Sunday, October 28, 2007

Frank Endres

For some reason I like Frank Endres' animation style. I think it's because of the rubbery cartoony look and feel of it. He was, in my opinion, the last hold out of the Fleischer style. During the 40's and into the 50's his animation was still using elements typical of the mid-30's Fleischer Studio animation.

Endres started with the Fleischers in 1930 as an opaquer (sitting next to Jack Mercer) and worked his way up through the ranks to animator. (and eventually director - though not on any Popeye shorts) His first Popeye animator credit was on 'Stealin' Ain't Honest' released in 1940 although he has uncredited animation in 'It's the Natural Thing To Do' released in 1939. Before that he animated for Myron Waldman's unit on the Color Classics and Betty Boop cartoons.

I wonder why Endres was chosen to animate for Steve Muffati on the first Superman cartoon produced at the Fleischers. His cartoony animation style is noticable in contrast with the realistic styled characters. (scenes of Lois putting on the aviator's cap and the plane flying into the distance, etc.) It's a strange mixture for sure.

Absent from the Famous Studio during the war years, Endres served in the Navy during World War 2. The last Popeye cartoon he animated on before his departure was 'Me Musical Nephews' and the first Popeye cartoon he animated on upon his return to the studio was 'I'll Be Skiing Ya'.

During the last years of Popeye, Endres' work went through a marked style change. His Popeye looked different and his animation was stiffer than earlier efforts. I wonder what happened to cause him to change his animation style.

Endres' animation on Popeye was exclusive to the Johnson unit until the shorts ceased production.

Stealin' Ain't Honest - 1940

Doin' Impossikible Stunts - 1940

Flies Ain't Human - 1941

Scrap the Japs - 1942

Me Musical Nephews - 1942

I'll Be Skiing Ya - 1947

The Royal Four Flusher - 1947

Wotta Knight - 1947

Safari So Good - 1947

All's Fair at the Fair - 1947

Robin Hood-Winked - 1948

How Green Is My Spinach - 1950

Quick on the Vigor - 1950

Punch and Judo - 1951

Cookin' With Gags - 1954

Spooky Swabs - 1957


Bob Flynn said...

Diggin on your blog. I'm a huge fan of Fleischer Studios, and am loving the Popeye DVD set. Great thorough posts on Popeye. Keep posting, I'll be dropping by. I'd like to know more about the animators who worked on Popeye in the earlier years. When it still retained the cartoony surrealism of the Fleischers.

Bob Jaques said...

HI Bob,

I may ID Lillian Friedman next. She only animated on one early Popeye cartoon, Can You Take It, and did some cool surreal scenes.

Thad said...

I'm not too sure if I can warm up entirely to Endres' drawing style, which I've definitely noticed beforehand. I'll have to look at it more closely in motion.

Bob, if you can ID these guys' animation in the other Fleischer/Famous cartoons, that would be great to see as well.

Bob Jaques said...

Hey Thad,

It's hit and miss for me too as far as Endres' drawing goes - definitely not as appealing as some of the other Popeye animators. It was tough in a lot of cases trying to find good frame grabs - but - he was one of the main Popeye animators so his inclusion was a necessity.

I'll try to do a 'diversion' post with examples of his work from other Fleischer/Famous cartoons.

Anonymous said...

Like everyone else who commented, I'm really enjoying your blog, Bob!

I am working hard to get into the animation industry, soon applying to the Capilano College animation program. Until then, it's back to work with my portfolio.


From an inspiring cartoonist/ artist


joecab said...

I always did like Endres' signature move: the way arms would swing around and then the hand flips off the wrist like a well-oiled hinge. :)