Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Henpecked Hoboes Sky Shot

Johnny Johnsen came up with some wonderfully creative vertical backgrounds for Tex Avery. It’s a shame the characters get in the way sometimes.

There’s a scene in “Henpecked Hoboes” where a rooster is tied onto a rocket which zooms into the sky. The shot cuts to a great aerial perspective. Here’s as much of the background as I can snip together.

Unfortunately, the rooster gets in the way of the best thing about the background. As the camera pans up the drawing, Johnson effortlessly segues from the mountainous scene to a higher set of snowy mountains and, above that, the uppermost Arctic. These frames below give you a bit of the idea.

One the great mysteries to me is who was handling layouts for Avery when this cartoon was designed in the mid-1940s. Ed Benedict hadn’t arrived yet. Avery is almost given credit for everything except drawing his cartoons that others in his unit are kind of shunted aside, including whoever laid out this background setting.

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