Tuesday, 13 September 2011

"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.

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