Sunday, 26 April 2009

Cousin Tex Scare Take

I’ve realised after putting this up that the endless frame flashing will just annoy people. So I think I’m going to take it down after a little while. Or you can just scroll past it if it starts to bother you. Or hit the ‘stop’ button on your browser, if your browser has one. It’s being posted as a little demonstration.

The earliest Hucks, Yogis and Meeces saved animation by using cycles, and they especially did this when characters registered fear. Instead of full animating a fear-struck character by drawing body parts going everywhere (and with great extremes like Tex Avery would do), the H-B artists took two “scared” drawings, and then alternated them for a couple of seconds in a little cycle. It’s cheap animation and, hey, they’re moving in fear, right?

Here’s an early example from the first Pixie and Dixie cartoon to be released, Cousin Tex, animated by Carlo Vinci. The same type of take is used on Jinks later in the short, but this comes right at the beginning when the cat (to the strains of Spencer Moore’s immortal L-81 Comedy Underscore) suddenly appears behind this Ed Benedict-designed couch to surprise the TV-watching mice. It’s been slowed down a bit to let you see the drawings.

It’s proof-positive you can make your own Hanna-Barbara cartoon, with a little help from some animated .gif software.

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