Monday, July 26, 2010

Free: Clampett Frame Grabs To Study

Here are some great frame grabs from Clampett cartoons thanks to Chris Lopez. His site is a wonderful resource for cartoon and comic lovers.

Daffy in his absolute prime. Look what an appealing design that is!

More teeth in Clampett cartoons.
Best eyes.

Funniest poses- this is McKimson here! He never drew like that in his own cartoons!

This is the best cud chewing scene ever animated. Chris..please put up the extremes!

I love Clampett's ghostly crowd paintings!

Funniest visual jokes.
Weirdest characters.
Most intense acting.
More stretch.
I wonder why there isn't a book about Clampett? The guy is obviously the greatest (and most generous) cartoon director of all time. I was at the Illiad bookstore yesterday and there were about 10 Chuck Jones books, and not one Clampett. I don't get it. Clampett is the guy who did the WB style purer than anybody and was most responsible for their success.



Isaak said...

John K, do you think you could write a book about Clampett. You certainly have the passion and expertise.

Also, with my two Cartoon Crazies DVDs, I am the proud owner of A Tale of Two Kitties, Falling Hare, Jungle Drums, Scrub me Mama with a Boogie Beat and more.

Maybe you've been going about it wrong. WB obviously is run by morons who hate Clampett. The key is to try to release DVDs with the theme of War. I want you to succeed. I may be a mere graduate student, but email me and I can give you some ideas.

I may be no cartoonist, but I want to do my part to restore cartooniness to the masses.

Isaak said...

Never mind. Any Bonds Today isn't part of the Censored 11. I still think Cartoon Crazies is a good avenue for your cartoons.

zmerrill said...

Yeah, I see that Bob Clampett isn't getting the respect he deserves. Awesome stills, studying them tonight.

And what do you think about Beavis and Butt-Head being revived?

Anonymous said...

As soon as I get over my Mickey Mouse obsession and learning from those solid and appealing drawings of him the animators did in the late 30s and 40s, I'm gonna take a look at these beautiful framegrabs. Thanks John and ComicCrazys!

I wonder if any of those rumors I keep hearing about Clampett were ever true or not, like if took the credit for characters he never came up with, or any of that stuff in that controversial Jones-Avery-Clampett letter thing (I've actually read it before, and it wasn't as notorious as people kept saying it was). Seems like almost every great animation director has had some type controversy behind them.

Amir Avni said...

There might not be a Clampett book unless you do it.

Paul B said...

The drawings in the frame grabs of the wolf are rare, maybe it's a problem with the inking.

RooniMan said...

Yay Clampett!

Chris_Garrison said...

>> I was at the Illiad bookstore yesterday and there about 10 Chuck Jones books, and not one Clampett. I don't get it.

Sadly, people are more attracted to cool than they are to funny. How many James Dean books are there, compared to Chuck Jones books?

ComiCrazys said...

Thanks for the kind words and the plug, John. I'll do some more grabs this week.

I think you are the only one uniquely insightful enough to write a book on Clampett.

Archie said...

Hey John, its a crying shame there isnt a book on Clampett. I'm also surprised that there doesn't seem to be a Tex Avery DVD set anywhere. Thanks for the upload, i could look at Clampetts frames all day. If i were to take time to study these would it be possible if you could critique them for me?

TedM said...

A book about Bob Clampett would be interesting. Maybe you should write a book about him. You already know so much about him. How did you become friends with Bob Clampett? That would be a good book.

Isaak said...

Look at the last link. Maybe Steve Worth could use his muscle to get the cartoon

Sorry for the slim pickings.

Mark said...

Great idea about a book. Have you considered doing one yourself or with someone else? Your interest in Clampett would be a great asset to such a project.

Do you know if there are any plans to release a Clampett DVD set from his Warner period or any other work? Why not a DVD set for each major director, such as the complete works of Tex Avery or Bob Clampett or McKimson or Freleng or Chuck Jones or whoever?

Thanks for the post.

JohnK said...

I've pitched a Clampett DVD set a few times at WB and to Jerry. Everyone always says "I have no control over what gets put out." I guess that means there is a computer that makes all the decisions at Warners.

