Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Henpecked Hoboes (Tex Avery, 1946)

Why is this cartoon not on DVD? In fact, the Droopy Theatrical Collection is the only thing out there that has any of Fred "Tex" Avery's MGM cartoons.

What do I want to see? I think there should be a DVD set of Tex Avery's MGM cartoons from the 40's and 50's. I consider these particular cartoons to be among some of the finest work in the animation world. If anything, they are possibly among the best film making ever done. Unfortunately, these cartoons have taken some undeserved heap in our recent years of censorship and political embarrassment. But thankfully, the DVD releases of Droopy, Popeye, and the Looney Tunes collections have shined some light on the matter, and kept the cartoons as they were meant to be. I mean, for heaven's sake, you can't erase or improve history.

*The following has no in depth analysis or artistic breakdown like most bloggers show. It is simply a general enjoyment.*

I came across this cartoon recently. I haven't seen it in years, and now that I am older, there is so much more I see in it. I loved seeing this when I was little (when they still showed old cartoons on public television).

I now know that the characters of George and Junior are based on the two leads in Of Mice and Men (a very depressing read for me).

A satisfying ending: the stupid tramp gets her ass kicked.

This image is from Kevin Langley's blog, which I recently discovered. If you like this, I suggest checking his blog out.

On another note: if anybody reads this, I have a question. I am trying to figure out how to get quicktimes up here on the blog. I need to get my work up here while I try to figure out my web page. What is the recommended web host to do this?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My confession

I have been to two parties this week, and neglected my thesis twice. I was encouraged to go to one, and the other was a special occasion. I will illustrate one with photographs, and the other with doodles.

Drinking and Drawing

It was organized by Lee Rubenstein and Dan Meth. The original basis was to simply drink and then animate, and the animation would reflect your intoxication. Well, it seems the idea changed to simply gathering at a bar and creating an "animjam."

For those who don't know, an "anijam" is an animated piece made up of different segments each done by a different animator. When one animator finishes, the next picks up from the last drawing of the previous. It sounds a little confusing, but once you see one, its really quite simple. I love anijams, as they reflect individual artists in such a settle way. And I've always wanted to be part of one. The jam should be up on the Frederator site next week.

Jessica Plummer's So Long

Jessica Plummer is one of the best animators I know personally. There are many places she can go with her amazing drawing skills. One of those places appears to be Chicago. She is leaving New York for the time being to follow her boyfriend to Chicago, and she held a fond farewell bash (I'm probably making it sound pretty sad, but it wasn't).

I went to catch up with Jessica, as well as a few others, because I am unable to see them for months at a time now, due to my schedule. Even though it was nice to catch up, I ended up keeping my nose buried in my sketchpad, as I normally do. These are a few of the pages I filled up during the night.

And I close with some last minute scratches. I apologize for not having another Gothic mouse. I just needed to get something posted this week.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Drawing during the week.

I've been doing a lot of (non-thesis) drawing lately, which is actually a good thing. It keeps me in better head space.

Just thought I'd post some of them.

A Gothic Mouse. I've been listening to the Cure a lot lately.

I love making lines and hatchings when I doodle.

I work in a film equiptment office. This page was filled up during a slow hour.

Some life drawing that went pretty well.

I think I'll hold off on writing about Hanna Barbera for a while. I've probably said all I need to say.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Daws Butler in the 1980's

I’m back at Pratt, and I have a long and stressful semester ahead of me. Thankfully, I am not alone; there are nearly twenty animators in my senior class, many of whom I hold in the highest regard. Hopefully, by the semester’s end, I should have a good film in my hands.

I was checking the official Daws Butler website recently, and saw this article about him, written back in 1985. Butler is perhaps best known as the major voice talent in the early Hanna Barbera period.

Anyway, I found the article to be quite an intrigue. By 1985, Hanna Barbera was going even lower creatively, and their shows from that period are barely remembered. Butler, who died in 1988, expresses his dissatisfaction with the animation industry in this article. I find it comforting to know he felt this way. I don’t want to repeat what the article said, so I clipped the part I liked. I suggest you read it.

Recently, somebody uploaded a bunch of episodes of a HB all-star show called Yogi’s Treasure Hunt on YouTube. And what can I say, other than its a really bad show. But its bad in rather amusing way. At least I am amused by it, because it stars characters I really enjoy. One thing that makes this show watchable are the voice talents employed in it. Among those are Charlie Adler, Michael Bell, and veterans Frank Welker, and Don Messick. I can safely say these guys provided the last little bit of soul left in these economically bloated shows.

And despite being able to afford more animation than before, the look of the shows is still terrible. The Korean labor practice is, in my opinion, one of the worst practices in the animation industry. There’s no director to approve, and there are mistakes that are more noticeable than ever. Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera blew so many opportunities to re-invent their characters, and take them to new heights.

If anybody wants to see these, I suggest the episodes “Goodbye Mr. Chump” and “Snow White and the Seven Treasure Hunters.” I chose not to embed them here, because I think I got the point across already.

John Kricfalusi took Yogi Bear to a whole new level with his Ranger Smith cartoons, the most notable of which is "Boo Boo Runs Wild." His cartoons proved a new way of bringing these characters to life, mostly due to his great admiration of character designer Ed Benedict.