Sunday, July 11, 2021

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Some more commentary from me


 I've managed to have yet another opportunity to do some commentary on Youtube talking about cartoons and whatnot.  In recent years I've done some with Trevor Thompson (you can revisit some of my commentaries with him right here).  But this time around I've done with another fellow Looney Tunes enthusiast named Anthony Kotorac.  I'm in Canada and he's in Australia, but ultra modern technology allowed us to do this commentary in real time at the same time (within vastly different time zones of course).  For the recording, we both relaxed.  


I.... like... fired up the Coleman and put on some back bacon, eh.  







He put his "shrimp on the barbie".







....and we were underway.

To hear our scintillating commentary, you'll have to of course go right to Anthony's channel, which you can do at this link here.  I highly recommend subscribing to his channel while you're there.  The task he's set for himself is to do commentary for every Looney Tunes cartoon ever made and doing so in the chronological order in which they were released.  Here's the first video he did talking about the "one that started it all":


As you can hear, he did a fine job there.  That was a cartoon made in 1929.  The cartoons that he and I just recorded were released in 1944.  So,  you can well imagine, he's done many commentary videos so far and he has many many more to do for the next big while.  Like I said, subscribe to his channel now and get his numbers way up there.

I do know that commentary on a video can seem tedious for anything you haven't seen before. So, with that in mind, I'll provide full video files of the two cartoons that we did.  The first one we did was The Weakly Reporter:


The next one we did was Duck Soup to Nuts:


There we go. So now that you've watched both of those cartoons, you can ready for when our commentary videos are available on his channel.  Have fun!

Friday, April 02, 2021

An episode of Dudley Do-Right with some wonderful and familiar animation

 

I was revisiting some of my Rocky & Bullwinkle DVDs recently when I happened to come across this particular episode of Dudley Do-Right.  It's called Flicker Rock. I've embedded it above for your viewing pleasure.  Storywise, it's about the same as any other episode. However, something about it caught my eye.  The animation throughout the entire episode really stands out for me.  It's rather fluid nature (fluid especially for a show with the most limited animation) and somewhat angular posing reminds me of the work of Rod Scribner.



My most popular post on this rickety old blog of mine is the one I did about Rod Scribner way back in 2006. I did briefly mention that he worked on George of the Jungle, but he did lots of work at the Jay Ward studio really.  Every once in a while you can see something that looks "Scribner-esque" in any of Jay Ward's projects.  It is an absolute treat to be watching a cartoon wether from WB from the units of Hardaway-Dalton, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, or Bob McKimson as well as anything from Jay Ward, JC Melendez, or any animated commercials from the 50's & 60's and to discover some of Scribner's work just standing out like a sparkly diamond.

In tribute to this wonderful discovery of Scribner's work in Dudley Do-Right, I have attempted a "Scribner inspired" rendering of Rocky & Bullwinkle.

"But that trick never works!!"


Does it measure up? Feel free to leave a comment.  Either way, thank you, Rod, for sharing your immense artistic gift with the world.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Tex Avery is and should be celebrated


 It's that time of year again. This is when I use this humble blog of mine to acknowledge the brith date of the biggest animation genius the world has ever seen......... Tex Avery.  If medical science had advanced far enough that we were able to preserve the life and prevent the death of anyone at any age, Tex would've turned 113 today.  I'd like to think he'd be celebrating by sharing many beers with his friends and fans alike.

Since I've started this blog I've talked about many aspects of Tex's life, films, and career. Whenever this time of year comes, I can always find something about him to blog about.  Well, this year, of course there's something of his that's extra special and is definitely a huge part in building and securing his legacy.  I'm referring to, of course, Tex's washing machine that he bought in 1931.



Ha HA! Fooled ya............... and yes, McGee, it was funny.

What I AM referring to are the bluray disks that were released in 2020.




Tex Avery's MGM "Screwball Classics" Vol 1 aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand 2.  I've got them both and they are excellent.  There's a great selection of cartoons to watch on both volumes and they all look crisp and clean on my TV.  Observe:






There are 19 cartoons on Vol 1 and there are 21 cartoons on Vol 2. By my count, there are 23 of Tex's MGM cartoons not on Bluray.  So that means Vol 3 could be the final release and would thus make Tex's entire MGM filmography available to the public, and that would be a great thing.

However, there are two cartoons that the Warner Archives would have to tiptoe around.  If you've heard of the Censored 11, these would be Tex's "Censored 2".  They are the cartoons Uncle Tom's Cabana and Half Pint Pygmy.  If you haven't seen those cartoons at all, I'm sure you can tell by the titles alone as to why they'd be a problem.  They shouldn't be left off entirely of course. Fans want a complete collection and film preservation is very important for respecting ones culture.


What Disney has done with cartoons they consider "problematic" is to put them in a "From The Vault" section.  A similar treatment could be done for the cartoons mentioned above.

Hey, speaking about preserving ones culture, I'd like to use this blogpost to pitch something that I think would be equally as good as a bluray release of his filmography.  It's something I've talked about online for many years and I think it's high time it happened.  I think a Tex Avery biographical movie should be made.  It would be much like that one about Walt Disney called Walt Before Mickey:


Although, I hope the Tex biopic won't be so full of glaring errors. (One of those many errors is the portrayal of Friz Freleng. The actor was fine but the writers got his persona all wrong. But that's a whole other blogpost for a whole other day).

