SuperMuppet64
2023-11-09T00:28:06Z
i dont think anyone here is trying to tell you that van beuren's output is "100% good." what's happening here, as i see it, is if your goal is to critically engage with these cartoons, things here are going to be up to debate and people are going to offer their eye and interpretation of the films and their historical context. i dont believe it's so much an attempt to tell you to 180 your attitude on VB but to offer an alternative view and allow you to consider thoughts you may have missed beforehand
ArcLordOne
2023-11-09T00:38:25Z
I'm backing out. Opinions are not welcome, apparently, since all I did was state one without saying anyone should agree, and have gotten (mildly) bashed for not being a total partisan for a cartoon studio.
PopKorn Kat
2023-11-09T02:08:50Z
Mr. Hale, none of us are trying to "persuade" you that Van Beuren is "100% good" and anyone who disagrees should have an anvil launched on their head. If you give an opinion, you're going to get an opinion, and those sort of opinions may be ones you harshly disagree with. That's how debate works. We want to give you additional historical context and insight that you may have missed. However, attitudes like "opinions are not welcome here apparently" make you look closed-minded, and I'd strongly advise you to approach them carefully in the future.
HectorJeckle
2023-11-09T16:49:35Z
Originally Posted by: ArcLordOne 

I'm backing out. Opinions are not welcome, apparently, since all I did was state one without saying anyone should agree, and have gotten (mildly) bashed for not being a total partisan for a cartoon studio.



I don't understand your reaction: you act as if you've been attacked, whereas no one here has shown any aggression towards you.

As your previous interlocutors have rightly pointed out, we have never sought to change your opinion of VB, but simply to offer you a different view of this studio.

I also recommended that you see some of the studio's good cartoons, something you totally ignored even though some of them are historically important, and this altitude makes me think that it's you and you alone who don't accept other people's opinions.

Please be open-minded, it will do you a world of good.
Bobby Bickert
2023-11-09T22:05:42Z
Originally Posted by: SuperMuppet64 

i confess to not being knowledgeable on the history of the early days of animation, but i wouldn't be surprised if rotoscoping helped animators understand movement better. that alone would be pretty important



ArcLordOne wrote:

For that Fleischer comment, rotoscoping hardly contributed anything good to animation. Everybody knows it looks awkward. To quote Messmer: "Why animate something you can see in real life?".



I'd better get this in before this thread gets locked...

A hula dancer was rotoscoped so Betty could accurately hula dance in "Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle":



Compare to WB's "Pagan Moon" from the same year:




Moving ahead to the early Famous Studios years, rotoscoping was used so Popeye could accurately dance the samba in "We're On Our Way To Rio":




And moving to another studio, there's the rotoscoped Hitler in "Daffy the Commando":

Bobby Bickert
2023-11-09T22:21:20Z
S. C. MacPeter[/quote wrote:

Muppet, you're right about rotoscoping and I admit most rotoscoped footage is handled poorly. That said, the method did allow for more movement on budget, and better yet, as pointed out, taught animators movement. The best rotoscoped pieces are those where only keys and poses are directly traced from the footage, with inbetweens and extremes animated traditionally. You get good work from that, see ALL THE CATS JOIN IN  from Disney. I'll leave it as that as this thread is being dragged into the wrong direction, but you should think about a few of these things.



ArcLordOne wrote:

I didn't know All the Cats Joined in was Rotoscoped. I think it was mostly Milt Kahl, who could give that impression, even though he's always fun to watch, unlike rotoscoping. Its pre-UPA stylistics is fun.



I thought that "All the Cats Join In" was mostly animated by Fred Moore? Those are definitely "Freddie Moore girls".

Jimmy Two Shoes
2023-11-16T05:10:29Z
The silent Aesop's Fables produced by Van Beuren, particularly those produced in the late 20s, are really successful, and their wild humor prefigures in some ways the humor that would be developed years later by the Termite Terrace gang.

The first Aesop's Sound Fables are much less funny than the silent fables, but they manage to compensate for their lack of humor with a strange, disquieting atmosphere that is particularly perceptible in the Waffles and Don shorts. Unfortunately, under the influence of Disney, the studio eventually abandoned scary cartoons in favor of cute and sweet ones; the Silvery Moon cartoon and especially the Cubby Bear series are telling examples of this change in studio policy.

But disaster struck when Burt Gillett, a former Disney employee, was appointed head of the studio. Gillett destroyed the soul of Van Beuren's cartoons, turning them into a pathetic plagiarism of the Silly Symphonies, from which point on all their cartoons became insipid and completely uninteresting.
Jimmy Two Shoes
2023-11-16T06:13:05Z
Originally Posted by: ArcLordOne 

Originally Posted by: Bobby Bickert 

A quote from Robert McKimson (probably not exact): "They could barely draw, let alone animate. Popeye cartoons are horrible."

