Thursday, 4 September 2014

Woody in a Frenzy

There are shock takes galore in the Don Patterson-directed “A Fine Feathered Frenzy,” some by Patterson himself.

Patterson and writer Homer Brightman have purloined the story premise from Tex Avery and his writer Rich Hogan. Avery’s wolf couldn’t hide from Droopy; Droopy was always where he went. Wild take followed. Here, Woody Woodpecker can’t escape from the inappropriately-named Gorgeous Gal in her mansion. Wild takes follow.

Here’s one near the end. First the anticipation drawings.

Now, the take. The eyes are widening at a slower speed than in the actual cartoon.

Patterson is hamstrung a bit by Woody’s size. In “Northwest Hounded Police,” the wolf’s takes fill the screen. In this cartoon, Woody is small so some of the takes are harder to see.

There’s irony here. Patterson’s directorial career was ended when Walter Lantz hired someone and shunted Patterson back into animation. Lantz hired Tex Avery.

1 comment:

  1. It will forever be a mystery why Lantz decided to demote Patterson -- who was handling the Woodys in the early 1950s -- when Avery arrived instead of Paul J. Smith, who was doing the one-shots and the other limited series, which basically what Tex took over, with Smith becoming the main woodpecker cartoon specialist.

    Lantz's desire to develop Chilly Willy seems to be why Tex wasn't given the studio's main character, who already had proven his Screwy Squirrel-like potential in earlier efforts. But in hindsight, a straight up Avery-for-Smith swap while keeping Patterson on as director would have been the best creative path for the studio.