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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rooty Toot Toot

This is one of my favorite cartoons ever! I just can't see anything wrong with it. Even if I'm used to seeing more characters drawn like Bugs or Mickey, I love the way UPA drew their cartoons because they seemed to be the only ones who could do this style with perfection. (After all, they invented it!) I also like the way Frankie does almost every movement on tip-toe, like a ballerina. Wonder who animated her? Maybe Pat Matthews?

I also love the timing of this cartoon. Everything is in tune to the song, Frankie and Johnnie, even if they aren't singing. Oh, and Thurl Ravenscroft plays Honest John, Frankie's lawyer.

This one was also nominated for an Oscar in 1952 for Best Animated Short Film. It lost to the Tom and Jerry cartoon, The Two Mouseketeers. Shame. It's such a brilliant movie.



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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Peace on Earth

One of the best cartoons to come from Hugh Hartman's department at MGM. A great cartoon for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Invitation to the Dance

I know I posted another scene from this movie, but I really wanted to share this clip from YouTube with you guys. It's a scene from a documentary about how the movie involved using a reference model for the animators. The end result is a very beautiful scene from the movies: the colors, the dancing, the music, the flawless mixing of Gene Kelly with this animated princess, everything was just beautiful. Just watch and see!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Walt Disney Animation Archives series

I just bought the newest book from this series of books. I have to admit that like the first two books, this one is very captivating. The book covers almost every era of Disney animation, chock full of wonderful storyboards, character designs, and concept art. I'm especially fond of Mary Blair's contributions. Below is a picture by Mary Blair from Alice in Wonderland and a sketch from The Jungle Book.


If you're a classic Disney animation fan (like yours truly) then this book along with the other two in the series is worth the buy. The catch is that they're really expensive if you try to buy them at a book store (they're about $50 a pop!) Luckily, Amazon.com has this book and the other two for about $31.50 (37% off!) So yeah, I recommend reading all three.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lucky


This is Lucky, a rabbit who surprisingly looks very similar to Ralph. Well, don't be surprised. In the show's history, Lucky was the original Ralph on A Day at the Zoo, being very popular until his contract expired and the studio heads quickly replaced him with Ralph. Ever since, Lucky had never been the same, plotting against and seeking vengeance on Ralph for what happened to him.

Lucky on the whole is a very twisted and evil character. He can be called the polar opposite of Ralph. Where Ralph is kind and good-natured, Lucky is cruel, relentless, and somewhat a glory-hound. He merely wants to be back in the limelight and will get there by any means necessary.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Professor Axel

A brand new character. This is Professor Axel, a highly intelligent and somewhat eccentric axolotl. He is an expert in virtually anything scientific and mathematical. He's also an accomplished inventor... in his mind. His only flaw is that he's limited to living in water, thanks to the gills on the side of his head.

Oh yes! He also is fluent in over 20 languages and has a German accent when speaking English.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Jerky


No, it's not the Tex Avery cartoon.
And now for something completely different...


I've been on an Animaniacs kick lately. I admit, it's a wonderful show with great animation and stories throughout. I could go on about this great show, but I want to keep this post short.

In a nutshell, this episode is the only Thanksgiving episode that I know of and it's a nice satire of the story of the first Turkey Day and Miles Standish, chock full of the zany, fast-paced, Marx-Bros-esque humor found in the Warner Bros cartoons. Enjoy it and happy early Thanksgiving.

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Good night, everybody!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Colors for Ralph

What do you folks think? These colors or the original light brown Ralph?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

(Blooper) Bunny

This is one of the Bugs Bunny shorts made in the early 90's. This one was made for the 51rst birthday of everyone's favorite rabbit. The designs on the characters may be stock images from WB of that time, but the writing and directing here is worth mentioning. It was directed by Greg Ford and Terry Lennon, who previously directed Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers. Like the shorts from the 50's, this and Bunny Snatchers have sort of a very risqué sense of humor, considering when it was made. Both cartoons actually hammer how big-shot executives seemed to have ruined classic characters we love. However, Bunny Snatchers examined this more and with funnier results. (Blooper) Bunny is still worth a look. After all, it is a product of the early 90's.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Of Mice and Magic

A Famous Studio cartoon from Paramount directed by Izzy Sparber, one of three chief directors there. I love the musical score for these cartoons, particularly this one. Mae Questal appears as Louise as she sings a grand rendition of "Personality".

