Archive for the ‘carlo vinci’ Category

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Animation: John K on Flintstones Animators

Meet The Stars of the Flintstones
by John Kricfalusi (from The Flintstones laserdisc set)

Flintstones Animators

When I grew up, I used to watch "The Flintstones" in syndication every day and I began to notice that the characters would look different in each cartoon. I eventually figured out that they must have been drawn by different animators, each of whom had their own individual traits.

Flintstones Animators

Comic book nerds like me have always been able to tell the difference- say, between a Steve Ditko Spiderman and a Todd McFarlane Spiderman; but in animation, the tendency for most studios is to force all the artists to try to draw the characters the same way. This is called drawing "on model".

Flintstones Animators

Ed Benedict, who designed the Flintstones is really mad that all the animators drew the characters in their own style, or "off model". Luckily for us, Hanna-Barbera didn’t have time to have the animators learn to draw the characters before they started animating!

Flintstones Animators

I love cartoons where you can tell the animators apart. Bob Clampett’s Warner Bros. cartoons are like this. And so are the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The tricky part is figuring out what names belong to what drawing and animation styles! "The Flintstones" when it runs in syndication, has a stock set of credits on the end of each episode. They list four animators. And, if the names ever agree with the persons who actually animated a particular episode, it’s sheer coincidence. And get this… In the early days of Hanna-Barbera, one animator would animate a whole 25 minute cartoon by himself!

Flintstones Animators

So, this is what we’ve done for the likes of you- Henry Porch (my sound editor) and I have assembled clips of each animators’ work so you can finally figure out who’s who! I know that each and every one of you is licking your lips in anticipation as one of life’s more succulent mysteries is about to disrobe and reveal its undergarments for you. –John Kricfalusi

KEN MUSE

Ken Muse
Click on the image to see a movie of Ken Muse scenes.

Ken Muse’s style is easy to spot when you see it, but hard to describe in words. That’s why we put the clips together! An obvious trait of his is the way he draws Fred’s eye bags. The line under his eye is parallel to it. Also, he draws upside down smile lines. He generally puts less expressions and poses into his cartoons than the other animators do. He’s sort of the bland one, although some of the coolest drawings ever of the Flintstones are in "The Swimming Pool". Check out Fred driving his car in the beginning of the cartoon. Or Fred lying down and staring out the window. This is before he got used to drawing the characters and began drawing "on model". Muse worked on Tom & Jerry before Hanna and Barbera opened up their own studio.

DON PATTERSON

Don Patterson
Click on the image to see a movie of Don Patterson scenes.

Don Patterson is a very funny animator. He loves to do wacky walks and runs and goofy eye takes. He never seems to repeat expressions and actions. He custom designs his work to match what’s going on in the story. He draws the characters "off model" when they need to act. He sometimes give the characters "Smurf eyes"- the two eyeball whites joined into one. Patterson came from Walter Lantz’s studio, where he animated Woody Woodpecker and Wally Walrus and all your other favorites.

CARLO VINCI

Carlo Vinci
Click on the image to see a movie of Carlo Vinci scenes.

Carlo Vinci is the master of Flintstone. He handles him clean, smooth, without shame. Here’s how to spot him… Carlo loves drawing crooked poses with the characters’ appendages- the head, the hands, the pelvic girdle- all pointing different directions. Keep your eyes peeled for socially unacceptable (in some circles) wrist actions. He likes to flip the wrist around- have the hand up, then flip down, then twist around, fingers wiggling, taking turns sticking up- it’s truly a joy to watch.

He utilizes the butt generously. Remember the old Yogi Bear cartoons? The ones where Yogi bops up and down to bongo beats? That’s Carlo. He’s always thinking of you. In Carlo’s hands, Fred’s butt is a sensative emoting creature. He also draws quite a few meaty expressions on the characters, whereas some other animators are stingy with their expressions.

