Carton leaves Stryver's house and returns to his own, crying himself to . His love for Miss Manette and his self-hatred generate motives that. A Tale of Two Cities relationship chart Mr. Stryver for Charles ended up in his own imprisonment, and the eventual death of Sydney Carton. On this slim connection, Chinedu asked the man if he knew of any jobs, and he was In Lagos, everyone is a striver. This will require enormous expenditures of money and effort, but even if the goal is achieved nearly a quarter of the world's Daily Cartoon · Cartoon Caption Contest · Cartoon Bank.
Some say the strong scent of the queen's perfume gave their whereabouts away. In Octoberthe royal family was forced to leave Versailles for the Tuileries palace in the heart of Paris, where they lived in prison-like isolation. Marie Antoinette secretly requested help from other European rulers, including her royal siblings in Austria and Naples.
On the night of June 20,the royal family attempted to flee. Their escape plan was said to have been engineered by Axel von Fersen, the Swedish count who was rumored to be one of the Queen's lovers. It is incontestable that Marie Antoinette's brother awaited the royal family just across the border and that he was accompanied by troops ready to invade. They were caught in the small town of Varennes, half-way to the border, and brought back to Paris, prisoners now of the Revolutionary government.
On the night of August 10,militants attacked the royal palace where Marie Antoinette and her family were being held and forced the Legislative Assembly to "suspend" the King. Little more than a month later, on September 20, the new National Convention was convened, and two days later it voted to declare France a republic, thus abolishing the monarchy.
A sarcastic treatment from England of French manners that contrasts the weakness of the old regime with the vulgar arrogance of the new revolutionary regime. The engraver also seems to be pointing toward two entirely different views of masculinity. In England, James Gillray adopted the caricatural style of Bruegel, to create caricatures of his contemporary statesmen that today can be categorized as political cartoons in which his wit was directed not only against the political and legislative abuses of his time but also against the morals of the royal family.
Gillray initially supported the French Revolution, and it's principles of libertybut when the revolution turned violent particularly during the work of the Terror he turned against, nevertheless later on he turned against the tyrannical regime of Napoleon Bonaparte, describing him as "Boney the carcase-butcher" in a number of offensive images.
George Cruikshank - was at his best when he was dealing with socio-cultural issues. His most celebrated of social cartoons were his Monstrosities, which were published annually from to As the conservative Victorian era began most forms of satirical art grew to be unfashionable.
George Cruikshank thus turned his talents to the illustrated book, including Dickens's Oliver Twist, which bear testimony to his artistic talent. Bonaparte with authority commandeth his soldiers with fixed bayonets during the attack on the Council of Five Hundred. Note the exaggeration of his uniform and his hat feathers trying to give a comic note to the scene. They brandish proudly tricolor on what is written "Long live Bonaparte triumvirate - Seyes - Ducos.
In August of Napoleon was arrested because he had been a supporter of Maximilien Rosbespierre. He was accused of treason. Although he was released his career seemed to be over.
Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age - PDF Free Download
Then in October ofthe government was threatened with a revolt in Paris. Paul Barras, commander of the home forces, appointed Napoleon to defend the capital.
One year later at the age of 26, he was rewarded with the position of commander in chief of the interior French army in Italy. When Napoleon accepted the position as the commander of the French Army he received a chilly reception by his generals. Yet, as Augereau one of the generals admittedsomething about this Bonaparte frightened them.
That day Napoleon issued the following order, "Soldiers! You are badly fed, almost naked. The government owes you a great deal, but it can do nothing for you. Your patience and courage do you honor, but give you neither worldly goods nor glory. I shall lead you into the most fertile plains in the world where you will find big cities and wealthy provinces.
You will win honor, fame and riches. Soldiers of the Army of Italy! Could courage and constancy possibly fail you? In a series of stunning victories, Napoleon defeated four Austrian generals in succession, each army he fought got bigger and bigger. This forced Austria and its allies to make peace with France. He returned to Paris as a conquering hero. When he returned he received a huge welcome.
The governing Directory was happy to send Napoleon to far-off Egypt. On the paper spread over the table is written "Subject: Send Bonaparte to Egypt to prevent the organizing of the Executive. Bonaparte, simply dressed in a long white shirt with a tight belt and boots is accusing the Board of wanting to remove soldiers as the only reward for his victories in Italy.
Bonaparte, depicted in a bizarre military costume, furiously reads a dispatch addressed to "Mounseer Beau-Naperty ", which advising him to be cautious. On the paper dropping from his left hand is written; "The conquest of the Chouans French royalistsold song called into music. Behind him the second and third consuls are depicted as two buffoons trying to read over his shoulder.
