Bugs’ Carrot Trick. In the Sunday Times May 27,1990, there was a short fun fact blurb entitled “King Carrot”: ‘”Since Bugs (Bunny) rose to stardom he has chomped his way through thousands of carrots in 160 films. Consumption of carrots in the United States shot up in the first few years after he appeared. Vegetable producers were soon beating a path to Warners’ door. The Utah Celery Company of Salt Lake City was among the first. It offered to keep all the staff at Warners supplied with celery for the rest of their lives if Bugs would switch to celery.
“Later the Broccoli Institute of America tried to get Bugs to give their greens a try. It was ‘no go’. Why did he have to chew carrots so much? Bob Clampett who directed many of the early Bugs classics said, ‘It’s an old trick. It saves Bugs rushing from one joke to the next too quickly’.”
Bringing a Character to Life. In 1990, Animator John Pomeroy who was then working at Sullivan Bluth Studios said, “To bring a character to life, it is necessary to imbue each single extreme drawing of the figure with an attitude that reflects what he is feeling or thinking or trying to do. No scene is better than the sum total of all its drawings. Life must be in every drawing.
“There should be no drawings that merely move the character from one spot to the next. In other words, the life and vitality comes not from movement or timing alone – as it did in the early Mickeys – but from that ability to make the single drawings come alive.”
Pomeroy’s 12 Commandments. In 1990, animator John Pomeroy shared his “Twelve Commandments of Animation”: 1. Separate yourself from mediocrity. 2. Imagine your drawings magnified one thousand times before millions of people. 3. Scrutinize the hell out of shapes. 4. Make it “sing”. 5. Stop and really look. 6. Take your time to do it right – hurry and you end up doing it over. 7. No pain – no gain. 8. The line is only a tool to contain the shape. 9. Be precise – like a surgeon. 10. Attention to detail. 11. Know where you are going. 12. Do it right.
Don Hahn on Beauty and the Beast. In Comic Buyer’s Guide May 17, 1991, producer Don Hahn said, “It’s been a tough story to tell. We’ve been on it since 1988, and we looked at all the old source material for Beauty and the Beast. And when we stripped away a lot of the original fairytale material and took a look at it, we saw a story with a lot of psychosexual things.
“Unfortunately, it’s also a story about two people who sit down and have dinner, night after night after night – which needed a little bit of energizing. In the classic Disney tradition we threw all that out and started from scratch. We actually kept some of it in.
“In the original fairy tale, you may remember, Belle’s father, Maurice went to the Beast’s castle and picked a rose out of his garden. Beast got really ticked off and threw him in the dungeon. We didn’t know whether the Beast was a gardener and that’s why he was angry because the rose was picked or whatever. But we threw all of that out, took the imagery of the rose and turned it into our hourglass. It’s our ‘ticking clock’ as it were.
Early Clampett Art. Animator Bob Clampett did a series of four one-panel cartoons in 1931 for the Christmas issue of The Broadway World, the employee newsletter of the The Broadway department stores in California. One had a kid being dragged by his mother pass a store elf and saying, “Ma! Wot’s a Ginomey?” and another had a young girl grabbing a large Mickey Mouse doll as big as she was and yet another had a shocked young boy looking at a fat old lady huffing and puffing while sitting on a set decoration for an ice archway. He proclaims, “I thot Sandy Claws had whiskers!”
Accompanying the artwork was the following text:
“We are favored in this issue by having several cartoons from the pen of Robert E. Clampett, a young local cartoonist of much promise. Mr. Clampett is a member of the Harman-Ising Animated Studios and has much to do with the creation of funny little Bosko and his pals, who we have all laughed at on the screen. He was particularly active in publication circles at the Glendale High School from which he graduated a year ago, taking a leading role in the publishing of the newspaper and annual. He writes as well as draws, and from present indications has a brilliant future ahead of him.”
Natwick on Snow White. From Art & Antiques magazine 1990, animator Grim Natwick recalled his work on Disney’s Snow White, “Some of the best animation I ever did was on Snow White herself. When she turned her head, her eyes and mouth had to follow through perfectly. The dwarfs were much easier. The nose, eyes, whiskers were all together and if it wasn’t perfect in between, you wouldn’t notice.”
Len Lye. Among the sessions at the 1968 film festival held in Cambridge was a tribute to “Forty Years of French Animation” including thirty films. In addition, at the event, there was an illustrated lecture by animator Len Lye entitled “The Absolute Truth of the Happiness Acid”. Five of his films were shown but at the time, he had largely abandoned animation to work on mobile steel sculptures. His lecture dealt with the connections he saw between his New Zealand origins and his art. He also emphasized the inter-relationships of animation and kinetic sculpture. Animation design and musical rhythm were also discussed.
They probably didn’t screen this test film Lye made (possibly on “Happiness Acid”) in 1933… but we at Cartoon Research will use any opportunity to re-post it:
The Archies That Never Were. In 1987, DIC Enterprises was producing an animated series called The New Archies. In late 1988, the company announced it was in negotiations to develop more animation inspired by the new comic books Archies 3000 and Jughead’s Diner. In addition, in Variety, it stated that Tom Patchett, Roger Schulman and David Steven Cohen had been signed by DIC to produce and write a two hour live action Archie film for television that they hoped would serve as a pilot for a live action series.