Carlo came from Terrytoons, where he animated for about 30 years. He did Gandy Goose, Mighty Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle and all your favorite New York cartoons. His specialty was singing and dancing. Hey, get this! Carlo met young Joe Barbera back in the ’30s at Terrytoons and taught him how to animate. Carlo did great stuff for Terrytoons, but I think he was made for Hanna Barbera. His animation style combined with Ed Benedict’s designs created a whole new entertainment experience. Count on Carlo to deliver a quality package to you.

Read more about Carlo Vinci

GEORGE NICHOLAS

George Nicholas
Click on the image to see a movie of George Nicholas scenes.

George Nicholas draws really well. When I was a kid I’d see his cartoons and say. "There’s the good artist." He’s the one who draws really solid, almost "pretty" designs. He’s also great with the girls. He makes them look cute and sexy. Another Nicholas trait is he likes to have the tongues flop around in his characters’ mouths. Like Carlo Vinci and Don Patterson, he custom designs new expressions and poses to fit the characters’ moods according to how they feel in the context of the story at each particular instant. This is unlike many animators, who strictly draw their expressions off the model sheets. This model sheet approach is what most cartoons use today, which is why everything looks and feels so generic now. The characters always make the same expressions, rather than act according to the situation.

Mark Kausler, the world’s greatest animator, says, "Nicholas has the richest, fullest looking dialogue animation on the early Flintstones shows. Instead of using just a straight up and down ‘head bob’ formula, he varies it by shaking the head ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the mood of the dialogue accompanied by a shrugging gesture. He also uses a special sarcastic head rotation in perspective for some lines. He uses a unique ‘beady eyed’ expression on his characters, drawing tiny pupils in Fred’s eyes when he’s getting an idea or when he’s hypnotized by something. He draws big, fat fingers on Fred’s hands, especially in pointing gestures, like in the Frog Mouth episode."

Before Hanna-Barbera, George worked for years at Disney, where he animated for Charles “Nick” Nichols’ Pluto unit.

ED LOVE

Ed Love
Click on the image to see a movie of Ed Love scenes.

Ed Love’s most obvious trait is his real cool "upside down curly mouths". Watch when his characters talk. The mouth is also a little bit to the side. His action style is very ‘springy’. Mark Kausler says it’s because he ‘slows out’ of everything. That’s hi-falutin’ animator talk. He has a way of making limited TV animation look like full animation by the way he does his timing. It’s very smooth.

Before Hanna-Barbera, Ed had a quite varied career. His first animation job was on Disney’s first color cartoon- "Flowers and Trees". He animated Mickey getting stomped on by brooms in "Sorcerer’s Apprentice". He animated for Tex Avery in the early 40s on "Screwball Squirrel", "Red Hot Riding Hood" and other classic cartoons. From the mid to late ’40s, he worked for Walter Lantz. He animated a Woody Woodpecker cartoon, "Drooler’s Delight" completely by himself.

In the early 50s, he did commercials for Ray Patin. A really cool one was for General Mills’ Corn Kix. Ed animated the Kix Man, who is made of corn balls. He animated the Trix kids before there was a Trix Rabbit. He animated some of Hanna-Barbera’s best commercials from the late 50s and early 60s- the Kelloggs’ cereal commercials starring Huck, Yogi, Quick Draw and all your other wonderful cartoon pals.

Flintstones Animators

Recently, John Kricfalusi has been elaborating on these musings at his blog, All Kinds of Stuff. Check out these posts…

Pluto Animator Animates The Flintstones- George Nicholas
>The Flintstone Flyer- Carlo Vinci Part One
The Flintstone Flyer- Carlo Vinci
I Want You To Love Carlo Vinci
Carlo Vinci Dancing
Ed Benedict 1912-2006

Flintstones Animators

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Illustration: Monks By Eduard von Grutzner

Monks by Eduard von Grutzner

Here is another interesting item from the collection of Carlo Vinci. These photographs were among his most prized posessions. They are turn of the century reproductions of the paintings of Eduard von Grutzner. Grutzner was born in 1846 and received classical art training at the Munich Academie under the noted realist painter, Karl von Piloty. Grutzner specialized in genre paintings, which formed the basis for the style of many classic book illustrators who followed. He was famous for his paintings of jolly gatherings in alehouses, hunting scenes, and humorous images of monastic life, which these particular images represent. Grutzner was successful and popular in his day, and died in 1925.