On the left, the messenger, carrying the red cap, awaiting Bonaparte's response. A courteous Bonaparte is politely welcoming to Paris the vulgar John Bull and his coarse bride Hibernia, representing England and Ireland, that are recently united by the Act of Union John Bull thanks his host by addressing him as Bonny Party.
He also uses the word "gammon", which has the double meaning of "nonsense, humbug," and a cured or smoked ham; implying that for John Bull, this is not a simple courtesy visit. His wife Ireland interrupts him, telling him he needs to learn some manners. English cartoonists are beginning to represent John Bull as squire with top hat, Colorful jacket and culotte, a style of tight pants ending just below the knee, first popularized in France during the reign of Henry III.
Bull's conservative instinct is in contrast to the excesses of the Jacobins. Created in by John Arbuthnot, John Bull became widely known from cartoons by Sir John Tenniel published in the British humor magazine Punch during the middle and late 19th century.
In those cartoons, he was portrayed as an honest, solid, farmer figure, often in a Union Jack waistcoat, and accompanied by a bulldog. He was explicitly used as the antithesis of the sans-culotte during the French Revolution. The three English visitors bow before Bonaparte.
Sydney Carton - Wikipedia
Fox, the first character on left, is wearing a revolutionary cap and has bowed so low that his pants are torn. Erskine, in the middle, dressed in the black habit of lawyers and a paper out of his pocket says "O'Conners Brief. A paper out of his pocket reads "Essay on Porter Brewing by H.
He became Lord Mayor inand was returned five times as the City's representative in Parliament. Sitting on a high chair decorated with elegant revolutionary symbols, Bonaparte receives the homage with one foot on a small stool, the other on the carpet covered raised podium. Note that he wears a director's uniform, not that of the First Consul. Napoleon wearing an unflattering military uniform wearing a pirate crown adorned with weapons and a skull.
On the 9th of November 18 Brumaire General Napoleon Bonaparte overthrew the Directory and assumed leadership of the French nation. Napoleon's victory at Marengo June followed by Moreau's at Hohenlinden in December forced Austria into a separate peace. This had added seriousness because of Britain's reliance on the Baltic ports for imports of grain, naval stores and for export markets.
Britain was almost completely alone without an ally to be found across Europe. By stroke of good fortune with perhaps a some have suggested there is a hint of complicity on Britain's partTsar Paul was assassinated on March 21st The new Tsar Alexander was no admirer of Napoleon and the promised Franco-Russian prosperity where they would settle the fate of northern Europe and the near east together, now evaporated like a mirage.
Nine days later Nelson destroyed the Danish fleet in Copenhagen ending any potential for a combined fleet to threaten British naval superiority. To integrate these territories into the national patrimony was going beyond the cherished natural frontiers, and at such a critical juncture!
This was flying in the face of all reason. The perception of the peace treaty with England. Napoleon had foreign expectations that encouraged him to seek peace. Initially and as Britain feared, he hoped to diplomatically and militarily defeat Britain, but once the opportunity to defeat Britain had diminished there were pressing reasons for peace.
For the people of France the revolution had turned out to be a roller coaster ride, and to a large measure the reason General Bonaparte's take-over of the government was so popular was that he was perceived to be strong enough to bring things back under control in peace as he had in war. Victories alone were no longer enough, what was the point of victory if it didn't bring peace?
Here a thin and elegant, but cunning and deceitful Bonaparte who has taken care to place his hat and sword on the floor, implying that he is no longer a warrior but a friend, courts a plump, prosperous, but outrageously dressed England Britannia who is depicted as a bit naive. Having set aside, too, her trident and shield, she is captivated by the fellow's charm, knowing that "he will disappoint again. It is said that Napoleon was extremely amused by this cartoon. In the Treaty of London, signed on the first of 0ctoberthe guarantee of a single great power in charge of Malta was first abandoned for the collective guarantee of its independence from all the six European powers: Although the last three were not present at the table, the protection and guarantee of Malta's independence was required from all of them.
British forces were to be withdrawn, the fortification were to be left intact and for the next year,Malta was to be garrisoned by Naples from which Napoleon was agreeing to pull his troops out of. Following this the reconstituted Knights of St John would again hold the island.
However virtually none of this ever occurred. None of the other powers ever offered their guarantee although Russia toyed with the idea ; Britain never withdrew her garrison, and when Naples sent the temporary garrison there were denied admission to the fortresses. The nominated Grandmaster could not be persuaded to accede until March when it was already too late, and the Knights of St John were insolvent and unable to govern the island in any case.
