Friday, 2 December 2011

Happy Birthday to me

Yes, as a matter of fact, it is! Just thought I'd put that out there for anyone who's interested. Now that I'm 19, I can legally drink alcohol in bars!

Friday, 25 November 2011

100 Years - Ray Patterson! (Belated)

by Steven Hartley.

On the November 23rd, it would be exactly 100 years since Ray Patterson was born, he died in 2001 on December 30th and could've lived another 10 years to celebrate. I am going to make a tribute about Ray Patterson with his work on animation that he worked on, I'll include some personal information on Ray, and also some animation scenes that he animated on through my knowledge..

Here is a picture of Ray Patterson. Probably taken around the 1930's at some dress-party.

Raymond Shepard Patterson was born on November 23, 1911 in the Los Angeles County to the parents of Searles William Patterson (7/29/1882-3/29/1960) and Marlon Leslie Shepard (10/16/1886-1/9/1976). He had two brothers, one older named Donald W. Patterson (born 26 December 1909 in Illinois), you guessed it - it's animator Don Patterson who later became a famous animator for Disney, Walter Lantz and Hanna-Barbera. 

His first animation career started at the Charles Mintz Studios in 1929 when he was only 18. He stayed at the Mintz Studios for roughly eight or nine years, where he worked as an inbetweener and ink and painter. Eventually he became an animator and character designer. Below are some drawings that Ray did at the Mintz studios (not mine, but courtesy of the ASIFA-Hollywood Archives site):

At around 1938, he then left the Mintz Studios, where he finally got a job as an animator at the Walt Disney Studios where he was working on features like Fantasia and Dumbo where he got screen credit in both those films. He arrived in roughly 1939, and his brother Don Patterson must've been around at Disney a year earlier, when he would be busy working on Pinocchio animating cuckoo clocks, and Pinocchio and Gepetto in the raft. He didn't animate very much at Disney, and he certainly wasn't there for very long at all, but he has contributed to some animated scenes. He seemed to have paired up with Grant Simmons at Disney, (they later became partners years later). Ray animated some scenes of the elephants in the "Dance of the Hours" section in Fantasia here is the sequence to find his only scenes.

He also worked on a Donald Duck cartoon called Truant Officer Donald and there is a scene of what he animates:

Here Ray Patterson animates on the 0:56 mark up to the 1:49 mark.

Here, on Dumbo - Ray contributed to the film with some great animation. His most notable animation on that film was on the clowns in the fire brigade act. Skip to the act where you see animation of clowns in the fire brigade performance. Ray did a lot of work on that sequence, Grant Simmons worked on that, too. Ray Patterson's scenes there includes the introduction scenes of the clowns in the fire engine and they all scramble in panic, and the small clown climbing up a tiny ladder and trips. One of his greater scenes in that sequence, is the clown up a ladder and roasting a sausage by a flaming fire. He did more animation on the clowns later on. His animation was identical to his MGM animation, and he was just a cartoony animator in the Disney films, when usually it was all personality and emotions.

Around that time, Ray Patterson was married in 1940 to a lady named Antoinette (surname unknown), they were married in 1940, but unfortunately they were divorced in 1942 after only two years. He did eventually remarry in 1946 to a June Walker (?) the marriage lasted longer, but only for about six years. He at least had a daughter named Kim, but date is unknown.

There is an interesting part about Ray Patterson in a Walt's People - Volume 9 in a Art Scott interview where during Ray's time at Disney, their wives would be working late at the ink and paint department working on Bambi and that Ray and Art would play badminton - and both of them even played a match against Walt Disney and Ham Luske. Art said about Ray as a very skilled badminton player. Here is a snippet on what Artie said about Patterson:

Ray Patterson had been an animator there, at the old Mintz Studio. Another one from that group that was there was Fred Abrams [Is that Ray Abrams who worked for Tex Avery?] He's an animator here. And Hal Ambro, who was an inbetweener. He and I were inbetweeners together. And he became assistant there, and then we went on to Disney's together. And Ray went on to Disney. He and I were at Disney together.
In fact, one time when we were there we were still at the old Hyperion studio, and he and I used to play badminton a lot together. We were over waiting for our wives, because our wives were working in the Painting Department, so they were working late because they were finishing Bambi or something...Anyway, they were working late, So we went on a soundstage to play badminton. He and I were hitting the bird back and forth, and who should walk in but Walt Disney. Of course, we were a couple of new guys there and we were using this stage. It was Walt and Ham Luske and their wives, and they were there for an evening of badminton, and here these two clods are out there...(laughs).
So Walt, being magnanimous with this couple of guys there, let their wives sit out, and said, "Why don't you join us?" So the wives watched while Ray and I played Ham Luske and Walt Disney. Not because I was any good, because I was hardly a player at all, but Ray was excellent, Ray was a fantastic player. And we ripped them. Ray, the day after he goes, "Do you think we ought to have done that?"
 The story finishes with Walt Disney and Ham Luske beating them at the badminton, but Ray was close to beating them. The text is a courtesy from Didier Ghez, and John Culhane's interview in Walt's People - Volume 9.

Ray's stint at Disney only lasted about two years, and he was involved in the Disney animator's strike in 1941, and he was one of the many animators who were laid off. Ray later found other animation jobs, he spent roughly a year at Screen Gems in 1942, and finally he moved to MGM in 1943 where he would remain there for roughly a decade working on many Tom and Jerry cartoons for Hanna-Barbera, and he has contributed to so many great animation there which I will go through and I will identify some of his scenes.

Ray's animation back around 1943-1947 is quite easy to identify, and he had a lot of details in his scenes. He was particularly great for acting scenes. He always gave Tom freckles and an upper lip, and he gave Ray a pouty lip as his trademark that no animator had ever done before. Although, when it came to movement, his animation was rather stiff compared to Ken Muse, Irv Spence or Pete Burness - but it really worked and did the job well. He gave his facial expressions for the character (if it was smiling) in a rather gummy and funny way - it wasn't as appealing as Ken Muse would handle it, but Ray did make the facial expressions look very cartoonie and very funny, but Ray's facial expressions also had character, and he looked like Ray used a lot of caricature on Tom. He wasn't very loose in the early forties, but after his year stay at England, he arrived back in 1948 and his animation became looser, and made a big change. Here, I will show you some scenes by Ray Patterson that are worth studying and memorable:

Here in Mouse Trouble Ray animates the first traps that Tom plots to try and get Jerry by using different booby traps. He animates from the 1:00 mark and continues up to 1:58, and that's all he animated on. In the mousetrap scene, he gives Jerry weight when he uses much of his strength to get the piece of cheese off, and managed to without even being snapped. Tom's eyes widen (a great 'take' by Ray) and he touches his fingers, in which he is pinched from the mousetrap - that is just bad luck for Tom.

In the hilarious Tom and Jerry cartoon Flirty Birdy (animated by Ken Muse, Irv Spence and Ray Patterson), Ray did manage to get some great scenes on his own. He animated the opening scenes of which Tom picks pieces of cheese all lined up, as a booby trap so Jerry gets caught in a sandwich. Here in this mark, Ray handles 0:25-0:53 including the scene where Tom's teeth crash together and fall apart - which is priceless. Ray Patterson comes back later on animating 3:42 and up to 4:40. 3:42 with the buzzard's take on Tom's eyelash seducing him, is just hilarious timing and a hilarious expression. Ray went very extreme with that pose and it works very well - I don't think this could've been done better, and the casting was very good. Ken Muse was known for his on-model type-animation (rather Disney looking), and Irv Spence was great for his wacky scenes in which there was little detail in the scenes.

