It can happen here! The world of Bob Clampett

Danks, A 2005, 'It can happen here! The world of Bob Clampett', Senses of Cinema, no. 34.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title It can happen here! The world of Bob Clampett
Author(s) Danks, A
Year 2005
Journal name Senses of Cinema
Issue number 34
Publisher Senses of Cinema
Abstract Robert (Bob) Clampett is one of the key figures in the history of American animation. After short stints working as a newspaper cartoonist and, as he claims, in merchandising for Disney, he joined the fledgling Harman-Ising (whose cartoons were distributed by Warner Bros.) animation unit in 1931, contributing to the first Merrie Melodie cartoon, Lady Play Your Mandolin (Frank Marsales). Over the next five years, Clampett worked on a range of cartoons and characters, gradually building his reputation as one of the youngest and brashest animators at the studio. After serving as a key animator (along with Chuck Jones and several others who would later work with Clampett) in Tex Avery's seminal unit, Clampett started supervising his own cartoons in July 1937. His early black and white cartoons were uneven in their conception and execution, highlighting his limitations as a fluid animator. During the next five years, Clampett did direct several important Warners cartoons, and he was integral to the development (if not the invention, as he often claimed) of such characters as Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. Nevertheless, with the exception of such cartoons as Porky in Wackyland (1938), Polar Pals (1939) and The Film Fan (1939), Clampett's often rudimentary early work is eclipsed by that of Avery and Frank Tashlin. It is not until 1941-42 that Clampett's cartoons truly cohere into a dynamic and expressive "whole". From 1942 until 1946 many of the greatest cartoons produced at Warner Bros. were directed by Clampett.
Subject Cinema Studies
Copyright notice © Adrian Danks, September 2004
ISSN 1443-4059
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