By March both sides were talking of the possibility of war over Malta. France had never disarmed but further military preparations for St Domingo or wherever were in evidence. There was talk in England that French commercial agents had surveyed British and Irish harbours and defences. On March the 6th, Britain began a partial rearmament in response on the 13th of March there occurred a famous scene: At a Sunday afternoon drawing room review in front of other guests Napoleon either staged or actually lost his temper and made a scene.
In a voice that everyone in the room could hear he raged, "So you are determined to go to war. Napoleon then stormed off to complain further of British warmongering to the Spanish and Russian ambassadors. Britain was saying plainly that Malta would not be evacuated without some concession on France's part. Whitworth could threaten 'Malta or war' because he believed Napoleon was so determined over Malta that he would offer concessions to obtain this object.
One such concession would have been the abandonment of Louisiana. The transaction was completed on the 3rd of May and thus Napoleon gives evidence that his hopes for overseas expansion were gone. This was a virtual a fire-sale! The Treaty of Amiens was signed on March 25, The news arrived in London on the 29th.
There was intense relief and the populace now gratefully looked forward to falling prices and rising prosperity. Much goodwill had been lost and many were fatalistic or suspicious but peace had been achieved. However, a lack of trust between Britain and France caused the collapse of the Peace of Amiens in the late-spring of Here the drinking companions begin a quarrel: But with his broken oar symbolizing the battered British sea power he threatens to strike back.
He has in his hand a map of Malta, and tramples on the Treaty of Amiens. The French has already snatched Hanover. On the wall, a lion, symbolizing France, attacks the English leopard.
Pitt takes the ocean: Napoleon takes Europe, with the exception of Britain, Sweden, and Russia. At Trafalgar, the Royal Navy ensured its maritime supremacy for the rest of the war by destroying a combined Franco-Spanish fleet. At Austerlitz, Napoleon crushed an Austro-Russian army to become the master of Europe for the next seven years. Such movement encouraged the illusion that the camera was moving on a track parallel to moving characters.
In DecemberBray defeated a conflicting claim by Carl Lederer, another animator at Barre's studio. Lederer evidently made a renewed effort to nullify Bray's patents, only to drop it in Januarynot because he had been defeated again, he said, but because "I found that the subject matter covered by the Bray patents is in universal use today.
In any event, by his patents had become mostly a nuisance. Other cartoon makers had surpassed him technically; they had found ways to make cartoons on a regular schedule, not only by exploiting the flexibility that separating characters from backgrounds gave them, but also by adopting shortcuts of other kinds.
They used cycles, for instance, in which a few drawings representing a single movement, like a stride in a run, were seen over and over again. Their much larger problem was how to make their cartoons appealing to audiences. The pioneer animators were not green cartoonists. Emile Cohl was in his fifties when he made the Newlyweds cartoons; Winsor McCay was in his early forties when he made his first animated film; Raoul Barre turned forty in ; John Randolph Bray was thirty-five in that year.
All these men were accustomed to drawing for publication, that is, to doing work that required speed and proficiency.
When Bray and Barre began setting up real studios, they attracted other cartoonists of the same kind. By the end ofBray had assembled a group of former newspaper cartoonists—Paul Terry and Earl Hurd were two of a larger number—who made the films for him, each specializing in his own characters.
Sydney Carton in Tale of Two Cities: Character Analysis & Overview
Late inBray switched distributors, leaving Pathe for Paramount; he was now obligated to produce one cartoon a week. Beginnings, 17 By Septemberwhen he was deep into the Paramount release, his staff included nine cartoonists, as well as four camera operators and thirty assistant artists.
When the animation was on celluloid, as at Bray's studio, an assistant might trace the characters in ink from the animators' pencil drawings. When the animators' own inked drawings were photographed, as at Barre's studio, an assistant might fill in the solid black areas or even erase the pencil lines. A talented newcomer need not remain in such a job long, however: Although Bray showed himself in The Artist's Dream to be capable of depicting a dog's movements with surprising subtlety, other Bray studio films that survive from the teens tend to be fairly elaborate in drawing, like the nineteenthcentury magazine cartoons they evoke, but barely serviceable as animation.
Instead, a drawing may be held for many seconds on the screen or animation repeated throughout a film; likewise, rather than make, say, ten individual drawings to represent a rapid action, an animator might make only five drawings, or three, and have each drawing shot for two or three successive frames "on twos" or "on threes".
Even Winsor McCay had resorted to such expedients as cycles and repeated animation, but only within the context of animation that was otherwise painstakingly realistic. In How a Mosquito Operates, McCay's animation of the mosquito as it attacks a sleeping man is startling—and even painful to watch—because the mosquito is so very large in relation to the man and plunges its huge beak so deep into the man's face.
