Thursday, February 10, 2005

Overlooked Genius-Bob Clampett

I wanted to spotlight another animation influence of mine and he is one of the most overlooked ( I feel ) animation directors who came out of Warner Brothers "Termite Terrace", Bob Clampett. Among Termite Terrace's alums were Chuck Jones and Tex Avery who Bob actually started as an animator under.

Tex gets a lot of credit for coming up with the zany "Warner's style" but it was Bob Clampett that actually was the animator on a majority of those early Warner's Tex cartoons. In fact the two men worked together and collaborated on some of what I personally feel are some of the best early shorts...I guess I just love watching Daffy jumping around "Woo-Wooing" everywhere. I also remember my animation teacher in school going frame by frame on an animation sequence that Bob Clampett had directed. In one frame Bugs' hand stretched so wide and then in the next frame grew double the size. It was the first time I saw a "blur" frame and I was amazed...It was something I had seen a hundred times, but never really knew what was happening, to me, it was like watching a hummingbird in slow motion..I was amazed!

Bob then moved up to director and made the some of the more bizarre and best cartoons during his 9 years as an animation director at Warners he had an amazing sense of outrageousness and parody..The one I loved was "The great Piggy Bank Robbery" where Daffy was Duck Twacy, but I remember it more for a henchman named "Neon Noodle" which was a Frankenstein shaped neon light, that was defeated when Daffy turned him into the "Eat at Joe's" sign. He also was the director of the rarely-seen "Coal Black and the Sebben Dwarfs" which has been deemed to racist to be shown anymore.

Truth be told I think that Bob Clampett's work is the most often butchered by TNT and Cartoon Network. He had characters shoot themselves, each other, and display some of the greatest cartoon violence ever. But any violence, even cartoon, just dosen't fly in today's PC world. But thank God for DVD and Turner Classic Movies which has a great spotlight show called "Cartoon Alley" which airs all Warner Brothers toons uncut and even airs some of the WWII cartoons.

So check out the Clampett related links below

Great overall site on Bob Clampett


1 comment:

Newsquirt said...

great post Tony. Clampett is one of the best. Ive been watching some of the Best of Looney Tunes DVD's that I recently got.