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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.