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.

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