Baker's Animation Showcase

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:45 pm



An early Ralph Bakshi cartoon. He directed and animated the whole short himself.

There was a big spy craze in media at the time, largely due to the popularity of "James Bond", with shows like "Get Smart" and "Mission Impossible" airing around the time, so cartoons cashing in on that is unsurprising. Terrytoons had "James Hound", with a canine secret agent working for his chief, whose face is never seen, only appearing through his voice and his arms popping up.

Ralph Bakshi directed most of the cartoons, designing the characters in the process. James Hound later made an appearance in an episode of Bakshi's "Mighty Mouse" show, abet redesigned from the original cartoons.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:12 am



This is burned in my mind from my childhood because Cartoon Network aired this a few times back in the late 1990s. Guy falls in love with a monkey girl and evidently had kids.

Cartoons are weird, yo :-I

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:37 pm



CinemaScope was groundbreaking in cinema, a way to see movies in really wide screen. It was developed by 20th Century Fox, who owned the patent, but they licensed it out to other studios. Disney was one of the early adapters, and produced "Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom" with it. Released in 1953, it was the first cartoon made in that format. UPA and MGM soon followed with making cartoons in CinemaScope.

20th Century Fox never held any ownership over the Terrytoons studio, but they did have a distribution deal with them for years at this point, which is how they were able to twist the arms of a studio infamous for being "behind the times" to adapt to the widescreen format. This complicated things, however, because around this time CBS purchased the studio. Terrytoons was one of the first animation studios to adapt to television, possibly the only thing Paul Terry was ahead of the curve on (In addition to it being an easy buck for Terry, I wonder if seeing his nephew's success on "Crusader Rabbit" also played a role on him jumping to television?)

The solution was simple: have all the important elements in the center, which made the left and right side of the screen rather pointless, but you gotta do what you can to satisfy two sets of demands.

MGM and UPA both stopped making theatrical cartoons before the 1950s were over, and Disney disbanded the shorts division around the same time, but Terrytoons stuck around much longer (it shut down in 1970). Consequently they produced cartoons in CinemaScope much longer, although by 1960 they started producing cartoons in 4:3 ratio again, likely because they were gearing up towards making cartoons for television, with "Deputy Dawg" debuting in syndication in 1959.

Although, regardless of whether those cartoons were made for theaters or television, there was barely any difference in animation quality, except that some of them were made in widescreen. As the years went on, fewer and fewer cartoons were made in that format. Finally they stopped entirely in 1963, with the cartoon above, "Spooky-Yaki", being their final CinemaScope release.

The cartoon is nothing special. It starred Hashimoto, a Japanese mouse character created by Tokyo-born animator Bob Kuwahara that I talked about before. This wound up being this character's final cartoon as well.

The credited animators are Ralph Bakshi and Cosmo Anzilotti. Bakshi needs no introduction, but Anzilotti had a long career in animation. He and Bakshi went to school together, and it was through him that Bakshi got a job at Terrytoons in the first place. Anzilotti worked for Bakshi even after leaving Terrytoons (including "Fritz the Cat") before they went separate paths. The last place Anzilotti worked was at Cartoon Network, where he worked on shows like "Johnny Bravo" as a producer.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:17 am

I won't go into details yet, but I've been watching a lot of Deputy Dawg cartoons lately for an article I'm helping out. Suffice to say, I think I learned way more about the series and its development than I anticipated.

Here's an episode



So, listen closely to the voice tracks and you may notice that, whenever somebody says Muskie Muskrat's name, there's a VERY obvious audio splice.

If the character doesn't look like a muskrat, there's a reason for it, let's just say.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Sun May 02, 2021 10:59 pm



My first exposure to "The Far Side" was though the 1994 animated special, "Tales from the Far Side", that aired on CBS as a Halloween special that year. I was astounded by the bizarre nature of the special and it stuck with me for years. I later learned it was based on a comic (it's been gone for several years by the time I watched this special on a VHS tape).

