1. Big Cartoon Forum

    You WIll Need To Reset Your Password!!!

    We just moved hosts on this system, and this has caused a few updates. One is the way we encode and store the encoded passwords.

    Your old passwords will NOT work. You will need to reset your password. This is normal. Just click on reset password from the log in screen. Should be smooth as silk to do...

    Sorry for the hassle.

    Dave Koch
  2. Big Cartoon Forum

    Are You Just Hanging Out?

    Just lurking? Join the club, we'd love to have you in the Big Cartoon Forum! Sign up is easy- just enter your name and password.... or join using your Facebook account!

    Membership has it's privileges... you can post and get your questions answered directly. But you can also join our community, and help other people with their questions, You can add to the discussion. And it's free! So join today!

    Dave Koch
  3. Big Cartoon Forum

    Other Side Of Maleficent

    I have been looking forward to Maleficent with equal amounts of anticipation and dread. On one hand, she is easily my favorite Disney villain, so cold and so pure, and I want desperately to see more of her and her back-story. On the other hand, she is easily my favorite Disney villain, and I would hate to see her parodied, taken lightly or ultimately destroyed in a film that does not understand this great character. The good news is that this film almost gets it right; but that is also the bad news.

  4. Big Cartoon Forum

    BCDB Hits 150K Entries

    It took a while, but we are finally here! The Big Cartoon DataBase hit the milestone of 150,000 entries earlier today with the addition of the cartoon The Polish Language. This film was added to BCDB on May 9th, 2014 at 4:23 PM.

  5. Big Cartoon Forum

    Warner Brings Back Animated Stone-Age Family

    Funnyman Will Ferrell and partner Adam McKay are working on bringing back everyone’s favorite stone-age family. The duo’s production company Gary Sanchez Productions is in development on a new Flintstones animated feature.

  6. Big Cartoon Forum

    Disney To Feast In France

    The follow up to Disney’s 2013 Academy Award Winning short Paperman has been announced, and it will premiere at France’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Titled The Feast, the short looks to be based on the same stylized CG techniques used on last years Paperman, a more natural and hand-drawn look to computer animation.

  7. Big Cartoon Forum

    Renegades of Animation: Pat Sullivan

    Pat Sullivan became famous worldwide for his creation of Felix the Cat. What most animation histories gloss over is Sullivan’s checkered past and longtime standing as a wildcat renegade. He didn’t follow the rules. And he made damn sure to fully protect his intellectual properties.

seeking a particular WB cartoon

Discussion in 'Warner Bros.' started by Dave Koch, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Cartoon Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,569
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    536
    Greetings all!
    Just joined this forum and am seeking "the holy Grail" so to speak. I've been a WB cartoon nut since the late 50's watching them in theatres and later on TV. I am searching for a particular cartoon that was released during the 1950's, possibly early 60's. The high quality of the cartoon likely earned it a Blue Ribbon.

    I'll describe the details as best as I recall:
    - it was a one-of- kind with none of the regular WB cartoon characters
    - it concerned a single squirrel (probably in Central Park in NYC)
    - he (she?) wakes up one morning and is looking for breakfast and spots a tiny acorn on a branch close by
    - just as he is about to start chomping, he sees a big walnut on a neighbouring tree and hops on over
    - he's ready to start eating, when suddenly his eyes grow big as he spies the jackpot - a huge bunch of coconuts on a grocer's table on the sidewalk far below
    - he tosses the walnut aside and makes his way to the pile of coconuts
    - not being familiar with the hard shell, he just about breaks his choppers trying to crack it open without success
    - being the resourceful critter he is, he doesn't give up
    - the next scene shows him grunting and groaning as he tries to lift the intact nut onto a rising step
    - then the camera pans around behind the little fellow and tilts upward to reveal stairs leading to near infinity
    - nearly exhausted, he manages the final step of a huge skyscraper and we realize his mission - to crack the coconut
    - he boots the nut off the top of the building
    - we see him bounding down the long stairway in hopeful anticipation
    - his and our hearts sink as we see him in dismay beside an unbroken coconut, the sidewalk cracked all around
    - the final scene shows him glancing up at the walnut tree with its prize waiting for him as he bounds off