But McCay animated the swelling of the enormous insect's body, as it gorges itself on blood, with disarming subtlety: McCay animated his dinosaur, Gertie, with the same combination of grand scale and surprising delicacy; she is like a mischievous and unpredictable trained animal, suggesting variously an elephant, horse, or big cat.
In the Bray cartoons, by contrast, 18 Cartoon Acting there is nothing resembling real movement; everything is stiff and mechanical, in keeping with the industrial model that Bray had embraced so confidently. Barre had embraced it, too, but he may have been looking back over his shoulder at McCay's example with some wistfulness.
Even in at the Barre studio, Dick Huemer said, "there was some attempt to improve animation," as well as evening art classes with a model: He had a planned program for this all outlined and threw all of his profits back into it, whenever he had any, but he couldn't get far on twelve hundred dollars a picture.
Generalizing about the animated cartoons of the teens is treacherous because so many of the films have not survived and not all the surviving films are accessible, but the overwhelming impression is of films poorly animated, populated by highly artificial characters, and offering mostly jokes of the lamest kind— often in dialogue balloons, enhancing a resemblance to filmed comic strips.
Cartoons never ran more than ten minutes or so, and they often shared a reel with a newsreel or a nature film. They were, in sum, films of a highly marginal kind, and there's some evidence, in trade-paper reviews and personal recollections from the time, that by late in the teens audiences were growing impatient with cartoons' weaknesses. There's evidence, too—more often in accounts from the period than in the surviving films—that some people working in animation tried to respond by improving their product.
One of them was Gregory La Cava, a New York newspaper cartoonist who, according to Nat Falk's early history, worked first in animation for Barre and then made animated cartoons for Rube Goldberg, by a famous newspaper cartoonist.
It's not clear when La Cava Beginnings, 19 took charge of the cartoon studio that William Randolph Hearst established within his International Film Service to make films based on his comic strips; the first Hearst cartoons, from early inwhich included Barre's Phables and Krazy Kat cartoons animated by Bill Nolan, were probably farmed out. La Cava was certainly running the studio by sometime in the fall ofwhen the first Katzenjammer Kids cartoons appeared.
La Cava made improved cartoons, in Falk's account, by increasing the average number of drawings from 2, to 3, by introducing what Falk called a "more natural animation" as opposed to "stiff angular movements," and by substituting titles for balloons—in short, by moving the cartoons away from their comic-strip origins.
Frank Moser was the exemplar. He was yet another newspaper cartoonist; he had worked as one in Des Moines, Iowa, before finding a job of some kind in New York. He evidently did not get into animation until he went to work for the Hearst studio, most likely in its earliest days in Worked on paper, pen and ink What Falk called "more natural animation" involved not just more drawings—and thus more movement—but also character design with a greater reliance on curves.
The use of curves may even have grown in response to the increased number of drawings, curves being easier and faster to draw. Vertical forms tend to stutter when they're moving across the screen, whereas curving forms tend to flow.
It was, in various accounts, Bill Nolan who first demonstrated the potential in a more curving and pliable kind of animation, but he was certainly not alone. Another cartoonist who later won some credit for such an innovation was Charles Bowers. Like so many others in the field, Bowers was a newspaper cartoonist until the middle teens, when he entered animation; he was by a partner in Barre's studio. Bowers's contributions 20 Cartoon Acting are hard to assess in the absence of so many films, but there is this praise in an unsigned obituary in a newsletter of the cartoonists' union clearly written by some former colleague, possibly Ted Sears, who began working at the Barre studio around He also added perspective and solidity of figure construction to an art that had long been two-dimensional.
The small budgets and tight schedules that were so confining to Barre in the middle teens were no less confining later in the decade. When several animators worked on a film, as was increasingly the case, there was typically only the most limited effort to pull their disparate contributions together.
While he was with Barre, Dick Huemer said inBarre would hand out the idea of the story. He'd say, "We're making a picture about Egypt this week; have pyramids in it, and sphinxes, and camels. So, we'd go back to our boards. We would animate for a week—just about a week—cut it off, and then soon it would be spliced together. Probably on a single sheet of paper, without any models, sketches or anything. The film industry as a whole was hit hard, but cartoon studios—making a product few people cared about—especially suffered.
A few studios in addition to the Mutt and Jeff operation had enjoyed at least mild prosperity in the years just after World War I. In SeptemberBray broke with Paramount and began distributing his Pictographs—potpourris that mixed travelogues and nature studies with animated films of various kinds—through Samuel Goldwyn, on a schedule that called for three reels a week, Beginnings, 21 three times as many as before.