The special was directed by Marv Newland, whom people might remember for his student film "Bambi Meets Godzilla". I think the team-up between him and Larson was a match made in heaven.

There are multiple versions of the special, as it turns out. Gary Larson re-edited it and put out a "creator's cut" in 1999, with enhanced sound effects, restoring deleted scenes that didn't air in the CBS broadcast, as well as changing the pacing in some of the gags. I think I prefer the CBS cut, to be honest, but oh well.

Here's a scene from the special. That scene of the wolf watching a home movie was always sad. :fluttersmith:

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon May 10, 2021 10:31 pm



John Callahan was certainly a controversial cartoonist. He was a quadriplegic cartoonist who made no bones about what it's like being disabled. He drew numerous autobiographical cartoons about it, and some of those ideas later became a basis for a kids cartoon "Pelswick", which aired on Nickelodeon for a short time.

Callahan made this animation about his alcoholism, including how he became wheelchair bound after getting into a car accident due to his friend drunk driving. Just a heads up that there's a lot of cartoon puking.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Tue May 11, 2021 1:36 am



Frank Tashlin had an eventful career, being a newspaper cartoonist, animator, director on both live-action and animated films, you name it. I always felt he was a great Looney Tunes director, but he's often overshadowed by Chuck Jones and others.

He also wrote children's books. One of them, "The Bear That Wasn't", was turned into a short by Chuck Jones, but another one of his books, "The Possum That Didn't" (notice a pattern in the titles?), was also turned into a cartoon by Pterodactyl Productions.

The short's animator, Milton Gray, is a rather polarizing figure in the animation industry. I won't go into details, but despite having a big ego he was never a fantastic artist. For a while was part of John K's clique, although I don't think he and John were ever that close; he never actually worked on any of his shows, but he shared a lot of John's opinions about animation.

Gray does continue to work in animation today, working on shows like "The Simpsons" and "Gravity Falls", but they were mainly as an animation timer, a job that doesn't require drawing. He also has a webcomic, but I should warn you they're NSFW and poorly drawn.

The animation in this cartoon is serviceable, but that's largely because he was working off of other people's art.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon May 31, 2021 2:39 am

Total Television is one of those animation companies that I have mixed feelings about. Their cartoons were VERY repetitive. If one were to talk about cartoons with formulaic episode plots, TTV has you beat. See one episode, you've seen them all, etc.

But at the same time, these cartoons were fun to watch, with fun characters and voice work. Unusually for a cartoon of its time period, they occasionally had continuity between episodes, where events from one episode would be revisited in a later one. So there was a sense of self-awareness with the formulaic storylines, where characters would realize this and subvert it.

The best part was, no doubt, the theme songs. They KNEW how to write theme songs, and they flexed that muscle.

TTV had several ideas that never got off the ground, one of them being "Cauliflower Cabby", about a taxi cab driver who's a superhero. The concept seems to be influenced by their successful "Underdog", complete with a Sweet Polly clone for the female lead.

The pilot was later included in a syndication package for "Underdog", so it was eventually shown in local stations. There's a catchy theme song in the beginning.


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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:29 am



While I'm on Total Television, if I had to name one series that I really like, it's Commander McBragg. These 90-second cartoons featured the titular McBragg telling stories of his past to random guys in a Gentlemen's Club, which are obvious BS (although there were a couple of episodes where the stories he told seemed to have truth). These are always fun just for how outlandish his stories are, which always ends with the other guy making a pun, which Commander replies "Quiet" (see what I mean about TTV having a formula? They can work well, tho)

These aired on "Underdog" originally, but those cartoons were later included in other syndication packages that General Mills had, including repeats of Tennessee Tuxedo and Dudley Do-Right.

Commander McBragg made a cameo in an episode of "The Simpsons", where he was part of a rich men's club alongside Mr. Burns. Maurice LaMarche voiced him in that episode (he was voiced by Kenny Delmar in the original cartoons).

