Thursday 11 October 2012

Scaring Betty Boop

When Carlo Vinci worked at the Hanna-Barbera cartoon factory in the late ‘50s, he used to draw a fear or shock take with two drawings—one of them with all kinds of things standing on end. The drawings would then be alternated, one per frame, until the effect sunk in.

Vinci no doubt picked up the idea animating in New York. The same effect appears in the Betty Boop cartoon “The Impractical Joker” (1937). Betty is scared by obnoxious Irving’s snake-in-a-pipe.

Tom Johnson and Frank Endres get the animation credits. Tom and his wife Marina both worked at the Fleischer studio (the 1940 U.S. Census lists him as a director and her as a checker). Frank and his wife Ann also both worked at the studio. You can read about him at Bob Jaques’ fine site here.

1 comment:

  1. Johnson probably had the best pure comedy sense of any of the Fleischer head animators/directors -- he could do funny Pudgy cartoons, which is pretty amazing. Johnson also was the one responsible for moving Bluto away from his more menacing presence and into a more comedic figure when he finally got to do Popeye shirts in 1939 (and the modified Bluto was pretty funny until the studio lost its way by the end of the 1940s).