    For 6 whole months I have watched WB cartoon hours on TV hoping to find this gem and record it. It has eluded me. Can anyone help? It really is a wonderful cartoon. Thanks for reading.
    Hugh - age 65
  2. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    135
    ~ Greetings, Hugh! Love this cartoon! It has many of the Disney-like qualities that only Chuck Jones could have brought to Warner Bros. cartoons. Here is what I found on The Big Cartoon Database;

    Much Ado About Nutting

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    • Merrie Melodies Theatrical Cartoon Series
    • Warner Bros. Cartoons, Inc.
    • Distributed by: Warner Bros.
    • Cartoon Characters: Squirrel.
    • Voice Actors: Mel Blanc.
    • Directed By Chuck Jones.
    • Produced By Edward Selzer.
    • Animated By Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris, Ben Washam.
    • Written By Michael Maltese.
    • Originally Released on May 23, 1953.
    • Originally Released Theatrically.
    • Running Time: 6:51 minutes.
    ~ I hope this helps, Hugh! ~sidestreetsam
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,869
    Likes Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    551
    Good catch, Sam, that matches the sought cartoon's parameters. Good sleuthing. :thumbsup:
  4. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    5,759
    Likes Received:
    311
    Trophy Points:
    1,528
    This short probably inspired Scrat's running gag in the "Ice Age" films, as well as the upcoming animated feature, "The Nut Job."
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead

    Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead Intern Forum Member New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    31
    No voice actors, though. Jones's prototype to the Tex Avery like Scrat "Ice Age" squirrell, also pantomime (and more like Jones';s Coyote in his fanatical luckless pursuit..)
  6. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    135
    ~ Howdy, Pokey J.
    Good point about no voice actors used in "Much Ado About Nuttin'". The action is all done in pantomine as you pointed out. Chuck Jones completely owned this type of approach to animation at Warner Bros. No other director at the studio was as successful with this sort of genre. A very early example of this can be found in Chuck Jones' B&W Looney Tunes release "Joe Glow, The Firefly" from March 1941. I got a copy from a good friend of mine who transfered all his WB cartoon laser disks to VHS tape for me back in the early 1990's. Finally started to wear the tapes out so I had to transfer them to DVD's! This cartoon is virtually silent with minimal sound effects and background music.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,869
    Likes Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    551
    Good of you to make the distinction that Charles M "Chuck" Jones excelled at non-dialog, pantomime slapstick cartoons at the Warner Brothers Studios. However, I believe this was a case of Greener Grass Syndrome, in that MGM Studios were having great success with Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna's Tom and Jerry series, characters specializing in going speechless throughout their filmography. :D
  8. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    135
    ~ Howdy, oneuglybunny!
    You may be on to something there regarding the "Greener Grass Syndrome". However, the whole thing is a bit more complicated than all that. Warner Bros. paid the lowest salaries in the industry for animators and were very stingy with film budgets. Typically, cartoons short budgets were between $8,000 to $12,000 back in the classic animation era. Disney cartoons could cost as much as a $100,000 and they reshot corrected animation often on Walt's orders to improve the films. No such luxuries existed at Warners. MGM's budgets were also quite lavish. So I'm sure everyone at Warners was envious of these budgets. Chuck Jones was a late-bloomer at Warners. He lost out to Bob Clampett for the cartoon director position open in 1937 when Tex Avery went to MGM. When Chuck started directing his own films in 1939 his first character was the Disney inspired cute little Sniffles the Mouse. These films are much slower paced and methodical than the usual WB fare at the time. Bob Clampett's wild and wacky fast paced cartoons became the house style most people associate with the classic years of WB animation. Chuck didn't tighten up the pacing in his films until later. Finally, Hanna and Barbera released "Puss Gets the Boot", the first MGM cat-and-mouse film as a one-shot cartoon in Feb. 1940. Tom was called Jasper in this film. The first official Tom and Jerry cartoon, "The Midnight Snack", wasn't released until July 1941. "Joe Glow, the Firefly" was realeased by Jones/WB in March 1941 and plods along so slow it's difficult to watch. Tom and Jerry didn't become huge hits until the WWII years and afterward when foreign markets allowed these non-dialogue films to be well received world-wide.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,869
    Likes Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    551
    This can't be the same MGM in-house animation department that produced Tom and Jerry. That one was run by Fred Quimby, every bit as ruthless and tightfisted as Leon Schlesinger, among others. And to his credit, Quimby was able to amass a remarkable talent pool, mostly from Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising's studios and from Van Beuren studios. Bill Hanna started out at Harman-Ising, rising to director for To Spring while Joe Barbera had worked for Van Beuren. Later, Quimby would even capture Fred "Tex" Avery after his falling out with Leon Schlesinger. Nevertheless, Quimby hounded his animation staff like a tax auditor, insisting on cartoon footage for every penny spent. It seems Walt Disney was the only studio mogul not to use bullwhips and blowtorches on his animation staff.