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Wed Jul 07, 2021 12:58 pm



One of those cartoons that was very relevant when it came out in 1946. There was a housing crisis in the US immediately after the War, which lead to a push for more affordable housing to be built. The pig family's struggle to finding a new place to live was something many family had to deal with.

This is an original theatrical version. When this cartoon was later syndicated to TV stations the "2,600 years ago, Aesop said..." card at the end was edited out (at least on the TV station print I own for this cartoon).

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Wed Jul 07, 2021 1:10 pm

interesting
ImageImage Image Image

;) ❤️ :twasnothin: ❤️ :fancyhat:

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:31 pm



Nothing else to say other than that I'm awaiting for the MST3K version of this movie.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by DaikatunaRevengeance (?) » Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:38 pm

dr. chin
ImageImage Image Image

;) ❤️ :twasnothin: ❤️ :fancyhat:

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Thu Jul 08, 2021 2:23 pm

DaikatunaRevengeance wrote:
Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:38 pm
dr. chin
Tom Menkin's finest role

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Tue Jul 13, 2021 2:52 am



Richard Condie was one of the greats at National Film Board of Canada. "The Big Snit" is an all-time classic, about a couple squabbing over a game of Scrabble while a nuclear apocalypse is going on. Condie's distinct squiggly animation style is hard to miss.

"Oh Sure" was Condie's first film, which he did in the early 1970s, funded through a grant provided by the Canada Council. The film, less than 2 minutes long, is less polished compared to Condie's later films, but the sense of humor present would expand in his later films.

After completion, National Film Board of Canada bought the rights and distributed it. Condie did a bunch more films directly for the NFB after that.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:50 am



An early animation from Mike Judge. It's short, but it has his hallmark. I love it.

"You oughta be locked up! YOU PROBABLY SMOKE, TOO!"

"Militant activists against everything."

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:23 am



I'm not big on "storytime animation" as much, but one that I genuinely enjoy watching is BrewStew.

He stands out in a few ways: he very much focuses more on the uglier side of growing up, decidedly "un-cute". Also, he swears a lot more than, say, Odd1sOut :-I

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:51 pm



This used to air on Nickelodeon years ago as a filler. Cats doing cat things. I love it :3

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Fri Aug 13, 2021 2:53 am



Some of you may remember those anti-drug PSAs from the 1980s, but here's one that came earlier, circa 1969. This was made at Warner Bros animation studio during the Seven Arts era (remember Cool Cat?), likely directed by Bob McKimson, although there's no screen credit. Bill Lava did the music.

Warner Bros-Seven Arts did a bunch of anti-drug animated shorts (with very, very minimal animation) for Lockheed that was similar format to this, but featuring cavemen instead for reasons nobody knows. I don't know if this short was part of the Lockheed deal, although they decided not to use cavemen for this one (well, for the most part. They reused one of the cavemen animation in the 2:15 mark. The guy in bed is wearing cavemen loincloth, even if the bedsheet mostly covers it).

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:13 pm



I have a lot of cartoons on 16mm (and some in 35mm) I'd love to get digitized, although for cost reasons I can only do little at a time.

I got a few digitized this past weekend, though, courtesy of FemboyFilms (yeah yeah that name I know, but they do good restoration work), including a couple of my 35mm prints. This is one of them.

This was a student film Mo Willems did in NYU back in the early 1990s, a silly cartoon about, well, a man who yelled. It was shown in festival circuits. Mo Willems would go on to have an animation career before moving into children's books.

Note about the print: this being a student film, it was originally photographed in 16mm, but for festival screenings (which is where this print came from) it was "blown up" to 35mm, hence why the picture isn't as sharp, although still a better copy than a VHS copy that's online.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Fri Sep 03, 2021 4:28 pm



More digital transfers from my film collection, a Hector Heathcote cartoon in CinemaScope (one of the handful they did in widescreen), from a 16mm Technicolor print.

