Archive for July, 2009

Lay-By At Big W

There was an interesting story on A Current Affair about Lay-By. It featured the national manager of Big W telling viewers about the benefits of lay-bying goods. However, I wish someone would tell her that the Big W store at QV in Melbourne has just in the last two month discontinued their lay-by service. Oh, the irony! So why does the national Big W manager think lay-by is such a good service and the QV manager does not? Then again the QV manager thought that the revolving entry door was a good idea too!

The Joker – The Happy Victims

Most people would know the remake of this story from The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told collection of Joker stories. The 1966 version of the story in that tome written by E Nelson Bridwell and with art by Carmine Infantino basically was an abridged version of the original with some panels lifted directly from that story and was featured in a giveaway book from Kellogg’s.

This original version of the story is from 1949. The art looks like it’s by Dick Sprang and the abundance of oversized props indicates that it was probably written by Bill Finger.

Gerald McBoing Boing

This 1951 UPA cartoon is one of my favourites. Whilst it does not have as many laugh out loud moments as the best Warner Bros. or MGM cartoons of the 50s I think that it is quite cute and that their is always something new to discover somewhere in the cartoon. (I don’t think I articulated myself too well there!) It won the 1952 Academy Award for best animated short film and was adapted from a story by Dr Seuss and directed by Robert ‘Bobe’ Cannon.

This is one of the few UPA cartoons that is available on DVD. None of the Magoo cartoons are available on DVD, whilst Gerald can be found on Cartoon Adventures With Gerald McBoing Boing and on the Hell Boy dvd. The 1952 Academy Award nominated cartoon Madeline, which is a straight forward retelling of Ludwig Bemelmans‘ classic story, can be found on the Madeline live action film as an extra.

I was looking through some old posts at Stephen Worth’s ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive and came across some UPA model sheets. Like the magpie (thief) that I am I thought that some of these would be good for my own blog. Here is one of UPA’s most famous cartoon, Gerald McBoing Boing.

Google can sometimes be your best friend. Whilst looking around the net on something, anything, to post about UPA, I stumbled across some photos from Gerald McBoing Boing on Google. Apparently back in 1952 Life magazine did a big feature on Gerald and took photos of the cells specifically. I’d like to comment on a couple of these just to show what I think makes this cartoon so special.

The first picture is basically Gerald, his Mom and Dad and may not look too special, except when you look at the background. Unlike with other studios there is not a great deal of detail in the background.

This is perhaps one of my favourite scenes in the film. I just love the child like drawing of the school-house and the school yard. It looks like it would be easy to draw like this but I assure you it’s not Another great background where less detail is more.

Great use of shadow, light and perspective.

Mmm, you’d almost think that I know what I am talking about. I must confess that I am not really artistic and cannot draw for quids. Unfortunately I am just someone who admires art but cannot create it myself.