Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Chew Chew Shake

Shamus Culhane loved violent impact shakes in his cartoons at Walter Lantz but he did them differently than any other director I can think of. Instead of just having the camera shake on a background drawing, Culhane would move in for a tight close-up of part of the drawing and even flip it around just to enhance the impact (he’d also insert a blank red, yellow or a black card a few times in the middle of the shaking.

A good example is in “Chew-Chew Baby,” a 1944 release featuring Woody Woodpecker in drag duping Wally Walrus, who fails to get even after discovering the con. Here we see Wally sawing a hole in the ceiling in the spot where Woody is standing on the floor above. Woody simply pushes a safe where Wally’s cutting a hole.

Down goes the safe. We don’t see the actual impact. We just see the camera shake and hear sound effects. But look what Culhane does with the drawings. These are consecutive frames.

It’s less than half a second but because of the way Culhane emphasizes the crash, it stands out like it takes up more screen time.

Paul Smith and Grim Natwick get the animation credits in this cartoon; Don Williams worked on it, too.

1 comment:

  1. So did Grim Natwick, Yowp, these scenes were his. Mark Kausler