Another thing: it's not every day that you can say that there was a more violent cat and mouse team than the infamous Tom and Jerry. Everyone, meet Herman and Katnip. These cartoons are played out like a T&J cartoon, only there are far more brutal jokes like one where Herman brushes Katnip's teeth with a metal file, or pounding Katnips head so hard with a mallet that it actually leaves an imprint. Aside from that, Katnip's little strut when he thinks he catches Herman is hilarious.

On top of that, the voice acting is pretty stellar. Mae Questal relives her moments as Betty Boop and Sid Raymond is always a riot. Arnold Stang also appears in this cartoon and does a good job. I personally like his Top Cat voice better, though. Oh well. :)

I wish I could present this in a higher quality than what I have, but these are incredibly hard to find.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

The Acorny Squirrel


Winter aproacheth, and poor Benny forgets to forage food for the winter. Thankfully, he finds a whole stash of acorns wedged in an elm tree. The catch is that they're guarded by a mean-spirited acorn woodpecker.

Seriously, I need to rename this one. Suggestions?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cousin Tex

A Pixie-Dixie cartoon and the first one I believe. This series reminds me of watching a Tom & Jerry cartoon. After all, the last cartoon of that series was released the same year this was made. Coincidence? Pixie and Dixie are cute but don't have much to offer. Mr. Jinks on the other hand, wow! Jinks was the real star of these cartoons. He's such a wonderful character and even has a distinctive voice. Creating such a character with limited animation is really hard to do, but Hanna, Barbera, and Daws Butler really pull it off. It's because of Jinks that makes this series my favorite H-B cartoons outside of Yogi Bear and Quick Draw.

Well, even if the story in this one isn't too far off from a T&J cartoon like "Pecos Pest", it's still very enjoyable. I liked Cousin Tex (after all, he is better than Cousin Batty. Ask Yowp about that one.) The branding iron joke was my personal favorite and the ending was pretty unexpected. Carlos Vinci and Mike Lah animate this cartoon. Kudos to H-B for this little gem.

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Lone-Star Cousin

A scene from a Ralph cartoon called, "Lone-Star Cousin"

Here, Ralph's cousin from Texas comes to visit him after hearing about his troubles with the house cat, Lionel. Tex manages to subdue Lionel after the cat grabs and almost kicks him out of the house. He then manages to rope and hogtie him in less than 10 seconds. Tex then goes out and grabs a branding iron, telling his cousin that Texas mice brand cats they subdue. Before he attempts this task, he politely asks the cat, "Would you like on the left side or the right?"

The glorious return of Ralph!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nowhere Bear

Another classic H-B cartoon. Ed Love's designs and expressions on Ranger Smith are worth watching. H-B must have let each animator have a distinctive style, kind of like the classic Warner Bros cartoons.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

El Kabong Meets El Kazing


This is kind of odd for me, considering that I usually discuss theatrical cartoons with full animation, but I'd like to talk about the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

I've really began to appreciate this era of animation a lot. Even if the animation is extremely limited, the designs of the characters were still very pleasant to look at and the staging of these cartoons was simple, but easier to understand. Now, I don't know much about these early H-B shorts, but thankfully my blogger friend Yowp does. The link to his blog is somewhere on the side of mine. Visit it! It's worth it!

Anyway, I've really begun to love Quick Draw McGraw in particular. Everything aout this guy is just so damn funny. His actions, motifs, and most importantly, his voice. Daws Butler does a wonderful job portraying Quick Draw and Baba Looey. I know he based a lot of these characters on TV and movie stars of the 50's, like Yogi Bear was Art Carney and Mr. Jinks was a mix of Crazy Guggenheim and Marlon Brando. I'm not sure where Quick Draw's comes from. Maybe it's original?