It never goes anywhere. It's crazy.

Although you CAN find whole sides of Speedy Gonzales cartoons.

And yes, there should also be a complete set of Avery's MGM cartoons on DVD-not DVNRed!

JohnK said...

"I wonder if any of those rumors I keep hearing about Clampett"

Those rumors are just that-rumors, started by Jones who was jealous of him.

I interviewed lots of the old guys and they all bad-mouthed each other-except for Clampett who talked about how talented all his colleagues were.

He lauded McKimson profusely while others bashed him.

McKimson bashed Clampett-yet did his best work for him. He also bashed Fleischer cartoons which is crazy, since his own style was more similar to theirs than it was to Disney's. Friz bashed everyone and was the most mediocre of the bunch.

Avery was goaded into bashing Clampett in that letter but later repented.

It makes no sense to me. They all made cartoons far superior to anything today.

Cartoonists just don't stick together for some reason.

To me what's most important are the films themselves, not the dumb personal stuff and hearsay.

Isaak said...

According to Wikipedia, Jerry Beck said the Censored 11 might see the light of day because of Warner Archive Collection.

Do you think that is true and if not would you be able to do the all-cartoon channel? It would probably have to be on super-deluxe-satellite and like Boomerang would get shows like


In the name of George Liquor, what cartoon channel would proudly showcase that show. That would be equivalent to Kenneth Lay writing on a job application that he fucked over millions of people. A channel with Snorks and no Looney Tunes is a channel that might as well show Josie and the Pussycats, which is the "cartoon royalty" according to Boomerang.

Is Selbert aware of the mishigas occuring on his channel? It is a shanda.

Peter Saunders said...

My favourite thing about Clampett--and I'm not sure it's been mentioned here--is the way he had his characters fill the screen, as shown in some of those examples. I love the big, brash boldness of it.

Lampshade said...

I remember there was a Bob Clampett show on Cartoon Network that Jerry worked on. John do you remember it?

You can find a segment here

David Germain said...

From what I've read about Clampett, he just had a compulsion to build himself up, nothing more than that. Michael Barrier even said on his site that in his interviews, Clampett always got the facts right, but it was his interpretation of those facts that often got him in trouble.
Chuck Jones is, of course, the epicentre of all the Clampett bashing, mostly because it didn't take much to get Chuck mad at you. And, he could hold a grudge for decades, over the slightest thing too. Chuck once overheard Art Davis telling someone "I prefer Friz' cartoons over Chuck's" and from that day forward, Jones shunned Davis forever. After Jones lost the director position to Bob in 1937, he wanted to think that Clampett would stop at nothing for personal gain, but of course that's not true at all. Clampett just couldn't help himself, it was like tourettes or something. Or, I prefer to describe it as Bob Clampett possessing such a strong and vivid imagination that he couldn't help but let it spill into other parts of his life. I agree with Frank Tashlin when he said "I love Bob's imagination."
I also recall another interview Bob had inwhich the the interviewer asked "how would you like to be remembered?" Bob's response was "I'd just like to be remembered". I think that sums it up pretty well.

But, of course, John, you actually hung out with the man for a good stretch of time. How would you describe him?

JohnK said...

>>he just had a compulsion to build himself up, nothing more than that.<,

Sounds more like Jones than Clampett and why would you believe a single word of opinion from MB who slants everything according to which axes he has to grind?

SparkyMK3 said...

John, is being able to like both creative and surreal (i.e. Fleischer, Clampett) as well as conservative (i.e. Disney) an advantage over one who chooses one solely over the other?

Speaking of not-conservative, what do you think of George Herriman's Krazy Kat comics? I've been considering buying the hardcover collections, so i wanted to know if that was a good idea or if i would just be wasting my money. Thanks if you reply back.

And one last thing-how do i show my "homework" to you?

Roberto González said...

>>It makes no sense to me. They all made cartoons far superior to anything today.

Cartoonists just don't stick together for some reason.<<

Maybe I'm being a little low for mentioning this, but I can't help it. It's not like there weren't any problems during Ren and Stimpy production either.

But I agree the cartoons are more importants than the personal stuff.

