Monday, 14 November 2011

An Egg Scrambled Background

Here’s the kind of thing people never noticed until the advent of home video when they could stop scenes and peer at them for a bit.

In the Warners cartoon ‘An Egg Scramble’ (1950), Prissy the Hen escapes from a house with her precious egg that a housewife was about to boil. She thinks the cops are after her. She runs down the street and hides in a garbage can. There’s a cut to another scene, then back to Prissy jumping out of the garbage can and running down the street some more. Only the two garbage can scenes don’t have the same background.

I suspect this was done because Prissy runs across a street and to the steps of a rundown old building. Having both scenes on one background would have made for a long drawing, so two different backgrounds are used instead. Who would notice?

The layouts are by Cornett Wood and the backgrounds by Dick Thomas. I’m led to believe they were both in the Frank Tashlin unit when Bob McKimson took it over in the mid ‘40s.

The animators in this one are Phil De Lara, Chuck McKimson, Bill Melendez, Rod Scribner and Emery Hawkins. I suspect the animator of the Prissy in the first scene above is different than the one in the scene below, where there’s a fluid take and then Prissy cradles the egg like a football with one hand, uh, wing and the other to the front.

There’s an inside joke with a store called “Foster’s Fresh Eggs” (Warren Foster wrote the cartoon). My favourite background can’t be clipped together but here’s the end of it. There’s a farm road with a barbed wire fence in the foreground, and barns and stacked wheat in the background. The countryside abruptly ends at the city limits and there are cars, buildings and a strip club on a corner.

Bea Benaderet plays all the different hens in the cartoon though, inexplicably, Prissy’s voice is her’s in a couple of scenes and Mel Blanc’s in the rest.

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