Here, Ray Patterson animates the entire opening of the classic Quiet Please and he does some outstanding animation here. The opening is just wonderful animation (probably my favorite Patterson animation), and it involves Spike the bulldog trying to take a nap while sleeping, but he gets rather disturbed in which Tom is trying to hit Jerry with a frying pan, but hits Spike by mistake and runs off. Spike then has a gesture on his face "Oh well", and continues sleeping - but is disturbed again with gun sounds, and Tom uses his head as a base to aim his gun to Jerry. Spike gets even more annoyed, and yet again hears more sounds with Tom holding an axe and trying to chop Jerry. Luckily, Tom is holding the axe the wrong way and he keeps hitting Spike in the axe. You can tell on the look of Spike's face that he is going to murder Tom any second, until he finally stands up and gives Tom a yelling. In fact, I will break down this entire short to show you what the others did, and since this is one of my true favourites.

0:22-1:41: Ray Patterson
1:42-3:08: Irv Spence
3:09-5:06: Ken Muse
5:07-5:29: Ed Barge
5:30-5:39: Irv Spence
5:40-6:06: Ed Barge
6:07-6:23: Ken Muse
6:24-6:56: Irv Spence
6:57-7:11: Ken Muse

After 1945, Ray Patterson disappeared in the credits from 1946 and 1947 - but he did in fact do animation on those cartoons throughout 1946-1947, but just remained uncredited (the same with Pete Burness). Ray Patterson did leave MGM in 1946 to go to England where he went with Dave Hand, Ralph Wright and John F. Reed to teach British men on how to animate the way they do it. Ray stayed in England for roughly a year before his return, but he didn't do very much work on the cartoons.

Ray's (uncredited) animation in Solid Serenade:
0:32-1:15: Ray Patterson
4:15-4:36: Ray Patterson

Yes, Kenneth Muse did in fact animate the famous Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby  song score of Tom playing the double bass, but I won't go too much in there. Ray Patterson did the introduction shots again, but he did some great animation on Tom's plot on how to get to the orchard since "Killer" the bulldog is guarding the house. I really like how Ray animated that shot of Spike's teeth hit the tree, this vibration of timing he did was one of his trademark. Whenever Ray animated a character that hit a wall, he would animate the characters vibrating slightly after hitting a wall, and then stay stiff.

Here is a great scene that Ray Patterson animated from 4:44 to 5:19 in the cartoon Cat Fishin' - you can tell on how Tom vibrates when he whacks Spike in the rear end, and also don't forget the details that he adds in the characters.

During Ray's time in the UK, he was training a lot of British animators on how to animate better, as they weren't very professional with their jobs and needed help from the Americans. Ray stayed in England for a short time, and there is a web page that speaks briefly about Ray in Moor Hall, England.

Here is Ray Patterson at his time in England. Photo courtesy of Moor Hall site. Date unknown.

Ray Patterson returned to MGM full-time again in 1948 where he would continue to work on many more Tom and Jerry cartoons. Since the characters have changed through model sheets, Ray's animation was much more different. He didn't go much through detail, but he still had the upper lips in his animation, and he also draw his characters with larger mouths, and the characters weren't caricatured as Ray used to do it in 1943-1947 - with the pouty mouth and freckles, it was caricatured differently - sometimes Tom's muzzle made him look like an ape.

Here is a great cartoon Tennis Chumps with some great animation by Ray Patterson. He handles 1:27-2:04 where he animates the tennis game getting started as it gets more violent. He did a great job with how the game was warming up, and then it gets heavier. Ray Patterson also comes back on 2:38 and up to 3:37 where he animates Jerry taking both sides of the cat, by using different objects that look like tennis balls. Some very look acting scenes here, and I love how Tom breaks into pieces.

In Texas Tom, Ray Patterson got a sequence to himself, and he animated the If You're Ever Down in Texas (Look Me Up) song where he did all the sequence to himself, (the scenes where Jerry changes the pitches is by Ken Muse, but Ray animated Jerry being hit on the head from Tom's guitar). Ray's animation lasts up to the 4.05 mark.

In Tom and Jerry at the Hollywood Bowl Ray Patterson was the star animator on that short. He did the mammoth work on that cartoon (so did Kenneth Muse), but Ray got the best acting scenes to do. He animated the entire introduction at the 0:44 and up to the 1:24 mark, where he animated Tom who seemed like a professional conductor - Ray steps off for a short while, with Ed Barge taking over for a bit. He came back again on the 1:50 mark, and finished at 2:26 with Kenneth Muse taking over for roughly a minute and a half with Irv Spence animating Tom being wheeled away from the orchestra and run over by a bus - Ed Barge did a great scene after the bus scene, of Jerry's shirt being ripped, and clashed by one of the orchestra members with the cymbals. Ray Patterson came back again on the 5:48 mark where he animates the orchestra falling down a hole after Jerry sawing the members. Kenneth Muse then animated the finale of that sequence, and I believe that's all for Ray in that short. So, Ray (in my opinion) was the best animator on that short.

In Jerry's Cousin Ray didn't get much at all to work on this cartoon, but he did do a great sequence from 1.42 up to 2.29 (Ed Barge does Tom in a vase scene), and there is great exaggeration on Tom's face when Muscles places a dynamite in Tom's mouth. Ray comes back again at 5.53 up to 6.10.

This is all the information about Ray Patterson that I can provide for you, and I hope this is an example of his great work he's done. It might not be very much he animated on shorts in terms of footage, but he has done some very challenging scenes to do, and acting scenes. Ray Patterson stayed at MGM until 1953/1954 and he left, to form his own company with Grant Simmons - Grantray-Lawrence Studios where it ran from 1954-1967 and they made a lot of Superhero shows. but he did work at UPA for a short while, on the film Gay-Pur-ee.

With his colleague, Grant Simmons; the company was a low-budget studio and they mostly made commercials, but they did contribute to the Spider-Man series in which the popular theme song was in there, and probably their famous piece of work. The song was later parodied in the Simpsons Movie.

Ray Patterson at the GrantRay studios turned in a lot of projects, but some pretty awful material that he turned out was The Marvel Super Heroes and it was based on Marvel superheroes such as the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, etc. You can see the introduction and closing credits to one of them. The animation is horrible, and in Zartok-35's words, "Everything is WRONG with that animation." Of course, I don't think Ray had much involvement in those shows, but he was the producer and he had the crew's wishes to work on awful material.

Since he formed the studio, it meant that he was able to freelance at other studios such as UPA, or Walter Lantz. He worked at Hanna-Barbera in the 1960's, and he was an animator on Hey There, it's Yogi Bear! (I don't know what he animated), and he did some animation on The Flintstones. In fact, he remained at Hanna-Barbera up to around the early 1990's when he fully retired.

Ray Patterson was pretty active throughout the 1980's, when he was directing a lot of shows, but some of them were pretty awful - such as those crummy TV shows such as Tom and Jerry Kids and Yo Yogi! He paired up with animator Don Lusk who was a veteran in the animation industry. Don Lusk later said that he felt he owed a lot to Ray Patterson for helping him find jobs, and even at Hanna-Barbera. Ray Patterson was even directing some of the Scooby-Doo films such as Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the Werewolf and Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School.

Ray Patterson was the Vice President of Hanna-Barbera up to around 1993, when he officially retired. He was dedicated in a Simpsons episode Trash of the Titans when the character named Ray Patterson was voiced by Steve Martin. Ray died on December 30, 2001 in Encino, California.

Well done Ray Patterson, you've had some great career in animation - and you're pretty underrated in the animation industry, but I know that your animation is deeply appreciated not only by animation fans, but the public too, who've watched your animation in cartoons and appreciated them.

