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.

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Biography: Carlo Vinci

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Carlo VinciCarlo VinciBirth/Death

Born: February 27, 1906, New York City

Died: September 30, 1993, Thousand Oaks, CA

Occupation/Title

Animator

Bio Summary

Carlo Vinci (originally Vinciguerra), a pioneer of the animation industry for over 50 years, animated hundreds of characters such as Mighty Mouse, Tom & Jerry, Donald Duck, Ruff and Reddy, Quick Draw McGraw, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, the Jetsons, Scooby Doo and the Flintstones. He became known, to quote John Kricfalusi, as the master of the Flinstones. Carlo Vinci could be counted on to deliver quality work at a remarkably fast pace, no matter what he was asked to do. He retired at the rip old age of 72, loved by all in the industry. Carlo passed away on September 30, 1993, leaving behind his wife, Margaret, four children and ten grandchildren.

Early Life/Family

Carlo Vinci was born February 27, 1906, in New York City. A few weeks later in March of 1906, the very first animated cartoon, “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces” was produced. That was destiny in the making! He was the only child of Italian immigrants. His father, Andrea was a barber, and his mother, Maria was a dressmaker, making custom-made dresses before they were available in department stores. In 1938, Carlo met Margaret Leonardi, the love of his life, and the two were married in 1939. They remained married for the next 54 years.

Education/Training

Carlo showed artistic talent at a very early age, and was nurtured throughout his childhood so much so that after he graduated high school, he was awarded a scholarship at the National Academy of Design. He studied day and night for four years and graduated with honors. In 1929, he was awarded a silver medal, the highest award for craftsmanship from the Tiffany Foundation Fellowship.

Career Outline

He spent his first years as an artist in commercial art from 1921 to 1932. He drew murals, landscapes for homes and business offices and also did commercial stained glass. In 1933, during the depression, Carlo heard about the animation industry and wanting a better way to support his family, applied for a job at the Terrytoons Studios. He was paid $75 a week (a lot of money for the time) and in less than a year he became an exceptional animator, specializing in dancing sequences and scenes that required acting and graceful movement.

In 1955, Joe Barbera, a fellow animator at Terry, (now in California and the head of the MGM animation studio along with Bill Hanna) offered Carlo a job. He packed up his wife, four children and dog and drove out to Culver City, California to animate Tom and Jerry and Droopy cartoons. Soon after, there was a bump in the road when MGM decided to close down their animation studio. Joe Barbera helped Carlo get a job at Walt Disney Studios. He worked there for two years on TV projects, and also free-lanced as an animator for Paul Fennell, who was doing animated commercials for television. In the meantime, Joe and Bill were preparing to open their own studio.

Then in 1957, Hanna-Barbera opened, and Joe immediately hired Carlo as one of his first three animators. A few years later in 1960, the Flinstones premiered on television and Carlo animated the first Flinstone cartoon single-handedly. This was the first time a cartoon series was on prime-time television, making television history. He worked on many of the Flintstones episodes, animating an entire 24 minute episode by himself every six weeks. Carlo was featured in LIFE magazine (see below) with a full page photo, featuring him acting out his drawing of Fred Flinstone.

Over the years he was recognized as an accomplished artist and received many awards. He also drew for comic books and later in his career illustrated ads for HARPER magazine drawing the Flinstones characters. In his retirement he continued drawing and painting, especially portraits of his children, their spouses, and grandchildren. He never stopped learning and growing as an artist. As a final challenge, toward the end of his life he began to sculpt.

Comments On Style

TERRYTOONS YEARS
From John K on Carlo Vinci Dancing:

Carlo Vinci
Click to see a larger view.

Carlo moves things as if he invented animation himself and had never seen anyone else’s animation. He made up all his own rules. He doesn’t use simple lines of action like the Disney animators did. Instead he uses zigzagged poses that to most animators would seem awkward. I used to notice that about his Flintstone poses when I was a kid and I loved it. I learned early that the kind of stuff I liked most didn’t fit a mold. It had to be skilled, but also needed to stand out and be a little “off”- like Carlo Vinci.

Here is some of Carlo’s “full-animation” from a 40s Terrytoon. He was using his broken-wrist/collapsing joints theories way back when. The Terrytoons directors always gave him the dance scenes and you can spot his style a mile away.

Carlo Vinci


Carlo Vinci
Click on the image above to see Mighty Mouse In Krakatoa (1945 / Quicktime / 13.5 mb).

HANNA-BARBERA YEARS
From John K on Flintstones Animators:

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 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. -John Kricfalusi

Influences

Renaissance artists: Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci.

Personality

Carlo was known for his great sense of humor, was always the life of the party wherever he went, a great dancer and loved opera.

Anecdotes

Joe Barbera on his first job as an animator…

Joe BarberaJoe BarberaI worked in a bank, and at night I would go home and draw cartoons. It seemed to titillate me when I would see a magazine like a Colliers or a Life or a Judge. So I began drawing cartoons and suddenly they began to buy them. It was very bad times, and finally the bank closed its doors… So, I’m strolling down the street and I meet a fraternity brother, and he says, “Go across the street to 729 7th Avenue and tell them you’re an animator.” I didn’t even know what that meant. So I went in and I had four magazines with me which had my printed material in it. It made enough of an impression on them to decide to hire me.

They walked me into a room and sat me down at a desk with a light board and gave me a scene which had about thirty pages in it, and I stared at it. I didn’t know what the heck it was all about. But fortunately, a fella next to me- named Carlo Vinci said, “You don’t know what to do, do ya?” I said, “Noooo…” So he said, “Well, I’ll show ya…” He put drawing one down and drawing three and showed me the job of an Inbetweener. He said, “You have to make that drawing inbetween these two drawings.” He described motion to a degree, and that’s how I got started in that end of the business.

Miscellaneous

Filmography

Terrytoons 1933-1955

MGM (Tom & Jerry) 1955-1957

Disney (Donald Duck) 1957

Hanna-Barbera 1957-1982

  • Ruff and Reddy
  • Huckleberry Hound
  • Yogi Bear
  • Quick Draw McGraw
  • Jetsons
  • Scooby Doo
  • Charlotte’s Web

    Honors

    Exhibits:
    National Academy Gallery, New York City
    American Art Gallery, New York City,
    Grand Central Gallery, New York City

    Tiffany Foundation Fellowship and Silver Medal, 1929

    Related Links

    Carlo Vinci’s Model Sheets & "The Temperamental Lion" (1940)

    From John Kricfalusi’s ALL KINDS OF STUFF:

    Flintstone Flyer: Carlo Vinci
    More Flintstone Flyer: Carlo Vinci
    Krakatoa Katie: Carlo Vinci Dancing
    I Want You To Love Carlo Vinci
    Slow But Sure

    Bibliographic References

    Carlo Vinci in Life Magazine
    Carlo Vinci in Life Magazine, November 21st, 1960

    Contributors To This Listing
    Paul & John Vinci, John Kricfalusi, Stephen Worth

    To make additions or corrections to this listing, please click on COMMENTS below…