Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dizzy Red Riding Hood

This is one of the great Betty Boop cartoons. It was done before they started tracing model sheets of her and stiffened her up. From 1930 to 1933 the cartoons are almost all really good.Does anybody know who this animator is?
I love the way he draws Betty and the way he moves things.

There's not only nothing realistic about this, there is also nothing Disney about it. Some people equate Disney with realism, but Disney is just a set of arbitrary rules or selective animation principles that many have come to believe are the only true attributes good animation must have.
Is this the same animator?

Disney advanced their own set of principles in the mid 30s and reached their peak with Snow White. Their mid to late 30s cartoons squash and stretch like crazy during movement, but the drawings when you can see them, remain pretty conservative and not very funny or cartoony.
When the Fleischers began to adopt the Disney tricks in the late 30s, their cartoons became less entertaining. They lost their own unique attributes along the way and absorbed Disney's negatives along with the positives.

Is it possible to be cartoony and have west coast principles at the same time? Wait for another post.


I used to think of these Boop cartoons as primitive, because I too was used to judging everything by west coast 40s standards. They didn't squash and stretch much, had no weight and the inbetweening was evenly spaced which makes the characters seem to float.
These cartoons have something else that the more expensive and elaborate Disney cartoons don't. They are fun. They also sometimes have great design, depending on who the animator is.
And they are totally weird and imaginative. Dizzy Red Hiding Hood is a perfect cartoon fairy tale adaptation. It is not at all trying to be believable. We don't need to learn the characters' motivations. There are no multiplane camera fx trying to fool us into thinking we aren't watching a cartoon.
This glorifies that it's a cartoon. I love these animated backgrounds. It invites us into a surreal dream world of weirdness. I want a machine that can transport me into this surreal world. I want to visit Betty and Bimbo. I don't have any innate desire to visit Snow White's cottage. It's too normal.

I find that the closer animation tries to be real, the more fake it looks. Multiplane camera effects that use realistically painted bgs looks fake as Hell. You can see flat paintings of realistic trees panning at different speeds than the still background at the bottom of the mutiplane. Beowulf is the ultimate sinner of trying to be real and being more fake than anything ever made.

The Fleischers weren't ashamed they were making cartoons. They were all about the magic and fun.


Fleischer cartoons also differ from Disney's in how heterosexual they are.
This is a different animator than the one above and Betty's not as cute, but it's still very funny.

Bimbo and Betty have a happy ending!
I'm going to put more clips up that I think might be the animator in the walk scenes above. Help me out if you know who it is!

BTW, this is an 11x beat. 11x per step. 10 drawings per step with one drawing shot twice to make it 11 per beat.

The animator may have animated it as a 10x beat. (No animator would decide on his own to animate an 11x per step cycle). But the music sounded best at an 11x frame beat, so they chose to expose one drawing twice in each step to make it fit.

This suggests the music was written before the animation was done but who knows?