It's also sort of my special article that I've written since I've been absent for a very long time, and I hope that you will enjoy this very lengthy piece that I've done. Of course, Zartok-35 did write a short post about Ray Patterson, and he was supposed to write a bit in this article but he did it differently, in which I've posted by version.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

100 Years of Ray Patterson

100 years ago today, Raymond Patterson was born. He went on to have an interesting carreer in animation that spanned several decades and productions. In 1954, Ray Patterson and Grant Simmons started their own animation company aptly titled 'GrantRay' animation. They did mostly contract work from other animation companies. They started off by doing 2 cartoons for Walter Lantz, "Dig that dog" and "Broadway bow-wows": In the mid-1960s GrantRay did some work for Hanna Barbera, contributing animation to "Hey there, it's Yogi bear", and the "Pebbles' birthday" episode of The Flintstones. I can't tell what Ray did in the episode, but here's some Carlo Vinci animation for you: Rest in peace, Mr. Patterson. You and your work are not forgotten!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Lest we forget...

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, of the 11th year, let us remember those brave fighting men who gave their lives in the past to preserve the glorious freedom we revel in today. If it weren't for them, we'd still be suffering with evil doers like Adolf Hitler and Archduke Ferdinand, and their unsavory accomplices. And what better way is there to remember the sacrifices of war than by watching racist propaganda cartoons from the 1940s? It's marathon time! Let's break into this with Private Snafu, the very essence of entertaining wartime animation! Here is 'Spies', which is probably the best of the Snafu cartoons(Which is saying alot, because they're all great): Another perennial classic is 'The Ducktators', a brilliant work of satire, and the best cartoon directed by Norman McCabe. You can't celebrate war cartoons without the notorious 'Bugs Bunny nips the nips', which is probably the most offensive war cartoon ever made. It's pretty funny, too. Viewer discretion is advised. Animator breakdown: 0:58-1:56 Manny Perez 1:57-2:25 Virgil Ross 2:26-3:35 Gerry Chiniquy 3:36-4:07 Ken Champin 4:08-5:41 Virgil Ross
5:43-6:52 Dick Bickenbach 6:53-7:24 Virgil Ross 7:25-8:04 Gerry Chiniquy That one where Daffy Duck bashes Hitler in the head: Dick Bickenbach handles the scene at 2:07 with Daffy singing. Ken Champin animates the first half of the phone booth sequence before handing it off to Gerry Chiniquy at 5:24. The "Mess of Messerschmidts" scenes are by Phil Monroe. And of course, Donald Duck verses the Japanese stereotypes!
I hope you've enjoyed this politically incorrect showcase. I don't support or believe in any of the views presented here in anyway; I'm only amused by them.
Oh, and I wish my best to anyone who is getting married today! Being 11-11-11, it's supposed to be good luck.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Happy Birthday, Don Lusk!

In this past year, we've had some passings from legends like Bill Justice, Corny Cole, Earl Kress, etc. Don Lusk continues to be alive and turns 98 today. I believe that he is still in good health, and an interview is hopefully still in plan, but we just have to wait and see.

The smiling man above was Don Lusk when he was much younger, back when he was working at Hanna-Barbera after he left Disney in 1960. I found this from a Tony Benedict video posted by Yowp with footage of him. It's a very neat video, and I think you should go and take a look at those who worked at Hanna-Barbera back in the sixties.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Animators on "Anchors Aweigh" Sequence

Hiya folks,

Sorry if I haven't replied to you for a very long time, as I've pretty much abandoned this blog - but I have promised to come back with occasional posts. This is Steven Hartley posting this time. I've decided to drop the "Snow White mosaics" for now, as I'm in an incredibly busy academic year.

I've deiced that I wanted to post about the sequence in Anchors Aweigh in which Gene Kelly dances with Jerry Mouse in the dream sequence. The song is called The Worry Song written by Sammy Fain. Apparently, this sequence was the only part of the film that was excellent. The rest of the film was described as mediocre at best, but the music is incredible though. Originally Walt Disney wanted Mickey Mouse to be the character dancing with Gene Kelly. I've recently gone into a habit of trying to identify animators from Tom and Jerry and I might post more of those on the blog sometime.

I'm going to identify the animators who animated the famous Dance sequence in Anchors Aweigh - it's one of my favourite Tom and Jerry moments. The animators here are Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge and Ray Patterson. Irv Spence doesn't animate anything on here, probably because he went to John Sutherland Studios already. Mike Lah didn't arrive at Hanna-Barbera's unit in MGM until 1946. Pete Burness would've already had left the MGM Studios while the Jerry Mouse sequence was being animated. A lot of the animation of Jerry Mouse was rotoscoped here.

 
0:03-0:55: Kenneth Muse
0:56-1:49: Ed Barge
1:50-2:26: Ray Patterson
2:27-2:58: Kenneth Muse

Kenneth Muse in this sequence is the main animator on this show. He does the entire mammoth work in here, he animates practically animates the entire beginning with Jerry's first encounter with Gene Kelly, and also Tom as a servant (not included on video). A trademark of Muse's animation in MGM was that his animation was the most "on-model" from the other animators. He animated very appealing characters, with those cute eyes, cheeks. He was also the "everyman" in Tom and Jerry animators, as he could animate anything in the series. The introduction scenes in this cartoon not added in the video were still animated by Kenneth Muse.

Ed Barge was just brand new to the Hanna-Barbera unit when this sequence was being animated. He got to animate nearly a whole minute to himself. To identify his animation, his character animation has a very simple design quality to it. He seems to focus on the animation and not too much on the look. Barge was in fact a rather weaker animator than the other Hanna-Barbera animators, and his draftsmanship was quite ugly. He animates Tom and Jerry rather "younger" looking in his animation, and often doesn't get much action in his scenes. His specific trademark is that he often gives his characters rounder and smaller ears than the other animators. He has done some very fine animation in the past, but he was hot as good as Ken Muse, Ray Patterson or Irv Spence.

Barge's animation was quite good in this bit, and he appears to have been very good at animating dancing scenes, not as great as Muse; but he did a great attempt.

Ray Patterson animates about roughly 40 seconds in this bit, and you can tell from his style because it's much more cartoony than the way Muse or Barge animates. Patterson gets the fun stuff for Jerry, and he seems to have not used too much rotoscoped as he made his Jerry very cartoony. A specific trademark for Patterson in the early 40's (1943-1946) was that he animated his characters with a lot of detail. His characters were very detailed, and he was very good at animating personality scenes, as well as cartoony-action scenes. He gave his Tom thicker eyebrows and freckles in his early animation career at MGM. In the late 1940's or 1950's, he seems to have given his characters rather larger mouths.

Ken Muse animates the finale of this sequence, with some wonderful animation of Jerry dancing. He is probably my favourite animator of the Tom and Jerry series. His animation was more graceful, and he knew how to handle his timing well for scenes. So Ken Muse did the mammoth work in this sequence, and achieved it well. Notice ow the animators animate Jerry much taller or larger than his actual design in the series.

I'm going to call it off here for now, but I hope you have enjoyed my post and my return.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

"Hey Nappy, this has got scrabble beat a mile! You ought'a patent it."

