Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Foghorn Leghorn - McKimson - kicks and smacks dog

I think we should bring back some strong cartoon traditions-like beatings!

No one directed beatings better than Bob McKimson. His characters are big and heavy; his drawings so solid and animation so powerful that you can feel every whump, bang and stab.

"Walky Talky Hawky" (1946)

It's kinda extra funny that the abuse in his cartoons is not very cartoony. Other cartoons use ridiculous things like bombs and dismemberment as visual metaphors for suffering. Crazy things that are hard for kids to emulate in real life. McKimson has loads of punishment that you could easily imitate and really hurt someone (or yourself) in the process! Thank God for McKimson, Popeye, UFC and the Three Stooges.

McKimson helps you get a real view of the hard and painful world. He's lookin' out for us!


Let's put violence back into the cartoons where it belongs and get it off the street.

Today we have morals in cartoons and more violence than ever in real life. I bet there is a correlation.

I bet the Ultimate Fighters all revere Foghorn Leghorn as their inspiration.


Hey if you are learning animation, there is a great walk cycle and a great run cycle in this clip.

The run cycle (after he smacks the dog's ass) has 3 frames for each step-a total of 6 drawings, shot on ones and repeated for a few steps until he runs toward camera and off screen.

The walk cycle (after he slaps the dog around at the end of the scene)

is slower and uses more drawings for each step. 12 frames for each step.
Freeze frame them and copy them and you will learn a lot!


ZSL said...

It's be great if punching someone in human life made that wonderful "popping balloon"-like sound effect that occurs in cartoons.

David Germain said...

I think Manny Gould was the one who animated most of the more memmorable and painful beatings in McKimson's toons of that period so some credit should go to him as well.

About your theory about less violence in cartoons leading to more violence in our kids, I've been thinking that for years. Either that or there's NO CONNECTION AT ALL!! I'm talking to you all you STUPID, UNOBSERVANT, PRUDISH, ASS-BACKWARD, TUMOUR-IN-THE-BRAIN, POLE-UP-THE-ASS, CENSOR MONKEYS!!!!!!!

Fco. de Borja said...

There’s nothing as a good slap… even a punch is less humiliating.

CaveMatt said...

Love the McKimson beatings. My favourite was always the fence panel beating. I also really like how his characters were always leaning right out of the screen when they delivered smacks or were winding up to deliver one.

Elisson said...

McKimson's Foghorn Leghorn cartoons were amazing. The first time I saw this one - probably 50 or so years ago - that scene where Foghorn lifts up the dog by the tail and smacks his ass with a board made me laugh hard enough to almost crap myself.

NateBear said...

Now that's just wild conjecture! You just can't go around blaming the rise in school massacres ALL modern cartons just because one cartoon writer used Jackie Chan Adventures as a good example of cartoon writing.

And OF COURSE ultimate fighters don't watch foghorn leghorn. They're all pure bread like spartan children sent into wolf-infested forests at the age of twee to fend for them selves. Ironically tho, they often must survive by devouring raw wild turkey that they decimate with their bare ass-cheeks. Obviously, ultimate fighters have little time for classic warner brother cartoons until after their bodies are crippled from battle.

Once again your irresponsible generalizations are misleading your readers into realizing my cartoons suck!

lastangelman said...

Ah, let's not forget the spectacular beating Bugs Bunny took from the big ape in Gorilla My Dreams. This non-violence in cartoons is Kathleen Helppie-Shipley's fault. Instead of caving in to the hippy dippy hausfraus and razoring the cartoons until they made no sense and wasn't funny, she should of grew a set of balls instead.

Animal Qwacker said...

Ah, it don't get much funnier than Foghorn smackin' a dog on the ass with a plank of wood!
I can't say how many times I've seen it in the news where a child was beating another child on the ass with a plank of wood because he saw it on a Foghorn Leghorn cartoon.
The reason I can't say is because it's never frickin' happened!

PCUnfunny said...

Isn't this Bill Melendez animation ?

Anonymous said...

This looks like McKimson's animators were still in Tashlin and Clampett mode. McKimson tried to tone down his animators (something Scribner and Melendez hated) but not right away. It's these earlier McKimson cartoon that really show of McKimsons directorial skill.