And yes, I find it pretty frustrating when I try to recommend Clampett to someone who already likes Jones' cartoons. Usually they say "yeah, this is funny but Jones' cartoons are masterpieces". It's either that they keep repeating what critics said or that they're just more familiar with Jones' stuff and his version of the characters, or maybe people react better to the so called 'intellectual' humor in the Jones cartoons rather than visual and absurd humor...I don't think what it is, but there is a whole bunch of people that find Clampett "too wacky" or "just funny" and they can't for the life of them praise those cartoons for being incredibly and awesome-ly funny like no other thing that have ever existed.

I mean, Jones is also great in different ways, but his cartoons have already had a lot of attention. The other directors deserve their moment of glory too.

Roberto González said...

>>and why would you believe a single word of opinion from MB who slants everything according to which axes he has to grind?>>

Hmmm...I detect some animadversity there?

Anyway with my limited understanding of english and scant knowledge about Barrier's subjectivities I usually find his reviews pretty interesting.

And I enjoyed your conversations with him about Ren and Stimpy APC. I thought both of you were right on different aspects and it seemed like a constructive dialogue between the two of you.

Elana Pritchard said...

Wow, drawings that are so solid and so lively at the same time. Amazing.

Isaak said...

Guess how many articles have Bob Clampett as its subject.




The age at which a child learns to acquire a rudimentary vocabulary.

Daws Butler has a book
Chuck Jones has two.
Friz Freleng-One book
It is of the essence an official tally be taken of the number of books written by and or about all prominent cartoonists.
Also, you do not want to know how many are about South Park

Isaak said...

It is better than nothing.

Constantine said...

The reason there isn't a Clampett book?
I think John has said it himself in other posts; Clampett transcends what critics can understand. Sure they like Clampett, but because they can't wrap their analytical word-oriented minds around his cartoons and why they work.

How the hell is someone suppose to write about something as visual as a Clampett cartoon?

It's like how there are mountains of literature on 2001: A Space Odyssey - failing to realise that film is a non-verbal experiance.

Isaak said...

Again, if you would like a book, follow the last Amazon link.

Savor it like you would a good wine or a particularly good pizza from Papa John's.

Frizzurd said...

Clampett's cartoons are very very re-watchable. I just cant get enough of those goofy contorted faces.

That scene with Bugs screaming like a girl in the shower, after fat Elmer sees him.... so funny and not as good when its reused later.

b said...

maybe this isn't the right place to post this, but can anyone help beef up this article:


Shawn Dickinson said...


Even just these few STILLS make me wanna get better at drawing! Clampett never ceases to inspire me, no matter how many times I see his work!

Pure cartoon greatness!!!

Scrawnypumpkinseed said...

Beautiful Clampett images! I've seen almost all the cartoon shown here.

I'm going to post a study sometime nest week.

Scrawnypumpkinseed said...

Oh and if I may venture an opinion;

Jones is more widely praised because there's a lot more availability of his cartoons, John Lasseter plugs them all the time and also they're more digestible to a mainstream audience.

They don't move around as much, especially if you look at stuff from the 60's. Less motion makes executives happy.

And now to tide you over, enjoy some wacky daffy duck hooting like a wild chimp:

Cristian said...

You know, I really like Chuck Jones but after a while all his characters started to look and act the same and he wasn't that funny anymore.

I guess he has more books because his cartoons are fixed in a lot of people's minds as the "official" look of the characters, like what you see in merchandising. I know I remember his bugs as the "official" one ever since I was a kid. Perhaps that's why I enjoy Clampett that much nowadays... it's so different, so wild and so energetic compared to what everyone else did!

Also, I know you have heard this a lot, but you look a lot like him. I once saw an early picture of Clampett and tought "oh, that's cool, John K on a black and white pic--wait!"

Juz Capes said...

It really puzzled me when reading the Jones autobiography that he didn't really mention Clampett, yet he has little cartoon sketches/funnies of his littered throughout the book.

Honestly I could read/listen to your analysis on these cartoons/animators for hours on end. Authorative criticism does seem to be unpopular now.

