Monday, January 21, 2008


So I'm obsessed with Tex Avery cartoons. Not his WB ones, but his MGM cartoons. A buddy of mine gave me a copy of the Avery Collection (which was originally on laser disc I think), and has every cartoon he did at MGM.

Prior to seeing the Avery Collection, I had been fixated on WB cartoons (I tend to go through phases), and was convinced that they were the greatest cartoons ever made specifically the Road Runner/Coyote series... I was wrong. I can't believe how incredible Tex's MGM cartoons are. I have been watching them non-stop for about 2 months now, and they have yet to get old. They are the most entertaining and captivating pieces of cinema I have ever seen. After watching only the 1st disc of a five disc set, Tex Avery had completely changed my perception of what animation should be.

I think today his genius may be somewhat overlooked. A lot of the gags you see in his cartoons were so radical and groundbreaking at the time. I'm sure when people first saw his cartoons they thought "what the hell is he on?". However, over the years, people have repeatedly stolen Avery gags and executed them with less than perfect timing, poor staging, and unappealing drawings. It's gotten to a point where Avery gags are standard in most cartoons, the completely original and innovative jokes he created have broken into a realm of normalcy, I think maybe even subconsiously (spelling?) . We now KNOW for a fact that when a male character sees a sexy character his eyes pop out of his head. I mean, Avery came up with at over 60 years ago, and since then, no one has come up with a new "take". Why not!? The only shows I actually see trying are Spongebob and Chowder (Which is absolutly brilliant). Chowder is pushing the envelope on gags more than any show since Spongebob. Chowder also has what appears to be a specific vision which creator Carl Grenblatt (also a Spongebob board artist (and an emmy winning board artist to some)) executes without flaw. I feel like there are probably a lot of people saying "what the hell is he on?" right now, however when 5 or 6 shows come out copying the style and sense of humor of Chowder it will become a standard. On a side note, (not that this post hasn't already taken one... or two), What kind of logic do we use today where whenever someone comes up with something original and creative we say "what the hell is he/she on?". Why is the only way someone can be creative through the use of halucinagens?
Anyways, in closing, Tex Avery is single greatest animation director of all time, "Hick Chick" by Avery is the best animated short of all time, "The Three Little Pups" by Avery is the best looking animated short of all time, and you should watch Chowder on Cartoon Network.

If you read that whole thing... cool, and thanks.
Oh yeah, here are some Avery model sheets I copied.

1 comment:

The Jerk said...

i agree 100%. avery= genius. i recently have been watching his toons wherever i find them (including youtube despite the poop quality of the picture & sound)naturally his red hot riding hood and screwy squirrel shorts are golden. i also liked his chilly willy cartoons at Lantz, particularly "Rockabye Point."