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.


Anonymous said...

Y'know what was a sweet show? "Yo Yo Yogi!" They're really not Hanna-Barbera characters unless they're teenagers and hanging out in a mall.

Emmett said...

Oh my God! Don't even bring up that "Yo Yogi!" show. That is painful to watch. I couldn't even bear to watch it when I was seven. It's among the worst looking things I have ever seen. I can't stand shows where classic characters are made to look like America's idea of the modern teenager or average adolescent.

But I'm not suprised you mention this Josh. You always have a way of coming back to these sort of shows.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Emmett, I like crap.

rodineisilveira said...

Seeing this reference from the fight sequence between Yogi and Ranger Smith in Boo Boo Goes Wild (directed by John Kricfalusi in 1999), it seems that comes to my mind the John Seely's track Heavy agitato (originally played on Ruff & Reddy [Hanna-Barbera/Columbia Pictures, 1957-60]). John Kricfalusi used this track on this scene. It made me thrills!