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October 21, 2014

bob clampett

Milton Gray talks about timing

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 8th 2006 2:58PM

porky's duck huntSome of my fellow bloggers refer to me as the "animation expert," a nice label, but I don't personally consider myself an expert on animation. I'm really just a big fan with a knack for remembering trivial things. Besides, there are a ton of great Web sites and blogs out there by people who actually work in the industry and can talk about things with an authority I just don't have. Case in point: John Kricfalusi recently posted a lengthy missive from Milton Gray on his blog in which Gray, who currently works as an animation timer on The Simpsons, talked about the importance of timing in animation and sung the praises of early animation directors, especially Bob Clampett. Gray writes about how important the hands-on approach was in those early cartoons, and about working within the confines and restrictions of modern animation. Check it out.

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There was a Beany and Cecil remake?

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 4th 2006 12:06PM
beany and cecilEither I had completely forgotten about this, or I never actually knew about it in the first place, but back in the 1980s, Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi worked on an updated version of Bob Clampett's Beany and Cecil, one of the best cartoons ever made. Now, Clampett was a huge influence on John K's style, so if anyone was going to try and bring this old cartoon back and revamp it for a new audience, I figure he was the best choice. Of course, I think it would be impossible to ever duplicate the brilliance of the original, but based on this full episode I found on YouTube, they did a pretty decent job. There seems to be very little information on this cartoon, and as far as I can tell, IMDb doesn't even have a listing for it. I'm fairly certain voice actor Stan Freberg provides the same voices (Cecil, Dishonest John, etc.) in this cartoon as he did in the original, though I can't be positive about that.

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The Five: Daffy Duck's greatest moments

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 4th 2006 7:04AM

daffy duckWhile each of the Looney Tunes characters had their own personality, even those personalities would differ depending on which era the cartoon was made, and who was directing. Porky Pig, for example, was often portrayed as the neurotic foil, but in later cartoons with Daffy Duck he was often the calm voice of reason. Daffy also differed greatly in personality from his early days under the supervision of Bob Clampett when he truly lived up to the name "daffy" to his eventual evolution into the selfish but lovable duck most people know him as today. Trying to keep these two sides of Daffy's psyche in mind, I've come up with five of what I think are his best shorts:

Duck Amuck (1953): "And on this farm he had an igloo...." This was one of my favorite cartoons growing up, and still is today. Daffy finds himself at the mercy of an unseen director who erases and paints in new scenery, erases Daffy himself, and even messes with the music soundtrack and Daffy's own voice. Al the while Daffy tries to reason with him, but to no avail. In the end it's revealed that the man with the magic pencil and paintbrush is actually Bugs Bunny.

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John K gets animated

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 6th 2006 10:00AM
ren and stimpyI was a huge fan of Bob Clampett long before I even knew who Bob Clampett was. He was the creator of many of Warner Brother's most popular characters, including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. I found out who he was later when my local video store had copies of his "Beany and Cecil" cartoon series from the late fifties and early sixties. Clampett was with Warner Brothers in the early days, and if you watch his old Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts, they have a frenzied style and distortion to them that later became a huge influence on the likes of John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren and Stimpy. Amid Amidi found an interview with John K on the CBC Television site, in which John K (a Flash-animated version anyway) talks about why the 70s and 80s were a horrible time for cartoons, and why Bob Clampett was one of the best animators to ever work in the business. Amidi, rightly so, points out that it's more than a little ironic to watch a poorly-drawn John K lamenting over the fact that no one can draw anymore. I would add that this lack of "craft" has also spilled over into other mediums, like comic strips.

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