Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rubberhead

another scene from my favorite cartoon








The way this guy moves is great


Not only is this idea funny, the way he erases Daffy is such a funny and rude action!


damn DVNR!



http://www.cartoonthrills.org/blog/Clampett/46PiggyBank/DaffyEraserHead.mov

23 comments:

Zoran Taylor said...

Where's the artefact here? I don't see it. He is SUPPOSED to be being erased, right?

glamaFez said...

That's my favorite cartoon, too. Neon Noodle made a big impression on me.

Zane Asylum said...

Rubberhead's wacky voice is perfect.

Niki said...

I like Pumpkin head best, I know he doesn't do much but I always liked how cool he looked as a kid.

J C Roberts said...

The image that starts this post is another favorite setup from this one. It may only be on screen for 2seconds or so, but it really makes an impression.

Zoran:
What artifact do you mean? The eraser "shavings"? I think if Rubberhead worked exactly like an eraser, he'd be a worn down stub already. I don't think he'd have been a known arch-criminal unless he had used his signature move a few times. Or maybe that's why there were three of him in the closet.

Iritscen said...

I just noticed what a looney idea it was to stage things at that angle to the viewer. We shouldn't be able to see Eraser Head's face while he talks -- so they just twisted his head around towards us while he still glares at Daffy. I'm not sure that even would work in a physical 3D space, but it's effective, which is what matters.

It amuses me to think that they probably were storyboarding straight ahead and painted (sketched?) themselves into a corner by putting Daffy at that angle and thus potentially making Eraser Head's face turned away from us -- but instead of finding a different angle for the shot, they just had him turn his head over his shoulder! That's how a real cartoonist thinks!

P.S.: If Daffy had more cartoons like this and less cartoons where he behaved like Woody Woodpecker, I think he would have been bigger (yes, he's already big, but I mean more on par with The Bunny).

Pablo said...

Oh, what a cartoon, its SO FUNNY!!!
Its one of my favorites too.

Larry Levine said...

Very funny scene!!!

Will Finn said...

I like how they use the faint pink stripes (which represent the highlights on the rubber of the eraser) to aid in articulating the genius head shake. Its a simple solution that makes a great impact on the animation without getting in the way.

ALSO: The background is really artful too-particularly tonally: the door used in the punchline is set up very innocently and you never expect it to come into play until it does. A lot of lesser shorts make such setups so transparent that they either distract or telegraph the gag.

One of the greatest shorts ever.

Zoran Taylor said...

JC, I'm referring to John's complaint about the DVNR. I can't see much detrimental effect here, although it was probably used.

Zoran Taylor said...

*slaps forehead* BAH!! I GET IT NOW!!!
Yeah, sometimes it almost IS that bad, isn't it? "Gorrilla My Dreams", Vol. 2, anyone?

Very funny John.

J C Roberts said...

"If Daffy had more cartoons like this and less cartoons where he behaved like Woody Woodpecker, I think he would have been bigger (yes, he's already big, but I mean more on par with The Bunny)."

I think the problem was that Clampett packed up and left us wanting more, but the industry he left moved like sheep in a new direction. Some would say that's great showmanship, and it sure helped in never tarnishing his reputation, but his leaving was the beginning of the end for Daffy Duck, a character only he really knew what to do with. They kind of kept it up for a while but eventually he was screaming Mine! Mine! Mine! and mixing it up with Speedy Gonzalez. Long thin legs and a constant scheming expression isn't the Daffy I'm looking for.
I'd much rather he kept his piggy bank in a safe place and wanted to be in Carolina in the mornink.

By the 50s, and without Clampett's influence, the industry just went a different way with the "heckler" characters like Bugs and Daffy. They weren't allowed to to gleefully harass anymore. Bugs needed a reason first (of course, you know, this means war!), and Daffy was assigned egotistical and greedy. It's not that they were bad, though. It's just that they just put cartoons on simmer after Bob boiled up the place.

Of course both of them had to graduate from their early "please pass the ketchup, I think I'll go to bed" nuthouse personalities first. Clampett brought Daffy to a great place where he could be Duck Twacy or Danny Boy or just maniacally avoiding the draft. The other guys didn't really want to do those kinds of cartoons. I guess Daffy would have joined Screwy Squirrel on the bench if they hadn't reinvented him in the 50s.

It's a good thing Clampett's cartoons are so damn rewatchable, huh?

mike f. said...