Within two years, though, Paramount had first dropped the Magazine, then withdrawn from animation entirely, and the Hearst studio had closed. The Bray studio's role in the film industry—and in animation in particular—was declining rapidly. Goldwyn had acquired what was billed as a "controlling interest" in Bray Pictures Corporation early in ,43 but the GoldwynBray Pictograph ended inand Bray's alliance with the Goldwyn company apparently ended around the same time.
InBray began distributing what was now called the Bray Magazine on a "states-rights basis," that is, selling the exhibition rights to regional distributors, a definite step down from his earlier arrangements. As if in testimony to animation's declining popularity, the new films combined animation with live action; the combination work involved blowing up frames of the live-action film so they could be reshot with the character animation on celluloid over them.
InLantz—who also acted in the live actionlaid Heeza Liar aside in favor of a series built around a boy protagonist, Dinky Doodle. His interest had shifted away from theatrical films of all kinds and toward films for schools, filmstrips in particular his company began offering a filmstrip projector in For a small studio like his, that logic pointed toward films 22 Cartoon Acting that served markets less volatile than theatrical audiences.
Otherwise, his ambitions for animation were exactly as limited as they had always been: For a foot cartoon, he told a magazine interviewer, "we manage to get along with only 2, to 2, drawings"48—fewer than La Cava was putting into the Hearst cartoons a half-decade earlier.
Bray had no larger ideas for organizing the production of his animated films. There was, however, a predictable concern with the most minor costs. A few cartoon studios did manage to thrive in the twenties, though, even if on a small scale.
Their films invited audiences to find novelty not in the medium itself, but in what the cartoonists were doing with it. Bray was working in the art department and the eighteenyear-old Fleischer was, as Bray wrote in a third-person "History" many years later, a "cub artist, retouching photographs. He and Bray met again, probably inat Paramount's offices, where Fleischer was waiting to show a sample cartoon he had produced. According to the "History," "Bray told Fleischer that he had an exclusive contract with Paramount and suggested he show it to him Bray agreed to try the cartoon on the public.
It immediately was a success, so Bray engaged Fleischer and his brother to make a series at Bray Studios for regular release. It was instead a tracing from liveaction film that was projected from below, frame by frame, onto Beginnings, 23 a glass surface the size of the animation paper.
Like Bray, Fleischer sought patent protection: Like Bray's, Fleischer's application was rejected at first but eventually approved, in Fleischer's case on 9 October Fleischer cartoons began appearing in ParamountBray Pictographs by June The rotoscoping made the desired impression. One early review, of what was probably the clown's first appearance in a Pictograph, described him as "a wonderful little figure that moves with the sinuous grace of an Oriental dancer. It was not until Septemberwhen Bray moved his Pictographs from Paramount to Goldwyn, that the clown cartoons, now dubbed Out of the Inkwell, became a series within the Pictographs.
The Fleischers first distributed their new Out of the Inkwell series themselves, on a states-rights basis; by sometime inthough, they had signed with a distributor—not one of the major film companies, but Margaret Winkler, a young woman who had just gone into business for herself after seven years with Warner Bros, as a secretary.
Instead, the films presented the clown as a creature who emerged from a live-action 24 Cartoon Acting inkwell and played against a live-action cartoonist, Max Fleischer himself. The animation was mostly on paper. Dick Huemer started animating for the Fleischers, probably in earlywhen the total staff was, he said, "ten at the most"57 it had grown to nineteen by late in the year, when the studio moved to larger quarters at Broadway.
Davis was to be an assistant in a new sense of the term. By the early twenties, there was wide acceptance of the idea that there was a sort of hierarchy of animation drawings. Winsor McCay himself advocated a "split system" in a correspondence course that Federal Schools published intelling the students that they should break movement down to single drawings by making a new drawing midway between two others, starting with the two at the beginning and end of a movement.
The poses that defined a movement came to be called "extremes," the others, "inbetweens," because they were literally in between: An alternative adopted by some animators was to work "straight ahead," that is, to start at the beginning of a scene and make one drawing after another.
That method could produce animation of a particularly fluid kind, but it also entailed risks—a character could easily grow or shrink over the course of a scene— and it was by no means the norm in the twenties; as Dick Huemer said, "We worked from pose to pose with inbetweens. They talked me into it," Huemer said in The Fleischer animators inked their own drawings, on paper "You wouldn't dare Beginnings, 25 let anybody else touch your precious stuff," Huemer saidand so Davis, as Huemer's inbetweener, inked the inbetweens, adhering to Huemer's style.
They would also then go off by themselves and shoot the live action. Dave Fleischer, on the other hand, "would come sit next to an animator, and they would talk Not writing anything down, just talk—a private gag meeting. That was the only preparation for the animation. What distinguished the Fleischer cartoons from Barre's, and from most other studios' cartoons, was their reflexive nature; whatever their ostensible subject, they were always cartoons about what it was like to be a cartoon.
