Monday, July 11, 2011

John the Animator Guy

Fellow animator and former colleague John Celestri has started a blog. I met John when he was a lead animator on the Nelvana animated feature Rock and Rule. Check out his blog when you get a spare moment. (and ask him about the cool Batman commercial he animated)

John also has the distinction of having worked with maestro Popeye animator John Gentilella - both pictured in the photo below taken in 1984. John Celestri is the guy on the far right with the big mustache.

Photo courtesy of Mike Kaweski

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Swedish Popeye Poster

The drawing of Popeye on this Swedish release theatrical poster looks familiar...

That's because it's almost an exact copy of one below drawn by Dave Tendlar for 'Beware of Barnacle Bill'. (1935) I wonder if it was made specifically for the aforementioned cartoon. Could that be the cartoon's title on 'Karl-Alfred's' chest?? Anyone out there read Swedish??

UPDATE: Blog reader diego cumplido commented on the lettering on Karl-Alfred's chest - I don't read Swedish, but Google Translate says that "varldens starkaste sj├┤man" means "the world's strongest sailor". Thanks for the info Diego!!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Cartoon Logic at Work

Cartoon logic is a unique aspect of animation in the way that our minds are able to connect improbable actions and things that could never take place in real life. One of my favorite bits of cause and effect cartoon logic is a sequence of events that happen to Bluto in the Famous Studio Popeye cartoon 'Too Weak To Work'. (1943)

For those who have not seen the cartoon, here's a short preamble: Bluto feigns sickness to get out of doing work on the battleship and ends up in the hospital. Popeye catches Bluto in his sham, and after setting his mouth ablaze, gives chase to Bluto through the hospital. The following chain of events start when Bluto runs into a steam room to escape from Popeye.

Here's some cartoon logic and cartoon physics at work -
Popeye shuts Bluto in a steam room and Bluto shrinks. Take away mass.

Animation by Ben Solomon

Popeye inflates Bluto with oxygen to return him to normal size. Add mass.

Animation by Ben Solomon

Bluto has a mishap with a rain cloud and his inflated body is burst like a balloon by lightning - his deflated body falls to Earth. Take away mass.

Animation by Abner Kneitel

A husk that needs to be filled + the need to get Bluto back to work….

Animation by Jim Tyer

… calls for Popeye to pump Bluto full of spinach. Only an industrial sized can will fill the space left by the escaped air. Add mass + strength.

Animation by Jim Tyer

Bluto, full and powered = ready to work. It all makes sense.

Animation by Jim Tyer

Cartoon logic in action:
video