I really get a kick out of the El Kabong cartoons. Thanks to the writing by Mike Maltese with George Nichol's animation, this has become my personal favorite Q-D cartoon. And, as a bonus, the prototype Snagglepuss in in this one! The Burt Lehr voice is still there, but he's orange and more of a wise-ass villian than a patsy ham and sort of a hero. The part where Snaggle hyphen puss demostrates his "Kazinger" always gets me! Even Baba Looey gets into the act at the end, as El Kapowey. "champion of champions, I theen"!

Orange Snagglepuss from, "The Lyin Lion" (1960)

Long story short, this cartoon just rocks! I'll probably post more posts dedicated to these shorts, so keep a look out by visiting regularly. Again, for more information about the early H-B cartoons, visit Yowp's blog (the link's on the right.)

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bedeviled Rabbit


My father's favorite cartoon as well as being one of my favorites simply because of the Tasmanian devil. This is part of why I like McKimson's cartoons so much. He was really able to appeal to grown men in particular thanks to his classic sense of humor. There's a lot more violence and adult jokes in McKimson's work than any other director at Warner's. (In fact, look at when Taz is tossing up a salad. There's dead squirrels coming out of it!)

Taz himself is vaguely different from a lot of other cartoon characters at the time because of his persona. He's a vicious, nasty brute with some hilarious vocals from the great Mel Blanc. I wonder if anyone really laughed out loud while Mel was recording. I guess I'll never know. I know Jack Warner in particular really loved the little slob.

Artistically speaking, I really enjoy the backgrounds to this cartoon. The colors feel really natural even if they're mostly green. At least they're not in some garish neon-green color. I got to admit, Rick Thomas did a good job with the forest's look.

Well, enjoy this one. It's even better when you watch it with your friends. :D
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two Crows From Tacos


This post is dedicated to two forgotten characters in Looney Tunes history: Jose and Manuel, the two Mexicali Crows. They were made as part of WB's funny Mexican cannon and made around the same time as another Mexican who overshadows them, Speedy Gonzales. While Speedy is quick and smart, these two are the polar opposite, happily being lazy and very, very stupid.

Jose is the short, fat one and is always quick to say that he's the "bre-ains" of the two. Manuel is the skinny one and possibly, the dumber of the two. They first appeared in Two Crows From Tacos, an underrated 1956 gem by Friz Freling and perhaps one of the most controversial cartoons he ever made.

The biggest controversy over this one are the sterotypes portrayed here. Even though the stereotypes are horrific, the art, slapstick, and dialogue are what make it work. Art Davis, I believe, animated a huge bulk of this short and Virgil Ross (seemingly) animates the scene where Jose and Manuel beat up the cactus for having their "grlass-hopp-er". There's also a very unique ending to this cartoon. Instead of an iris out, we get to see a beautiful Mexican sunset as they sing their favorite song, offbeat but happily, with the immortal words, "That's all, folks!" written over the background.

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The two crows reappeared in a 1959 Speedy Gonzales cartoon called Mexicali Shmoes (this time as cats), where they try to catch Speedy the same way they tried to catch their grasshopper as crows. With the same result, of course! It's probably my favorite cartoon the two crows were in. It was also nominated for the 1959 Academy Awards for Best Animated Subject and introduced Speedy's cousin, Slowpoke.

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Their final appearance together was in the 1962 short, Crow's Feat, again directed by Freling. They're back as crows and manage to be outwitted by, of all people, Elmer Fudd! (they mistake him as a"scares-crow")

Hey, Jose! A ticking corn!

