Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Here is an entire set of digitally reproduced backgrounds from JOHANN MOUSE (MGM, 1952). These are certainly among MGM's finest. The Tom and Jerry cartoon won an Oscar, very deservedly so.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Disney's THE BRAVE LITTLE TAILOR was likely in production near the end of SNOW WHITE. The studio's artistry was at full flower, as evidenced by these wonderful background pieces.

First, a reconstructed pan background of a castle interior:
Next, the interior of the giant's mouth. What a cavern!
The final image of a beautifully depicted well is on screen for mere seconds. This epitomizes the attention to detail that raised Disney animation to its peak. The subject is humble, and simple, but the painting is a lovely little masterpiece.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A New Companion Blog

This is your personal invitation to visit my new addition to the blogspot family.

KOMEDY KLASSICS will provide a daily dose of laughter for you. It's guaranteed!

The first post features the incredible talent and impeccable timing of Jack Benny. Of special interest to animation fans is the on-camera appearance of Mel Blanc, the genius who created the voices for almost all the Warner Brothers cartoon characters.

Hope you'll enjoy the grins and giggles!


Sunday, April 27, 2008


It's been a while since we've taken a look at backgrounds from SLEEPING BEAUTY. Here are two typically lavish pieces.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

CORNY CONCERTO (Warners, 1943)

Warner Brothers animation studio paid tribute to Disney's FANTASIA by concocting this good-natured spoof of Disney's film, deftly lacerating any notion of highbrow pretense. The CORNY CONCERTO artwork is incredibly good and true to style, right down to art deco idioms and color palettes.

Here is the Corny-gie Hall marquee, with and without its neon-effects overlay.

The Maestro's podium is lavishly rendered here, and of course Elmer Fudd portrayed a sterling caricature of Deems Taylor as narrator and master of cremonies.
Next on today's program, the "Vienna Woods" title card, and a digitally re-created pan B/G complete with a foreground tree, courtesy of Warner's version of the multiplane camera.

Many of the B/G paintings show more than a passing resemblance to Fantasia's "Pastoral" sequence, rabbit holes notwithstanding.

This vulture's perch oversees a magnificent aerial view.The last two B/Gs are very different "waterscapes," each with its own ebullient charm.
No question about it: the CORNY CONCERTO is indeed a masterpiece!


This dance floor background was used in a couple of very interesting ways. A stationary cel overlay was used to seat "guests" at the tables.

The music eventually drives the nightclub audience into a frenzied rush to the dance floor. Here's one frame of the 1950s "dance fever!"
The last piece of artwork from THREE LITTLE BOPS is this digitally recreated pan B/G of the nightclub. Cool, man, cool!

THREE LITTLE BOPS (Warners, 1957)

The background art is credited to Irv Wyner.

Courtesy of YouTube, here's the complete cartoon!