Friday, 20 January 2012

Arch in the Latin Quarter

If you’re going to set a cartoon in Paris, you’d better have an appropriate opening. And that’s what you get in Bob McKimson’s “French Rarebit” (1951). Gene Poddany plays ‘Latin Quarter’ over the opening titles and then Milt Franklyn changes the arrangement for the start of the cartoon, which features a fairly literal drawing of the Arc du Triomphe.

Layout man Cornett Wood has the arch set at an angle. The background was painted by Dick Thomas.

Animator Mark Kausler informs me Wood had a storefront under the Hollywood Freeway on Cahuenga Blvd. where he taught drawing into the late ‘60s. Indiana’s Laughmakers, The Story of over 400 Hoosiers by Ray Banta reveals the following:

Cornett Wood went on from John Herron Art School of Indianapolis to become one of the animators for the fabulous Walt Disney production, Fantasia. The feature released in 1940 was called “a tribute to the brilliance of Walt Disney’s staff of artists and animators.” It involved a series of visualizations of musical themes. Wood worked as an effects animator at Disney from March 7, 1938 to September 12, 1941.

After which, he found himself at the Schlesinger studio.

Wood was born September 12, 1905 and died in Los Angeles on May 16, 1980.

Incidentally, if you want to learn more about the Latin Quarter (the area in Paris, not the song by Warren and Dubin), drop by this web site.


  1. I Believe the cartoon's really set in New Orleans, which DOES have ze Francois heritage, and that Bugs Bunny simply mistook it, naturally for France.....:) Either way transports the view to France. Mel Blanc played the first chef and Tedd Pierce the second.Steve

  2. The departure of Cornett Wood and his beautifully designed backgrounds was the first death knell for McKimson cartoons. Nothing would ever look that good again.