Friday, June 27, 2008

Rocky and Bullwinkle Genius Bumper

How the Hell did they come up with this great bumper? Not only is this frame the best drawing of Bullwinkle, but just about every aspect of the cartoon is inspired.

It's designed and cut expertly, full of stark graphic images-but what do they mean? There's no real story or even continuity.
There's a thunderstorm

Rocky and Bullwinkle run around in the storm
These poses are tiny, yet incredible. Perfect silhouettes and full of clever planned design. You barely catch them because they are not only small, but they are being interspersed with flashes of lightning. So much graphic thought for such little time to absorb it!
Beautiful clear poses!
Why is the ground breaking up?
What does it all mean?

They plummet down a crevice. Crevices are always entertaining. No mystery there.
then their faces appear and rise up through the ground
followed by their bodies - and such great stylish drawings!

Asymmetry-Organic in every way
Clear sillos
Great use of negative spaces around and within he characters
Contrasts in sizes and shapes, direction and in angles versus curves
Details much smaller than he major forms
Everything that toots my whistle

They are reborn and pop out of the dirt with the season's sunflower crop. Makes perfect sense!
How would you plan a cartoon like this? Certainly not with a script. I don't think you could do it with just a storyboard either, because it has no logical continuity , but it all seems to go perfectly to the crazy wonderful music. Did the composer write the music and record it first and then hand it to a director to figure out something to go with it? Did he smoke a joint and sit back and listen to it a bunch of times, till this sequence of images popped into his head? Or did he have malaria?

Is this drawn by Bill Hurtz? I'm dying to know the process that went into making this. Any Ward experts out there?

Anyhow, it has to be just about the best cartoon bumper ever. Every time I saw this as a kid, it put me in the mood to sit down and be ready for a real cartoon show. Then the story cartoons would be kinda disappointing by comparison.