"Tex and Katherine sitting in a tree
K - I - S - S...."
Ha ha! No, I'm not copping to that childishness. I would just like to use this day, what would've been Tex Avery's 112 birthday (if he had somehow become a vampire so he could live forever), to talk about an observation I've recently made between this man and that particular actress.
Of course, it's no wonder that Tex appreciated Kate Hepburn on any level. She was a 3 time Oscar winning actress whose filmography spans a decades long career. What's NOT to like? For reference, here's a bit of the Great Kate in action in one of her more acclaimed roles:
There she is holding her own beside two other Hollywood giants, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. It's easy to see how anyone, not just animation geniuses, could be inspired by her.
The main reason I'm bringing this up at all is because of much of the reaction I've seen over Tex's cartoon The Hick Chick.
This is one of the many cartoons included in the new Tex Avery Blu Ray set. I've ordered my copy and it should be arriving hopefully sometime next week. I might find time to do a bit of a review of it. That should be fun.
About the Hick Chick cartoon. I can understand how people can be so ambivalent about it. It certainly doesn't make most people's "Tex Avery at MGM Top 10 List". Possibly it didn't do well when it originally came out in theatres and even Tex himself was gravely disappointed in it.
However, I do feel that some of those same people are using their underwhelming feeling over this cartoon to gloss over what it's really about. The man who wrote Tex Avery's biography, Joe Adamson, even seemed to do that. In the back of that book is Tex's entire filmography with all the credits listed as well as a brief synopsis/opinion of each film. Here's what he says about The Hick Chick:
Granted his space to use was limited, but it still seems like a gloss over to me. That character was not a "Katherine Hepburn caricature". She was simply talking in that Hepburn voice to the slick talking "Charles Boyer" guy so she could impress him because she was disappointed in her very rural boyfriend. Tex seemed to favour that Kate Hepburn voice a lot in many of his cartoons, such as:
Little Red Walking Hood
Daffy Duck in Hollywood
Dangerous Dan McFoo
A Gander at Mother Goose
Red Hot Riding Hood
and the aforementioned Hick Chick
Other animation directors throughout the golden age years certainly used Katherine Hepburn as well. However, to me it looks like the way Tex utilized her voice his attitude was that a Kate Hepburn performance made everything better. Remember one main key factor to what inspired Tex to make many of the cartoons he made. Many times he'd see a cartoon in theatres that in his opinion could be done better. Then he would try to improve upon it. The set up for The Hick Chick looks very similar to a Friz Freleng cartoon from 1938 called A Star is Hatched.
The Hick Chick from Movie Memories on Vimeo.
There's the two cartoon embedded next to each other for comparison. Did Tex make improvements on Friz' work. That's up to every individual reading this to decide. I just wanted to get that out there for Tex Avery's birthday and I did.
Happy birthday, Tex and thank you Katherine Hepburn wherever you are.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Monday, February 24, 2020
Here is a picture of a nurse I have drawn. Just so you know, it ties in with this character I've drawn as well as this guy I've drawn. "What is the connection between all of these characters?", you ask. Hopefully everyone will find out soon long before this year ends.
Friday, January 24, 2020
That's right. The good people at Ferris Wheelhouse invited me back to do some more commentary on Looney Tunes videos. I and host Trevor Thompson had such fun last time and it looked like most of the response to those videos was positive, so we got back at it again. The two of us recorded them just last week. We did all Pepe Le Pew cartoons. His plan is to release them all on every Saturday in February in time for Valentine's Day. So February looks like it could be a fun and romantic month. Everyone can curl up with a significant other and bask in the amorous glow of Pepe's raging hormones accompanied by commentary by me and the self-appointed Looney Tunes critic.
|"Cwitic eh? Wook at him swandering me! I'll bwast him to smiveweens wif my...."|
Hold it! No! No, Elmer. I'm not doing that routine in this blog post this time. For one, it's somewhat redundant. For two, the last time I did that I............ broke somebody.
Please observe a moment of silence for the that person's two lonely brain cells who died that day.
Now on with it. The commentary we did was...
|"Why that doggone stubborn little.... I'LL GET THAT CRITIC!! WAGHWAGHWAGHWAGH!!!!"|
Donald, you're at a different studio. You have nothing to worry about.
|"If that Trevor Thom[stone] ever dares to critique me I'll bring down a slab of bronto-ribs on his head!"|
Jeez, Fred. Are cartoons from every other studio going to vent for the sake of their delicate egos now or....?
|"Oh! A critic on the internet! Is-is-is-is is that what's happening now? Why don't you just SHOOT ME IN THE HEAD??!! RIGHT NOW!! COME ON!!!"|
Okay! Back through the timeline portal you came from Rick. Mr. Poopy Butthole says "hi".
Yeesh! That was a mess. Anyway, like I said, expect to see new commentary from me and Trevor in February. In the mean time though, I'll embed all of the commentaries we did the first time. Whether it's your first time seeing them or your 10,000,000,000,000,000,000th time, enjoy!