Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bashing Baby Droopy

There’s a conflict of design going on in “Homesteader Droopy” (1954). The opening is almost three dimensional, with overlays of rocks with the cartoon’s credits on them. The fenced-in, anxious cow is a typical late-1940s design. But the bad guy wolf and the Droopy clan are all flat, angular UPA-esque characters by Ed Benedict. Ignore that, and you have another fine western cartoon.

The big climax scene has the wolf (voiced by Avery) inflating a confused-looking cow like a balloon as it supplies milk to little Droopy. The kid’s not happy. He beats the crap out of the wolf. The kid’s fist gets huge before impact; I don’t know if Avery tried that before at MGM.

And the kid punches the wolf against the wall in some cycle animation.

The conjoined eyes and little off-centre mouth on the wolf remind me of Mike Lah’s work. Lah, Walt Clinton, Grant Simmons and Bob Bentley get animation credits here. The cartoon was released after the Avery unit was disbanded and Avery moved on to the Lantz studio.

1 comment:

  1. The character designs here are still a little softer and slightly rounded than they would get for Tex's final two cartoons with the character, "Dixieland Droopy" and "Deputy Droopy". The characters' various body parts in the last one have a cut-and-paste feel, or like some of those old Colorforms mix-and-match things where you'd just stick one piece on another (a look which Avery and Benedict may have been going for intentionally, since the cartoon's most famous gag is the detachable head sequence).