That self-awareness sometimes extended beyond the characters—the clown, called variously KoKo or Ko-Ko, knew he was made of pen and ink—to the filmmakers themselves. Cartoon Factoryfor instance, is built around the idea of mechanization, which embraces even the production of multiple Maxes cutout photos of Max in a tin-soldier suit.
Max appears in stop motion at the start, pressing levers to stir up all his drawing tools. Max Fleischer had, of course, worked at J. Bray's side for several years, and he may have taken the industrial model all too seriously.
He set up his own distributing organization, Red Seal Pictures Corporation, inand byRed Seal was releasing monthly "featurettes" that included not only the Fleischer Inkwell cartoons and Song Cartunes the latter were film versions of the song slides that had been part of theater programs for decadesbut also a variety of live-action shorts.
Red Seal released shorts inas opposed to only 26 in In OctoberMax Fleischer asked for appointment of a receiver in bankruptcy, contending that, despite Inkwell Films' solvency, "the action of a film laboratory has forced it to seek the protection of the courts to work out its problems. However, they weren't able to get the clown away from Max. So he set himself up over [in Long Island City], opened a little studio and continued making song cartoons.
They employed metamorphosis—a device integral to ani- Beginnings, 27 mation since the earliest animated films—with an unprecedented relish. In KoKo the KopFitz the dog, fleeing after he has stolen a bone that Max has drawn, "hides" by becoming a window with a girl hanging out of it he turns back into himself as KoKo kisses the girl.
But, more striking, objects repeatedly change their nature without changing their appearance. The characters lift up and rearrange seemingly solid and immovable background elements, as if they were stage props. Thus rearranged, the background elements again appear to be fixed in place—as in fact they are. In the same manner, Fitz picks up the front half of a large rock; the remaining half appears to be a hole—and thus, it is one, which Fitz escapes into. Appearances are simultaneously true and false.
Cartoons like KoKo the Kop seem not to have emerged from any systematic exploration of the medium, but to have grown out of the contradictions built into the way the Fleischers made cartoons.
For all that they adhered to a Bray-like model in so many ways, they did not follow through; at crucial points there was an abrupt transition from industrial efficiency to a much looser and more eccentric sort of filmmaking.
A few animation drawings from the Inkwell films have survived,69 and on the evidence of those drawings—and the films, too—the Fleischers manipulated paper far more intricately than did other animators who put the paper animation drawings under the camera, as opposed to tracings of those drawings on celluloid.
Working with paper drawings alone was much more restrictive than working with eels. Animators could, by tearing the paper, achieve only some of the flexibility that eel animation offered. Putting the characters on eels eliminated the need to worry about the characters' disturbing the backgrounds at least as long as the drawings on the eels were opaqued, or painted, as they almost always were.
Animators who worked with paper could never shed that worry. On the other hand, eel animation could match some of paper animation's virtues, since animators could divide individual drawings among more than one level of celluloid; a moving character or part of a character could be on one sheet and a stationary character or body part on another.
Stacking sheets of celluloid in that manner produced noticeable differences in paint color—a white or gray seen through three sheets of celluloid was darker than a white or gray on top of the pile—but that was a minor annoyance compared with the time saved by not having to trace drawings that did not change from one exposure to the next.
But although the Fleischers put KoKo on eels over rear-projected frames from live-action film whenever the clown left the drawing board the Rotograph, a device of Max's invention, yielded results similar to those in the Bray films made by Walter Lantzthey resorted to eels seldom if ever in the pure cartoon sections. There, the Fleischer staff tore and cut the paper animation with an ingenuity that probably became an end in itself. The Fleischers also worked without exposure sheets, a tool in use at some studios since the middle teens;71 such sheets told the cameraman how many exposures, or frames of film, should be devoted to each drawing.
Instead, as Roland Crandall wrote a few years later, "most of the planning, matching and timing was done under the camera"72—a practice no doubt mandated by the paper animation's complexity, and one at war with anything like efficient production. Similarly with their assigning Art Davis to Huemer to draw his inbetweens: There is in the Inkwell cartoons continual friction between a rigorously mechanical approach to animated filmmaking, on the one hand, and an utterly whimsical, not to say careless, attitude toward stories and animation, on the other.
As in Huemer's recollection, it seems in the films that Max Fleischer is in charge up to a point and then Dave Fleischer takes over, their radically different temperaments governing different aspects of each film. Thus it is that KoKo—clearly more Dave's creature than Max's— is constantly testing and poking at the mechanical apparatus that is Max's preserve and that as the film is at pains to show makes the clown's very existence possible.
In only one other series of cartoons in the twenties was there the same sort of examination of the medium, with the difference that in the other case a single sensibility was in charge.