When I saw you talk about cartoons on these WB DVD's I was incredibly impressed, you spoke like a film historian, you made the directors sound like real people, appreciating without mystifying their talents.

How much of this stuff is just going to get lost because of petty differences and corporate laziness? I loved the Beany & Cecil DVD Clampett interviews, and I still want to know more about Bob Clampett.

Michael Sporn said...

"Those rumors are just that-rumors, started by Jones who was jealous of him.

I interviewed lots of the old guys and they all bad-mouthed each other-except for Clampett who talked about how talented all his colleagues were.

He lauded McKimson profusely while others bashed him.

McKimson bashed Clampett-yet did his best work for him."

What you said about Clampett, Jones, and McKimson is pretty much true. Though Clampett was a gossip, too, and had some bad things to say about Jones to me. And he barely knew who I was. Maybe that made it OK. (I sorta understand Jones' problem; he was and animator with Clampett and never forgave him for getting ptomoted to director first. Clampett, I think, was just trying to defend himself from Jones and Avery.)

They all were so talented and so individual. We have to recognize them that and forgive all the chatter and back-biting they started.

David Germain said...

With the writings of any historian, on the 'net or elsewhere, it's always a good idea to seperate the facts from the opinions. Not enough people do that.
It's true, Mr. Barrier's opinions can get rather heavy-handed and way too academic at times. It sometimes gets to the point where you feel like asking him "do you even enjoy the films you watch, sir?" I read his website every once in a while looking for small nuggets of knowledge and could care less about his opinions (or the opinions of any other historian's website, be they amateur or professional).

I absolutely agree that not enough is written about Bob Clampett, neither about the man nor his work. I think it would be a good idea for Bob Jr., Ruth, and Sheri to get on that. Bob's 100th birthday is coming up in a few short years. Such a project would be a great centennial birthday present.

Mark said...

John, what DVDs currently available have Clampett cartoons on them? What sources are there?

The Warners Golden Collection sets have some, but there must be more.

Is it possible that you could bypass Hal at Warner Bros, and find someone to who could help develop a project to bring Clampett's cartoons to DVD? Maybe a joint venture with other like-minded cartoonists or cartoon historians?

kurtwil said...

Given the decades-long mean spirited-ness, backbiting and the other crud infesting Hollywierd to this day, it's amazing talented artists like B. Clampett created what they did.

Perhaps it was because their production environments, like the MMTNA and R&S Spumco units, offered a lot of internal collaboration and opportunities for artistic growth, which surmounted the short schedules and often rickety environments they worked in?

JK and others have said it before, but those artistic conditions __rarely__ exist today.

Isaak said...

This is about color theory.

Watching Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp, one feels like one is watcing a mature production by people who love what they are doing.

Watching Aladdin (1992), one is watching an exectuive's sick mind in which people are fluorescent and humor relies solely on pop culture gags, which can be good in South Park, though I know you disagree, but get old in a FEATURE FILM.

I would love if you did a post contrasting these two productions, showing how the former succeeds where the latter utterly fails.

Zoran Taylor said...

I think Steve Schnieder's "That's all Folks!" pretty much eliminates the need for a book on each individual director. His writing is succinct, clear and obviously passionate. The way he writes about Clampett, you'd think being ignorant of his cartoons is akin to not realizing the earth revolves around the sun instead of the reverse.

Thumpasaur said...

I was laughing my ass off to some clampet cartoons last night. He was way funnier than any body else only Tex Avery could be seen as his equal.

Zoran Taylor said...

@Constantine - Again, I direct you to Schneider's book. It's no substitute for watching the cartoons, but I swear to Pete, the thing is sometimes so vividly written you get a real rush from it. And when he gets to Clampett, he just lets it all go: Coal Black is "A jazz-stepping, modern-day mock melodrama of unalloyed lust and vengeance"; Piggy Bank earns gems such as "Time and space contract and distend"; "shattering into tiny, writhing squiggles"; the adjective "topplingly" all by itself; all before "exhilarating, hilarious terror" sums it all up.

