Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Accents

Clampett sure liked his accents. He was always figuring out ways to make his points come across stronger.Here, he's figured out a new way to make an anticipation and accent at the same time and not just with the drawings.

This door is yellow when open and inside the house.
On the way to slamming shut it turns green for a couple frames.

Then it slams and it's white.The green was used to give more color distance between the yellow and white. Yellow is not that much different than white, but green is a stronger contrast.
That contrast gives us a feeling that something really strong happened-even though we don't really see the green frames at full speed. We just feel the door swinging closed and slamming hard.





Here it happens again, this time swinging open.
There are all kinds of ideas like this in Clampett cartoons that are only used once or twice. They inspired me to take some of them and do endless variations in Ren and Stimpy and other cartoons.


I wonder how much further cartoons would have developed in the 40s if Clampett didn't leave so early in his career (he was only 32 or 33!). He was really on a roll and then POP! He just left and no one carried on the cartoon film language he was pioneering.

His momentum did give animation some excitement and verve for a few more years, until the next thing came in and sucked all the life out of cartoons.
By the way, look at the huge accent when Porky pops his head out of the snow.

WATCH THE CLIP!

32 comments:

akira said...

wow that's so cool!
maybe keeping up with his own standards of creativity burned him out or something?
i wonder if he'd have gotten a deal like tex avery got at MGM, what kind of toons he'd have come up with.

JohnK said...

Probably not as good overall. He had the perfect team at Warners.

Scott Bradley's music would have hurt the cartoons. The voices and sfx too.

Andy J. Latham said...

Hi John, could you possibly post the clip that these frames are from? I'd love to see it in motion. Failing that, can you tell us what cartoon it is from so I can hunt it down?

Thanks.
-----------------------------
Visit Andy's Animation!

Shawn said...

What do you think of 'Time for Beany'? Do you have any contempt feelings for the show Clampett quit cartoons for?

cartoon lad said...

Didn't Bob Clampett make a few cartoons for Screen Gems after leaving Warners?

JohnK said...

Hi Shawn,

no why would I have contempt for it? Clampett was personally more successful with it and he deserved success.

But it was a shame for animation.

Andy,

I'll put up a better clip later.

It's Kitty Kornered

PCUnfunny said...

I think Art Davis and Robert Mckimson did the most to keep Looney Tunes looney after Clampett left.

Shawn said...

Hi John,
Maybe "contempt" was the wrong word to use. I think it's a great show too...and he did deserve huge success from it.. Plus, he inovated so many new ideas with 'Time For Beany' ..But, like you said, it was a shame for animation. You being a huge fan of his theatrical animation, I was just wondering what your feelings were about the show he quit that medium for. The points you bring up in this post are ideas I've never noticed before. Makes you realize how much of a brilliant mind he had for cartoons.

grantarctica said...

whoa that's neat!

Vanoni! said...

This kind of thing confounds me!
Just like incredibly abstract smear frames!

Where do animators get the notion to do things like this?
I suppose that's our job - to try and unravel how they arrived at making their decisions - but still!

Maybe you use as much common sense as you can and just expiriment? If it works, push it further. If it doesn't, move on?

- Corbett

Vanoni! said...

Maybe the logical explanation to his color choices here is that the yellow door appears as though it's reflecting the warm, yellow light from inside, compared to the cold blues from outside.
Green would be the obvious color to put between yellow and blue. Emphasising them being in a nice, warm environment, and them slamming him out into the cold.

Or maybe I'm overanalyzing.

Clinton said...

Hi John,

Does that same techinque apply to characters as well? Because I remember some shorts where the characters were off-color on some scenes. I just figured that whoever did ink n' paint just made a mistake.

Forbes Browne said...

Vanoni! said... "Or maybe I'm overanalyzing." - Nope, that's the first thing that came to mind when I saw it. The fact that the hue is so bright emphasises the action...I think.

Vanoni! said...

Yeah - it's the choices that elude me seomtimes.

The different colored door is meant to accent the hard slamming door - that's obvious - and it works.
But I wonder things like, "Why yellow and green? Why not red?"

Sometimes I can reason the choices out - sometimes I can't.

Max Ward said...

I'm surprised that they kept the color changes of the door after it went through color "correction." Seems like the idiot who corrects colors would see that as a mistake and "correct" it.

David Nethery said...

"Seems like the idiot who corrects colors would see that as a mistake and "correct" it.

Shhhhhhhh...... Max , not so loud, they'll hear you !

Thank goodness Kitty Cornered has escaped untouched by the literal-minded dolts up to this point in time.

-------

Mr. K -

Kitty Cornered is one of my all time favorites and I was hoping you'd return to analyzing it and giving examples of what's so great about it.

This is my favorite kind of post that you do on your blog : emphasizing what's GOOD about the classic cartoons without getting too heavy into what's rotten about the modern ones. I think we've all seen enough examples of bad cartoons (just have to turn on the TV to Nick, or CN, or Disney Channel most any time of the day) , but this sort of thing where you analyze what makes these good cartoons tick is so positive and inspiring . Thanks.

