Monday, 11 June 2012

Wild and Woolfy

Tex Avery loved westerns. And he loved putting Droopy in westerns. My favourite is “Dragalong Droopy.” But let’s look at his first one, “Wild and Woolfy” (1945), which has a pile of familiar gags. In fact, the ending comes straight out of “Little Red Walking Hood” at Warners.

It also has Johnny Johnsen’s great background work. It opens with a pan over western mountains, with the credits on a mountainous overlay, like Johnsen did with “Wabbit Twouble” before he left Warners for MGM. I’d love to paste together frames from some of the long outdoor drawings but we’ll have to settle for some shots. Avery has three road sign gags in this cartoon; you can see two of them below.

And there’s an inside gag in the background. Claude Smith was Avery’s character layout man in this cartoon. He never got on-screen credit, but his name has found its way onto a store that the wolf and his horse pass seven times.

Smith’s model sheet for the cartoon is dated May 5, 1944, some 18 months before the cartoon was finally released.

1 comment:

  1. Wilder gags, faster pacing, way hotter female lead character ... but for some reason, I still prefer Egghead over Droopy as the incongruous guy/hero of this picture from "Little Red Walking Hood", along with Irv Spence's expressions for the wolf in that picture. (The pre-40 WB cartoon animation was still a work in progress, but due to the slower pacing there meant when there actually was a really funny piece of personality animation, you got a chance to linger over it, and not have it fly past to the point you need to hit the 'pause' button to really get the full effect, as with some 40s cartoons.)