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Three Caballeros

A scene from The Three Caballeros animated mostly by Ward Kimball. I can't get enough of his stuff. It's just so appealing to me!
For those who don't know, Ward was a animator for Disney (and one of the infamous Nine Old Men ) that centered his work on more cartoony subjects, like the mice in Cinderella, the crows in Dumbo, and Jiminy Cricket on Pinocchio. He later went to directing his own cartoons, like the award winning Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom and It's Tough to Be a Bird!. Ward remains one of my favorite animators because of his cartoony style and it stands out a little better than some of the other animators at Disney. I'm thinking about doing an animator reel on either him or Milt Kahl on the next post, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Donald's Camera


Since I'll be in DisneyWorld next week, I'd thought I'd show one of my favorite Disney shorts. Yes, it's Donald. And yes, it's directed by the guy who created the duck and one of the best cartoon directors, Dick Lundy. The story is rather basic, but as expected from Disney, animation is top notch. There's also a pretty cool running cycle from the woodpecker character. (Funny. 6 years after this was made, Lundy would be directing some of the best Woody Woodpecker cartoons at Walter Lantz' studio. Coincidence?)

The biggest reason why I like this short is because Lundy has a few scenes where Donald's expressions aren't the kinds you would see in the "How to Draw Disney Characters" manual. As in some of them look exaggerated, but not quite on the Warner Bros. or Tex Avery level. It's the scene with the toothpaste worm dance gag. The duck had never looked more evil! (especially in the third picture!)





Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cobra and Mongoose Redux

These are two characters I almost forgot about, the Cobra and Mongoose. They do have drawings here, you'll just have to go back to when I started this blog. Here they are with character profiles as I first drew them.

Some changes are that the mongoose's body and head are now more streamlined and almost like the real animal. The cobra, on the other hand, now has a smaller hood and head, a more outgoing and friendly personality, and is now a girl character.

They're still pretty much the same characters after all these years, though the cobra's has changed a little. Like I said earlier, she's friendly and outgoing, but she's not as scared of the mongoose as before.

Below is a colored model sheet to show what colors I used to create them. The cobra's now more brown and the mongoose is now more grey, just like the animals they're based on.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Poop Goes the Weasel

A guilty pleasure of mine.
Aside from it's title (really?), this one is actually one of the better 50's Noveltoons I've seen and it's certainly better than some of the Tweety cartoons from that era too. The animation on the weasel character is really sublime.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor

My favorite Popeye cartoon growing up. It's great to see it fully restored to better colors that what I saw as a kid. A few pointers, this is the very first colored Popeye and it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject in 1936 but lost to Walt Disney's The Country Cousin. (How aside it being from Disney I'll never know...)

Everything about this short is great and top-notch for Fleischer's studio. The music, the turn-table layouts (I'm a big fan of that trick), Bluto's song at the beginning, Whimpy trying to eat the duck, the two-headed giant, and Popeye being... well, Popeye, were the best parts. The good news is that this cartoon's in the public domain as well as the two other Popeyes and one Betty Boop cartoon made in color.

I'm really beginning to get accustomed to the animation in these cartoons. There's great stuff from Will Bowsky, George Germanetti, Ed Nolan, and Orestes Calpini here. Bluto's closeups used to scare me when I was a kid, but now I think it's pretty unique for a cartoon from those days. It's the style of this and all the other Fleischer cartoons was what made thier 'toons really stand out from the other studios. They were, in a sense, the Warner Bros. of the 1930's.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Little Swee' Pea

I just started getting into Fleischer cartoons recently. I thought why not post a Popeye cartoon, so here we are.

I like how some of the backgrounds look realistic in these. I heard that what Fleischer did was he had a turntable with the setting on it and he filmed it then placed the animated characters in it. It's a neat process and something I oughtta look into in the future.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Mascot or Character?

This is a character I've been working on for a few days. It's a jack-in-the-box toy named Charlie. He's excitable, eccentric, and something of a showman. His big dream is to be an entertainer, so he keeps everything he needs to put on a good show inside his box.

I'm not sure whether to put him with Bear and Eli or to have him as the mascot of JSmith Cartoons. Suggestions?

Eli's New Look

I redesigned Eli to have more elephant-like feet and hands to have a more natural feel. This way, his nose can act like his hands. Or a third one. Thoughts?

Monday, May 24, 2010

訪問日本から!ラルフのカズンリロイ!

