That angular Bugs is an amazing drawing. It's not a bunch of arbitrary angles like today. They are in perspective and all aiming at the gag. It's to exaggerate Bugs acting like a hunting dog: a pointer. Clampett's seemingly crazy ideas always have a purpose - to be attractive and fun for sure, but also to direct you to be involved in the story. His crazy ideas, animation and graphics are inspired by the storyline and always in context.
Some people assume this is a Rod Scribner scene, but it isn't. It's Bob McKimson, the conservative solid animator - being pushed by Clampett, so I asume Clampett roughed out the extreme keys and positions for McKimson, and McKimson wrapped the roughs in his super solid forms.
This is one of the handful of Bugs cartoons actually drawn in the style of the 1943 Clampett/McKimson model sheet. He still has an arched back and bent legs and small proportions. Soon after this he grew taller and a bit older and stood up more straight. I like this Bugs best; he's younger and more playful. Still a comedian himself rather than the straight man (rabbit) he soon became.
Look at these magically difficult back poses. You can really feel that fluffy tail! (If that's your thing)
There's something entertaining in pure skill itself. Witnessing something that no one you know can do. Like watching gymnasts at the Olympics. Or hurdlers. I think that's why (classic) Disney cartoons are so impressive. The stories are as boring as church, but they are just so well executed and pretty that you can't help marvel at them.
Clampett combines superhuman skill with character, gags and entertainment.
Here's a Clampett stretch as Bugs anticipates to toss the gun away. All the poses, even though funny, are drawn with elegance, because they are part of a ballet: Tales Of The Vienna Woods.
One of the things I liked about Corny Concerto is that it seems to be a cartoon going through a transitional stage at the WB studio. It's packed with new ideas, and the new Bugs design and not everyone on the crew has had time to practice all these new things, so that there are scenes with some rough edges and a slight bit of awkwardness here and there. They aren't pencil tested to death like Bambi where everything is meticulously perfectly balanced - and stale. This cartoon feels like a bunch of really fun adventurous guys were bursting with energy and just had to get every idea out that they could, so they could get to the next cartoon full of new experiments. So only 85% of it is perfectly polished. But the energy, excitement and invention is so extreme that it more than compensates for the slightly less polish.
Direction tip: Porky and the dog look clearly offscreen left at the end of the scene. This directs our attention to where they are looking - into the scene cut and makes the scenes flow into each other. I use this a lot and have to remind my layout artists about it frequently.
Here's what they are looking at. That look in this direction makes the cut flow smoothly and keeps the audience involved in the characters' concerns.
Everything moves in a fun way in a Clampett cartoon. Nothing is just animated for pure continuity. It's not just to get you from here to there. Even this inanimate object sails into the tree in a beautiful arc.
Unfortunately the cartoon (with the rest on the Clampett side of the DVD) have been transferred terribly. Every second frame is double exposed like this just so you can't fully enjoy the smoothness of the animation.This cartoon is obviously a spoof of Fantasia. Clampett told me that he and his layout man Tom McKimson (Bob's brother) were very close. They collaborated on a lot of the ideas and hung out. They went to see Fantasia together and came away in awe. They were brimming with ideas and came up with Corny Concerto. Mike Sasanoff painted the crazy beautiful backgrounds (which through the magic of digital technology have had many of the subtler colors removed).
I may be confusing 2 stories here. Maybe Milt Gray can clear it up for us. It might have been Sasanoff that went to see Fantasia with Bob.
Beauty, elegance and comedy all neatly wrapped up together. A gift from the cartoon Gods!
This scene is on for such a short time that you'd probably miss it if not for the extreme rubbery exaggeration of the way this Disney squirrel whips it out of his hole.
When I first saw the cartoon, the scene stood out in my mind and sent my own brain reeling, as Fantasia did to Bob. It seems like such a little thing, but it really showed me that cartoons were their own medium with their own much broader language than other media. It is the medium of fun, without the filler.
The way it snaps from floppy to rigid rattles my senses even after the 100th time watching it.
Compare these drawings to the ones of the characters at the top of the post. They have all of a sudden lost their solidity, which makes me suspect another animator has picked up where McKimson left off.
This almost looks like Friz animation to me. Creatures made of jelly moving underwater.
But it happens so fast and hits the dynamic key compositional poses that it works anyway.
I still think the best drybrush effects ever are in Clampett cartoons. Again, he doesn't use them just to connect poses functionally. Every tool in Clampett's arsenal is used as part of the art and fun itself. Can motion blur ever come close to this?
I want this drybrush cel setup on my wall!
Back to jelly friends.
This last key below looks like McKimson drew it. They become solid again. Maybe he did the key layouts in the scene and someone else animated it.
I love how the cute Disney squirrel decides to murder the stars of the cartoon with his rubber rifle.
The barrel retracts artfully - while giving it 10 times the power.
Somehow Clampett always seems to get the worse transfers on the DVD releases, even though his cartoons are the most fun to watch; someone feels they just have to ruin them for some reason but won't ever admit it.
Watch the fuzzy action above. If you have the old Turner video tapes or laser disks, it looks a lot better.