Lets do something today that I don't usually like: Inspect a Warner cartoon from 1956.
Post-shutdown Warner Brothers cartoons aren't too great in my book. Nothing ever looked as good as it did before: the animation seems cheaper and more conservative, and the art-deco UPA-influenced backgrounds are something I'll never get over.
...And yet, I love the 1956 Friz pictures! Asfar as the Frleng unit is concerned, 1956 features a number of strong and surprisingly fresh cartoons like "Rabbitson Crusoe" and "Two crows from tacos". Another one is "Napoleon Bunny-part":

Obligatory Animation breakdown:
0:45-1:17 Virgil Ross
1:24-2:34 Gerry Chiniquy
2:35-3:55  Arthur Davis
3:56-4:33 Virgil Ross
4:34-5:13 Art Davis
5:14-5:46 Virgil Ross
5:47-6:02 Gerry Chiniquy
6:03-6:43 Art Davis
6:44-6:59 Gerry Chiniquy

With the chosen premise, this feels almost like a Propaganda short from the mid-1940s; it's as if Friz and Warren Foster wanted to make fun of Hitler, but they couldn't really do that anymore, so they used Napoleon instead.
The snuff tobacco sequence has been censored from the version they currently show in Canada.

Gerry Chiniquy's animation here is a little more appealing than it was back in the 1940s, but it's not quite as fast. In the 1950s Gerry put lots of head twists in his animation, and does so liberally in the artillery sequence; most notably at 1:54.
The layouts in this cartoon are very nice as well, especially on angular shots like Bugs entering Napoleon's room, and most of the scenes on the stairs.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Happy birthday, Dan Povenmire!

It's September 18th, a very special day. Happy birthday, Grandma!
It's also the birthday of another very special person, Dan Povenmire:


Dan Povenmire is my hero. He, along with his partner Swampy Marsh, have done some truly great things in animation. They are the creators of "Phineas and Ferb", which is probably the greatest show currently on TV. Dan plays the voice of Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, an evil scientist who regularly engages in evil and very very funny exploits. But Doofenshmirtz is only one of the great things Dan has given us.
Dan K. Povenmire was born September 18th, 1963. He was raised in Alabama, where his mother encouraged him to partake in fun activities, and to enjoy the summer months. With artistic aspirations, Povenmire dreamed of brush and pallet, but ended up with only the brush. Anyway, he was very good at art in his childhood years. He was even winning art contests, and making money from his works.
Dan Povenmire doesn't really come up in the animation industry until 1990, doing storyboards on "Teenage mutant ninja turtles", and a show called "James Bond junior". When The Simpsons moved their animation unit from Klasky-Csupo to Film Roman in 1992, he became a character animator, first credited on the episode "Lisa the beauty queen" directed by Mark Kirkland. Povenmire also worked on "Mr. Plow", "Homer's triple by-pass", "Homer's barbershop quartet", and "Cape Feare", among others. While working on The Simpsons, he befriended one Jeff 'Swampy' Marsh, who worked as a layout artist. In 1993, Jeff and Dan went to Nickelodeon, to produce episodes of "Rocko's modern life" for Joe Murray. The first episode they made together was "The good the bad and the wallaby", which featured an action chase scene, a musical number, and a lude gag where Heifer the steer is sucked off by a milking machine.
Good-Bad-Wallaby by PigLips

Dan and Swampy went on to make several more fine and funny Rocko shows, including "Zanzibar", the environmentally themed musical. Dan and Swampy won an award for writing the songs.
Aside from his involvement in Rocko's modern life, Povenmire continued to animate on The Simpsons, working on "And Maggie makes 3", "Homer vs. Patty and Selma", the first half of the 'Who shot Mr. Burns' saga, and "You only move twice". In the fourth and final season of Rocko's modern life, Dan got to direct his own episode, "Driving Mrs. Wolf". After Rocko, Swampy went to England, and Dan Povenmire stayed on at Nickelodeon, making storyboards and such on shows like "Hey Arnold", "CatDog", and "Spongebob Squarepants".
Then came Family Guy. Dan Povenmire joined up during season 2, and he directed the controversial "When you wish upon a Wienstien" and "Road to Rhode island" episodes. Dan brought a refined sense of song and dance to Family Guy, and kicked off the popular series of Brian and Stewie road trip episodes, which have been an institution ever since. Dan continued to direct until Family Guy met it's maker in 2001, putting out a brilliant collection of episodes including "To love and die in Dixie", and "Brian wallows, Peter's swallows", highlights of the initial run.
When Family Guy was canned, Dan went back to storyboard The Simpsons during season 13; he also wrote a few episodes of SpongeBob, and Directed some of the 'Larry Doyle' Looney Tunes shorts, which have been not been very well received.
Eventually they brought Family Guy back in 2005, and Dan was reinstated. He directed his own episodes, as well as musical numbers in other episodes, like 'Wake me up before you go-go' in "Jungle Love", and 'Shipoopi', which is probably his most famous work, from "Patriot Games".
With an incredible sense of timing, and the ability to incorporate gags and ideas with music on par with Friz Freleng and Wilfred Jackson, Dan Povenmire was at the top of his game. In 2007, Dan Povenmire left Family Guy. He talked Swampy Marsh into coming back from England, and the two of them went to Disney in attempt create a show of their own design, which they had been working since 1994. While it was an unfortunate blow for Family Guy, surely this new development would provide something even better? And now we come to Phineas and Ferb.
It's a show about two kids who have a pet Platypus, and they're enjoying the summer time. Their paranoid sister Canadace is always trying to get the boys in trouble, because they're summer time activities are particularly unusual, and often larger than life. Meanwhile the Platypus is a secret agent, tasked with preventing the villainous Dr. Doofenshmirtz from taking over the tri-state area with his half-baked evil schemes. If you haven't seen this show, I suggest you check it out, because it's pretty funny. Dan Povenmire has even put in some of those great musical numbers of his.
Congratulations on a brilliant career and a wealth of animated entertainment, Mr. Povenmire. You are probably the most entertaining person alive right now.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Rover Dangerfield Combine

We're currently in the midst of harvest season, an important time here in Saskatchewan. I went on a trip down to Craik last Saturday to have dinner with some relatives, and seeing the farmers out harvesting with their combines inspired me. I remembered my childhood, and one strange, surreal, twisted, disturbing, unforgettable animated moment that has to be seen to be believed:

The Rover Dangerfield combine.

video

Yeah, THAT doesn't happen when something is picked up by a combine. I have relatives who have run over skunks with these things, and THIS isn't the way they tell it. Like they sing on Phineas and Ferb, cold hard reality can get in the way. Maybe all this goes without saying for people who are smarter than me, but considering what the rest of the film is like, I have no reason not to expect the worst. In context of the film, this moment of unbridled cartoonyness just doesn't belong! 
A Combine harvester is designed to cut down grain stalks, and like any other dignified grain threshing machine, crush the seeds out of them. They are full of sharp metal pointy parts, so a brutal pulverising is imminent. The pipe-like unloader is usually mounted on the right side of the combine, and is lined with sharp metal auger flighting. I'm pretty sure they aren't that flexible.
And what the hell is up with those sound effects?!? They're even more disturbing than the visuals! Is that sound supposed to be the combine or the dog??
A more accurate depiction of this is provided by that cat and mouse duo who always get it right, no matter how gruesome, Itchy and Scratchy:


The featured combine appears to be an International Harvester machine, judging by the windows.
The venerable 'IH' symbol has been replaced with an MC in the film. Perhaps a reference to Matthew O'Callaghan working on this sequence?

For those of you who don't know what Rover Dangerfield is, I'll step aside and let a professional elaborate on it:

I don't hate the film as much as the Critic. I grew up watching this; it's a part of me. Regardless, it's not without its flaws wacky combines.

"Oh Belvedere, come here boy!"

Today, lets look at one of the greatest cartoons Chuck Jones ever made: Dog gone south, from 1950. Charlie Dog is kicked off the train in the deep south(Possibly in Platte Falls Missouri), and tries to "endear himself into a good home" with a local Colonel on his plantation. The Colonel hates Yankees from the north, which Charlie happens to be thoroughly, so Charlie must turn him against his current dog, Belvedere, and usurp him. Hilarity ensues. Animators are Ben, Lloyd, Ken, and Phil Monroe, joined by Emery Hawkins.

