Sunday, May 02, 2010

Barbary Coast Bunny 2

The setup is over and now the actual story starts. First Chuck establishes the mood and location. Robert Gribbroek drew these beautiful layouts and Phil De Guard painted them. Nice clear compositions and unusual color schemes.

I love this establishing shot of the interior of the casino. It shows how huge it is in comparison with Nasty way over on the right. The BG is full of design contrasts: The curved winding stairway, the tall vertical window that frames a tiny Nasty at his desk. Organic sinuous chairs, low in the frame contrasted against tall vertical designs on the walls. It's all intelligently planned to tell the story and be striking and beautiful at the same time. Very stylish, without being garish.
Nasty is funny here; we see him marking the cards with those stubby fingers Chuck loves.
Nasty is not as exaggerated as he becomes later in the cartoon. Chuck got more comfortable with the design as he worked his way through the cartoon and he kept drawing more complex variations of him. This could not happen if he was bound to some arbitrary model sheet rules created in another department by people he didn't know.
An almost ignorant shot of the swinging doors to contrast against the previous elegant layouts.
This straight on symmetrical ignorance helps to establish that Bugs is a hick coming to the big city. I like how we don't se him all at once. We just see the hick shoes coming in first. Good suspense.
Nice touches here. Chuck is teasing us by not just showing us Bugs all at once.
The wheat straw in Bugs mouth says it all.
Robert Gribbroek is my favorite of Chuck's designers. He has a perfect balance between creativity and control. He doesn't let creative license turn into outright anarchy, like you see in many of today's cartoons.

30 comments:

Oisin O'Sullivan said...

I always liked Nasty too.
THose are some great colours in the first picture.

'sharpyoungbull' said...

even that one nearly ignorant background had a great view out onto the urban sprawl that contrasts so well with the false opulence of the casino. It shows that the whole town is full of hicks and that the casino is the 'floating cloud' within it.

'sharpyoungbull' said...

maybe that should be village sprawl... I love the 'pigs in the parlour' aspect to this cartoon.

Roberto González said...

I've never noticed how good those backgrounds were!

One silly question, but did Jones say this character was Nasty Canasta? I just rewatched Drip A Long Daffy and the Nasty Canasta character in that cartoon is a lot more different in design and voice than I remembered.

Roberto González said...

Nevermind about my previous question. I just remembered he does write Nasty Canasta in that sign at the start of the cartoon.

Well, the character did change a lot!

Roberto Severino said...

I love how the layout artist, the director, and the BG painter worked so well together to create all these very stylish, yet controlled compositions. I think something like this would definitely be impossible in the modern animation production system, especially since a huge chunk of it would be sent overseas out of pure laziness (a lot of these modern cartoons have so much money funded into them, I don't see why they couldn't do more of the shows in house).

Someone really needs to bring the idea of making short 7 minute theatrical cartoons back. Then there would be no excuse from the executes for the animation or the layouts to be outsourced to Korea or Taiwan or any of those places.

Elana Pritchard said...

The bgs are stunning.

Oliver_A said...

I also prefer Robert Gribbroek over Maurice Noble. It's interesting that he still worked for Chuck after being replaced by Noble.

Mykal Banta said...

Chuck Jones is a God to me.

Pedro Vargas said...

Wow, very well established indeed! These guys definitely knew what they were doing.

I can totally see why they would make the doorway area appear in a more simplistic and ignorant sort of way, and how well it relates to Bugs' hick-like characteristics as he enters.

It contrasts real well with the previous shot and both shots connect to one another real well.

Great observations! I'm really liking this!

Trevor G. said...

Another beautiful choice John. I love this artwork it is fantastic.

Katie Regan said...

This is very off topic, but there's no way else to reach you that I know of.

I don't know if you know about this: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1589686906/launch-an-all-cartoon-web-channel-called-kaboingtv

He wants it to be an independent online network that gives the show's creator and artists more control over content.

Oliver_A said...

Btw, do you also think that the colours of this cartoon were ruined for the DVD? I am asking this, because you posted frame grabs sourced from the DVD.

JohnK said...

I adjusted them a bit and took out some of the intense saturation.

That's what I have to do when watching them on TV now. Turn down brightness and saturation.

RooniMan said...

Those layouts are a thing of beauty.

Tony DiStefano said...

Some of Gribbroeks backgrounds look a lot like Nobles.

Oliver_A said...

I adjusted them a bit and took out some of the intense saturation.

That's what I have to do when watching them on TV now. Turn down brightness and saturation.


Ah, this makes sense. Let's hope they will be given a more careful treatment when the Blu Ray issues come out.

Though I have a bad feeling when I see what they did to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"...

Neon Grinch Blu-Ray

Gavin Freitas said...

Hey John. Fun post. This is one of my favorites as a kid growing up. I love the "bigger hand" gag later in the cartoon. I love the design of Canasta in this cartoon as more of a lummox but I did get confused as to why his character changed design and character to the Nasty Canasta from "Drip-A-Long Daffy" in 1951. He was more of a evil villain than a goof ball. Take care..

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Niki said...

I think this is maybe my second favorite from Chuck. I like "The Rabbit of Seville" the most. I never knew why I liked this one but I like the other from all the singing. I hope you analyze "The Rabbit of Seville" too

Whit said...

"Barbary Coast Bunny" was made as a theatrical cartoon. It was only shown on television later.

Alex said...

These BGs, especially the wide interior of the casino, show the kind of techniques that we are supposed to learn in those art schools.
The use of negative space, warm colors against cools, curves against straights; they all play to 3-D design, color theory, and graphic arts.

Sven Hoek said...

Just imagine a 7 min theatrical cartoon made in america in place of those god awful commercials and previews. the movie experience would become a lot more fun. It must have been amazing to go to a movie and see a three stooges short, or a bugs bunny cartoon. Something like that now days.....well its a nice dream.

Shawn Dickinson said...

I love the way you dissect these cartoons and point out the details that made them so amazing. This really is an amazing cartoon.

Roberto Severino said...

"Just imagine a 7 min theatrical cartoon made in america in place of those god awful commercials and previews. the movie experience would become a lot more fun. It must have been amazing to go to a movie and see a three stooges short, or a bugs bunny cartoon. Something like that now days.....well its a nice dream."

I think even if there was a market for theatrical cartoons today (surprised there isn't anymore), the theaters would still cram the movie screen with junk no one would wanna watch in the first place, just like on television, like those commercials and dumb previews. Something that should be common sense to the higher management. I still have hope myself, but there's always a catch to having anything fun and decent making it on the screen, as we've seen over and over again.

Bwanasonic said...

So THAT"S where "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" came from!;) Amazing how quickly things have collapsed style-wise in the last few years.

CJ said...

Hey John! You might throw up at the new look of the Looney Tunes cartoon.. idk, I would like to see what you think!

http://io9.com/5521277/first-look-at-the-brand-new-justice-league-and-more

SoleilSmile said...

Thank you, John. I referred one of my students to this post and she's really getting a lot our of it:)

You're the best!

-Ashanti