Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Walter Lantz Model Sheets

Here are some model sheets from the Lantz studio's cast of characters, I'm assuming these were model sheets used for the comics books.

If I'm not mistaken Miranda Panda only appeared in one cartoon, "Scrap Happy Birthday" where both Andy and Miranda look and act more like Mickey and Minnie thanks to Fred Moore's design. She mainly appeared in the comic books.

Lil' Eightball appeared in only three cartoons in the late 1930's but would also later appear in the comics. I've never had the good fortune of seeing any of the Lil' Eightball cartoons and with a character looking like that it's safe to say they won't be released on DVD. If Woody isn't coming to DVD there's no way in hell this little guy is.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas

"Peace On Earth" directed by Hugh Harman and nominated for both an Academy Award and Nobel Peace Prize.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Joe Barbera (1911-2006)

It saddens me to no end to hear that one of my heros, Joe Barbera passed away today. I can't put into words how much I admire his work and career. His MGM cartoons and early Hanna-Barbera shows are among my favorite cartoons ever created. I can only offer sympathies to his family and friends. Rest In Peace. Here's some pics of Joe at work at MGM and Hanna-Barbera studios, and an early Hanna/Barbera directed MGM cartoon "The Goose Goes South".

Huckleberry Hound crew.

Bill and Joe acting out "Two Little Indians" for Fred Quimby.
Acting out "Mouse In Manhattan".

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Charlie Dog

Here's a couple of models of Chuck Jones' Charlie Dog. Bob Clampetts' "Porky's Pooch" laid the foundation for what would later become the premise behind the cartoons. I like the idea of a dog doing whatever he can to impress someone to be his master but Charlie tends to annoy me a little. I like the cartoons but I don't think I could watch them back to back.

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been working on a project at night with a friend and hopefully we'll have something nice and stupid to show for it soon.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Tex Avery -"Who Killed Who?"

Here's some model sheets and animation drawings from Tex's "Who Killed Who?" Somehow I highly doubt that any cartoons today would be made that revolved around a murder mystery. I think the closest thing to even mentioning murder was in "Stimpy's Fan Club", when Ren was losing it and was ready to take Stimpy out. Though I wish someone would murder those damn Fairy Odd Parents and the Kids Next Door. What shit. One thing I love about this cartoon, besides it being hilarious,is the soundtrack which just features just an organ. Very different from Scott Bradley's normal work, but very fitting. By the way, buy the new Scott Bradley CD. It features liner notes by Daniel Goldmark who also wrote the great book "Tunes for Toons" which I would recommend to any fan of Carl Stalling and Scott Bradley. Sorry for the commercialism, but I just hope those CDs sell well so that maybe they'll release more. Especially the soundtracks from the mid 40's Tom and Jerry cartoons and mostly Iomogene Lynn singing the retooled version of "Oh Johnny Oh Johnny Oh" from Tex's "Swing Shift Cinderella" and "Little Rural Riding Hood". The Andrew Sisters recorded a great version of that song... if anyone finds that interesting. Enough about cartoon music, I'll save that for another post.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Little Lulu

I'm quite fond of Famous Studio's cartoons of the 1940's and early 50's. Though the stories are usually formulatic and the pacing is sometimes too slow, I love the animation, backgrounds and of course Winston Sharples' music. I wonder if he's related to Robert Sharples, who composed some great cues for KPMs music library? Little Lulu is a particular favorite of mine. Here's a model sheet and a public domain goody "Cad and Caddy". I would love to see a better print of this cartoon mainly to get a better look at Robert Connavale's backgrounds, I think they're really great. Myron Waldman was one of the animators in this cartoon. Before he passed away Myron lived not more than ten minutes from me, I could kick myself for not trying to contact him and speak with him first hand about animation and his career.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Screwy Squirrel

Here's a couple of model sheets and animation drawings from Tex Avery's "Screwy Truant", "Happy Go Nutty" and "Lonesome Lenny". Screwy was slightly redesigned for these shorts giving him a goofier, less cute look. Particularly the smaller cranium. Personally, I think he looks a bit ratty. But it's very fitting. I'm not sure who designed him this way but I'm assuming it was Claude Smith as he was drawing a lot of the models at this time including the original character design, which I posted here a couple of months ago. I've said it before I think he's the perfect character for a Tex Avery cartoon. He's just as unpredictable as Avery's gags. My personal favorite along with early Bugs and Daffy. I've been spending a lot of time practicing drawing him from model sheets and you can see my feeble attempts here. Feel free to let me how I've screwed him up.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thankgiving

Here's a couple of model sheets that are fitting for Thanksgiving. The first is from Tex Avery's "Jerky Turkey" and the other is from Tex's Screwy Squirrel cartoon "Big Heel-Watha". You'll probably notice that some of the drawings on the "Heel-Watha" model sheet were used in Preston Blair's book. Enjoy the holiday!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tom and Jerry - "Tee For Two" Backgrounds

"Tee For Two" is one of my all-time favorite Tom and Jerry shorts. Mostly because I love Irv Spence's animation in this cartoon. I find it to be some of his funniest. One of the other things I love are the backgrounds, I believe these were painted by Robert Gentle. Sorry that the characters are in a couple of the pics. I usually try to use frames that don't have any animation over it. But in this case I liked the backgrounds too much to discard them just because Tom and Jerry are in it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tex Avery - "What's Buzzin' Buzzard?"

Here's one of my favorite model sheets from one of my favorite cartoons, "What's Buzzin' Buzzard?" This one was one of Fred Quimby's least favorite of Tex's cartoons. Even after it was selected for preservation in the Library Of Congress. At least Tex had an easy way to gauge if he made a good cartoon or not. If Quimby hated it or didn't think it was funny, it was good. Enjoy this wonderfully violent cartoon.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Milt Gross- Jitterbug Follies

This is one of my all-time favorites, Milt Gross' "Jitterbug Follies". This is one of two cartoons he directed for MGM, the other being "Wanted: No Master". Both were released in 1939, along with Milt himself as producer Fred Quimby felt that the cartoons weren't of high enough quality for a studio like MGM. Quimby is not a man who was known for his sense of humor so he must've really hated this one, it's funny from start to finish. It's really well timed to music too.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Mickey Mouse Model Sheet

Does anyone else find drawing Mickey as hard as I do? It seems like if one little line is wrong he ends up looking nothing like Mickey. He's built on simple shapes but I just never seem to really get it right. Oh well, I guess that's what practice is for. Here's a couple of model sheets of Mickey. Check out Mark Mayerson's post that he did back in June for some great Fred Moore models from "The Little Whirlwind". Then check out Hans Perk's animation drafts from the same cartoon.