Thursday, 13 October 2016

Woody vs Buzz

Woody Woodpecker was always expressive when animated in the Dick Lundy unit, and there are several cartoons where he has a look of joy on his face when getting the better on Buzz Buzzard. One is “The Wet Blanket Policy,” one of Walter Lantz’s efforts for United Artists.

There’s an improbable scene where Woody and Buzz are in a chase behind the wallpaper in Buzz’s office. Woody emerges from the paper at a window, which he closes, knowing Buzz will crash into it. Woody’s body even moves with the impact of the crash; a 1962 Lantz cartoon wouldn’t have bothered with something like that.

More great reactions. Look at the bent knuckles on Buzz in the last drawing as the chase resumes.

Ken O’Brien and Les Kline are the only credited animators. I’ll bet you Ed Love worked on it, too.


  1. THis also intoduced Woody's theme song.SC

  2. I love the UA-Lantz cartoons - with the slightly higher budgets, Lundy really worked to get a lot of personality animation out of his animators.

    When Lantz closed up for the nearly 2 year shutdown, all that extra effort just went out the window when he went back to U-I for the remainder of his output.

  3. It's too bad the studio waited until just prior to the shutdown to create Buzz. He really was the Yosemite Sam to Wally Walrus' Elmer Fudd when it came to being Woody's main opponents, and Woody being a variation on Ben Hardaway's original loonier Bugs Bunny persona really needed a mean character to be paired against, so that the audience could be completely sympathetic to his actions against the bad guy.

    The early 50s cartoons with Buzz are still good, but the cheaper budgets did take away a lot of the personality animation Lundy and his crew put into the character.

  4. Absolutely, J.L. Buzz was a stronger opponent for Woody, even though Lantz's stories were never very strong. Lionel Stander was perfect for the role. What a great menacing voice.
    The only thing the Lantz U-A cartoons was missing was lippy dialogue by Woody and someone who could do it justice instead of that drab Hardaway delivery. Lantz needed stronger writers; think how the cartoons might have been if Scott and Turner had been picked up after leaving Warners.

  5. This scene is Ed Love's animation, Yowp.

  6. Never cared much for the Fifties' Buzz - sanitizing his character didn't do the cartoons any favors. I love how intimidating and sleazy he is in the Lundy efforts. The earlier character design - with his five o' clock shadow and greasy hair - reveals his essence succinctly before he says a single word. You can practically smell his stale stogie breath.

    1. Buzz Buzzard was a PERFECT long-suffering nemesis to Woody in his original with Lionel Stander's voice. On Woody Woodpecker's theme, introduced as I note above: Kay Kyser, perhaps the Walter Lantz director or Bob McKimson of the 1940s type bands, who was perhaps an uneven mix of hip and square, really hit it big with this theme, as did Woody's original voice Mel Blanc and the team of Danny Kaye & The Andrews Sisters.