A quote from someone (maybe Shamus Culhane, I can't remember), again probably not exact: "The ones who were satisfied with the bad drawing, the not-too-thought-out timing and the simpleminded stories stayed at Fleischer. The ones who wanted to make better pictures went to Disney."


(And I don't agree with either one of them.)


Why? Would you say the drawing in the later Fleischers were on a par with West Coast? It seemed coincidental men like Dick Huemer, Warren Foster, Mike Maltese, Culhane, Al Eugster, and others all left and became legends. Who lists Dave Tendlar with Ward Kimball?

As for Culhane, he should know, since he got flak for his "art school s--t" at the Miami studio. Shame on him, for wanting to worry about timing, gags, detail, etc...

You can like Fleischers, but don't pretend they're the high point of animation art, which sounds like what you're suggesting.



Al Eugster and Shamus Culhane were both ingrates who spent their time belittling Fleischer and telling them how they should do their jobs, and Fleischer was absolutely right to set them straight. Let's not forget that the Fleischers have been working in animation much longer than Eugster and Culhane, and that it was the Fleischers who trained the latter to become animators. So to see these same people lecturing other animators and criticizing their work on the pretext that they had worked at Disney must have pissed off a lot of people at the Miami studio, so the Fleischers decided to put them in their place, and rightly so.
Bobby Bickert
2023-11-16T21:55:38Z
Originally Posted by: Jimmy Two Shoes 

Originally Posted by: ArcLordOne 

Originally Posted by: Bobby Bickert 

A quote from Robert McKimson (probably not exact): "They could barely draw, let alone animate. Popeye cartoons are horrible."

A quote from someone (maybe Shamus Culhane, I can't remember), again probably not exact: "The ones who were satisfied with the bad drawing, the not-too-thought-out timing and the simpleminded stories stayed at Fleischer. The ones who wanted to make better pictures went to Disney."


(And I don't agree with either one of them.)


Why? Would you say the drawing in the later Fleischers were on a par with West Coast? It seemed coincidental men like Dick Huemer, Warren Foster, Mike Maltese, Culhane, Al Eugster, and others all left and became legends. Who lists Dave Tendlar with Ward Kimball?

As for Culhane, he should know, since he got flak for his "art school s--t" at the Miami studio. Shame on him, for wanting to worry about timing, gags, detail, etc...

You can like Fleischers, but don't pretend they're the high point of animation art, which sounds like what you're suggesting.



Al Eugster and Shamus Culhane were both ingrates who spent their time belittling Fleischer and telling them how they should do their jobs, and Fleischer was absolutely right to set them straight. Let's not forget that the Fleischers have been working in animation much longer than Eugster and Culhane, and that it was the Fleischers who trained the latter to become animators. So to see these same people lecturing other animators and criticizing their work on the pretext that they had worked at Disney must have pissed off a lot of people at the Miami studio, so the Fleischers decided to put them in their place, and rightly so.



And yet Al Eugster stayed on through the transition to Famous Studios. (And he had been promoted to head animator by then.) He only left because he was drafted. He returned after the war; I read somewhere that his first animation after the war was the ending of "House Tricks?". He soon was a head animator again and wasn't let go in 1956/1957 like other longtime head animators like Dave Tendlar and Myron Waldman. He stayed at the studio into the 1960's, including working with Shamus Culhane again. He might have still been there when the studio closed for good in 1967.
Jimmy Two Shoes
2023-11-17T03:28:04Z
Originally Posted by: Bobby Bickert 

Originally Posted by: Jimmy Two Shoes 

Originally Posted by: ArcLordOne 

Originally Posted by: Bobby Bickert 

A quote from Robert McKimson (probably not exact): "They could barely draw, let alone animate. Popeye cartoons are horrible."

A quote from someone (maybe Shamus Culhane, I can't remember), again probably not exact: "The ones who were satisfied with the bad drawing, the not-too-thought-out timing and the simpleminded stories stayed at Fleischer. The ones who wanted to make better pictures went to Disney."


(And I don't agree with either one of them.)


Why? Would you say the drawing in the later Fleischers were on a par with West Coast? It seemed coincidental men like Dick Huemer, Warren Foster, Mike Maltese, Culhane, Al Eugster, and others all left and became legends. Who lists Dave Tendlar with Ward Kimball?

As for Culhane, he should know, since he got flak for his "art school s--t" at the Miami studio. Shame on him, for wanting to worry about timing, gags, detail, etc...

You can like Fleischers, but don't pretend they're the high point of animation art, which sounds like what you're suggesting.



Al Eugster and Shamus Culhane were both ingrates who spent their time belittling Fleischer and telling them how they should do their jobs, and Fleischer was absolutely right to set them straight. Let's not forget that the Fleischers have been working in animation much longer than Eugster and Culhane, and that it was the Fleischers who trained the latter to become animators. So to see these same people lecturing other animators and criticizing their work on the pretext that they had worked at Disney must have pissed off a lot of people at the Miami studio, so the Fleischers decided to put them in their place, and rightly so.