Kali Fontecchio said...

I second that decree! Kids should get their eye-stabbing urges out of them while at home watching Moe, instead of beating us artists up at school.

Kali Fontecchio said...

Oh yeah! You're right about Foghorn Leghorn being a dad cartoon, he understands what they have to go through, hahaha!!

Tibby said...

YEY For cartoon beatings! I always loved Foghorn and The Dog. It was really funny stuff. And it balanced out cause eventually, the dog would get back at Leghorn somehow.

It is sad that we can't put this kind of Stooges slapstick humor in cartoons anymore. The only one that comes close is Ed, Edd, and Eddy. And even that cartoon's future is questionable.
Ed Fan Site

Cartoon violence makes kids laugh. I'd love to strangle the PC Morality Police for every animator they keep out of work because of their insanity. Maybe just dress them up in a dog suit and give them to Foghorn Leghorn (If I could).

Kids love 3 Stooges and those Foghorn cartoons (when they can catch them). They still love them to this very day. It is kind of odd how much Anime' gets away with, and Bugs Bunny and pals get the blame.

Hmm - the more the PC Morality Police try to surpress and opress cartoon violence. The more violent society gets against itself. Odd corilation that it.

I loved it when Ren went all psycho and slapped Stimpy up, down and sideways. Those where some wickedly fun moments!

JohnK said...


All the directors wanted to tone everything down after Clampett left, the others much more than McKimson. I have Friz on tape admitting it. "After Clampett left, Jones and I got together and said 'Let's bring this stuff back down to earth."

Everyone but Clampett tried to especially tone down Scribner-even Avery. Look at the same crew's animation in Tex's cartoons before Clampett took over.

The cartoons are way slower, milder and less exaggerated.

McKimson kept up full animation longer than the rest of the Warner's Directors and should be lauded as a hero for that.

He was the last to succumb to the "illustrated radio" school of 50s animation.

Vanoni! said...

Three cheers for UFC, Stooges, AND cartoon beatings.

Really - who WOULDN'T want to put this guy in a triangle choke?

Tom said...

Johnny Gent animated some of the best Popeye beatings. The Famous Studios stuff wasn't funny, but their pictures had by far the most psychotic cartoon poundings. The PC police mostly ignored their output, even in 1960's/70's reruns, and bashed Warners and Disney instead. Probably because they were simply ignorant of Famous.

Jeff Read said...


You'd better protect the environment, or he'll f***** kill you!


Jeff Read said...

Again, personal story time. My sister when she was younger used to goad me into a rage and then hide behind my mom's skirt. I would tell my parents that it was just like when Foghorn Leghorn hit the dog with the 2x4 and then ran to just outside the area the rope would let the dog reach.

Kids connect well with these cartoons because to a certain extent they've lived it. It's like Trey and Matt said -- little kids are assholes, but the meanness and slapstick of the old Warner cartoons really captures what kids go through in a way that their talking pieces of construction paper don't.

stiff said...

This clip is a great example, as you point out, of the right way to do everything I did wrong the first time I tried them (i.e. run cycle, walk cycle, impact).

max said...

After reading Barrier's and Maltin's book and watching this cartoon again, I was asking myself "Why do critics hate McKimson?" I am really entertained by it.

JohnK said...

Hi Max

I like Leonard's book a lot. It's a great overview of all the studios.

I was puzzled by his comment about McKimson. That's why it's best to watch the films yourself and see what you like, rather than believe what books say about what's good or bad.

The books are good for the history.

Guy Childers said...

This cartoon is one of my favorites from mckimson. I like his early stuff rather than his later cartoons. By the way I am new to blogger so please go to my blog and let me know what you think of it Please.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was an interesting point, John. I agree, I love McKimson's cartoons, more than Friz's, and not only did McKimson keep his cartoons fully animated longer, he kept the wacky daffy up until 1958! That is SOOOOO late in the Warner's Studios that it's insane.

I like to differentiate between the Leon Schlesinger Studio and the Warner Studio. Would anyone be talking about The Warner Brothers Studio if McKimson hadn't been a director? What if Artie had gotten to keep his directors chair? These what-ifs are fascinating!

