. And such a great moment after the mayhem of the anti-aircraft fire.

Trevour said...

I wish I could make the trek to Ottawa, but it's a little far for me on such short notice! Hopefully one of these times I'll get to one of your presentations!

Mcnuggetinator said...

YAY, another post about the greatness of Bob Clampett. I remember as a kid having this cartoon on one of those bargain bin videos. This is a great one

p.s. Are you still gonna continue with the lessons? Im still working on them and Id be forever grateful is you stoped by my little blog and gave me some advice. Thanks

bgudna said...

damn john! that looks good, but i´m stuck in copenhagen like a damn fool!

Kali Fontecchio said...

Ooooh! Those lucky Canadians!

Hey John- why is there a Clampett retrospect in Canada? Was he part Canadian?

JohnK said...

Hi Kali,

no he's American. They do animation from all over the world here-even sometimes, obscure Americans!

This is one of the few shows that's about real pro cartoons. Festivals usually look down their noses at "entertainment" cartoons. They did something great this time!

Kali Fontecchio said...

"This is one of the few shows that's about real pro cartoons. Festivals usually look down their noses at "entertainment" cartoons. They did something great this time!"

There should be something like that here in LA!

Art F. said...

i have this totally bitchin' cartoon on one of those wallymart $1 dvd's. it's freakin great! i love tweety in this cartoon. he's so funny and evil. much better than what he turned into, a baby talking retard.

Shawn said...

Wish I could go. I can't get enough Clampett!

Hey, John. Are there any aspects of his television cartoons (Beany and Cecil) that you find interesting, or do you only have an interest in his theatrical stuff?

Eric C. said...

It's amazing how much energy Clampett's characters have in his cartoons. The Acting is incredible. It's never been done before.

How did Bob come up with this mixure?

What was his favorite animated cartoons or anything else that influenced his stuff?

_Eric





Remember John,

Come to CONNECTICUT.

David DeGrand said...

Man I wish I could make it to this retrospective. For the longest time I held Tex Avery as the master of the cartoon short, but your posts about Clampett have really opened my eyes to his greatness. Can't wait for more insights, great and informative as always.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

True, so true. As you said Clampett gets credit for surrealism and being wild, as if those were his only accomplishments. Really those attributes are only the tip of the iceberg. Clampett was a total filmmaker, satisfying and innovative on every level.

R2K said...

HEy abbaaaat!

David Germain said...

Hey John- why is there a Clampett retrospect in Canada?

Well, it's not called the Ottawa International Animation Festival for nuthin'.

Oh, yeah, and John, good luck with the presentation. You get out there and spread the word about Bob Clampett. Go to the Parliament building, climb ontop of Wilfred Laurier's head and shout it if you have to. B)

JohnK said...

"It's amazing how much energy Clampett's characters have in his cartoons. The Acting is incredible. It's never been done before."

What's crazy is that this is an action sequence with great cutting that ALSO has strong dialogue acting in it. A very hard combination of elements to choreograph. He does it and makes it seem completely natural and effortless.

Chloe Cumming said...

Thank you, John and Marc, for keeping up these sparkly educational posts about Clampett. I have really had my eyes and my brain opened since I started reading this blog.

Incidentally, sorry for being offtopic but apparently the original series Ren and Stimpy DVD is being reviewed this coming Friday on a BBC comedy discussion program called Serious About Comedy. I think they are likely to say nice things, based on the preview bit, because they are fans. I listen to that anyway. The English dig you John, they sit around and talk about you in polite tea drinking circles.

mike f. said...

Here's something that always floors me about Clampett's cartoons:

Clampett would occasionally lampoon famous comedians of the day - like Danny Kaye [BOOK REVUE] Abbott & Costello, Edgar Bergen [BASHFUL BUZZARD] Red Skelton [BUCKAROO BUGS] and Jimmy Durante [GRUESOME TWOSOME.]

When he did, he was never satisfied with a mere caricature. He'd take the distilled comic essence of the performer and multiply it by ten - and somehow manage to create a brilliantly vivid character that's funnier and more memorable than anything the comedian ever did. The imitation is better than the original! It's just another facet of the man's amazing cartoon legacy.

It's too bad he left Warner's in 1947. Just 2 short years later and he might have been tackling Jerry Lewis and Ernie Kovacs. WOW! Think about it...

If it were possible to achieve a cartoon "boner", I'd get one from that!

JohnK said...

"if"?

Mike

tape UFC tonight!

mike f. said...

Don't worry, I'm on it!

Piotr said...

this is one of my favorite clampett's. really excellent stuff.

David Germain said...

It's too bad he left Warner's in 1947.

Actually, I believe Bob Clampett left moreso around 1945. He was already making some cartoons at Republic studios in 1947.

bunnyofdeath13 said...

Hi! I just wanted to thank you again for the awesome drawings from the Ottawa party. The animations you played where amazing!
-Victoria Rose

Kali Fontecchio said...

John,

could you quench a quick query...

is Jimmy The Idiot Boy an inverted negro?

Kali

Peggy said...

Hey there. I just found out someone posted Falling Hare on archive.org. Haven't watched it yet, dunno how good a transfer/digitization it is, but it can't be worse than the hypercrunched YouTube video of it you were pointing to when using it to talk about Specific Acting a couple months back.

Which reminded me that I'd been letting my drawings slide towards generic emotions. Yay for pushes out of ruts!

lastangelman said...

I remember when I saw this as a kid back in the seventies thinking to myself, that this cartoon is ahead of its time and better than any of the stuff I saw on Saturday Mornings. I mean, the "Turn OUT THOSE LIGHTS!" sequence looks like Bakshi (or is Bakshi been doing Clampett all these years?).

Waldemar Schuur said...

Being an anthropomorphic cat sucks

S.G.A said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Girla PurpleHeart said...

Oh I remember this cartoon. Good times. =)