  
Animation breakdown:
0:34-1:32 Ben Washam
1:33-1:37 Lloyd Vaughan
1:38-2:03 Emery Hawkins
2:04-2:10 Ben Washam
2:11-2:20 Lloyd Vaughan
2:21-2:37 Emery Hawkins
2:38-2:43 Ben Washam
2:45-2:52 Lloyd Vaughan
2:54-3:32 Ken Harris
3:33-4:19 Ben Washam
4:20-5:10 Lloyd Vaughan
5:11-5:33 Phil Monroe
5:34-6:50 Ben Washam

The cartoon opens with a sizable and beautifully animated sequence from Ben Washam. Charlie's character is established nicely through Benny's smooth line work.Throughout this portion Ben accentuates certain facial expressions by occasionally enlarging Charlie's pupils. Another standout sequence comes at 5:33, where Ben comes up with delightful expressions and some marvelous acting. Mike Maltese has put in a clever reference to how Boll weevils devastated the cotton industry in the American south.
Lloyd Vaughan is the other majority on here. His signature style comes through completely in the New York Yankees beating and "Sow belly and Corn pone for lunch" scenes. There is a fair bit of stiffness in Lloyd's scenes, but the Colonel's angry walk at 5:04 is remarkably fluid, and made all the better by his skittery timing(The music here is great too).
Emery Hawkins work is outside of Jones formalities just enough to keep things interesting. He gets some opportunities in  this cartoon to do what he does best: bend and sway characters with his elegant brand of animation; 1:52 provides a very good example. Emery was always drawing characters with curvy limbs and torsos.

Friday, 9 September 2011

"I don't know how yuz done it, but I know yuz done it!"


While the subject matter of Canned Feud is still relatively fresh in our minds, lets take a look at the production immediately before that, "Stooge for a mouse". How 'bout that! It also features Sylvester and the vicious little brown mouse. Kind of bizarre that these two cartoons were released next to each other, but it's probably just a coincidence. In this cartoon the mouse isn't quite as cruel, he has some motivation for his meddling, and he gets some satisfying abuse retribution for being a jerk.

This is Freleng's last cartoon from 1950, and there are lots of changes happening in and around his unit. This is the last screen credit for Gerry Chiniquy until 1954, after the shutdown. Nobody seems to know exactly where he went, but apparently it was out of the animation business. The loss of Chiniquy, Freleng's favorite animator, brought some drastic, interesting, and in some ways preferable stylistic changes to his output. This is also Emery Hawkins last turn for Friz as well, but he's mostly a passing trend. This cartoon was made while Friz was changing his writers, so there's no story credit; I assume he wrote this one himself. Friz later reused all the story elements here for "Bugsy and Mugsy" in 1957. This one has Paul Julian background art, so it's better!



Animation breakdown:
0:30-0:46 Gerry Chiniquy
0:47-1:04 Ken Champin
1:05-1:17 Gerry Chiniquy
1:18-1:32 Emery Hawkins
1:33-1:58 Gerry Chiniquy
1:59-2:14 Ken Champin
2:15-2:32 Virgil Ross
2:33-2:44 Gerry Chiniquy
2:45-3:51 Virgil Ross
3:53-5:02 Art Davis
5:03-6:32 Ken Champin

The animation is executed in a very interesting scheme here. In the first half of the cartoon, the work is broken up and spread between several people. In the second half, Friz probably didn't have Gerry or Emery around anymore, so the scenes are longer and less distributed.
Again, Virgil does excellent work. Friz gives him the dialogue heavy acting scenes, and he does them very well. The emotion and drama runs high, and you feel every bit of it. When Mike lashes out at Sylvester, it's tragic.
Gerry Chiniquy's work is standard fare: stiff, jerky, with precise timing and acting. He draws Sylvester with a larger nose, and well rounded cheeks.
Emery Hawkins doesn't get allot to do in this cartoon, so I don't know why he has top billing. He doesn't get any action scenes that compliment his style, so there's none of his bending or fluttering. His work is particularly clean, though.
Art Davis does the longest uninterrupted stretch of work, so his name is at the top of the credits. Artie gets his typical loose action scenes here, most notably at 4:14. He was always adding extra movement and detail to Sylvester's cheeks. Artie draws Sylvester hairy, with lots of textured jags, especially on the tail where no one else does.
Ken Champin is mostly a place holder this time. Compared to everyone else, his movement is rather generic, but his attention to detail is impressive. He does some great perspective work in the boxing sequence, and the walking scenes with the mouse at the end are marvelous, both in timing and expression.

Monday, 5 September 2011

"Aren't you ashamed of yourself? Roastin' children!"

"It's a weakness."
This cartoon is a weakness of mine: Bewitched Bunny, from 1954. This is probably my favorite post-Phil Monroe Chuck picture. I first saw it edited into "1001 rabbit tales", the worst of the early 1980s anthology films, and have enjoyed it consistently ever since. It's a delightful take on fairytale conventions that will leave you asking "HANSEL?"
This cartoon was made just before the shut down, when Chuck Jones divided his unit, and handed out cartoons to two different groups. Lloyd, Ben and Ken are on this one, while Abe Levitow and Dick Thompson were doing "Stop! Look! And Hasten!".



Animator breakdown:
0:32-2:54 Ben Washam
2:55-4:53 Ken Harris
4:54-5:20 Ben Washam
5:21-6:47 Lloyd Vaughan

The casting in this cartoon is not very complex at all; everyone comes in and does there bit and leaves it for the next guy, excluding Ben's dying sequence. Lloyd Vaughan draws Bugs with his strange eyes again when he talks to the Prince at 5:42.
The backgrounds in this cartoon are ridiculously flat. Maurice Noble was probably making fun of John Hubley's philosophy that animation is a naturally flat medium, and should be executed as such.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A New Member...

Recently, I've been having a hard time with posting on this blog, as I've felt I couldn't say much. Since I'm very busy with my reviews on my other blog: Likely Looney, Mostly Merrie; I felt that I can't handle two blogs at once, it's very hard work. Plus, I start school tomorrow and it's going to be a very busy year with exams and I can't manage two blogs in such a busy year, only stick to one.

I've decided that to keep this blog going, I decided to get a team member to join my blog and write posts, if interested. I chose a blogger if he wanted to join my blog and write posts, and he was very happy to so do. The person who will be posting more often is Zartok-35 (Elijah Hall) who you've may been familiar in comments from other blogs. He's a very intelligent fellow, with a very interesting background in animation, and also very good at identifying animators, with such a great knowledge of locomotive steamtrains (that counts as culture). I can trust him very much with this blog, and I've spoken to him many times, with such brilliant knowledge, and is a nice person.

I will come back once in a while with posts (particularly on Snow White), but Zartok-35 will be controlling on the upcoming posts, while I will still run the blog, but not do too much posting on it. I hope you will be fine with this idea, and I'll see how this goes.

Animators on Duck Amuck

Hello, everyone! I am Elijah 'Zartok-35' Hall, and Steven has asked me to do some extra posts on here while he isn't as available. I have some experience in running my own blog(which I don't use too much for some reason), and like I always say, I know a fair bit of stuff about arts and culture!

Well, let's cut to the chase! A little while back Steven and I worked out an animator breakdown for Chuck Jones 1953 classic, "Duck Amuck". Throughout this episode Daffy Duck is pushed around by an animator, resulting in a few angry rants, and some interesting exploration of Daffy's character. The animators are Ken Harris, Ben Washam, and Lloyd Vaughan. The Ben-Lloyd-Ken cartoons are usually pretty easy to figure out.



