Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fruity Cowboy

Porky Pig, after getting clobbered by a fruit basket in "Porky Chops" (Warner Bros., Arthur Davis, 1949).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Caught With Their Pants Down

"Rocko's Modern Life" was very close in spirit to classic pre-1970's cartoons, but had the edginess of its 1990's time period. In the 1993 episode "Bedfellows", Rocko's pal Heffer, a steer raised by wolves, goes to live with him after a fight with his adoptive family. Mr. Wolf reconsiders and goes to apologize to Heffer...and when he enters Rocko's house, this is the scene he is greeted with. This was a kid's show. Right?

Adolf Hit By Tomato

The first cartoon animation legend Tex Avery directed for the MGM studio was "Blitz Wolf" (1942), a World War II sendup of the 3 Little Pigs fable. The Adolf Hitler wolf breaks the 4th wall and addresses the audience (an Avery trademark), and is promptly pelted by said "audience" with a rotten tomato.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wile E. Coyote and Road Rash

Ouch! This frame goes by in the blink of an feel it, but you don't see the wonderful, wincing expression. That's some killer road rash. Wile E. Coyote on a pair of out-of-control rocket skates, from "Beep Beep!" (Warner Bros., Chuck Jones, 1952).

Boom Goes the Dynamite

From "Jerry's Cousin" (MGM, Hanna and Barbera, 1951). Jerry's tough-guy cousin, Muscles Mouse, demonstrates what happens when a firecracker goes off in Tom's mouth.

Geriatric Strangulation

From "The Old Grey Hare" (Warner Bros., Bob Clampett, 1944). Awesome expression, most likely animated by the insane Rod Scribner.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dynamite, Pants, Panther

In "Dial P for Pink" (Depatie-Freleng, 1965, dir. Friz Freleng),  a burglar tries to open a safe. Little does he know that the Pink Panther has taken up residence inside the safe. The burglar drills a hole in it and throws a stick of dynamite inside in an attempt to blow it open, but the Panther returns it...this way.

Aw, Gee, Wally!

Wally Gator is a weird character. While his theme song says he's the "greatest operator in the swamp", his cartoons are just low-budget misadventures in which he tries to escape from a zoo. Trust me, this image is only funny if taken out of context...but it's a game of "caption this!" if I ever saw one. From "Droopy Dragon" (Hanna-Barbera, 1962).

Don't Touch That Dial

This image is funny in and of itself. But the story behind it is even funnier. Director Bob Clampett recalled a part of this joke that was cut by censors. When the baby gator moves in to suckle, the mama pig stops him and it cuts to the next gag. Before the censors removed it, the pig uttered the line: "Don't touch that dial!" From "Baby Bottleneck" (Warner Bros., Bob Clampett, 1945).

Popeye's Nightmare

In "Wotta Nitemare" (Fleischer, 1939), Popeye has a dream. In it, we see moments like this. Obviously, Bluto has a sick mind....but if you do, too, then this image from Popeye's mind is all kinds of messed up!

Shut Up, Beavis!

Shut up, Beavis! From an early "Beavis and Butt-Head" episode. (MTV, Mike Judge, 1993).

Sylvester Misses the Bus

Sylvester chases a bus and doesn't look where he's going. Result? Ouch! From "Red Riding Hoodwinked" (Warner Bros., Friz Freleng, 1955.)

Kicking under the Mistletoe

Despite spending their entire careers plotting to kill each other, Tom and Jerry do have moments of cuteness. They just don't last long, as shown in these two images from "Night Before Christmas" (MGM, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, 1941).

Garbage day is a very dangerous day!

Rocko flips out when his dog Spunky gets taken out with the trash. From the "Rocko's Modern Life" episode "Trash O'Madness" (Nickelodeon, 1992).

Bonked Bullwinkle

Bullwinkle gets hit by a grenade in "Goof Gas Attack" (Jay Ward, 1962).

Playing Possum

A mama possum chops a rock in "Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation" (Warner Bros.,1992), losing her clothing in the process.


 Hi, I'm Matt Hunter. If you've known me for more than five minutes, you know I love cartoons. If you've seen my DVD collection, you know I REALLY love cartoons. My interest is mainly in the classic cartoons from the 1930's to the 1960's, but I like a lot of modern stuff too. I have enjoyed reading a few blogs that have popped up lately showing still-frames from cartoons, and make no mistake about it, this blog is not an original idea. It's just an idea I want to participate in.

The gifted artists behind the art of 2-D animated film making put so much into a single frame that when it's animated, we sometimes miss something. Sometimes it's a hidden joke, sometimes it's funnier as a still frame taken out of context, sometimes it's something beautiful to look at. But whether it's a classic Looney Tune, a low-budget Saturday morning kid's show, a movie, an "animated sitcom", or whatever, good or bad, a single image from it can be worth a thousand words.

Sure, it's funny when Jerry kicks Tom in the butt, or when Daffy Duck throws a tantrum, or when Bullwinkle goes cross-eyed. We laugh when Beavis says something stupid and Butt-Head slaps him. We laugh when we see something naughty in "Rocko's Modern Life" or "Ren and Stimpy" that we were too young to appreciate when we saw it. We marvel at just how terrible some Hanna-Barbera cartoons are. We respect the lush attention to detail in Disney movies. But we never take the time to press the "pause" button and admire one or two frames at a time.

Join me in doing just that.

Let's start off with a frame from "Duck Amuck" (Warner Bros., Chuck Jones, 1953). "Not me, you slop artist!"