Monday 31 December 2018

Bandmaster With the Barrel

Oh, if only Walter Lantz had been able to keep making Grade A cartoons like the ones he did for United Artists! Instead his studio stopped operating and when he re-opened, they were cheaper looking and sounding in every way.

The Bandmaster (1947) is a great example. My favourite scenes are animated by Pat Matthews where a drunk meets pink circus elephants on a high-wire. The climax is really well done, too. There’s all kinds of perspective animation (by Les Kline?). Andy Panda sees a high-diver falling toward an empty water barrel. Here’s the take.

Andy turns around the barrel and pushes it to a water-gushing hydrant. Here are some of the perspective drawings. Andy tries to skid the barrel to a stop so he doesn’t crash into the hydrant. You really get the feeling of his struggle. And there’s some great effects animation of water (by Sid Pillett, I suspect).

Andy runs toward where the diver should land but then discover the diver is running in mid-air to where he had been.

Anticipation drawing and take.

Andy puts the brakes on the barrel and changes direction. More perspective animation of the barrel turning toward the camera.

Director Dick Lundy and writers Webb Smith and Bugs Hardaway build things so Andy is knocking down the circus tent poles in more curving perspective animation. It’s really well done.

I haven’t even mentioned Darrell Calker’s fine adaptation of the Zampa Overture. Calker did a great job on the Musical Miniatures and the earlier Swing Symphonies at Lantz. Left to compose from scratch, say, in the Woody Woodpecker cartoons, he was hit and miss (his work at Columbia was even weaker).

Kline and La Verne Harding get animation screen credits.

1 comment:

  1. One of the best ANDY PANDA shorts produced, IMO - excellent animation, great Darrell Calker score and some truly funny gags!!!