It is Otto Beginnings, 29 Messmer's Felix the Cat cartoons that reveal most clearly just how much—and how little—a creative animator might accomplish within the confines of the silent cartoon of the twenties.
Pat Sullivan, an Australian-born newspaper cartoonist, was making animated cartoons with the character Sammie Johnsin, a black child, by early inworking with at least two assistants. When Sullivan signed a contract with Paramount in Marchone of the specified subjects of his cartoons was a black cat, Felix, who had been introduced as "Master Tom" in a Paramount Magazine cartoon called Feline Follies.
He emerged from the wreckage with ownership of his character, but at first he had no place to go with Felix. By late inthough, he had become Margaret Winkler's client, even before the Fleischers signed with her. Felix Saves the Day was released in February as the first free-standing Felix cartoon.
He was, besides, an alcoholic. By the early twenties, he had abandoned even a supervisory role to Otto Messmer, a younger man who had worked with him as a subordinate since the Sammie Johnsin days.
The Sullivan studio moved around Manhattan in the twenties, from Forty-second Street to Sixty-fifth Street near Lincoln Square, and finally, for most of the decade, to Sixty-third Street near Broadway. He just owned it. Messmer made layouts—rough sketches showing the other cartoonists what the backgrounds should look like—and he animated, he said, "at least 70 percent" of each cartoon.
He was also the series' de facto writer: Otto used to have maybe some small notes—small pieces of paper—and the rest of it in his head. When an animator finished a sequence he'd come over to Otto and pick up some more work, and then ad-libbed They'd sort of gag it up as they went along.
Messmer admitted that he was frustrated "a little bit" at not getting screen credit for the Felix cartoons. A feeling of security.
There was soon plenty of both. Like the Fleischers' Inkwell cartoons, the Felix cartoons met the requirements of the more demanding theatrical environment of the middle twenties.
There is abundant evidence—in everything from warm trade-paper reviews to licensed toys to Buster Keaton's unmistakable parody in Go West of Felix's ruminative pacing—that critics and audiences recognized the cartoons' superiority to most of what had gone before. As the Fleischers did in when they set up Red Seal, Sullivan left Margaret Winkler for what promised to be a more lucrative distribution arrangement, in Sullivan's case with Educational Film Exchanges: After the demise of the Hearst studio, Bill Nolan had worked for two or more years as what Messmer called his "guest animator"; Nolan began making the Krazy Kat cartoons for Winkler at a studio in Long Branch, New Jersey, in the summer of Cartoons like Felix Goes Hungry are basically a stream of loosely related incidents, resembling in that respect short comedies like Keaton's The Goat; Felix occasionally mugs at the camera in closeup, taking his audience into his confidence as if he were a second-rate comedian in live action.
Broaden the sample, though, and the basis of Felix's appeal becomes clearer. In Oceantics date uncertain, but probablyFelix wants a round of Swiss cheese in the window of a grocery store. He reaches with his prehensile tail toward what appears to be a distant house, but when he lifts the front door off the house, it remains the same tiny size as Felix brings it toward the grocery.
He places the door, still tiny, under the grocery's window, opens the door, reaches through the doorway up into the display space, and removes the cheese. He then takes the round of Swiss to a billboard that advertises player pianos, cuts the cheese into a thin strip, like a piano roll, and runs it through the piano on the billboard, producing music.
By seizing the door, Felix collapses the illusion that the screen is a three-dimensional space; but he then insists that his audience accept the illusion represented by the billboard.
He does both quite elegantly, without any hesitation or awkward transitions. It was thanks mainly to Felix himself that Messmer's cartoons surpassed the Fleischers' Inkwell cartoons, which they otherwise so much resembled, in the piquancy of their continual scrutiny of the peculiar characteristics of the animated screen.
More so than KoKo, Felix had the rudiments of a personality; the cartoons focused not entirely on sly transformations, but also on Felix himself—he was curious and rather hard-boiled—as he instigated and responded to them. Because Felix was wholly Messmer's creature, he could act as a surrogate for both his creator and the audience, exploring on their behalf a strange and treacherous place.
Given the sharply different interests that Max and Dave Fleischer brought to their cartoons, there was no way that KoKo could play a comparable role. Felix was rather square and angular in his early appearances, differing from earlier cartoon characters mainly in the simplicity of his black body. Here Messmer had a stroke of luck: Bill Nolan, when he was Messmer's guest animator, brought with him the drawing and animating style he had adopted at Hearst, the style 32 Cartoon Acting Pat Sullivan's Felix the Cat studio in the middle twenties.