And yet Al Eugster stayed on through the transition to Famous Studios. (And he had been promoted to head animator by then.) He only left because he was drafted. He returned after the war; I read somewhere that his first animation after the war was the ending of "House Tricks?". He soon was a head animator again and wasn't let go in 1956/1957 like other longtime head animators like Dave Tendlar and Myron Waldman. He stayed at the studio into the 1960's, including working with Shamus Culhane again. He might have still been there when the studio closed for good in 1967.



Yes, but that's mainly because the Fleischers were fired in the meantime, which meant that Al Eugster had much more freedom to impose Disney's methods on the studio.
PopKorn Kat
2023-11-17T06:51:51Z
I think this conversation is heading away from the topic of Van Beuren (again). I feel I should advise you to create a topic on New York animators if you wish to continue on.
Ignacio Coltero
2024-02-05T06:34:11Z
Originally Posted by: ArcLordOne 


Yeah, a few are cute, but most of it horrifies me. I might be biased; I'm more interested in the evolution of the cartoon into an at form, so I'm more partial to the A studios (Disney, Warner Bros, MGM, UPA) than the Bs (Fleischer, VB, Mintz, etc...).

I don't think it would've been possible for even Huemer-Davis-Marcus to fix them, since even Gillett couldn't! It was the work ethic. When Shamus Culhane tried to apply some Disney finesse to the Miami Fleischers, they sneered at the whole idea.



On the contrary, I think these animators could have been extremely beneficial to the studio, as the main weakness of Van Beuren cartoons was that they had no coherent artistic direction, and this often led to chaotic results. It's clear that VB's artists didn't know which way to go with their cartoons, and among the many examples I could cite is the cartoon Spring Antics (1932), which begins with an extraordinarily scary opening, suggesting that everything else in the cartoon will be scary, but then abruptly takes a completely different path and becomes cute and childlike.

By contrast, the Fleischer cartoons knew perfectly well which way they should go, and they always stuck to it, even in their least convincing efforts.

引用:

But it's Harry Bailey's Aesop's Fables series that stands out as the most daring of its time, some of his shorts like PANICKY PUP and ROUGHT ON RATS easily rivaling Disney films, and his two films based on Otto Soglow's comic strips A DIZZY DAY and AM TO PM are certainly the most artistically sophisticated cartoons of the entire '30s! It seems to me that you mentioned at one point that personal styles of expression in cartoons were a Warner invention, but these two films prove that this is absolutely not the case. Indeed, if Harry Bailey had been able to direct the production of The Little King series in the same way he had produced his two films, he could have created a completely new artistic style and left an indelible mark on the history of animation. Unfortunately, he was sacked before he could take over the series, and the new director, George Stalling, would never have Bailey's artistic touch. The Little King series lacked originality and never stood out enough for Van Beuren, so much so that he finally decided to put an end to the series.



The Sentinel Louey films are indeed a fine tribute to the Art Deco style, which is rather surprising given that Soglow's comics are only slightly influenced by this artistic style. Schlesinger also produced Art Deco-influenced cartoons, but these attempts were only very occasional, while Van Beuren seemed intent on producing a new series based on this artistic style. It's a real pity that the Art Deco influence has completely disappeared in the Little King cartoons.
Ignacio Coltero
2024-02-05T06:51:22Z
Originally Posted by: PopKorn Kat 

I think this conversation is heading away from the topic of Van Beuren (again). I feel I should advise you to create a topic on New York animators if you wish to continue on.



We can continue talking about rotoscoping while staying on topic, since Van Beuren used it in the Amos 'n Andy cartoons, although, as already mentioned, the results are catastrophic, as the character animation is extremely rigid and jerky.
PopKorn Kat
2024-02-05T07:42:16Z
Originally Posted by: Ignacio Coltero 

Originally Posted by: PopKorn Kat 

I think this conversation is heading away from the topic of Van Beuren (again). I feel I should advise you to create a topic on New York animators if you wish to continue on.



We can continue talking about rotoscoping while staying on topic, since Van Beuren used it in the Amos 'n Andy cartoons, although, as already mentioned, the results are catastrophic, as the character animation is extremely rigid and jerky.



Talking about rotoscoping in relation to the Amos 'n Andy cartoons is perfectly fine.
HectorJeckle
2024-02-08T23:39:17Z
Originally Posted by: Ignacio Coltero 

The Sentinel Louey films are indeed a fine tribute to the Art Deco style, which is rather surprising given that Soglow's comics are only slightly influenced by this artistic style. Schlesinger also produced Art Deco-influenced cartoons, but these attempts were only very occasional, while Van Beuren seemed intent on producing a new series based on this artistic style. It's a real pity that the Art Deco influence has completely disappeared in the Little King cartoons.



The artistic style of these two films is not really Art Deco, but rather a blend of different styles; a good example of a purely Art Deco cartoon would be LA JOIE DE VIVRE (1934).