Someone would do the world a great public service by starting a blog to post Rod Scribner and Manny Gould scenes from Bob Clampett cartoons. There are so many great drawings that you have to stop the cartoons to admire them.
Here’s the dramatic pre-death scene from the only cartoon set under water for no particular reason: Hare Ribbin’. Yes, Bob McKimson gets the animation credit on screen, but you just know this isn’t McKimson’s work here. Teeth, floppy tongue, hammy histrionics, all animated on ones. These are lots of fun to view. The first frame below shows the dog (who, in Elmer Fuddish fashion, wails because he “killed” Bugs Bunny) spitting out bits of the sandwich he has just bitten into.
The dog, an imitation of radio’s “Mad Russian,” wishes he were dead. “Do you mean it?” asks Bugs, in his best Mad Russian imitation. Then this. These are consecutive frames.
He’s dead, alright.
Since we mentioned Scribner...
Roderick Henry Scribner was born in Joseph, Oregon on October 10, 1910, the middle of three children. When Rod was 11, his father had a bedroom built in the bank where he worked so he could fool around with different women. The Los Angeles Times lovingly listed the details in its coverage of the divorce trial (three years later, his dad married a cashier at the bank). Young Rod was fooling around with chicks of a different kind. Around the same time, he and his brother joined a poultry club at their grammar school in Burbank. Perhaps it was of assistance when, years later, he was called upon to animate Foghorn Leghorn.
Scribner wasn’t the only over-the-top animator at Warners. Gould turned out some beautiful work. So did Bill Melendez. It would seem Clampett accommodated, if not encouraged it, for when they were put until the directorship of Bob McKimson, Scribner was told to “calm down.” Gould escaped to Jerry Fairbanks Productions. Melendez bolted for UPA. Scribner ended up in a sanitarium fighting tuberculosis before returning for a few more years at Warners as the studio, as a whole, calmed down. There were still some good cartoons, but Warners’ best days were behind them.
Scribner bounced around. He animated for UPA and then Jay Ward. He worked on animated commercials in their heyday in the ‘50s. The fun “Cow Train” spot for John Hubley’s Storyboard, Inc. was his. His name is even in the credits at Hanna-Barbera on Yogi’s Gang, about as confining a job as any to someone like Scribner. He died on Boxing Day 1976 at the age of 66.