J. J. Hunsecker said...

>>Probably not as good overall. He had the perfect team at Warners.

Scott Bradley's music would have hurt the cartoons. The voices and sfx too.<<

Clampett made a very funny cartoon at Republic Pictures after he left Warners called "It's a Grand Old Nag". He made it without his team at WB and the cartoon still had exaggerated animation, sharp timing and funny gags. Plus Stan Freberg did some great voice acting in it.

>>This kind of thing confounds me!
Just like incredibly abstract smear frames!

Where do animators get the notion to do things like this?<<

IIRC, they analyzed live action film frame by frame, and noticed that fast moving objects when blurred looked like smeared blobs. They applied this to their animation.

JohnK said...

>>Thank goodness Kitty Cornered has escaped untouched by the literal-minded dolts up to this point in time. <<

Hi David

actually, it hasn't escaped at all.

The colors have been changed, the lines have been thinned, and in some cases the drawings are actually different. Curved lines have mysteriously become straight!

Vanoni! said...

IIRC, they analyzed live action film frame by frame, and noticed that fast moving objects when blurred looked like smeared blobs. They applied this to their animation.

I'm speaking specifically of the shapes they choose, J.J.
Some smears look quite logical - while others look like an absolute, nonsensical mess - and still work perfectly. I see those and think, "Why on earth would you think those shapes would work in the first place?"

akira said...

thanks for putting up the clip. wow i can't believe how much the green door stands out now! something i definitely never noticed...

i really gotta check out clampett's cartoons more carefully and stop having so much fun watching them!

i can see the reasoning for changing from yellowish to greenish to bluish, but like john said, he REALLY accented it, not just inbetweened the colors.. it's awesome that his masterful directorial control extended to all departments even ink and paint.. too bad we can't see his ink and paint choices as accurately as possible on the WB DVDs!

Jason said...

hey Joof this footage here: http://www.hemmy.net/2006/04/26/disney-animation-reuse/

Evan said...

oh no, john... look at this

SAY IT AINT SO

Evan said...

oh and by the way, look how much ATTITUDE they have!! Hollywood is great.

Rob said...

totally off topic from this post, i came accross something today and wondered what your reaction to it would be...

http://www.hemmy.net/2006/04/26/disney-animation-reuse/

Rafi animates said...

wow what an eye-opener. that's given me loads of ideas John, the possibilities are endless

David Nethery said...

(oops, I think Blogger lost my post, but if this is a duplicate than just delete the first one . Thanks)

-------

"Hi David
Actually, it hasn't escaped at all.
The colors have been changed, the lines have been thinned, and in some cases the drawings are actually different. Curved lines have mysteriously become straight!"


John,

I've noticed the horrible effects of DVNR on classic cartoons and the over-saturated colors on cartoons like the version of "A Gruesome Twosome" released for the Looney Tunes Golden Collection. ( Hard for me to believe that the colors on that were "restored" to the original colors ... maybe I'm just used to seeing the faded AAP print for so many years? ) Is that what you're referring to ?

This print of "Kitty Cornered" actually looks pretty good to me . Is this your own personal print that you are using for frame grabs and clips or is it off a DVD ? I have several versions of it , including one transferred from a somewhat faded 16 mm print , so maybe I'm getting them confused in my memory ... but this one which I think is from the DVD looks more or less true to the original. Maybe I've missed something on it ? I've stepped through Kitty Cornered frame-by-frame many times, but never from the DVD version. My frame-by-framing (and tracing off frames ) was done on a Steenbeck with the 16 mm print. Even though the color is a bit faded, at least I know the 16mm print hasn't had any DVNR meddling .

JohnK said...

Hi David

I also have the 16mm print and the laser disk.

The laser looks a lot more natural than the DVD.

I can barely watch those new DVDs. They jitter so much and the colors burn my eyes.

inky86 said...

Haha, I remember that Cartoon too as a kid. too cool. :) Great work John.

inky86 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Rockford said...

Clampett was such a rare talent,I am amazed to see all the innovations and accents he cooked up,he put so much thought and effort into his work.
all the subtle little touches he adds really do make a big difference when seen at full speed.
again,thanks for breaking these down so we can appreciate the little things that go by a lighting speed!
Clampett is the king!

Jim Rockford said...

"oh no, john... look at this

SAY IT AINT SO"



OH SHIT!,Believe it or not I knew it was only a matter of time before they got around to Alvin and the chipmunks.
The poster pretty much tells it all!,anyone want to see Alvin Rap?
Do we really need anymore proof of just how creativly bankrupt Hollywood has become?
They've already announced plans for a Knight Rider movie due in '08,and a remake of smokey and the bandit!
seems all their brains are on auto pilot.

Marlo Meekins said...

cool post john!!!!