Monday, March 05, 2007

Calling all cars - Clampett likes funny lip synch

Lip Synch in most cartoons seems to be an afterthought.

Most animators try to make their lip synch merely be not noticeable.

It's enough to just not look like a mistake. Not too many animators have ever thought to make it part of the entertainment.

The reason Clampett is my biggest hero is that every part of what he did had potential entertainment value and he milked everything he touched.

If this was the only interesting scene in Book Revue it would have been enough to blow me away. When I first saw this I almost exploded. I couldn't believe what a revelation just one scene could be. Wow! Lip synch that is not merely accurate, but super entertaining in its own right.

The funny thing is, the whole cartoon is filled with revelations. One after another.

But this one alone was enough to give me a million ideas.

BTW, each mouth pops to the biggest drawing of each vowel, then has 2 inbetweens slowing out of it, before it animates into the next vowel.

There are 3 open mouth shapes, and they move in a clockwise circle. It's forms within forms. Completely organized and fun at the same time.






The take at the beginning is pretty damn cool too.





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32 comments:

Kali Fontecchio said...

This is great! This helps me a lot today, actually!

applepwnz said...

Man, Clampett was a genius! I loved that take at the beginning!

Ashley Davison said...

The 2 inbetweens slowing the action out creat great contrast allowing the next mouth to snap into existence. I love it when animation sparks something inside you hich you can take and emulate iin your own work. This isn't a blog... it's one of the priceless resources on offer...for free! Keep up the Uh-Mazing work John.
Ash

Kitty said...

ewwww.... those look terrible. GENIUS! but ewwww..... LOL nice take.

Nice post! ;)

Charlie J. said...

Are you still allowed to do funny lip-synch? Do executives dislike it?

The raketu commercials had crazy lip-synch!

lastangelman said...

You look at that take and you have to wonder why Freleng's takes were so ordinary and feh.

JohnK said...

>>Are you still allowed to do funny lip-synch? Do executives dislike it?<<

Executives distrust all things that are creative or fun.

Animation is mostly done in other lands now, so the lip synch is usually bland stock mouth positions that are reused a zillion times and are designed to not draw attention to themselves.

There doesn't seem to be any reason to animate anything now, the way animation is produced.

abwinegar said...

Wow! What 3 seconds can do for a cartoon. Was that a shrink take? And the big blob of a head as the character turned right. I guess like a motion blur? The hat floats and then follows, after stopping, it has a hint of weight and volume shift on his head.

Great example. I see what you where doing with Sody now in the ad.

PCUnfunny said...

I love that scene. Probably the funniest breif moment in a cartoon.

J.E.Daniels said...

Love that bit!
The lip sync is great and I love the flow of the hat as it settles back onto his head...

katzenjammer studios said...

Great! Side talking. A specific and funny way to talk!

I want to capture a bunch of stuff like this in animation. Like shot faces, the urinal wiggle, etc.

Good post, John. Nice going with the quicktimes, too! I can frame by frame them to analyze them better.

Mitch K said...

I love the lip syncs in Clampett's cartoons! They're functional and specific -- Scribner always added in tiny details that would only last a frame or two, but it worked completely. Awesome.

Julián höek said...

were the inbetweens done by the animator or by an inbetweener? becouse even the inbetweens are funny!!!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA!Funny stuff!I lik ethe lip sync in popeye cartoons even though its always off.but the voice actor/s would adlib extra lines and mumbles that if you paid attention to wher little funny jokes.They would walk around with teeth showing and no jaw movement bt they would be trash talking eachother.hillarious!

Julz said...

I love how creative Mr. Clampett was with his over all style of animation. I live for those crazy extremes in his animation.

I like how 3D animation looks but I've never really seen those off-the-wall expressions that animators can do in 2D.

Sean Worsham said...

