Monday, 8 November 2021

I'd Love To Take Orders From You Backgrounds

I’d Love to Take Orders From You (1936) has director Tex Avery doing a Friz Freleng cartoon—a young boy and his father, with danger vanquished and a twist ending.

Avery was in a separate building from the rest of Leon Schlesinger’s animation staff, so he had his own unit of animators. You’ve probably seen the picture of them standing at the door of Termite Terrace—Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Sid Sutherland and Virgil Ross. They were the only ones over there, though. Cecil Surry was another animator. He was an import, like Ross, from the Walter Lantz studio.

As for Avery’s background painter, ex-newspaper artist Johnny Johnsen was in Avery’s unit and re-joined him soon after he left for MGM in 1941. How long he worked with Avery, I don’t know, so I can’t tell you if these watercolors are Johnsen’s. I suspect they are; they certainly are as detailed as Johnsen could get. The first one opens the cartoon, the second one comes a little later.

At MGM, Avery would be making fun of the kind of background you see in the opening, with animals (like Sammy Squirrel) making their way along as the painting is panned left to right. You can probably tell there are trees on overlays in the foreground. Unlike later Avery cartoons, they aren’t panned at a different rate than the rest of the background, which gives a nice 3D effect.

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