For extra nerd credit, can anybody name all 13 archvillains who menace Duck Twacy in TGPBR?
(I'll bet you all can, but will pretend not to anyway - just to be tough. Ha ha!)

Here they are. I'm sure I've drawn all of 'em at least once in my life:

Hammerhead
Jukebox Jaw
Snake Eyes
Pickle Puss
Bat Man
Wolf Man
Double Header
Mouse Man
88 Teeth
Neon Noodle
Pumpkin Head
Rubberhead
Pussycat Puss

DonB said...

"JC, I'm referring to John's complaint about the DVNR. I can't see much detrimental effect here"

Look at Rubberhead's right cuff. My guess is that the DVNR is causing it to switch color and blend into the hand.

Pilsner Panther said...

Did the early Daffy Duck behave like Woody Woodpecker, or was it the other way around? Depends on which character came first, and I think that Daffy appeared a couple of years earlier, which would make Woody the "knockoff." I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

I'd have to say that I like the woo-wooing, "crazy darnfool" Daffy of the 30's and 40's a lot more than the low-key 50's duck. All that dialogue, and not enough wild cartoony action! After a while, their humor got so tame that it got to the point where WB might as well have been making sitcoms. Come to think of it, they did, with cartoons like "The Honeymousers" and "The Mouse That Jack Built."

Which are mildly amusing, but is that what cartoons are supposed to be about? I say no, what's the point? Bob McKimson started out with an Avery-Clampett influenced style, but either couldn't sustain it for more than a few years, or didn't want to anymore.

I think it's useful to divide the history of the studio into an Avery-Clampett period and a Jones-Freleng-McKimson period. Or, you might say, a golden age and a silver age. That gives a clear picture of how things went stylistically. I'll stop short of saying "downhill," but I'm tempted...

John, now we need some frame grabs of Mouse Man popping out of his hole— please! That action I want to see.

Rick Roberts said...

Wow ! I never noticed that amazing acting from Rubberhead.

Rick Roberts said...

John quick question,

You had numerous complaints about the looney tunes dvds. Are just using them just to put up images on this blor ? Do you usually just watch the vhs and laser disc sets ?

Shawn Dickinson said...

This scene is unbelieva......








.....ble

Alex Printz said...

I have to agree with everyone else here... this is by far my favorite cartoon, and the way that the whole story keeps growing and becoming crazier, not releasing until the very end is amazing. All of the movements, the different character personalities, completely unique poses and extremes for every interaction, amazing camerawork layout, how the backgrounds change in and out to enhance or contrast the actions, great timing and all on beat, along with some of the best gags of any looney tunes cartoon makes this, in my opinion, the best cartoon ever made. In class, I'll open this cartoon up, and soon half the class is standing behind me watching as well- after watching it through and just enjoying it, we'll go through and breakdown the cartoon and point out all of the great things and the different tricks that Clampett used... just like you do here!

BadIdeaSociety said...

I stand by Clampett's Looney Tunes having the most memorable one-shot characters. The flea that sings "Food Around the Corner." The Gremlin in "Falling Hare." The Do Do Bird from Porky in Wackyland. I think he was the first to use "Beaky Buzzard." And he had Injun Joe: The Supercheif and that weird old man that knew Injun Joe's secret. Clampett really gets crapped on for a guy that made more memorable characters than any of his contemporaries.

SunshineFox said...

Although Ive not watched them side by side for exact comparision, dont suppose anyone else pays much attention to the "Batman the Brave and the Bold" series hm? I say this because in episode #19 Legends of the Dark Mite, there is a decent stretch where it does a mimic parody of this scene from the original Daffy Duck toon. It doesnt last too long and the reasoning behind the sequence is rather silly, but still fun to watch a modern tribute to such a great classic. :)

J C Roberts said...

"a guy that made more memorable characters than any of his contemporaries."

That's probably quite true, if not at Warners alone, but add in Beany & Cecil and you've got quite the population explosion. Ever see a cast picture from that show? The guy was a character creating machine, and not any real duds in the bunch.

And now I know what was meant by artifacts. Isn't digital processing wonderful?

glamaFez said...

Here is a collection of actual Dick Tracy characters. There's a soft spot in my heart for Flyface. Poor Flyface, nobody understands him.

http://mikelynchcartoons.blogspot.com/2009/06/200-characters-from-dick-tracy-1931.html