Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rappin' 'bout Tex

Last year on this blog I celebrated Tex Avery's 100th birthday with this post.  I went a little overboard with the cartoon embedding I think.  The whole thing takes about 1 minute to fully load.
Oh well, this year, on the eve of his 101st birthday, I'll only embed one of his cartoons.  It's not going to be just any old cartoon thrown up there.  It will be a cartoon that I think fully illustrates (corny pun) the fact that Tex Avery was indeed a genuis on more than one level.

Here is the full cartoon:

Notice how the story plays out.  There are actually four elements at work here:

1. The fox must successfully out-wit the dogs.

2. The fox must successfully outwit Droopy.

3. The other dogs pick on Droopy.

4. Droopy must prevail at the end.

And it all has to work within 7 minutes.  Most lesser directors would have narrowed it down to only one of those elements in an effort to keep things simple.  Other directors would have insisted that the cartoon's length be stretched to 20 minutes or maybe even 45 minutes in order to accomodate all 4 elements.  Of course, no animation studio has ever managed to successfully negotiate something like that, so that certainly isn't an option.  The most plausible option most studios would have gone with in this case is to simply make 4 cartoons.
I'm sure 4 separate cartoon could easily be made with each element and each would go over fine no matter who was working on them.  But, Tex dared to work with all 4 at once.  He managed to take what could have been a muddled, overly complicated mess and turn it into 1 cartoon that not only works but I think most would agree that he hits it out of the park as well.
Very few other animation directors have accomplished such a thing.  Even in these days where the biggest and brightest of the animation industry who work with feature length films, noone has managed to weave these many elements at once.  If there another such person who has accomplished this, by all means point me to it.  But, no matter who it is, he/she will still be in Tex Avery's shadow.

(He's the one on the left).

Happy 101, Tex.  The world owes you alot.


  1. I've read quite a bit about Tex Avery, and have heard interviews with Chuck Jones, Bob McKimson, etc. who all hailed him as something of a genius. I remember seeing him acting out scenes in some of the old live-action models that they used for the actual cartoons. He seemed like a man dedicated to his craft.

  2. Tex Avery is the best, and Out Foxed is one of his many materpieces.