0:26-1:54 Ken Harris
1:58-2:24 Lloyd Vaughan
2:25-2:54 Ken Harris
2:58-3:35 Lloyd Vaughan
3:37-5:35 Ben Washam
5:42-5:58 Lloyd
5:59-6:21 Ken
6:22-6:29 Ben

Ken Harris handles the majority of the work in this cartoon, and has top billing in the credits. Ken does what is probably my favorite scene in the cartoon, at 2:40; the sound effects and expressions come off really well. The introduction to this cartoon is one of the scenes identified in Thad Komorowski's Ken Harris 'Animator reel'.

Ben Washam is famous for coining Daffy's remark "Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin!". In this cartoon Ben gets to do the longest uninterrupted stretch of animation, lasting almost two minutes, and "Ain't I a stinker?" at the very end. As always, his work is elegant and appealing, and drawn with wide cheeks.

A very good example of Lloyd Vaughan's draftsmanship is at 2:19, where Daffy breaks the guitar. The eyes are particularly round, and one of them is taller than the other. Lloyd had a tendency to draw his characters with strange tall eyes. As the 1950s wore on, Lloyd drew this way less, but he never really stopped.

Well, that's all for now, folks. I'm glad to be part of the organization! I'll see what else I can come up with in the coming days.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

With a Soup, With a Bowl...

Hiya, I'm still a long way from making the "Dwarfs song" sequence, and in the meantime I forgot to add the sequence in which the dwarfs have soup, with a musical number in it by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey.

As you know, this sequence was cut from the film because it was too slow-paced, and the gags weren't really that funny. Also, it was pointless because we've already seen enough of the dwarfs, and the tub-washing sequence and the soup sequence both don't have connections with the story, but the tub-washing remained because it was funnier.

Ward Kimball is known to have animated all the sequence, but there are other animators too: Ward Kimball only animates the entire song score (with Grumpy by Bill Tytla), and then he animates them briefly again in the scenes of the dwarfs practicing how to be mature while slurping soup, "Spoon in the hand, bending the wrist, into the bowl and out with a drip!" - that's Kimball. Grim Natwick animates the entire scenes with Snow White featured. Even Bill Roberts gets a chunk to animate, (most of the scenes with Dopey swallowing his spoon isn't featured in the film, but it's still all Roberts). There are also scenes animated by Fred Spencer (who animates the beginning) before the song, Marvin Woodward and Dick Lundy do at least one or two scenes each.

I suppose that there is one continuity in the film, that the soap finally comes out of Dopey's stomach, but I never thought you could hiccup from swallowing a film, I thought you would more likely choke. But, it still doesn't follow up the plot, and the song isn't so great too. If that survived the film, the audience probably would've got bored because there was too much comedy. I think it was the right thing to do, cut the sequence out - even though Ward was furious about much of his work in that sequence cut and wanted to leave, so he got to be an Animation Director on Jiminy Cricket instead.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Snow White /mosaic: Part 13



Sorry, that it's been too long since I last posted a sequence in Snow White - here is the sequence. I've been too busy with the other blog, and I have a feeling that the mosaics might go slowly because I haven't had much time working on them.

The sequence starts off back to the Queen's house, as we've seen enough of the seven dwarfs for now. Our main focus is to get back onto the queen and it's the evening. We truck to the castle (and the shots are reused layouts but the backgrounds are different, but credited to Sam Armstrong), and then we see the Queen who believes Snow White is dead. Not being boastful about her death, she goes to the magic mirror (as she does often), and she asks "Who NOW is the fairest of them all," - she's so sure that she's going to get a different answer, and is still assuming Snow White is dead. The Magic Mirror (who seems to know all), assumes the Queen that Snow White is still alive and still is the fairest of the land, and announces that the Huntsman tricked her and was in league with Snow White all along. The Queen feels embarrassed that she was tricked.

The Queen walks all the way down the stairs and is aware that since hiring a huntsman was no help, she'll go down and kill Snow White herself without her knowing that it's the Queen, or anyone else knowing. She pulls out a book from a bookshelf with a formula that demonstrates on how to prepare a disguise, and she has to create a potion that turns her into an ugly old witch (otherwise known as "Mummy Dust").

The scenes where the Queen is transformed into a witch was always described as one of the many frightening moments in theatre, that it even scared Walt Disney's daughter, Dianne. There is a lot of animators who work on the transforming scenes. It even finally credits effects animators, while so far in the draft, we have seen very little effects scenes credited. It credits George Rowley, Stan Quackenbush and Josh Meador, and that's their only known credit so far in the draft. There is even a scene of the Queen's hair turning white animated by Campbell Grant. The task that Grant was assigned to was probably not to difficult to animate, but it's important in terms of colour because her hair changes from back to white. It was a task for the ink and painters, and not much a challenge to the animators.

The effects animation in this sequence is incredible, especially the transforming scenes. The effects animators who animate the bubbles provide a great atmosphere in whole changing sequence. There aren't any effects scenes credited in the scenes when the Queen is making her recipe, and I assume those effects animators mentioned would've worked on it. Shot 21 with the effects animation is just perfect animation, with the whole layout changing into whirls. That is simply incredible for 1937, and I don't know what greater there was that had been accomplished. It's interesting to find that Eric Larson handles effects animation scenes, but none of them involve thunderstorms or liquid. Shot 21C, Larson handles an effects scene in which the Queen's hands transform into old, rusty hands. The hands are not very well designed, but they do look hideous. It's not an assignment that a character animators always get, but it has happened before. Shot 26 is also animated by Larson, and he animates the Witch in silhouette, before zooming down with a Witch by Norm Ferguson.

The Queen here is not only animated by Art Babbitt, but he also has Bob Stokes handling a chunk as well. Bob Stokes animates the entire beginning with the Queen at the Magic Mirror, and walking down the stairs with rats watching (did Stokes animate rats, I don't see another animator on that scene). As soon as Art Babbitt enters the sequence, he handles most of the shots with the Queen. Bob Stokes mostly handles the Queen's hands. I forgot to point out that in an interview, Art Babbitt claimed that he didn't rotoscope any scenes he did on the Queen and says that he has proof that he didn't rotoscope it. I wonder if Stokes rotoscoped his scenes on the Queen?
Woolie Reitherman returns again but only briefly when he animates small characters like the Magic Mirror. It's such a difficult and probably (dull) assignment to animate the mirror. The scenes isn't much, but it probably took such a long time to complete the footage of the mirror. Woolie also got some scenes of the dwarfs where they are building the bed, and it was cut - with the mirror being his only surviving animation.

Norm Ferguson steps along and he starts off with his famous assignment on the Witch in Snow White. He also animates scenes of the raven, too. The Witch isn't VERY well animated, but the design is very well done - and Joe Grant did a good job on the design. Norm Ferguson makes the animation of the Witch look very frightening, and I think that it was Fergy's main task to make her scary. The animation didn't have to be very good, but just very frightening and ugly. He provides some broad acting here when the Witch reads through the book. I also like his raven, too. He provides some great staging and acting on the raven inside the skull. The scene shows the raven in fear, and we feel sorry for how scary the Witch is, but the scene with the raven in the skull is also quite broad. Shot 33 when Fergy looks at the audience with the line "in the sleeping death". She looks frightening once she looks at you, and the freeze frame is just perfect timing to end the sequence.

I wonder what Tony Rivera is doing in this sequence? We've seen him by Jack Campbell a lot in this film on the Snow White character, and now we see him working with Fergy? I wonder how that happened, or unless this is a different "Tony", but I can't think of another Tony around Disney in 1936-1937.

