Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Date to Edit

Below are two clips from the 1938 Popeye cartoon 'A Date to Skate' - the first one directly clipped from the cartoon and the second one edited. Note in the first clip that Popeye starts to reach for his spinach and as he does the film cuts to Olive being pulling by a fire truck. For years I felt it was an odd bit of animation because Popeye appeared to be frozen in time until we rejoin him one cut later. On return to Popeye he resumes the action of reaching into his shirt.



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On a hunch (and inspired by similar work done by fellow animator R.A. MacNeil) I cut out the Olive scene and joined the two Popeye sections - they flow seamlessly from one into the other. Strong evidence that it was originally shot as one scene...



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6 comments:

J.V. (AKA "White Pongo") said...

These were at least animated as one scene I'd say. I theorized that that the same thing happened on 'Pudgy the Watchman' where a Tom Johnson (or is it Harold Walker?) scene may have been cut in two on either side of a close up. Two scenes by Otto Feuer in PTW appear to have been done this way also.

J Lee said...

There's also an out-of-sequence scene in an earlier 1938 Willard Bowsky Popeye cartoon, "Big Chief Ugh-Amugh-Ugh", where the segments with the fire starting and the bow shooting and split in two, with the Indians' actions in the middle of the cartoon and Popeye's reactions moved to after he eats his Spinach at the end. Both gags can be merged together into a pair of seamless scenes.

Brubaker said...

I don't know if this is in the neg or just from the print transferred, but notice that there's a jumpcut when they cut to Olive hanging on to the ladder.

Bob Jaques said...

It looks like a splice is there. A jump cut is something different than what you're describing.

Mitch K said...

Taking out the insert of Olive and the fire truck dampens the urgency of Popeye's actions, and leaves us without a good sense of Olive's peril. I think it was inserted in just the right place. It's exciting that an edit was made though, as an afterthought, and that ol' MacNeil's keen eyes could catch it!

I wonder how much post-editing they did and how often they did it -- whether someone was sent back to the animation desk to create that Olive insert, or if it had been planned from the beginning.

Bob Jaques said...

Mitch - the Date to Skate edit was my catch inspired by a similar edit Ryan did with some scenes of animation from 'Coal Black'.

The insert of Olive looks to be re-use animation.