Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bill Tytla - Terrytoons - drunk mouse

Bill Tytla's known for his weighty powerful style of animation, but he seems able to jump to other styles pretty easily too.

This is him drawing and animating really cute. From a Mighty Mouse cartoon.
It's probably partly inspired by his pal Art Babbitt's Country Mouse animation, but I think this is cuter.

There is a lot of great animation in Terrytoons but the studio gets overlooked by many people who love animation and my guess is because it had a bad inking and and inbetweening department.

I noticed as a kid that the animation seemed sloppier because the characters wobbled around, and I later realized it's not the animation, but the tracings. Ever see those bad color retracings of old black and white cartoons? Like Popeye and Porky Pig? Those terrible ugly tracings ruined those great cartoons. It's not that bad in Terrytoons but it makes a lot of animators and historians kind of turn away from the wonderful animation in many of them.

(They'll all say it's the bad stories, but that doesn't add up. Disney had terrible stories and people love those cartoons ... because of the animation...and they have tight finishes.)

Some great animators who worked at Terry through the years:

Carlo Vinci
Jim Tyre
Bill Tytla
Connie Rasinski
Frank Moser
Ralph Bakshi!
I think Art Babbitt may have worked there early on...
I actually love Jerry Shields (if that's the name of the guy who doesn't do overlapping action)




PCUnfunny said...

"Ever see those bad color retracings of old black and white cartoons? Like Popeye and Porky Pig? Those terrible ugly tracings ruined those great cartoons."

I kwow what you mean John.When I was younger I wondered why it looked so crappy. I also can't stand colorized WB cartoons, the color selection was dreadful. What was with the fuckin' pink ?

tomlight said...

That's really cool, John.
I just wanted to say that I was watching your commentary last night for "A Gruesome Twosome" -- really wonderful stuff...Clampett was so amazing! I must say that you are the greatest cartoonist of our generation..and I'm sure that I'm not the only one to say so.

Marcelo Souza said...

Yes, Jim Tyer, the Curly Howard of animation. His stuff wasn't funny, it was hilarious! I've posted this before but take a look at this again:(
The dog character running through the doors flapping his arms, my God...

Watching this Tytla animation makes my mouth water, I'd love to be animating something like that . Why are we wasting this amazing art form sending it to be cheaply and coldly done over seas? Something has to change and soon.

Gabriel said...

i love jim tyer. John, you've talked a lot about how skill should come before originality. I agree with you, but i'm a sucker for Tyer's stuff probably for all the wrong reasons, his wackiness and distinctiveness. Tyer had the skill but also had the attitude i admire!

I know some of those other names, but i hope you'll put examples by every one of them in the future. I'm specially curious to see something by that guy who didn't do overlapping.

Anonymous said...

"Those terrible ugly tracings ruined those great cartoons."

"Porky In Wackyland", When they retraced that one in color it lost something. They filled in the eyes of the googled eyed Do-Do sign guy. And, colored Moe's hair yellow, for the three headed stooge.

Nate said...

but yellow hair and wobbley animation makes it wackier. don't you get it?

Anonymous said...

Oh, oops. Silly me. It would be wackier that way. Ha Ha.

BadIdeaSociety said...

The problem with Terrytoons is that even with the innovative and bouncy animation they are not particularly funny or entertaining. I would go as far as to suggest they are painfully boring.

I understand your counter-argument that Disney cartoons lack good stories, but Disney managed to innovate many concepts in animation (or -- at least -- Disney popularized the illusion that he innovated many concepts in animation.)

I think there is a reason I own the Warner Golden Collections and not the Disney Treasure DVDs; Disney cartoons are just not that good. I would need a hard sell to pick up collected TerryToons DVDs.

Jason Miskimins said...

Good observations here.

You really know how to analyze things and get to the bottom of why things look the way they do. It is fascinating to read.

Good point about how people will overlook a lot of flaws as long as something is presented in a polished way.

Disney got a lot of undeserved respect just because their animation was very smooth and polished...But Warner Bros. had much better characters and expressions.

If you package anything the right way, people will be fooled into thinking it's great (Disney). That is one thing Disney does well - they have the money to fool people with smooth and polished art, but underneath all that polish are just bland stock expressions.