Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Cartoony Disney

Here's a cartoon with design and animation that turns cartooning into high art. At least for me.
The design is super cartoony and appealing, not aiming at "realism" or "believability" at all.
The graphic look of the cartoon is not typical of Disney, but reminds me of Otto Messmer's Felix the Cat comics. [FelixHippo.jpg]
If you took Messmer's design sense and added some of the principles and techniques that were discovered by animators in the 3os you would get "Toby Tortoise Returns".



The animation principles are not just there to be functional; they are turned into design elements. Each pose is beautiful. Not only that, but the way the characters move is beautiful in a really cartoony way.
The principles are not overbearing or in the way of the action as in many late 30s cartoons.
I love the tortoise's walk across the ring. Really rubbery, but clear and magical as all get out.



The animators take a lot of liberties with volume and "logic" for the sake of entertainment and fun.
I think Ward Kimball animated a lot of scenes, but am not sure which ones.
"Toby Tortoise" must have had a big influence on Bob Clampett, because I see many scenes in his cartoons that remind me of this one.



http://www.cartoonthrills.org/blog/Dis/36/TobyTortoise/1DogRefTortoiseIntro.mov

http://www.cartoonthrills.org/blog/Dis/36/TobyTortoise/2FightStarts.mov


I've got a bunch more clips from the cartoon and will post 'em soon. What's especially interesting to me, is that you can see the animators experimenting and getting more cartoony as the cartoon progresses. I love when you can see a cartoon that is so progressive that it actually evolves before your eyes. In 6 minutes! No sticking to the rules. It looks like they were having fun making it.

14 comments:

queefbezzzzzzy said...

Awesome find. I'm going to start drawing some of these screens tonight.

Also I'm disappointed with the people that read this blog by making "Family Guy" the number one most searched thing and "lesson" seventh.

Pilsner Panther said...

What's the date of this cartoon, John? 1934 or '35? I think it was Tex Avery who said that Bugs Bunny's look was based on a Disney rabbit, and so were a lot of other WB character designs. It seems to be true, because here's the basic "Wabbit" and the basic "Toitle," too.

Ryan G. said...

Hey that turtle looks like the one off the Art Instruction Schools' Tippy the Turtle..

http://www.creativepro.com/files/story_images/drawme.jpg

Niki said...

I'm pretty sure I seen this as a babe, only a few times though, because I saw good shows as a kid my adult life is pretty morbid. they should put these back on tv!

Kali Fontecchio said...

This cartoon is so good- I couldn't believe some of the poses when I saw it the other day!

Bob Flynn said...

Might have seen this cartoon when I was a kid—but if so, it's been awhile. Super cartoony—in the best ways, as you lay out. Surprising this is Disney, though it does resemble the cartooniness apparent in the early Goofy designs, which I've spent some time studying.

They even give careful attention to the form of the Turtle's neck.

Thanks, as always, for the breakdown. Look forward to seeing more.

Constantine said...

That's excellent character animation right there. Just gorgeous to look at those elastic polymorphic forms

Shawn Dickinson said...

Wow! I've never seen that cartoon, but those stills and poses look amazing!

patrick said...

you can really feel that rabbit running his thumb across his lips!

Sven Hoek said...

A cartoony disney cartoon, a rare find indeed, that's pretty cool.

Very reminiscent of the Bugs bunny version of the tortoise and hare cartoons.

It's so fun to steal art ideas.

HemlockMan said...

I've never seen that toon. I can agree that it likely influenced Clampett and Avery, too. One of those clips looks very WB, and the scenes with the rabbit standing there kind of weaving are classic Disney movement. It's weirdly split-personality.

David Germain said...

What's the date of this cartoon, John? 1934 or '35? I think it was Tex Avery who said that Bugs Bunny's look was based on a Disney rabbit, and so were a lot of other WB character designs. It seems to be true, because here's the basic "Wabbit" and the basic "Toitle," too.

That's mostly because of Charlie Thorston. He designed Max Hare (and probably Toby Tortoise) when he was at Disney's. Then, when he left there, he went to Warner Bros. where his design for Bugs Bunny was the link in the chain from Ben Hardaway's happy rabbit to Tex Avery's definitive Bugs.

I haven't seen this cartoon, John. I didn't even know it existed. I'll have to check it out sometime.

HenriekeG said...

I think it's about a year ago that I first saw this cartoon- I just can't get enough of Max' overacted poses. I really should get it on to watch it frame by frame!

Alec said...

You have a good taste in cartoons John Krisfalusi.
:)

Where can I find this Disney short?
*curious*