I can't state loudly enough that writing like this can NOT be transcended. A good author -the RIGHT author- can write an engaging book on any subject.
"That's All Folks!" was THE VERY REASON my teenaged self decided I needed to start watching cartoons again. Period. Never mind whether you can explain something perfectly in words - you can get people interested in it with words. Then they have to see it for themselves. And once they have, no further explanation is needed. All that needs to be written are the stories.

Zoran Taylor said...

Also, forgive me for stating the obvious, but I feel there are some people here who still don't realize that a blog is a far superior format for visual analysis than a book is. That's why this blog does things a book can't. Not just because John knows his stuff or because book publishing is BS - but just as much because it is a BLOG. And isn't that why these things exist? To do what book can't? They'd be redundant if they didn't.

Yowp said...

At the risk of "me-too"-ism, John, I think you're the guy to write the Clampett book.

You know why there are "ten books" on Jones. He wrote some himself. He made himself available for interviews. And he outlived Bob.

As you've said time and time again, watching the Clampett cartoons frame-by-frame is a marvellous way to spend one's time. Even his assistants .. and the only one I know of is Melendez .. were extremely talented.

SandraRivas said...

I love the Porky and the Injun Joe cartoon! The Sloppy Moe character was my absolute favorite!

I hate that some of the best artists are not getting the credit and fame they deserve, like you and Bob Clampett.

Eric said...

I guess Jones gets more attention possibly because he was doing more stuff in the 50s when the cartoons started being televised? I don't know, but I agree with you. Of all the Looney Tunes DVDs, the "Put a Clampett On It" disc from volume 5 (4 or 5? I think 5) is by far the best.

paul etcheverry said...

Have yet to see a book on Bob Clampett, combining extensive interviews with those who knew him well with fresh analysis of his films.

Joe Adamson's book on Tex Avery is definitely worth tracking down. There are cineaste writings about Frank Tashlin, another one of my favorites, but they tend to totally overlook his fine work as an animation director.

I met Bob a few times and don't remember him knocking any of his colleagues or contemporaries in my presence, but do recall him praising Tex Avery to the skies. He loved working with Tex at Termite Terrace!

I'm proud to have worked on the first published filmography of Clampett's WB work in a Mindrot/Animania issue that paid tribute to Bob a gazillion years ago. My recollection is that Jerry Beck, Will Friedwald, Ron Hall, David Mruz, Jim Korkis and Mark Kausler were also contributors.

James Dalby said...

I laughed so much at the cartoon where the gremlin opens the plane door airborne and Bugs Bunny's clinging onto the plane from the outside with his heart beating "4K".

What did they mean by "4K"?

Anonymous said...

Bob Clampett's work is pretty well-represented on the LT Golden Collections; the whole "Speedy Gonzales got a disc" comment doesn't hold water, because Clampett got a disc too. Plus plenty of cartoons scattered across the other volumes, equalling 49 total. Not too shabby.

It's Tex Avery that needs a DVD set in the worst way. Right now, you have to buy the WB live action releases to get various bonus Avery cartoons that come with them, and they're likely unrestored.

A book of Clampett would be cool, though. Especially with lots of artwork. Certainly, while I don't always find Clampett's work hilarious, his cartoons are almost always a joy to watch from a visual standpoint, if nothing else.

chris from ART-school said...

I swear I've got a Book. Don't have it on me to give an author though. Got it in a used book store several years ago. I think it focuses more on his art but I'm not sure. When I'm in up-state NY again I'll have to take a look at it.

chris from ART-school said...

I swear I've got a book. I don't have it on me so I can't give an author. It may even focus more on the art side but I'm not sure. Got it in a used book store. When I'm in up-state NY again I'll have to take a look at it.

chris from ART-school said...

So, remember when i swore all that before. Well it just dawned on me that it's a book on Tex and NOT Bob. Sorry! :(

SikArtist said...

That bit you were saying about the other cartoonist bashing on Clampet and each other, I see it all the time. I've done sculpture, and illustration, and mostly stick doing freelance now because of all the back stabbing and shit talking that goes around between artist. It's sickening. People are more focused on preserving their inflated egos than putting together good work.

Namowal said...

I've been thinking "Why are there so many Chuck Jones books and no Bob Clampett books" myself lately.
I have no grudge against Jones- he was great too, but Clampett was better!