Tuesday, July 1, 2008

First I was blind ...

It's amazing how print quality can change the experience of watching a cartoon. No where is this more apparent than in the Fleischer cartoons. Whereas Maurice Noble's backgrounds benefit  in brightness and crispness from restoration there is little new detail revealed in the process. In fact, they are just as legible in shop-worn 16mm prints as remastered 35 thanks to their spare detail and limited palette and generally flat design. The Fleischer cartoons, particularly the color cartoons, are another matter altogether. One need look only as far as the recent Popeye 2 reeler cartoons to see what I mean. Those who's first experience seeing these cartoons was the recently issued Popeye DVD sets have no idea what a fortunate thing it is that these were saved. Take a trip to your local Wal-mart and pick up "Popeye Cartoon Festival Vol.29" for 2 bucks and you'll see what I mean! Today, however, I am posting grabs from the film "All's Fair at the Fair" - a Color Classic cartoon from 1938 which I was fortunate enough to receive from a french broadcast. 


I love the juxtaposition of the old and the new: a horse and carriage in an environment of pure science fiction  

This is how print quality can change an experience. I never even noticed that this scene was making use of a setback!

I want to live in this place! The composition is constantly drawing the eyes in to the characters at center and only then beyond into the depths of the setback.  Backgrounds nowadays are usually a grudging conceit to the story or a hyper realistic CG mess which send the eyes in all directions. 


Part 2 soon!

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