The online discussions I had with people about a Tex biopic were simply about who would play which person. Could Jack Black play Tex Avery? Could Matt Damon play Chuck Jones? Maybe Jim Belushi could portray Leon Schlesinger or Fred Quimby?  But that's all moot. We don't need big stars to play these parts. We just need young capable actors who can be given the correct overview of Tex's and others' personality and portray it well.  However, I can think of one celebrity that might be persuaded into producing it:


Jack Nicholson. Yes, THAT Jack Nicholson.  I say this because he has a nostalgic affection for that era of Hollywood animation. He started his career as a young lad working as an assistant in the MGM animation department.  

A caricature of young Jack can be seen on the far right.

He would do lots of menial tasks for Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera while they kept cranking out their Tom & Jerrys.  I'm not sure if he did anything for Tex Avery at all, but I have read that Tex did pull young Jack into his office just to pitch a gag idea and see if it was funny enough.  I think that might entice Mr. Nicholson onboard.  He could easily have a say in who would portray a young him (probably not Christian Slater though).

Anyway, happy 113th birthday, Tex.  Whether this biopic idea of mine comes to fruition or not, I will definitely continue to enjoy all of the blurays and I hope everyone reading this will do the same.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

The Pepe Le Pew commentaries are back on

 Hey, yeah, remember how I said there would be video commentary with me and the Looney Tunes Critic put up on his channel?  Well, I overshot that announcement by almost exactly one year.  I'll let Trevor Thomson, the man himself, explain:

I didn't know he had a "situation" going on. And I'm sure Covid-19 didn't exactly help things either.  Oh well. I'm glad he's slowly but surely getting back on his feet and continues to keep trucking along with his channel. Here's hoping he'll get that coveted Golden Play Button someday soon.


Like he said, the commentaries we did will appear on his channel every Saturday during the month of February 2021 (barring any other unexpected roadblocks).  The first one will appear this coming Saturday February 6th. Don't forget to "toon" in.

I'd also like to expand a bit on what Trevor said about what the women in his life said about Pepe.  They do make an accurate assertion when they say that poor Penelope the Cat has no agency and is completely at the mercy of this "chad skunk".  They're not wrong.  You can see it in this exchange from the cartoon Scent-imental Romeo:

"...sontez vous, sontez vous wherever you..." 

"...are."

BONGGGGGGG!

"Flirt"


Just look at the horror in Penelope's eyes.  She is essentially living in #MeToo Hell.  "That mallet to the skull wasn't enough to stop him???!!!", her face seems to scream as she stares into the crippling abyss of what she realizes is her life now.


If you've seen even one Pepe Le Pew cartoon, you know for sure that she cannot run and
she cannot hide and EVEN BRUTAL BLUNT PHYSICAL ASSAULT won't stop this indestructible romeo. What are her options? She's like Sarah Conner running away from a combination of Warren Beatty and The Terminator.

I like their comparison to the women in Johnny Bravo who are not so put upon and have all of the resources to resist and fend off Johnny's advances.  They're living a better life for sure.  But, of course, I don't believe for a second creator Chuck Jones' intentions was to take pleasure in watching a female cat get psychologically tortured.  As I mentioned on a blogpost I made about Pepe Le Pew many moons ago, Chuck's inspiration was him watching writer Tedd Pierce constantly trying to woo any one of the Ink & Paint girls even though he hadn't bathed for a few days.  The lack of self-awareness on Tedd's part along with the awkward discomfort of the poor lady trying to escape the encounter are comically exaggerated in the Pepe/Penelope dynamic.  That's all that's happening.  As per other examples, if anyone in real life saw the violent way Moe interacted with Curly....


....or the volatile and often condescending manner in which Basil dealt with Manuel on Fawlty Towers...


...so many Human Resource Centres wouldn't hesitate to draw up paperwork to help extract these people from such an abusive situation.  That is certainly not cooperative human behaviour.  

There's also that trope in cartoons that most often cats are tortured for our amusement, as the filmographies of Sylvester, Tom, and Catnip can demonstrate:




Penelope could just be one of many cartoon cats that suffers a different yet similar fate.

However, all of these scenarios were made to laugh at human foibles, not to celebrate them.  In other words, it's just comedy.

But, of course, it being comedy, one is tempted to ask if the comedy is funny or not.  That right there is just simply open to a wide variety of opinions, none more valuable than the next.  Whether you find Pepe Le Pew funny or not is completely up to you.

In my opinion, he may not be the funniest, but he is certainly a wonderfully elegant character made elegant in a way only Chuck Jones could've achieved and fully deserves his Oscar win.  I know pretty much every animation enthusiast reading this knows full well Pepe Le Pew's oscar win is the truth.  But, I think some casual greenhorn fans might be doubting such a win.  Well, for them, I will en this post with footage of the cartoon For Scent-imental Reasons winning that very award.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Hey, did you ever see a uterus lifting weights before?


 My own sister commissioned this from me the other day right out of the blue.  She wanted me to, whenever I had a spare moment, draw a uterus lifting weights.  I'm not sure why. I think she may have needed it to win an argument on the internet somewhere.  If so then I hope that stupid bastard got ratioed all the way to hell and back and so now has to reflect and do a lot of soul searching.

I guess that could work for anyone with any presence on the internet right now.  If you see some jag off on Facebook, Twitter, Minds, Gab, Telegram, or any other obscure social media site you frequent, saying something several light years beyond stupid like...

Well, you just show Mr. Brainless that above illustration and PROVE HIM WRONG!!!


Oh, and also, it's "uteri".

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The combatants


If these two entered into battle who would win? 

The answer could shock you!!! 

Or annoy you!

Or you could just say "meh" and keep scrolling.

But, no matter how you react to these two, the answer to that above question WILL AFFECT YOUR LIFE........... in some significant way I'm sure.