Hope this is keeping a bit up to date. I'll try and post the entertainment sequence next, when I get the chance. I'm posting these fairly slowly, mind you.

Friday, 26 August 2011

A Third "Paranormal" Adventure?

Recently, I bought the DVD of Paranormal Activity 2 as part of my birthday money, and ever since about a year ago - I used to brag on about the new sequel and how exciting it would be. I saw the film only a few weeks ago - on my own. I heard about what people thought of it at school, they seemed to shiver with fear, I remarked "If you want to see something REALLY scary, then watch the first Paranormal Activity film!"

As I watched Paranormal Activity 2 the film was more or less "hit and miss". There were so much footage that showed the family that I thought was pointless, the whole concept isn't as scary as the original film, and considering that the film was set before the first film, it makes it less scarier, and the trailer looked much scarier. The film was quite disappointing at times, and I must say there were some scary moments.

In the meantime, only a few weeks ago - I saw the "new" trailer for a Paranormal Activity 3! I thought that this was crazy, the second one was mediocre, and now a third one? Here is the trailer:

The trailer actually takes back MUCH EARLIER than the other movies. Instead, the movie shows two girls named Katie and Kristi (both as adults in the other films) and it appears to be that they are children, and that this is where the haunting began with the demon. The trailer didn't look very scary, and I suppose that it won't be as scary.

The child actresses playing the two girls actually do look a little scary themselves. That's as much as I can say. I guess that the trailer is meant to show stuff that isn't much scary and that the scarier stuff will be shown in its theatrical release. The film will be released on October 21, 2011 - and I probably will see it.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Camping

Going away camping for a few days, will return posting by August 26.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Poor Pooch

I got this from an e-mail by my dad, it's so hilarious and you've all got to see this - and the look on that poor dog's face, and this is a true story in the east part of Northampton about a man who gave his dog a haircut:

He was sick and tired of thugs breaking into his garage shop to steal tools, etc.
So he came up with this idea to give his dog a haircut. He put the word out that he had a new Mexican Lion that would attack anyone that tried to break in or climb his fence.
Would-be thieves saw the "Lion" from a distance and fled the scene.








HA! You can stop laughing for five minutes, and past this on via emails.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Snow White Mosaic: Part 12A



(Just as a recap from my previous post yesterday, and as promised - here is the commentary on this sequence, and I'll be writing this down...)

This is a classic sequence that has been remembered a lot by the audiences, and it's a personal favourite sequence of mine in this film. It's a lot of fun and there are a lot of gags you can do with washing as it's demonstrated in this whole sequence, in the washing song. There is a great amount of character personality used between Grumpy and the seven dwarfs. How they plan to get Grumpy back from his insults. Of course, Grumpy's personality doesn't change one bit until much later on in the film.

Whilst Snow White has sent the dwarfs to wash their hands and get ready, and she is doing the cooking off-screen. The dwarfs do not know how to wash and they are unsure if they have to go inside the tub, and the line where Bashful says "Do we have to wash where it doesn't show?" and I assume that he's talking about "private parts".

I also like the song in it very much, and it's quite clever on how that Doc is demonstrating the men how to wash and yet he finds a way of putting some rhythm into it, and I like the whole music in that song, and I think it's one of the best Disney songs ever written.

Bill Tytla is the main animator on that sequence. He animates nearly ALL of the sequence by himself, with some scenes of Dopey and the soap by Fred Spencer, a scene of Snow White calling for "supper", and a scene of the fly washing itself with soap by Riley Thompson. Tytla is the best animator here and what amazes here in what Tytla uses in his animation is the weird poses here - and I'm not saying weird in a bad way. He has some good poses there and he really has a lot of fun with the animation. A lot of the scene grabs in Tytla scenes shows some extreme poses in Tytla's shots.

When I hear animation folks talk about one of their favourite pieces of animation by Bill Tytla, an example of an answer might be oh, the Devil in Night on Bald Mountain, or Stromboli in Pinocchio. An answer I would say is this sequence. This is one of my all-time favourite film in this film, and I just love all the animation. Shot 36A is perfectly done well and I love the squash and stretch used on Dopey's head. Tytla uses the "squash and stretch" animation element a lot in this sequence, and it works very well.

There is also the classic part of the whole sequence where the dwarfs plot on washing Grumpy in the tub, after Grumpy's response that there would be no chance that they would get washed. So, they surround Grumpy and they grab him to be washed in the tub, and each dwarf grabs his hands and arms so he has no chance of escaping.

I should note that I notice that Bill Tytla has a different animation style to the seven dwarfs compared to other animators like Fred Moore, Frank Thomas, Fred Spencer, Dick Lundy, etc. and his way of animating the dwarf is more menacing looking, and he gives his characters sharp poses and and also thick eyebrows. The style and his way of animating in this sequence works very well.

Fred Spencer's scenes of Dopey trying to catch the soap is very fun to watch, too. I like them very much - and it's very broad and very funny, and I believe that Eddie Collins does the voice effects of Dopey, as he was a burlesque entertainer. The scenes where Dopey tries to catch the soap were originally animated by Fred Moore and they thought his original tests didn't suit the scenes and the shots were reassigned to Fred Spencer.

What I do notice, is that the reflection effects of the dwarfs from the tub look as though that he were animated as well by either character or effects. This was before when special effects in films like Fantasia or Bambi had very realistic water reflections, and that Snow White was in the early process of effects animation when it was just building.

Here is the whole washing sequence, with most of the animation by Bill Tytla, himself.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Snow White Mosaic: Part 12

(I'll post the commentary tomorrow, I haven't got time - too busy on the reviews, but I will post it tomorrow for recap - I promise).

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Corny Cole Interview

Due to the recent passing of an animation legend Corny Cole (1930-2011), Michael Barrier has quickly posted an excellent and interesting interview of Corny Cole, and there is some very interesting discussions on the people who worked for Chuck Jones, and also some hatred.

He described Chuck as an "asshole" when it started off that he would take Cole out for lunch if he was an assistant animator, and when he was an animator - he would ignore him. Also what interested me was that Cole seemed to be an assistant for a few months and an animator for the next few months and then back to assistant, because he had no assistant animator while animating.

Cole also mentioned that only Chuck's story guys made his cartoons great like Michael Maltese or Tedd Pierce, and that when Chuck was trying to write a cartoon on his own it was "atrocious".

He also seemed to be cold towards legendary animator Ken Harris, and also describing him as a fascist, and at one time when Corny was struggling on a scene Ken bellowed "Goddammit, Cole, if you can't get that scene right, you'll never get it right," and Cole muttered "F*ck off you old fart" behind his back. It seemed that in a way Cole, was one of those youngsters who felt they would talk behind the older animator's backs.

I find it interesting that when he mentions that there is a difference in talent - like Ken Harris is a natural animator, and he could just animate a scene quickly because he wanted to do his own hobbies like tennis, driving a car or play snooker - and Ken didn't bother whenever or not he would ruin a scene. Dick Thompson, was an animator who struggled at animation and it meant a lot to him.

Cole not only had a career in Warner Bros. but he also worked at Disney for a brief period of time, inbetweening on Lady and the Tramp and also working for studios like UPA, and on the animated feature Raggedy-Ann & Andy.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

When I Came Home From My Holiday Today...

...I heard about the news that involved a lot of rioting and looting across cities in the UK such as (London, Birmingham, Liverpool, etc.) and the whole riot showed a lot of chavs or teenagers in their hoods breaking into shops and smashing buildings with an excuse to steal items from shops claiming that they can't afford it. That's no good at all, and a very bad excuse.

