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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Mouse on 57th Street


In honor of the new Chuck Jones documentary and marathon on tonight on TMC, I thought I'd post this underrated feature directed by Mr. Jones.

This cartoon has the honor of being the last Warner Bros cartoon written by Mike Maltese. It's really hard to find and just as hard to see on TV. I think I only saw it once on Cartoon Network before I rediscovered it on YouTube.

Anyway, this is one of Chuck's best and most unique cartoons he did at Warner Bros. I don't think he ever made another short like this during his career.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Foxy by Proxy

What Friz Freling lacks in animation quality, he makes up for with really funny cartoons, like this one. Foxy is definitely one of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons directed by Freling. The train track scene always leaves me howling wth laughter! I swear, It also looks like one of Bob McKimson's animators did a scene on this one. It's the scene where Bugs tries to lose the other hunting dogs after the stupid one caught the train. If I'm wrong let me know.

Here's some good drawings from the cartoon. A little light on the lines, though...



Monday, March 2, 2009

Woodsman, Spare That Tree

I'd like to drift away from all the big animation studios for a minute to talk about a wonderful, under-rated and rarely seen series of cartoons: the Fox and Crow cartoons from Columbia pictures. These are real gems from the golden Age and rarely ever talked about, even by today's big shots of the business.

I like that the whole series, like Tom and Jerry or the Coyote and Roadrunner, revolves around the chemistry between two different characters except that they aren't out to kill each other. The characters go well together, and never needed a third supporting character to make it work. I don't think they ever did.

Anyway, the example I'm showing you is the second one of this two-dozen titled series and my personal favorite out of all of them. I can't really say anything bad about this one. The backgrounds are amazing and the animation is the best of the series. I heard Emery Hawkins animated at least two scenes in this, but I bet he did more judging by some of the drawings and the way the Fox looks and moves. Also, the voices really fit the characters better than the first cartoon, The Fox and the Grapes to me. Here, they're voiced by Frank Graham and Paul Frees (God love them both!) respectively versus the first one where both were performed by Mel Blanc. (the greatest voice actor ever!) No offence to Blanc lovers, but Graham and Frees portray the pair better.

I also like the music and how the beginning of almost each one is introduced by a Johann Strauss waltz and makes up the bulk of the score. In this one, it's K├╝nstlerleben (An Artist's Life), Op. 316.

Any who, take a look for yourself and see what I'm talking about. Feel free to comment if you like it. :)

Jumpin' Jupiter

My favorite Porky and Sylvester cartoon. I love the way Chuck draws Sylvester in his cartoons. It's the best one to me next to Clampett's version. Jumpin' Jupiter has amazing backgrounds, funny jokes, and a good story with some good animation. Also, one of the instant martians from Hare-Way to the Stars makes an appearance.

Nelly's Folly

A rather Disney-esque version of One Froggy Evening, but still worth a watch or two. That giraffe's vocals are golden! Was also nominated for an Academy Award.