Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baby Bottleneck Sitting on Eggs - scene cuts and animator switches -1

This is full of ideas.It's a scene animated by Izzy Ellis who had a primitive drawing style that was very angular. It works perfectly here.
Look at the difference between the way Daffy is drawn compared to Porky. Porky is very rounded, constructed, old-fashioned, conservative and "on-model", as opposed to Daffy's almost abstract angular poses.
Was this an "idea" specifically and consciously thought up to draw our attention to Daffy? Or was it merely a lucky accident. Either way, it took Clampett to encourage both fresh ideas and lucky accidents, both of which occur non-stop in his cartoons.
Another "idea": There is no background. How weird is that? Where are they? By this time in the cartoon, you don't even care. The whole story is so preposterous that by now, you're ready to accept anything.
The story idea at this point: Daffy has to sit on an egg to hatch it out, but he doesn't want to. It's too undignified for him. Everything about that is wrong, but again by this time, you just accept it.

Another idea: When Daffy turns around, the inbetween is a black sillhouette. It's only on for 1 frame, so why bother? because every frame is worth creativity. Clampett has millions of ideas - from the big picture of the whole story concept, all the way down to individual frames. He is an idea machine.
There are all kinds of weird cuts through the scene too - for no apparent reason, and they should be jump-cuts. We should notice them, but for some reason we don't until we actually still frame the scene.

This is only the beginning of the scene too. In the next post, the scene does something extra strange. It keeps switching from animator to animator. Clampett does this a lot too - he breaks up individual scenes into different animators. Supposedly to cast individual types of gags and actions according to who he thinks will do them best. Talk about picky control! But it sure works.


Paul B said...

One of my favorite scenes!!!

always seemed strange to me the way they drew Daffy in this scene

I drew most of the key frames of this scene a long time ago as practice

wanna see it?

Mr. Semaj said...

Never noticed the silhouette shot before.

I always loved how their hats change sizes throughout this scene.

Trevor Thompson said...

Say John,

you always interviewed your heros, did you ever interview Bob?

- trevor.

Martin Juneau said...

I always tough that "Baby Bottleneck" was one of the lesser Bob Clampett efforts but showing this frame by frame make wonderful results. Daffy is very well designed in this one.

Rick Roberts said...

The thing I always loved about this scene was Daffy's giant hat. It's as big as he is.

Zaphod2 said...

I wonder if Daffy not wanting to sit on the egg is a reference to "The Henpecked Duck" egg sitting scene? In that scene he goes to sit on an egg which turns out to be a doorknob... which turns over pointy side up just as he's about to sit on it...with painful looking results.

I love the way Daffy's cap keeps getting bigger and crazier as well.

Great post John. I'm going to try coping the Daffy poses as per the lesson instruction in the Preston Blair book. it's amazing how much better my drawings look after following the construction methods.

Zaphod2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Sugrue said...

That scene was by izzy elis, right? Things REALLY heated up when Rob Scribner came to bat. "Cut It Out I Say! You Heard What I Said!" Love that part. I don't know why, but I crack up when Daffy is speaking while his leg is being pulled, and is mouth isn't even lip synced! Mel must have done that in post

Bob said...

I dig those angular poses. They still seem pretty organic.

Pilsner Panther said...

For some reason, I always noticed the lack of a background in this scene, but there is a background.

It's what we strictly still, non-animating Photoshop-based photographers and designers call a "gradient." Only, Clampett got there decades earlier! Too bad for him and his heirs that he didn't patent the concept.

Also, I've wondered if Daffy's hat didn't have an animator of its own? The hat (all by itself) is a superb piece of animation.

First of all, it doesn't fit Daffy's head by about a yard or two... and then the Clampett team takes the "scwewy" relationship between the Duck and his hat from there. Porky just looks on— bemused, because this has nothing at all to do with him, and he knows it.

Thanks for posting this sequence, Mr. K., it never fails to put me on the floor!

David Germain said...

I love how Clampett teases the audience with this cartoon. He starts at Point A (baby factory), shows us that they need to get to Point B (find the egg's addresss) but they he literally gives us a rocket ride to Point C (ending up as a half-duck/half pig creature being adopted by a gorilla). We never do find out where that egg was supposed to go, but because the ride was so much fun we don't care either. Only Clampett could have pulled it off this well.

J C Roberts said...

In lesser hands the "inconsistencies" in design, empty color backgounds and non lip synced lines might be seen as sloppy or even poorly reedited, but Clampett used them brilliantly to create just enough unease to the scenes that they imprint on you much more than a rational, on-model design ever could. Just a dash of dream logic
really raises the energy level.

I always loved Daffy's eager nodding as he nearly falls for hatching the egg, as well as the dog with the rocket boogying in and climbing up on Porky, just bustling with energy.

Alec said...

The animation on that scene with Daffy and Porky is so funny.
It's one of my faves.