The rioting started on August 6, and I was just on my cruise on that first day - and hearing about the riots. I thought it was awful, and I admit - I was quite worried. It all started when it started off as a peaceful protest after the shooting of a criminal named Mark Duggan, and it turned out that the protest went out of hand, and became a huge riot. Well, this is just from what I've heard. From that point, there was looting and rioting going on in many areas of London (Tottenham, Hackney, etc.) I have a sister living in Hackney, but thank goodness she's away and is in a honeymoon. I hope their apartment is ok, since their area was quite trashed.

This here is a local London man who protested against the whole riots, and I remember watching that live in my cruise cabin, and I couldn't stand hearing it and I turned it off!



By August 8, almost everywhere in London had looting going around - I had friends living in Croydon and I heard about the experiences, that I do not wish to say, but they're fine now - I recall watching it on television with flames at nighttime and also rioters burning a car. The next day, the rioting was spread around north and there was also an incident where there were 3 guys in a car, and they got killed by the rioters. This is just a tragic, and it's tearing the whole country apart.

David Cameron must have been really ticked off when he found out that the UK riots were going on and that they were worse than ever. He even had to cancel his holiday early to try and sort out the riots and end it once and for all. He attended the COBRA meeting and ordered thousands and thousands of London police to take care of the streets all around London, and even suggested using a water cannon for any further rioting. In that case, not much rioting was going on and the police started to arrest the looters and sending them to prison. It may take months to arrest all the looters and rioters, but the police are DEFINATELY going to arrest every single one even if it's the last thing they do!

What was funny to hear was that there were 10 year old kids and 11 year olds that were looting because they thought that the police weren't going to arrest them because they were too young to go to prison. Erm, thick heads(?) - the legal age of being sent to prison here in the UK is actually aged 10, and you're obviously not going to get away with that. There was even one looter who thought he was doing the right thing and thinks he won't get caught, and thinks he's such a smart-ass, and saying "Oooh, they can't send me to prison - because the jails are over-crowded" - that's BALONEY! Well Mr. Looter - the jails may be overcrowded, but there's ALWAYS room for one more...

I admit that I was kind of worried because I was worrying that the rioting or looting could come to Horsham (the town I live in) and I thought that there was a slight chance, but a very fat chance because it's outside London and there isn't such to break into. Anyhow, I was relieved to hear that the rioting officially stopped on August 10th, I knew I would come back home today safely (and I did).

I would die a happy man if those police would keep those vile looters as long as they would live, they've basically ruined our country. Think about next year, at the 2012 London Olympics - tourists from other countries are going to think Britain is a dump because of all the looting.

Anyhow, I'm sure glad this whole looting has stopped - and I hope not to see another huge riot again (well, you'll never know).

Friday, 5 August 2011

Snow White Mosaic: Part 11



Hiya readers - I've finished my first vacation at Sayer's Croft (an activity centre, 5 miles from where I live), and I'm able to post this mosaic today. Of course, (August 6) I leave for a cruise and I won't resume posting I'm afraid. My second blog still can't be updated until August 13th, too I'm afraid. Sorry, my holiday - my call.

In this sequence, this shows some more unsophistication out of the seven dwarfs, and this time in involves personal hygiene and manners on the table (except the manners on the table part doesn't show up until the deleted "soup" sequence). Snow White plays an important role in this sequence, and he controls the characters here. Since she is the maiden of this cottage, she also has to make sure the dwarfs are down what they are told, and plus - she treats the dwarfs quite mother-like in this sequence.

As soon as the seven dwarfs smell the lovely smell of soup, they all rush down stairs (Dopey being stuck on the banister part of the stairs) and they all scramble around on the table, fighting over where they are going to sit - or fighting over pieces of bread, and also snatching. As Snow White stops the fighting and bickering - she warns them that they "have time to wash". The dwarfs are baffled, and have no idea that it's mannered to wash your hands before supper.

Unsophistication turns up when Doc is unsure of Snow White saying "wash", and he tries to get out of the situation along with the other dwarfs, that they told a fib that they had lied - considering that they washed "recently". Snow White, who shows an astute personality in this sequence is aware that the dwarfs are fibbing with Doc hesitating, and the dwarfs not being able to get a full answer out until they all (exc. Dopey) say "Recently" in a group. Snow White is also aware that they are lying, because of the evidence that they are not showing their hands that are dirty from mining all day. As, all seven pair of hands are dirty (Grumpy doesn't show his hands), and they all are ordered to wash or no supper for them.

Snow White's line "You'll go straight outside and wash - or you'll not get a bite to eat." That is one of the old-fashioned ways of punishment to children, if they didn't follow their parents orders or they misbehaved, and (usually) as a warning note, they would not have anything to eat for dinner and sent to bed early. Of course, Snow White is a teenager and yet she has power to tell the dwarfs what to do because of her beauty. I'm afraid that I've always never understood that, beauty isn't always everything. But, Snow White is part of the Royal family and is the princess and the dwarfs must show a lot of sympathy and respect for her.

Frank Thomas animates the bulk of the dwarfs in this sequence, and gets the good personality shots. Bill Tytla animates the personality shots of Grumpy, and wonderful timing on Grumpy's facial smear in Shot 20. This is one of Frank's earlier animation where he handles personality scenes wonderfully. His dwarfs animation are appealing, as well as the acting is very good. He gets a lot of personality particularly in shots that are about 30 feet long and also Shot 13B which is roughly 39 feet of animation in 26 seconds, of the dwarfs revealing their dirty hands. I assume that the assistant animator had to probably add the dirt on the dwarfs' hands, while Frank did the animation. Shot 18 by Frank Thomas has some good staging in the scene where the dwarfs march to the bathroom to wash, and Dopey walks on with his "hitch steps" - a gag contributed by Frank Thomas. Grumpy is also in the scene just standing there cantankerously. The shot is 32 feet song and it lasts 21 seconds.

Fred Spencer mostly animates crowd shots of the dwarfs on the table and fighting. I suppose that's animator casting - the director had an animator cast onto crowd scenes, and Fred was suitable for the scenes evolving around there.

Snow White is mostly animated by Grim Natwick here who takes control of her personality. Grim does some wonderful animation there of the wise princess who can't get fooled by the dwarfs. He also animates the scenes of Snow White and with Tytla's Grumpy scenes. Jack Campbell handles the first shot where Snow White runs to the cauldron and cooks the soup. It surprises me to find Campbell credited for animation here, the first shot doesn't even LOOK like Campbell's animation. It's a completely different animation style from Jack's and it really does look like a child Ham Luske scene. Unless, this is one of the theories I heard about the Snow White animation scenes been swapped around. Maybe Jack very well handled that shot, and it wasn't rotoscoped at all - but I don't know too much on his animation background.

What's good to find here is that the single-shot scenes of Snow White warning the dwarfs to wash, and knowing that they are lying, the fireplace animation is animated with real fire. It seemed that the director on this sequence was very aware with errors, and wanted to make sure that the fireplace animation had animated fire when it couldn't be noticed in the background. I think that was pretty good back for 1937 - although it's a shame that most effects animation in this film is never credited at all in this film. We may find some effects animation credited later on.

This was the sequence where Frank Thomas contributed to the story and that Dopey should continuously throughout the film do hitch-steps to catch up with the others, and as Walt Disney thought it was a good idea - he got the animators on the dwarfs (when the animation was already greenlit) and called to reanimate scenes to add Dopey's hitch steps - the animators blamed Thomas for the amount of work. Frank also said that when an idea already comes during the animation process and Walt Disney liked it, he would always ask animators to reanimate scenes or start again. The "hitch steps" gag is an example.