Monday 28 November 2022

Knight-Mare Hare Backgrounds

Knight-Mare Hare (1955) was put into production not long after the Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng units returned to work at the Warner Bros. studio following a six-month shutdown.

Jones’ writer Mike Maltese was still at the Walter Lantz studio while layout man Maurice Noble had gone to work for John Sutherland Productions. Tedd Pierce worked on five stories for Jones until Maltese returned, and Ernie Nordli was hired to draw layouts, with Phil De Guard resuming his job painting backgrounds.

Pierce’s story for this short is in three acts and each has a different colour style from Nordli and De Guard. The first part starts off with blue skies and tan clouds. The second part features pink skies and purple clouds. The third part has Bugs Bunny outside Merlin’s castle. The outdoors is greyish.

Nordli went in for cockeyed interiors. You can see what he did in Broom-Stick Bunny (1956) in this post; some people attribute his designs to Noble, but they aren’t.

I really like the castle interiors that Nordli designed and De Guard painted. The long one is not a continuation of the first painting. You can see the difference in the angles of the table legs.

De Guard’s name appears on most of the Jones cartoons (he laid out a few shorts) until the studio shut down for good. When Jones was hired to make Tom and Jerrys at MGM in 1963, De Guard was one of the people he signed for his team. For the most part, the rest of his career was connected with Jones. He died in 1982 at age 72.

1 comment:

  1. Hans Christian Brando28 November 2022 at 17:48

    A few years ago, a gallery south of Los Angeles has an Irv Wyner exhibit. How I'd love to see Phil De Guard on display, wouldn't you?