Ralph's Japanese cousin Leroy comes to visit him. Everything seems to go OK except whenever Leroy sees Lionel, he goes berserk and wants to fight him to the death.

Leroy is Ralph's cousin from Japan. He looks like a Pokemon but is actually a mouse like Ralph. Around his American cousin, he's a very ...considerate, polite person. However, when provoked or whenever he bumps into a cat, he can turn into a neurotic sociopath who demands a fight using his bizarre powers.

Leroy is a satire of Japanese anime cartoons (specifically Pokemon). He's brown like Ralph, but has pink eyes and pointier ears. His tail alos makes a lightning bolt shape.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Stuff and a New Character!

Some updates for those who read this blog. Here's a title sequence for the cartoon Mousse in Boots, starring Ralph and Lionel.


And on a major note, I've got a new character for the Bear & Eli cartoons!
This is Elanor, an orange toy elephant from the Bear and Eli universe. She's sort of a female counterpart of Eli. She's fun-loving, yet sensible like Bear. Her beret suggests her creative side. She loves to paint and come up with stories. She appears to have a crush on Eli, but he prefers that they stay friends thanks to his child-like persona. She's Bear's best friend aside from Eli and have a lot of fun writing stories together. She's the only character in the series that talks with a Mid-Atlantic accent.

Elanor's design comes from one of my own toy elephants. Like Elanor, she's orange with a green flower on her tummy. Who knows? I may wind up making Eli a best friend too. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A new title sequence for "Fountain of Goofs", a JSmith Productions Cartoon starring Benny and Gordon as Spaniards from the Age of Exploration looking for the Fountain of Youth.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Pink Panther (1963)

In my mind, the original Pink Panther from 1963 is one of the best movies ever made. Not only did this movie jump-start the careers of Blake Edwards, Peter Sellers, and musician Henry Mancini, it also opened a huge door for Warner Bros directors Hawley Pratt and Friz Freleng. In general, the movie is wonderful and if you haven't seen it, then go rent it (or buy it) and watch it.

Anyway, I made this post to concede with my previous posts on Pink Panther opening credits. The very first one from '63 has, in my opinion, the best look for the coolest pink feline around. Freleng and Pratt made this character very sleak looking, but it fits the character well. The claws are cool and I also love how he doesn't look so anorexic here. The panther trying to sneak his name in the credits always makes me laugh.

Well, anyway, here is the video. Enjoy!
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pink Panther titles

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of The Pink Panther movies. The best were the ones with Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards involved of course. However, I also love the animated sequences from each movie's start, so I picked a few of my favorites and posted them here.

#1: A Shot in the Dark (1964)

A Shot in the Dark Titles (1964)
Uploaded by Cartoonzof2006. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.
My personal favorite Pink Panther movie of all. While not the first Pink Panther or the best animated, but the musical score by Henry Mancini is charming and perfectly fits Inspector Clouseau's personality.

#2: The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)

The third Pink Panther movie. This scene was animated by Richard Williams and Ken Harris and is arguably very good considering the year it was made. Williams and Harris used 24 frames a second here vs. 12. They also animated The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) and a few commercials.

#3: Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)

Trail Of The Pink Panther - Intro (1982)
Uploaded by Cartoonzof2006. - Watch feature films and entire TV shows.
Animated by Freleng-DePatte studios, this one was one of the more creative intros done with the series. Sadly, this was Sellers' last P.P. movie before he died of a heart attack. He was only 54. At least this movie was dedicated to him and remains one of the funniest in the series.

#4. The Pink Panther (2006)

I won't get in too deep with this one. I thought this one's intro had a quirk similar to the originals, but the movie itself sure wasn't. Steve Martin was o.k. in this movie, but nothing compared to what Sellers did with Clouseau.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mousse in Boots

You know the story of Puss in Boots, right? He's an accomplish ogre killer and slayer of evil monsters across the kingdom. There's just one thing he never did count on: Ralph!

Starring Lionel as Puss and Boots and Ralph as the mouse that kicks his butt.