Archive for the ‘harman ising’ Category

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

RefPack029: Two Interesting Films By Harman Ising

Reference Pack

REFPACK 029
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Members Only Download

Every other month, members of Animation Resources are given access to an exclusive Members Only Reference Pack. These downloadable files are high resolution e-books on a variety of educational subjects and rare cartoons from the collection of Animation Resources in DVD quality. Our current Reference Pack has just been released. If you are a member, click through the link to access the MEMBERS ONLY DOWNLOAD PAGE. If you aren’t a member yet, please JOIN ANIMATION RESOURCES. It’s well worth it.


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HD QUALITY VIDEO:
Harman Ising

Milky Way
MGM / Rudolph Ising / 1940

Perhaps the most unjustly neglected classic animated shorts are the early MGM cartoons. Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising left Warner Bros in 1934 to join MGM, producing several cartoons starring Bosko, along with a series of musical one-shot cartoons called Happy Harmonies. Roughly patterned after Disney’s Silly Symphonies, these musical cartoons ran far over budget, and in 1937, MGM severed its contract with Harman and Ising and formed their own in-house animation studio under Fred Quimby. Harman and Ising were hired on as contract employees of MGM, directing one-shots and Barney Bear cartoons until they parted company with the studio during WWII.

The two films we are sharing with you today represent the best of Harman and Ising’s work. “Milky Way” was the first non-Disney animated short to be awarded an Oscar, winning over the first Bugs Bunny cartoon and the first of the Tom & Jerry shorts. It richly deserved the honor. The lushness of the production values rivals the most elaborate of Disney’s shorts. In particular note the solidity of the drawing by Mike Lah, Pete Burness and Ray Abrams, the brilliant color palettes of the backgrounds, and the spectacular effects animation. Many of the shots in this short consist of pans with action beginning in one end of the pan and tracking it through to the other end. This contributes to the forward momentum of the film and prevents it from dragging like so many other Harman-Ising cartoons.

REFPACK029: Milky Way
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M4V Video File / HD / 7:28 / 387 MB Download


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SD QUALITY VIDEO:
Harman Ising

The Hungry Wolf
MGM / Hugh Harman / 1942

The other MGM film we are featuring, “The Hungry Wolf” is unique to the Harman-Ising filmography. Produced at the very end of the directing partners’ tenure at MGM, the animation staff includes many of the finest artists ever to work at the studio… in particular, Irv Spence, Ken Muse, Jack Zander and Pete Burness. When this film was made, Rudy Ising had already left MGM to open his own studio. Soon after, Rudy Ising would resign to join the Army Air Force’s First Motion Picture Unit.

A while back, I received a phone call from Ralph Bakshi asking me about this film. He had stumbled across it on YouTube and was blown away. He praised the power and guts of the animation- clarity and directness of purpose quite different than the typical “lily gilding” and excessive polish common in Harman-Ising cartoons. Ralph pointed at a few scenes in particular and asked who the animator was. It turned out to be Bill Tytla, who was picking up work with MGM after the Disney strike. Ralph insisted I share this film with all of you so you can study it too. Here it is!

REFPACK029: The Hungry Wolf
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M4V Video File / SD / 9:02 / 199 MB Download

Many thanks to Advisory Board member Steve Stanchfield for sharing these rare films with Animation Resources. We are very fortunate that Steve uncovers these lost jewels and shares them with us. Steve’s video company, Thunderbean Animation is doing great work transferring and restoring rare animated films. We greatly appreciate his unfailing support of our Animation Archive Project.


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Harman IsingHarman IsingHarman IsingHarman IsingHarman Ising


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Sample RefPack

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Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Animation: Musical Timing Rediscovered

Shuffle Off To Buffalo

A few weeks ago, John K posted an article by Milt Gray about timing. If you haven’t read it yet, by all means, click on that link before you go any further in this post. Milt explains how cartoons before the TV era were timed to a musical beat, and how musical timing has become a lost art.

Rudy Ising and Hugh HarmanRudy Ising and Hugh HarmanWell, almost lost… I happened to be speaking to Mark Kausler about the article, and he mentioned that he had a complete set of bar sheets, given to him by Rudy Ising, for an early Merrie Melodies cartoon- "Shuffle Off To Buffalo". He graciously offered to let us digitize it and share it with you. This document is the "smoking gun" that animators interested in timing theories of the past have been looking for. It’s a highly detailed plan for the timing of a typical cartoon from the early days of sound. This isn’t a particularly good cartoon, but it gives us a clear look at the process. That makes it invaluable.

I’ve gathered together all the reference you need to analyze these bar sheets… I’ve supplied you with frame grabs from each scene to act as a storyboard, and I’ve posted a 24 fps movie file of "Shuffle Off To Buffalo". My own knowledge of animation timing theory is extremely limited, so I would appreciate it if the professional animators who are reading this blog would share their expertise through the comments link below, or by posting analysis to their own blogs. Nick Cross and Michael Sporn are the first to weigh in with their comments. I’ll add links to other blogs discussing this topic as I am made aware of them.

Musical timing is one of the principle aspects of early cartoons that set them apart from modern animation. The perfect rhythm of cartoons is what makes them so appealing and magical. Rhythmic timing doesn’t cost any more, in fact, careful planning saves money. “Shuffle Off To Buffalo” was planned down to the frame by two men- a director and a musician- before a single animation drawing had been done. The results are "magical perfection". Modern animation timing requires constant testing and revising by teams of artists and technicians to look "natural". Who wants cartoons that look natural? How many manhours could be saved with this technique? Let’s share info and try to recapture the "lost art" of Musical Timing!

RUDY ISING’S BAR SHEETS

Shuffle Off To Buffalo Bar Sheets

These 20 pages comprise the complete "detail sheets" (aka "bar sheets") for the 1933 Merrie Melodies cartoon, "Shuffle Off To Buffalo". This document was prepared by the director, Rudy Ising in collaboration with the musical director, Frank Marsales.

Shuffle Off To Buffalo Page 01
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STORYBOARD

Feel free to print out these images to use as a visual reference when you’re studying the bar sheets. Every scene in the picture is depicted here, along with its scene number.

Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard
Shuffle Off To Buffalo Storyboard

24 FPS MOVIE FILE

Shuffle Off To Buffalo Movie

I have encoded this Quicktime movie at 24 frames per second, so you can count frames and compare to the bar sheets. If the movie fails to load quickly, check back a little later.

Shuffle Off To Buffalo (WB/1933)
(Quicktime 7 / 30.6 megs)

COMMENTARY AND RELATED LINKS

Director, Michael Sporn provides examples of other formats of bar sheets and a discussion regarding how timing theory morphed over time

Kevin Langley discusses how he is applying musical timing principles to his own work, and offers scans of bar sheets by Bill Hanna and Scott Bradley

Mark Mayerson explains how to use a metronome to time animation

Hans Perk posts lecture notes by Disney composer, Albert Hay Malotte and bar sheets by Dave Hand for Trader Mickey. More on bar sheets at afilmla.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

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

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Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Animation: MGM Animation Drawings

MGM Animation Drawing

Today, we digitized my collection of animation drawings from MGM. Can anyone out there name all the cartoons represented here? Post your guesses to the comments below. Have fun!

MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing
MGM Animation Drawing

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

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

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