The family isn’t quite sure where Vinci obtained these photographs, but my guess is that they date back to his earliest years as a professional artist. After graduating from the National Academy of Design, Vinci was hired to do reproductions of classic paintings. It’s entirely possible that these were used by him as reference for reproductions of one or more Grutzner paintings. It’s easy to see why Vinci treasured these pictures. The compositions are classically perfect, the caricatures are well observed, the lighting is beautifully rendered, and a Falstaffian sense of humor makes the images a lot of fun.

Monks by Eduard von Grutzner
Monks by Eduard von Grutzner
Monks by Eduard von Grutzner
Monks by Eduard von Grutzner
Monks by Eduard von Grutzner
Monks by Eduard von Grutzner
Monks by Eduard von Grutzner
Monks by Eduard von Grutzner
Monks by Eduard von Grutzner
Monks by Eduard von Grutzner

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Animation: Carlo Vinci Notes From Terry-Toons

Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons

Not long ago, archive assistant Amir Avni, John Kricfalusi and I took a trip out to visit Carlo Vinci’s family at the home of his wife, Margaret. Mrs. Vinci graciously welcomed us into her home for a tour of her collection of artwork belonging to her late husband. Carlo’s animation desk, which he designed and built himself, still stands in his office just as he left it, with caricatures by co-workers hanging above it on the wall. Every room in the house has beautiful artwork filling the space. It was an awe inspiring experience to get a chance to see it all.

Vinci Family

John K, Steve Worth and Margaret Vinci


Carlo Vinci was a remarkable artist. He received classical art training at the National Academy of Design in 1930. He joined Paul Terry’s Terry-Toons soon after, and worked there for twenty years. He came West to join Joe Barbera at MGM, and ended up as the lead animator at H-B for twenty more years. But as I learned at my visit, those great achievements were only a small part of his story. In addition to cartooning, Vinci was an all-around fine artist, adept at oil painting, watercolor, illustration, stained glass and sculpture… in a variety of styles, from classical to baroque to art deco… with a wide range of subjects- still lifes, portraiture, landscapes and religious subjects. It was a mind blowing experience to discover the depth of talent behind a cartoonist we thought we already knew.

Vinci Family

Carlo Vinci’s son, Paul and grandson, John
with John K in front of Vinci’s self-portrait

After we had viewed all the amazing artwork, Mrs. Vinci invited us to enjoy some home made Italian desserts with her family. Excited by everything we had seen, we had plenty of questions about Carlo and his wonderful career as an artist. We asked if she had met him before he started working for Terry-Toons or after, and she replied, "He was working for Mr. Terry when I met him. When we were courting, he lived in the Bronx, and I lived in Brooklyn. It was a long trip across town to meet for our date every Wednesday evening. Carlo would send me a little note with a cartoon every day in the mail when we couldn’t be together. I’ve saved them all these years, but I don’t suppose you would be interested in seeing them…"

Naturally, we were! Her son, Paul Vinci helped her to retrieve the hundreds of letters from a closet- all on Terry animation paper in envelopes with the distinctive Terry-Toons logo. Dating from 1938 to 1939, these charming little notes had a personal message, along with brilliant drawings depicting Terry characters. Paul commented that he himself hadn’t seen the letters since he was very small; and even then, his mother only shared one or two with him. They had been bundled away carefully for over fifty years. Mrs. Vinci has kindly allowed us to share these drawings with you…

Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons
Carlo Vinci at Terrytoons

All of us at Animation Resources appreciate Mrs. Vinci’s generosity. Paul and John Vinci will be printing out this post and sharing it with her, so you can thank her yourself in the comments below.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.