David Germain put it best: Trying to tone down Rob Scribner was "like trying to force a clockwise tornado to turn counter-clockwise with your bare hands."

I think I'll do a blog post about McKimson, because besides from you, David Germain and Jaime J. Weinman, nobody discusses the brilliance of McKimson's directing. Hell, I'll do one on Artie, too. Art needed better inbetweeners, though.

micky said...

You never cease to amaze me, John! I love your blog. Always inspiring for those of us pursuing careers in creativity.

PCUnfunny said...

"I agree, I love McKimson's cartoons, more than Friz's, and not only did McKimson keep his cartoons fully animated longer, he kept the wacky daffy up until 1958! That is SOOOOO late in the Warner's Studios that it's insane."

The thing I would like to know is, why did Mckimson and Freleng eventually decide to give into the Jones version of Daffy but never his Bugs ?

Kali Fontecchio said...

"That's why it's best to watch the films yourself and see what you like, rather than believe what books say about what's good or bad.

The books are good for the history."

Same for people who read this blog! Be discerning! Don't get caught up in polemical blather like what happened the other day on Eddie's blog!

"blather" Mike Shortandfunny ™

Raff said...

>> Let's put violence back into the cartoons where it belongs and get it off the street.

Today we have morals in cartoons and more violence than ever in real life. I bet there is a correlation. <<

The thing about cartoon violence (I include Three Stooges) is that it's more like playfighting than real violence. Dogs play by wrestling around on the grass, and old cartoon characters play by beating and bombing each other - because they can. They're cartoon characters.

No matter how hard the beatings get, the context is silliness and good fun and that makes a HUGE difference.

The violence in videogames is completely different. It's motivated by pent-up anger, fear or isolation and it aims to shock onlookers and cause profound and lasting damage to the victim. It teaches the unfortunate lesson that the shortcut to respect is by intimidation and demonstration of threat.

On the other hand Tom and Jerry, when the dishes are smashed and all is said and done, remain equally vulnerable and nothing changes. They're just clowns practicing their art. Kids, don't try this at home.

Anonymous said...

that walk cycle is great! just the way that Foghorn moves his butt from side to side when he walks is perfect. it took me a while and more than a few frame by frame viewings to wrap my head around the motion, but i started copying it. i'll post my attempt tomorrow. this stuff is awesome!

Mitch K said...

My dad loves Foghorn Leghorn. I love 'em too! I've had to grow up listening to people like that, who said a lot but said very little at the same time.

William said...

It's strange how anatomically specific Foghorn Leghorn is. His construction is, seeing it now, really sort of coherent and interesting. This is the absolute antithesis of this modern 2d paper-cutout school.

Off subject, but why is Three Caballeros never mentioned in all the Disney-talk lately? Seeing it recently, it's hard to imagine a more imaginative, creative, vibrant and outright hallucinatory cartoon in all the post-Fantasia world.

It's probably the perfect example of bright colors not being really fuckin' annoying.

Zaki from Malaysia said...

Many thanks, Mr Kricfalusi, not only for your lessons of which grateful I am grateful for, but for your wonderful Ren & Stimpy cartoons that reached the local airwaves of my country Malaysia.

Flattery aside, I hope you can give us beginners some in-depth lessons in using the EXPOSURE SHEETS in animation. We need to know when's the best time to use those sheets, what to do with it, should it be used as the same time as drawing down frames and so on.

Animation is chaos & nothing without the Exposure Sheet, we would be forever grateful if you can deliver us lessons in using them.

Salam from Malaysia.

scott said...

Hey John, your blog is great! I'm a long time reader, first time commenter. I saw Sari Gennis (and numerous others) speak at the Columbus College of Art and Design's Symposium on Women in Animation last month, and it inspired me to continue to learn how to animate. My most recent experiment is the Foghorn Leghorn run cycle from your post. Here it is: http://aperturequiet.blogspot.com/2007/05/animation-experiment-3-foghorn-leghorn.html

Liam Garner said...

Compare a Manny Gould scene, with the swinging weighty arms and the volition behind - with current "French Accent" animation, and the phenomenally heavy swinging limbs. There's no comparison.