This one proved to be a challenge to transfer because the film was warped (common occurrence in Tech prints, I noticed), so they had to run this through a few times just to get a decent scan. Note that some parts become blurry for split second, which happens with warped prints unless there's a warp gate that presses the film down during scanning.

A common error I notice in these CinemaScope cartoons, especially those from Terrytoons, is that there are light gleams from the animation cels on the left side of the screen. These don't show up in pan-and-scan prints (and in cartoons shot on 4:3 ratio), but they're all over in this short. Also they kept accidentally photographing the edge of the animation table on the left in some shots, including the title sequence.

I guess this is a long-winded way of saying photographing cels in widescreen was HARD.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:00 am



Here's a retro classic that's been parodied many times, including the intro to the "Aqua Teen" movie.

Exactly who made this is largely lost to time, but apparently Dave Fleischer had a hand in it. There's not much to be said about Dave Fleischer's career after he got ousted from the Fleischer Studios in Miami (long story) since he didn't really do anything noteworthy.

Here's a good article about Dave Flesicher's career after leaving Fleischer Studio, tho.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Sep 20, 2021 3:51 pm



Cubby Bear was a character that appeared in a set of cartoons by the Van Beuren company, an animation studio from the 1930s that very much defined the "rubber hose" style associated with the company. Van Beuren was a New York studio, but they outsourced three of them to Harman and Ising in Hollywood (note that their names are misspelled in the credits). This one features Cubby flying around the world. Stereotypical depictions appear, as one would expect (see thumbnail).

However, what makes this particular cartoon stand out is that Adolf Hitler is caricatured in the 6 minute mark, possibly the earliest known American cartoon to feature him. As this was released years before WWII, Hitler is depicted neutrally here. Once US entered the War in the 1940s animators would portray him more harshly, including Harman and Ising (Van Beuren has closed down by then).

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Sun Sep 26, 2021 12:44 pm



One of Richard Condie's early films. This is a humorous retelling of the disastrous economic crash resulting from the Mississippi Bubble bursting in France in late 1710s. This happened the same time as the South Sea Bubble in Britain (which the film brings up in the end). Some historians have argued that the economic crash from the Bubble burst was one of the contributing factors to the French Revolution, which occurred about 50 years after.

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:32 am



This is one of those things that only I will care about. "The Pink Panther Laugh and a Half/Hour and a Half" was a 90-minute block of cartoons that aired on NBC Saturday Mornings in 1976.

This was a massive compilation of old Panther theatrical shorts, along with "The Ant and the Aardvark", "The Inspector" (actually referred to as Clouseau in the theme song, which rarely happened), "Texas Toads" (originally "Tijuana Toads", but reworked to remove racial stereotypes), and "Misterjaw"

Of all the cartoons i listed, "Misterjaw" was the only one that was brand new, the rest being old cartoons repackaged. As a result, he was featured in the theme song a lot, including his signature "GOTCHA"

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Re: Baker's Animation Showcase

Post by Mr. Big (?) » Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:59 am



Back in the 1970s Chuck Jones did a show called "The Curiosity Shop", which aired on ABC Saturday Mornings (he was in charge of the block at the time). The show had a bunch of animated shorts based on newspaper comics of the era, like "Wizard of Id", "Miss Peach", and, as above, "B.C."

The cartoons were directed by Jones' former animator, Abe Levitow. It seemed like B.C. was to Levitow as Peanuts was to Bill Melendez. Levitow directed a bunch of other animations with the B.C. characters, including a series of commercials and even a TV special, "B.C.: The First Thanksgiving", aired in 1973.

The Thanksgiving special wound up being Levitow's last major project that he completed. Less than 2 years later, he was dead at age 52 from cancer. At the time he was set to direct "Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure", but Richard Williams took over production when Levitow passed away.

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