Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cartoons and Timing to Music

The timing of cartoons to music is a subject I've been spending a lot of my time on. I should really be drawing instead, but it's something I really want to learn and be able to put into practice. Here's some short scenes that I particularly like and have been studying closely, along with many others. I didn't include any Tom and Jerry clips only because I'm going to do a separate post on Bill Hanna, who is really one of the best at timing to music, at least in my eyes he is.

This first clip is Shamus Culhane's animation from the Disney short "Hawaiian Holiday". Culhane, to me is one the best at timing to music. I think a lot of his cartoons at Lantz Studios really stand out because of his feel for music. Watch this scene with the sound off and then with it on to see how effective his animation was.

This clip from Dick Lundy's short "Banquet Busters" is more subtle. The rhythym is used to accent actions. Watch when Wally Walrus first starts walking with the platter, even the steam puffs out on the beat. I wonder if Lundy indicated that on his bar sheets or of the animator worked that out on his own?

This dance from Milt Gross' "Jitterbug Follies" is just great. (Is this not one of the funniest cartoons ever?)

Another one from Dick Lundy, this one's from "Apple Andy". I could watch these apple cores dance all day without ever tiring of it. Even when they first scramble around and about is right on the beat. Could anyone tell my why every Culhane and Lundy short from Lantz isn't out on DVD!?!? I love them.

Uploaded by klangley

This dance from "Mickey's Birthday Party", animated by Ken Muse (ID by Thad) just floors me. I think it's perfect, so entertaining. It actually made me like Mickey, who I disliked for many years.

I don't have to say anything about any scene from "Coal Black", it's just pure entertainment. Clampett certainly had a feel for jazz.

Uploaded by klangley


Anonymous said...

Brilliant cartoons. I remembered watching Culhane-Hawaiian Holiday as a boy, definitely a Disney classic.

Pedro Vargas said...

Wow, these are great. I love the Jitterbug Follies animation, the way the dog trips is just immensely funny, and Pluto's boddy movements made me laugh out loud. The apple cores were really cool to watch. The animation fits well with the music in all of them. I like that Lundy animated the smoke to fit with the music. Thanks again for posting such awesome stuff.

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Thad said...

Pat Matthews animated the Banquet Busters scene.

Mark Kausler told me it was Bill Littlejohn who animated J.R. snickering at the woman in Jitterbug Follies.

The second half of the Mickey's Birthday Party scene (after it cuts back to Minnie briefly) is by Riley Thomson. One of the few times a director at a major studio would do animation on their own short.


Kevin Langley said...

I'm glad you guys liked the post. Thanks for identifying who did what Thad. It seems every piece of animation that from a Lantz short that really catches my eye is from Pat Matthews.

Hans Perk said...

It is great that you put timing to music in the spotlight on your blog! You can find a bar-sheet for the Mickey short Thru The Mirror on my blog today. It was prepared for the planning of sound effects.
By the way, I posted the complete draft of Mickey's Birthday Party on July 25th...

Anonymous said...

Tht Milt Gross thing has changed my outlook on animation. The way they move is so weird and amazing.

Nicholas John Pozega said...

I agree with all of your views on the videos...except for Culhane's work. His timing is slow and mushy, and when i first watched his Woody shorts, i was appalled at how sloppy his work was--in fact, just look at the crab he drew for "Hawaiian Holiday"--it looks so sloppy and badly drawn!

To this day, i wonder how his sequence in Snow White wound up actually being good.