Monday, 29 April 2013

1939 leftover...

I forgot to mention so of my overall views of the director's output of 1939.

I'd usually write so, in every year I have reviewed and completed, but considering I didn't write it at the end of my Curious Puppy review...I feel the need to write a very quick post here:

As you can see, 1939 was a very bad year for the directors, and this was their deteoriating point. Friz Freleng had gone to MGM, and Frank Tashlin headed over to Disney. All of the other directors ended up turning out effortless entries which were much inferior to what they made a year or two back.

Bob Clampett, in my honest opinion, has ranked at the bottom of this year. You can tell he was no longer motivated in his Porky cartoons, his sense of timing and comedy weakened, and he practically almost destroyed Porky's charm. I found he turned out more weak cartoons than any director: (examples: Naughty Neighbours, Porky's Movie Mystery, Jeepers Creepers, Chicken Jitters, just to name a few).
I may be sounding too harsh on Clampett (I'll give Porky's Tire Trouble an exception), but Hardaway-Dalton were almost as weak, though personally, I find their entries at least have a tad bit more effort than Clampett does, even though they're cartoons may have been unoriginal.

Chuck Jones, on the other hand, is an interesting one to argue. Nor was he very weak this year, or was he very strong. His cartoons were certainly the most unique, and you can tell his ego was already there. He experimented from the very beginning with non-dialogue speaking cartoons. His cartoons had beautiful animation and designs, but the pacing of his stories were slow and his cartoons get a little tiresome from watching.

Last but not least at all, Tex Avery. He really did move one step further with his cartoons. For the past three years, Tex was really focusing on making funny, childish humour. Here, he has moved straight to spotgag parodies. The non-spotgag cartoons he created, were of course, excellent (Thugs With Dirty Mugs, Hamateur Night, and Dangerous Dan McFoo meaning)...though his parodies did kind of run down together. But there is no doubt he was still the strongest director this year. Let's see what 1940 brings us: it can always change.

1 comment:

  1. The stories weren't good in '39 -- and continuing into the early part of 1940 as well -- but artistically, the period was important as a learning time for the studio.

    You can see it most obviously in the determined efforts of the Jones unit to figure out the Disney drawing style, but in 1940, when you get the shifts in animators and the return of Freleng to the studio, you first start to see cartoons that don't feel inhibited by the limitations of the studios drawing style. Avery's efforts really pick up in both look and movement once McKimson arrives, and Friz brought some of the animation lessons from the higher-priced MGM efforts with him back to Schlesinger's.

    So the cartoons of the period aren't all that great, just like the studio's mid-to-late 1960s efforts weren't anything to shout about. But at least the 1939 shorts were creating the building blocks for much greater things to come, while the 60s were just the dying gasps of a cash-starved department.