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.

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