Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Bob's Book Revue

Let’s honour Bob Clampett’s 100th birthday with an incredible scene from “Book Revue” (1946) where the action organically flows from Daffy Duck’s scat-singing.

Daffy warns Red Riding Hood the wolf is going to eat her. Then he enacts what the wolf will do by chewing on her elongated leg. The camera pans to the wolf salting Daffy’s elongated leg, ready for meal-time. Red screams and runs.

Daffy stops to think. Then he looks at the wolf.

Then he goes back to take a bite from Red’s leg.

He stops.

He realises.

He looks back at the wolf. Classic animation principles here, but Clampett adds his version of a smear and a bloodshot eyeball take as a capper. Here are all the drawings.

Mel Blanc’s voice work is tremendous here. Clampett’s credited animators were Manny Gould, Rod Scribner, Bill Melendez and Bob McKimson.

I had the pleasure of talking to Clampett on the phone once in 1984. I looked up the number of his studio and called. He answered. I asked for Bob Clampett and was stunned when he said it was him. “I thought you’d have someone to answer your phones,” I blurted out. He laughed and then we talked about doing an interview about his Warners cartoon career. Ever the salesman, Bob said “Don’t forget the Beany and Cecil videos.” Bob was about to begin a PR tour to push the videos so we put off the interview until he got back. He never did. He died of a heart attack in a Detroit hotel room.

In reading accounts about him later, it seems Bob could be an odd man but he was completely outgoing and charming on the phone to me. So here to Bob’s 100th. You can celebrate no better than by watching one of your favourite Bob Clampett cartoo-ooooons.


  1. He did a show when I was in college of his WB and Beany & Cecil cartoons, in the wake of the release of "Bugs Bunny, Superstar" the previous year. Just from that performance, you could tell Bob both loved an audience and loved to talk about his work.

  2. It was grateful we ever got this tapes at all back then.

  3. JL, I've run into a variety of news stories about Bob's little shows at the colleges. Some were free! What an opportunity.

  4. There was a Tiny Toons episode where Plucky gets "stuck" in the eyeball take, unable to return to his usual form. It was given the ingenious name of a "Clampett Corneal Catastrophe".

    Anyone know who animated this scene? (Gould? Melendez?)

    1. Rod Scribner did this part, Manny Gould did everything before that, Rod took over when Red screamed.