Sullivan himself is seated at the far left, in what was normally Otto Messmer's place; Messmer is to Sullivan's right, and to Messmer's right is Raoul Barre, once the co-owner of the Mutt and Jeff studio hut by then Messmer's "guest animator. Felix reflected Nolan's presence by becoming a more rounded, and thus more immediately appealing, character.
In his circular construction, as well as in the general simplicity of his design, the revised Felix was a character who facilitated animation in a way that most earlier characters had not; KoKo's design, with its floppy clown suit, was fussy by comparison. Through Felix, Messmer led the eye away from the many elements that his cartoons shared with the failed series of the early twenties.
As it so often did—because the background drawings, on torn paper or celluloid overlays, framed the action—the use of paper animation in the Felix cartoons encouraged dull, uniform staging, in medium to long shots, with few closeups. The Felix cartoons also looked rather stark in their lack of grays, another by-product of paper animation; almost everything was pure black or white, except for celluloid overlays with gray areas.
It was in Beginnings, 33 their animation, though, that the Felix cartoons were most revealing about the circumstances in which animated cartoons were being made in the twenties. Despite the speed and regularity that the Sullivan studio's output required, it remained at its heart a one-man operation. Messmer differed greatly as an artist from Winsor McCay— Messmer was wholly a cartoonist, whereas McCay drew in an elaborate illustration style—but as filmmakers they worked much alike.
They did as much of the work themselves as they could, delegating and taking shortcuts as little as possible. In Messmer's case, though, the schedule's pressure meant that he had to delegate and take shortcuts much more often than McCay did. Besides having people like Eugster trace the pencil drawings in ink, he met some of the pressure for production by animating frequently on twos although "if it was running, or falling," he said, "you had to have it on ones" and relying heavily on what were by then the customary devices for economizing on animation: Such expedients, useful enough in individual cases, were damaging in their cumulative effect: That is why Messmer's fantastic transformations are most effective when they emerge incongruously in an otherwise "normal" setting, as with the grocery store in Oceantics.
In a full-blown fantasy sequence where everything is of a piece, like the hallucinations the drunken Felix endures in Woos Whoopee ?
As ingenious as he was, Messmer could make cartoons only by compromising right up to edge of mediocrity. Messmer enjoyed as much freedom as he did only because he worked inside the cocoon of Sullivan's indifference; for all the apparent injustice of their arrangement, Messmer may have known that there were no other circumstances under which he could be so fully immersed in what really interested him.
His speed and efficiency were the price he paid for that privilege. Other cartoonists viewed speed and efficiency very differently: The cartoon producer in the twenties who most successfully accommodated himself to the industry's demands was not Pat Sullivan or Max Fleischer, but Paul Terry. After he was discharged inhe supervised Paramount's cartoons until he struck a deal the next year to make an Aesop's Fables series.
Terry's first contract was with an actor and screenwriter named Howard Estabrook, who actually came up with the idea for the series; Terry made only a few cartoons, though, before Estabrook sold his contract to Fables Pictures, Inc.
Accordingly, the Fables moved through the new studio on a rigorous schedule that saw one cartoon completed every week. Terry's account book for indicates that during the first week of a three-week schedule, John Foster, a veteran of the Barre studio, worked on the story for a new cartoon; the second week, Frank Moser and other experienced men animated; the third week, less experienced men finished up.
This torrent of work came from a staff that usually totaled only seventeen or so. Although using eels for the animation was initially more expensive than using paper, eels could be washed and used again, and turnover would have been rapid on a once-a-week schedule. The Felix cartoons were surely more popular than the Fables, but popularity is always fragile, as the short-lived careers of liveaction movie stars had already demonstrated many times.
Moreover, Sullivan's indifference, however useful it was to Messmer in some ways, held its hazards, too: Messmer recalled that Sullivan resisted making changes in the studio—using eels for more than overlays, for instance—by saying, "You don't change when you're making money.
Beginnings, 35 It was Terry, far more than Bray, who established cartoon production on an industrial basis. The key to his achievement did not lie in how efficient he was at producing the cartoons, although in some ways he clearly was efficient: Terry's characters, most of them animals, were usually so brutally simple in design that they could be drawn and traced onto eels swiftly even by inexperienced help. Neither Terry nor any other cartoon producer of the teens or twenties ever devised a sophisticated division of labor, though; in that respect, the cartoon studios lagged far behind the live-action producers.
Instead, Terry achieved efficiency on the screen itself by using shortcuts of all kinds, and with unprecedented vigor. Every other cartoon maker had used shortcuts, to be sure, starting in the teens, but a filmmaker like Bray had used shortcuts without regard to what the results would look like.
It was because he leaned so heavily on held drawings, in particular, that his cartoons were unappealingly stiff.