Monday, September 04, 2006

Pluto animator animates the Flintstones, George Nicholas, lucky accidents

It's designed and layed out by Ed Benedict.
I'm not 100% sure, but I think this is animated by George Nicholas. I can always tell his stuff in the show itself but this is early and a little different so...?

His drawings are very angular - as opposed to Carlo Vinci's or Ed Love's more rounded characters - his drawings are handsome and well balanced - all the elements fit together well. Carlo's are much less balanced and kinda sloppy - but really funny!

George is the one who drew Betty and Wilma really cute.
His animation for Hanna Barbera is less funny than say Carlo's or Mike Lah's, but it is very human, which is the opposite of what he did for Disney.

Again, I'm not saying the animation itself is better, just the acting in his TV stuff is more natural. Natural doesn't mean better either, it just means more like real people.

Some of Fred's gestures in this commercial are subtle and simple, yet really well thought out. They aren't all stock animation actions and timings (some are) like you see in the Simpsons or modern cartoons. There is some formula here and some customized actions. "Hold it Hold it! You know I never smoke nothin' else!" Well, it ain't brilliant, just interesting and natural feeling + handsome design. It gives me ideas.

The sad thing to me is that most people judge Hanna Barbera by the cartoons they made just a few short years after they started. These later cartoons pretty much destroyed animation for good.

I saw an episode of Magilla Gorrilla in a store the other day and was repulsed at how formulaic the animation, timing, voice delivery, background paintings and music were. I can see why people would hate Hanna Barbera for letting this happen to cartoons.

If only HB had taken the good parts of what they accidentally started in 1958 and continued till 1960 and then developed the ideas further. I'm going to do a post later about the good that can come from studios that are basically unsupervised or policed creatively-like Terrytoons, Walter Lantz and the early Hanna Barbera TV studio. A random mixing of very talented artists working together in assorted combinations, just naturally comes up with unique styles and ideas that a more controlled standardized studio would never let happen.

If I had a ton of money I would open 2 studios, my random unpoliced place that would have a swinging door and tons of talented people who work in different styles coming and going through and no director or model sheets.

Then when the lucky accidents happened, I would take my A studio and purposely develop the accidental inventions to much further heights.

That's what Hanna Barbera should have done with their first couple years of lucky accidents and tons of one-time inventions. Instead, as soon as they had some money, they clamped down and killed all individual styles and standardized everything. That is the Hanna Barbera that made Magilla Gorilla on purpose which was completely boring and vulgar, compared to the first season of Yogi Bear which to me was beautiful, funny and always different.

Of course they later got even worse. Magilla led the way for Scooby Doo and the complete fall of cartoons. We're still paying for it and have never recovered.

Hey, anyone know who animated this?:

It doesn't look like any of the regular Hanna Barbera animators. The layout and design looks like Walt Clinton (a regular) and I'm guessing the animation might be by Art Babbit, 'cause it's so careful and solid and subtle - cartoony design by Walt but non cartoony animation and great in its own way.

Look how different these two commercials look! See the beauty of non-standardization?!

Mix 2 different layout artists with 2 different animators, and they each do the same characters and yet we get two different cartoon styles. That's candy to me!

Here's Ken Muse predicting the future of Hanna Barbera animation: