Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Hay, That's Not Funny

Ben Hardaway was really a hit-and-miss writer at the Walter Lantz studio, sometimes within one cartoon.

Here’s a miss from “The Screwdriver,” a 1941 Woody Woodpecker cartoon helped to a good start by the acting (and singing) of Mel Blanc and some attractive animation. Woody is a driver who does whatever he feels like on the road. But in one scene, he runs into a simply-drawn rube on a hay wagon. The perspective artwork of Woody’s car is a nice choice, either from Hardaway’s storyboard or whoever handled layouts.



But when the dust clears, the gag is the farmer is suspended in mid-air between the hay. That’s supposed to be funny?! Yipe.



Hardaway ends yet another cartoon with someone driven insane.

Ralph Somerville and Alex Lovy receive the animation credits on screen.

4 comments:

  1. Hardaway ruins many Lantz cartoons with this type of half-baked stuff. It's a real pity.

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  2. Looks like something Paramount might have done in the 1950s. 20 years earlier Fleischer would have shattered the wagon, then let it reconstitute as a trailer or a car.

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  3. I think the joke is not only being suspended between the two halves of the wagon load of hay, but the farmer is in his long-johns as well. I happen to like Ben Hardaway's gags, it's easy to be armchair quarterbacks on stories that were written 72 years ago! I'm also getting a little tired of Hugh Harman being called the Don Bluth of the 1930s, Hugh's approach is much funnier than Don's any day, and Hugh was an animation pioneer. A little respect, please.
    Mark Kausler

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  4. At Warners, Avery would have overruled Hardaway and had the farmer with no hay in the wagon while he was showered with straw hats.

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