This is lips done right. Unlike Bluth's lip-synching, where it's completely distracting and doesn't fit with his more realistic approach, see this clip of "Auntie Shrew" to see how bad I mean:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4rEgXXunwI

Clampet's lip sync is farm more entertaining as well. Well-done indeed!

Hector Cortez said...

Very cool clip John. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

bluth is awesome

Mad Taylor said...

This makes it all look so fun! Like it should be!

Did you see the fights this weekend John? How about that Randy Corture!!!! Did you see Tim Sylvia's crazy messed up eye at the end!?

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Refreshed at the fountain of Clampett!

Scot said...

>>Animation is mostly done in other lands now, so the lip synch is usually bland stock mouth positions that are reused a zillion times and are designed to not draw attention to themselves.<<

If someone is paying the Korean animators to animate a cartoon, why is there no form of consultation that would eliminate such blandness? What happened to getting what one paid for?

craig said...

a great clip no doubt, thanks for showing one of the 'little moments of animation' which are not about the grand gestures or semiotics. the thing with this clip is the secondary animation - the moustache and the hat, which are a split second behind the main action which really complete the movement by bringing up the rear. sweet! I wouild say lip-sych has gone the way of the dodo's with such a multi-national sense of production and saturation. there is no 'one' language anymore.

NateBear said...

Sean

all those Bluth characters look like they are cows grazing on grass when they talk. I think it's because they make the biggest mouth openings between syllables in anticipation, rather than having the big mouths actually emphasize the syllables. In general it's good idea to have anticipation but just looks so wrong the way Bluth does it. Perhaps it's result of mechanically plotted lip-sync JONK described.

MickFred said...

this is from my favourite cartoon that i ever saw. i had it on video but wore it through showing it to my pals who worked in factories or shops. they were never quite as into it as me. i am trying to emulate this very scene right now in a wee cartoon silly i am making. thanks for posting it

Thom said...

Thanks for pointing this out. Inspiring!

Franky said...

This is a fantastic example John. Clampett made everything he touched funny and interesting back then. Another great example (that I believe you showed us a couple of months ago) is from the Great Piggy Bank Robbery. Especially whenever Daffy is addressing us directly.

Artisticulated said...

The sixth frame in, last frame before he shoots up in recognition, the cop looks like Josef Stalin! Of course you can't see it in real speed. How many hours of my life could I waste cataloging animator in-jokes?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Scribner repeated the clockwise pattern of the mouth because the line the cop speaks is itself a repetition: 'Calling all cars! Calling all cars!' Who says Scribner's stuff couldn't work in limited animation? He limits the nonessential sections of the character here to draw our eyes to what he wants us to notice. Only Scribner and Clampett could pack so much life into so few frames.

mike f. said...

Pretty cool movement on his cap, too!

Almost any clip from BOOK REVUE would look great - I especially like the Margaret O'Brien caricature as Red Riding Hood.

This kind of pure cartoon invention will probably be lost on the next generation - raised as it is on artless garbage like Family Guy.

[Eddie Fitzgerald said:
"Refreshed at the fountain of Clampett!"]

Hmm... Interesting word-picture there, Eddie.

mike f. said...

[Did you see the fights this weekend John? How about that Randy Corture!!!! Did you see Tim Sylvia's crazy messed up eye at the end!?]

Ha Ha! Served him right for being 6' 8"! His eye looked like Stimpy's nose. I hope Randy Couture's Dad beats him up next...

Jeff Read said...

I recently re-watched The Great Piggybank Robbery. It's been years since really getting into old WB animation like that when it was on TNT.

The backgrounds are sublime, and even put those Flintstones backgrounds to shame. Especially the farm backgrounds at the beginning and end. And artisticulated is right -- Daffy's mouth is hilarious in every frame; the silhouette of his beak even becomes square-jawed in the "I'm gonna pin it on ya!" scene.

Chris said...

Interesting. I'm an ignoramus when it comes to animation, but I can see the influence Clampett's style had on yours with this clip.