Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Here's the weirdest scene cut I've seen.

Before the cut Clampett anticipates that something weird is going to happen by having the bonds bag throb and shrink into infinity.
Then the hammock rolls up.

The walls begin to quiver

and then morph into a completely different scene, but Hook is still there

The WAY it morphs is really controlled and fun too - it isn't just inbetweened from one background to another as in many independent stoner animated films you see in animation festivals.

and then Hook's take when he discovers he is in a different place is amazing

The 40s was a great time for experimentation and especially in the Clampett unit. Clampett would come up with crazy ideas out of nowhere and just try them - but them execute them so skillfully that they cause a really arresting visual effect that adds to the entertainment.

This scene leads to another series of genius cuts and accents that show just what a director can do in animation if he has skill, boldness and imagination. Almost any other director would have been just too cautious and conservative to take things to this level of imagination in so short a sequence. I'll post that later


Kaiser Fate said...

These propaganda cartoons were wonderfully animated and just as amusing as any other effort from the people who made them.
I wish it were like that in Australia. Our War Bonds animations sucked.

ThomasHjorthaab said...

Interresting:) In alot of animation these days, the director doesn't even try to make the animation exiting, or fun to look at, it's usually just a crappy story with boring pictures...
I find your blog very helpful John! Please go tjeck out my blog some day:)

- Thomas

Trevor Thompson said...

Didn't Hank Ketchum create Hook?

Anonymous said...

Wow! And it goes by so fast!

HemlockMan said...

Tell me this, O Sage:

Early Clampett cartoons are pretty lame (in my uneducated estimation). Also, early Tex Avery cartoons are slack.

But at some point both of these guys started doing amazing work. Physical stuff that is as astounding and hilarious today as when it was first created.

My questions are these:

When did each of these guys start to break out? What influence was it? Were they influencing one another? One more than the other?

John A said...

Hemlock I'd like to venture a guess that it might have had something to do with Frank Tashlin's return to Warners after spending a few unhappy years at Disney. In the thirties, everybody was trying to copy Disney's success by following Disney's formula, with less than remarkable results. Warners was the only studio that didn't really bother (partly because they couldn't afford it, so instead of all the pretty special effects and art direction that Disney studio slathered on their cartoons, Warners just focused on being funny.) Since they were really just making this stuff up as they went along,there was a lot of experimenting with character design and timing, particularly among the more daring members of the studio; Clampett, Tashlin, and Avery. As it usually goes with experiments, some things work and some things don't(I'm sure they never dreamed their stuff was going to be disected by film historians seventy years later.)and before long a distinct Warner Brothers mentality emerged from their films. By the late thirties Warners timing was still a little slow (although it was still faster than most)and its character design was still follwing the more traditional method of making characters that looked like a collection of noodles and sausages. I think when Tashlin returned from Disney, there was a push to update their character design, and in doing that, it brought about a radical shift in how they made the characters move. I think that there was a prevailing attitude in all the studios that lead many to say "but Disney does it this way" Tashlin, having lived through the actual pain of making films the Disney way, came back to Warners saying "fuck Disney,we can make these things move however we want" with guys like Campett and Scibner picking this bolder method of moving objects around up pretty quickly, while it took Avery a little more time.

Payo said...

Wow. That's amazing - just looking at the stills makes me laugh.

Niki said...

These are always amazing! I need to know do all of these really show up on those Warner's DVD's in this condition? cause I need these cartoons and I want the banned Warner episodes as well.

Pilsner Panther said...

This reminds me of a scene in Buster Keaton's silent masterpiece "Sherlock Junior" (1924), where Buster walks down the aisle of a movie theater and enters the film that's being shown by passing though the screen.

At first the movie "rejects" his intrusion, as the backgrounds change rapidly and unexpectedly while Buster stands still. First he's in a formal garden, then suddenly in the Arctic, then in a cage full of lions, and several other environments that I can't remember, as I haven't seen "Sherlock Junior" in years.

Each backdrop is only on the screen for about five or six seconds, just long enough for the viewer to register it before it changes again. There's some amazing technical work here, since in 1924 there were no digital special effects, or any other kind, it all had to be "shot in the camera."

So I'm wondering, did Bob Clampett watch this scene as a kid, and did the idea stick in his subconscious mind only to show up here, years later? He would have been 11 years old in 1924, so—

"Ahh... it's a possibility!"

J C Roberts said...

"do all of these really show up on those Warner's DVD's in this condition?"

The Hook scenes that have been posted here recently are all from "Tokyo Woes" on Volume 5 of the Golden Collection. I'm not sure how many Hooks they did but there's definitely more Snafus than included on the sets. There was a DVD released in '99 of "The Complete Uncensored Private Snafu", and it looks like you can still get it through Amazon ($8!)

I get the feeling today's army isn't paying to make special cartoons for the troops in Iraq, though.
Not even from Joe Cartoon (Sadam in a blender?)

HemlockMan said...

Thanks, John! I didn't know that history, at all.

Waqas Malik said...

this is amazing, and for such a short a short scene there are so many animations! clampett knew what he was doing!