Thursday 6 December 2012

Hold the Wire Backgrounds

The urban settings in the Fleischer cartoon “Hold the Wire” (1936) are so enjoyable to look at, it’s a shame whoever drew them never got on-screen credit. These are some of my favourites in all of the Popeye cartoons. Some of the animation over top (characters and phone lines) is visible in these screen shots but they still give you a clear view of the cityscape. Other than the trees, everything is warped.

The grey tones are perfect and colourisation would be a crime.


  1. S'pecially if you have the extremely cold and heartless Ted Turner in charge of colorizing these wonderful cartoons, and you know what he did, instead of coloring them by computer, he had them shipped to some Temujin-manifested regime in Asia that not only does awful re-tracings with bad color (sometimes even flattening the backgrounds to below amateur preschool fingermarks - I've seen actual four year old children do WAY BETTER - and destroying the 3-Dimesional 3D graytones of perfection in the process.), but even HORRIFIC shoddy repugnant artless original crap that is Anime (Psst, i KNOW all the classic cartoon recolors were done in Korea and Taiwain, not Japan, just trying to prove a point).

    Oh dear, when i had the extreme misfortune of being introduced to the Fleischer cartoons to these horrible color messes, i thought for a second it was how the Fleischer cartoons were originally animated, and the filming and overall artwork was to my stupid untrained eye - were like the late - 1930s Merrie Melodies shorts like Daffy Duck and Egghead, often at most parts even WORSE and SLOPPIER than that - then i was directed to the exact same cartoons in black and white and WHAM!!! - it stuck out like a sore thumb, the overall execution and artwork reminded me of a specific part in my childhood, recalling Pepper Ann and Codename KND and even a good amount of Tin Tin (Fleischer's Bluto was VERY similar to that of Captain Haddock to me.) and it moved a LOT smoother too, camera pans, movement backgrounds, even coloring (on the two reelers, Sinbad and Ali Baba and even the early wartime post Fleischer stuff from the early-mid 1940s) and also ink and paint were of perfectionist quality (barely to no jerkiness whatsoever) that somewhat even BLEW Disney out of the water, and surely blew a lot of the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies stuff i was extremely used to that time out of the blooming water, and then i got used to the regular Fleiscer stuff for a while, then that took me a little while to get used to some of the Walter Lantz cartoons, BUT everyone is different aren't they?.

    Odd that the redrawn Looney Tunes shorts never irked me as extreme and never got me as fidgety and unnerved as those Ted Turner monstrosities.

    I don't think ANY classic cartoons (revivals included), especially classic cartoon characters should fall into the wrong grubby hands, the wrong evil stinky grubby hands i'm talking about is Temujin hands - for further notice due to this animators and even producers should refrain from shipping overseas....

    And the same applies to NON classic cartoons as well, even cartoons from other parts like America, Europe, and even Asia.

    Because every time i see any classic character mucked up in Asia, retrace hackwork of the original films immediately slip into mind, SHEESH.

    nuff said.


  2. The re-traced Fleischer Popeyes never aired where I was. We got the originals and then they just disappeared, never to be seen again. We got the re-traced Looney Tunes and I couldn't figure out why they suddenly looked so jerky and crappy (we still had a black and white set then so I didn't realise they had been colourised).

  3. LUCKY!!!, first time being exposed to the greatness of Fleischer in the originals, you sir, Yowp, are one of the good ones, Hey Hey Hey!.

    As for myself, i didn't clearly see the Fleischer Popeyes until i stumbled on to YouTube, unfortunately the very first encounter was those god-awful cheapskate versions that at first resembled the early 3-strip color Merrie Melodies from 37-38, but as i further watched it, it got worse, and worse and worse.

    And to the greatest defense, if the FLEISCHERS had put Popeye color full time in the late 30s, they'd SURELY would not make any crackpot color choices as i've seen in the redrawns, YUCK!!!.

    Besides those gray-tones look just as colorful as the early 1940s Post-Fleischer Popeyes and even a lot of the Looney Tunes by the Katz Productions studio (indicated as the director there was Bob Clampett) used Gray Tones colorfully - see Porky in Wackyland.

    The Fleischers were just about as SMOOTH with their Backgrounds as they were with their animation, that says a LOT!.

    And as i've said before, those redrawns by those Temujin hackers with broken fingers clearly demonstrates HOW cheap and heartless Ted Turner, if i were him i'd use the computer route and how, i don't care if i spend my wad of bills around, i just want the 3-D backgrounds and the stop motion sequences fully intact, even if color would be WAY TOO much of a distraction.

    And ALSO , i REPEAT, i say, SON, nothing (including non classic cartoon characters) should ever, EVER, EVER be given by Temujin hack artists, EVER!!!.

    Plus, why take the overseas risk?, isn't shipping things A LOT more expensive than keeping it in the building?

    Plus if you have to outsource, there are plenty of animation sweatshops available that are even just around the corner and do 1000,0000000000XXXXXX greater animation than anything those smelly stinky temujins could churn out, and if it has to be overseas, why not take an extra mile to Austrailia, or Europe or even places in Asia that aren't manifested by temujins.


  4. Were these backgrounds by Eric Shenck, head BG guy at Fleischer's?

  5. There were tons of other BG artists besides the head guy, there were also ones that survived the transition like Robert Little, Anton Loeb, Tom Ford, Bob Owen....

    the list would go ON AND ON....