Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Funny Walks in Limited Animation

Here's a normal Ranger Smith HB walk. Upper Body and head is 1 drawing that pans up and down while the arms and legs move.
a slight variation...torso is held while legs move. No up and down motion.


http://www.cartoonthrills.org/blog/01Principles/walks/ranger/walk1walk2.mov


another variation- upper body is a held drawing, but the butt and belt moves up and down as he walks
now it starts to get obvious and stupid

Limited animation can be really fun if you take advantage of it.
I love making arbitrary decisions about which parts of a drawing to be held, and which to move. That's what they did in the original HB cartoons to try to fool you into thinking it was actually animated. The difference is, I don't want to fool you. I want it to be obvious and entertaining that only parts are moving. The stupider, the better, I say.


http://www.cartoonthrills.org/blog/01Principles/walks/ranger/walk3walk4.mov

It gets even stupider...I'll prove it

25 comments:

Stephen said...

John,

I remember you mentioning somewhere that part of the gag in this cartoon was making fun of the different styles Ranger Smith appears in from cartoon to cartoon. Do you have any images from the cartoons to show this? I don't have any HB handy, so I can't see what you're caricaturing. Thanks!

patrick said...

I thought this scene was very funny!

Niki said...

You'll prove it? Then prove it!

Lucky said...

Haha I loooove those walks! Great stuff! The first ones are kind of strange, but it gets funnier and funnier

litlgrey said...

Having moved the limitations, and the character inconsistencies, of limited animation into the stratosphere of absurdism... just exactly HOW many different models of poor Ranger Smith were there to leech from to begin with?

Christine Gerardi said...

Funny stuff! I want to see more.

Alex I.R., Esq. said...

"just exactly HOW many different models of poor Ranger Smith were there to leech from to begin with?"

With that in mind: what was the inspiration behind having Ranger Smith transform into no less than THREE variations on the same character design?
That seems like a clever, subtle in-joke to the often off-model toys based on H-B characters (some of which are on this very site.)
It's totally an insider reference.

Vanoni! said...

More of this.
I love it.

Is it my imagination or are the walks split into 5 frame and a 6 frame bits? Though I have no formal animation training, I found that a bit odd. I expected each step to be an even number of frames.

I may be missing something simple.

Kerssido said...

Rocket Robin Hood had the best limited animation of all time.

Matt Hawkins said...

That's just plain funny. I don't think it really is an inside joke, or maybe it works on two levels. It don't matter how many Ranger Smiths their are cuz even if you'd never seen a Yogi cartoon this would be funny and visually delightful.

aalong64 said...

I love the walks alot, and I find the idea of switching between the designs within the cartoon hilarious. My favourite thing in the whole thing though, is probably that weird pause thing Ranger Smith does (a couple of times, if I'm not mistaken) like in this clip here-- "a ranger's best friend is his log --!! ... cabin." Was that based off some weird thing in the original Yogis, or just a funny idea you had?

Michael DiMilo said...

…Speaking of "instituting some arbitrary rule" those walk cycles are hilarious. The way the belt and pants slide up and down on the static torso is utterly ridiculous! I know it's off topic but what gorgeous backgrounds. Instead of the typical sea of stock pine trees we get a variety of texture, vegetation and color. A nice homage to the original Art Lozzi backgrounds.

Hamronial said...

Just awesome.
I love the bit where his head rotates completely.
Also, a little off-topic; the BG paintings are totally gorgeous
-AH

CartoonSteve said...

Ha - that first one has the wrist moves from the Perry Gunite walk. We all tried to do that back in high school - even got our Ben Stein-like english teacher to do it.

Speaking of HB stuff, I found the Flintstones "On the Rocks" special!

flashcartoons said...

i just bought the whole yogi bear collection, and im almost finished with the 2nd disc, and i couldn't believe what i was seeing

how much limited animation they actually did, it looked great the way they did it

but very limited. i forgot that the yogi bear cartoons were actually 3 different shows, yogi, snagglepuss and yakky doodle

Shawn said...

This Ranger Smith scene always cracks me up. All the walk cycles are so funny, and I love how his design keeps changing. So true to the original Yogi Bear cartoons---Ranger Smith looked different in EVERY cartoon!

Elana Pritchard said...

lovely backgrounds...

litlgrey said...

Anyone ever notice the backgrounds in [adult swim]'s "Squidbillies"? Am I the only one impressed by them?

Operation GutterBall said...

I like how he looks like a different ranger smith in every frame! Now that's funny!

Hans Flagon said...

In the early days of limited animation, they had not figured out that they could go more clutch cargo on the mess if they simply didn't show the legs at all.

Of course the rangers walk cycles are showing more movement and more drawings that 90 of the animation produced in the past 30 years.

Jorge Garrido said...

This is one of the greatest parodies ever in animation history. Not only does it imitate what makes HB cartoons funny, it exaggerates the funniest parts of it to extreme degrees, and it does it in a completely accurate way.

Those Walter Clinton, Dick Bichenbach, Ed Benedict and Tony Rivera designs kill me.

I love how sometimes he has a neck and a chin and sometimes he doesn't, and his chin and his head are connected to his chest, belly and crotch area. It's so disgusting.

:: smo :: said...

the stationary body/legs up and down walk at the end makes me crack up every time i see it. the close up and sound effect are so over the top.

i really wish these were out on dvd!!!

Aaron said...

very exciting that you are blogging. so much of my childhood is based on the radical themes that you exposed me to.

Aaron said...

Great to know that you're blogging. How my childhood was affected (positively) by the gloriously explicit nature of your genius.

rodineisilveira said...

Johnny K.,

I remember very much of this sequence from A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith (directed by you in 1999), which involves the variation of designs that Mr. Ranger goes thru. The Tony Rivera's design (from the episodes produced in the early 60s), the Walter Clinton's design (seen in the episode Space Bear), the Dick Bickenbach's design (that Ranger Smith prototype who looks like a military, very seen in the episode Bear on a Picnic ["You are a shame for your brothers, Yogi Bear!"]), and at the end of this sequence ("Hey! I lost my wallet!"), the Tony Rivera's design again.
And, on the following scene (the one in which Mr. Ranger confiscates the nuts of a dippy squirrel ["Hey, squirrel! What's the hurry?]), the Ranger Smith design was made by the legendary Ed Benedict (who was involved on the production of this short, which's being shown on this topic).
I could recognize each one of these designs, which are originally from the classical Yogi Bear episodes, produced by Hanna-Barbera between 1958 and 1962.