Friday, June 11, 2010

Terrytoon Treats

It's funny to think that Terrytoons were considered the "cheap" cartoons back in the day.
These are mostly fully animated and chock full of cartoon goodness.

I could tell, even when I was a kid that they were produced kinda hastily but there was something unique and weird about them that you couldn't get in any other cartoons.

There was even a period of "quality" Terrytoons in the mid forties with higher production values.

In any case, even the most slapdash Terrytoons seem towering heights of creativity and skill compared to mainstream cartoons I see on TV today.

Here's a great one, full of crazy Jim Tyer animation:



Cali-4nia said...

I love Mighty Mouse... used to watch that show, along with all the old Tom and Jerry cartoons as a kid.

Also a really nice transition on the Mighy Mouse cartoon between 41-42 sec. Don't see that kind of stuff nowadays... it's all quick edits, and cuts.

litlgrey said...

John, don't you think Terrytoons suffer universally from an artistic soullessness? I do. I don't think they ever innovated or had a high watermark, as even the Lantz studio - which was most certainly characterized by a lot of low points - did.

JohnK said...

Compared to today???

Wait'll you see my next post about the most soulless thing ever made that's coming out.

The apparent soulessness of Terrytoons is probably intended by the management. But it's been foiled by the individual cartoonists.

Because the management didn't care about quality, they never redid anything and as long as the animators made their deadlines they could each animate in their own quirky styles.

I would say Famous cartoons were much more successful in purposeful soulessness.

Today there must be an endless supply of money and managers whose soul purpose is to redo everything so much that the final product is always exactly the same and all life and individuality has been crushed out of it.

Anonymous said...

Hey John. Great post on Terrytoons. They always seemed to be the most underrated and unappreciated cartoon studio in animation history, and always seem to get the most crap from animation historians and critics. Despite Phil Shcheib's crummy music scores (in a lot of the cartoons I've seen), the seemingly stagnant house style, and Paul Terry's cheapness, Terrytoons are still really fun for me, especially when Jim Tyer's doing a lot of the animation. I heard that even Disney was influenced by Terry in his early days.

What do you think of the Terrytoons produced under Gene Deitch's watch though like "Sick Sick Sidney" and Tom Terrific? Those seem some of the most interesting cartoons the studio ever made, in my opinion. And OT: what's the deal with that Happy Tree Friends thing under the Paypal button on your blog? You actually like those?

JohnK said...

I love Tom Terrific! That's a very clever use of limited animation.

Paul Terry was once considered the "Dean Of American Animation" and was highly revered by Walt Disney. He once said he hoped that one day he could do cartoons as good as Terrytoons.

But he died before his dream could come true.

Kali Fontecchio said...

I LOVE Tom Terrific!!!!!!

David Gale said...

Yet another male lead made entirely of eyebrows and teeth.

New layout looks great!

RooniMan said...

I wish there was plush doll of that prince on the bottom, so I can tear it to shreds.

Also, are frame grabs from Terrytoons good for study
(Excluding the Jim Tyer stuff)?

HemlockMan said...

You're right about the Terrytoons stuff. When I was a kid, me and my pals all thought that the Terrytoons were basically cheap-o. Even as kids we would notice the looping as a short-cut to make the action shots cheaper to produce. But compared to the crap that came later...well, it was purely fantastic.

And, anyway, I liked MIGHTY MOUSE when I was a kid. And HERMAN & CATNIP. And BABY HUEY. Those were good cartoons!

Lohen said...

Thanks! thanks! THANKS! It´s hard to find this kind of stuff nowadays.

Rothello said...

I love the voices in these old cartoons, like the example with the bugs.

I can just imagine a bunch of guys and a gal or two sitting around laughing their asses off trying to say their lines in the most over-the-top cartoony way possible.

Martin Juneau said...

I seen the Terrytoons shorts for the first time by Public Domain boxarts copies from bargain stores but never seen one of these before the YouTube trend.

Yes. Those shorts are really cheap and the action and animation is stiff but i enjoyed how characters have a strong individuality each other, mostly Gandy Goose and Sourpuss. I know you did it with the Baklshi's MM TV cartoon. It shows you really enjoyed Terrytoons, maybe more than me.