    * Pink text is hyperbole; not to be construed as fact or speculation.
  10. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    135
    ~ Hey, oneuglybunny!
    Yep... one and the same MGM in-house animation department. It wasn't that Quimby was a ruthless and tightfisted cartoon producer. It was the fact that when it came to animation he was clueless. He would constantly complain about how the films contained "too many drawings" (huh?), how too much animation paper and pencils were being wasted, etc... He would wonder out loud what all the laughing and goofing off he observed within the department had to do with making cartoons. Let's say he made no friends there and was universally despised by everyone involved. The fact remains that MGM studios, who boasted to have more stars than there are in heaven, had on average the largest film budgets per film of all the Hollywood studios in the Golden Age. The Tom and Jerry cartoons averaged between $35,ooo to $45,000 per cartoon. Often more as budget overuns were common. All the cartoon units utilized pencil tests and reshot animation as it felt necessary to improve the films. Harman and Ising were finally booted from MGM for disregarding budget overuns on their cartoons which often exceeded $100,000 or more.
    Here is little profile I found that will tell you all you need to know about Fred Quimby;

    Fred Quimby joined MGM in 1927 to head its short features department. In 1937, he was assigned to put together its animation department. In 1939, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera presented him with their project for a series of cartoons featuring a cat and a mouse. Quimby approved, and the result was Puss Gets the Boot, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Initially he refused to pursue more Cat and Mouse cartoons after Puss Gets the Boot but success and money earnings that were for the cartoon he agreed to make Tom and Jerry an official cartoon for the MGM cartoon studio. As producer, Quimby became a repeated recipient of the Academy Award for Animated Short Film for the Tom and Jerry films without inviting Hanna and Barbera onstage and his name became well known due to its prominence in the cartoon credits. Even though Quimby had taken sole credit for approving and producing the Tom and Jerry series, he was not involved in the creative process. Besides, Quimby had a difficult relationship with animators, including Hanna and Barbera, who believed that Quimby was not fit for a real animation leader;
    “...unfortunately for a cartoon producer, he had no sense of humor to call upon... He knew nothing of animation and cartoons were a strange thing to him. Cast in the role of high school principal opposite the animators' boyish enthusiasms, he acted as liaisons between them and the front office, usually it seemed, turning down requests for bigger budgets, raises and special dispensations of funds.”
    • Like Like x 1
  11. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,869
    Likes Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    551
    ~Hello, sidestreetsam. :)
    Some of that seems to conflict with the accounts that I've read in Bill Hanna's biography A Cast Of Friends and in Joe Barbera's biography My Life In Toons. These creators of Tom and Jerry recall making "Puss Gets The Boot" behind Quimby's back, as their initial story pitch was met with, "Cat and mouse has been done. There's nowhere left to go with it. Cat and mouse is dead." When "Puss Gets The Boot" debuted in February 1940, the reviews were very positive, vindicating Joe and Bill's decision. However, they were admonished to not do that again ... until one of MGM's biggest distributors phoned Quimby and asked, "When you gonna make another one?"

    Those figures of $35 thousand to $45 thousand were accurate for the early MGM productions. However the 1948 Superior court ruling that movie studios could not lawfully compel theaters to play the newsreels, serial and cartoons, a practice called package marketing, cartoon funding shrank considerably, until MGM ultimately shut down their animation department. :(

    But I'm getting off-topic here. :bag: Apparently, the initial success of "Puss Gets The Boot" served as a benchmark for Warner Brothers animators, who tried dialog-free cartoon shorts as a test of directorial skill. Whereas with MGM, the Tom and Jerry cartoons are mostly speechless as a matter of canon. Therefore, "Much Ado About Nutting" was Charles M Jones trying his hand at dialog-free direction, which in his case, worked. However, Warner Brothers also had Mel Blanc on staff, so that studio had little motivation to keep cartoons silent. :doctor:
  12. aonesur

    aonesur Newbie New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2021
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good catch, Sam, that matches the sought cartoon's parameters.

Share This Page