Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Tiny Toon Adventures" Quiz #1

This cel set-up of Buster and Babs comes from what segment in which episode?

                                                                                                Tiny Toon Adventures (c) Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


  1. Opening segment of "You Asked for It"

  2. Hmmm... TTA is not my expertise...

  3. Specificaly, this segment plays before "debutante Devil". Babs playing Gladis Freem from Piscadaway

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Tom Ruegger said...

    Specifically, Luke, you are 100% correct! Gladys Freem from Piscataway NJ! Well done!!

    BTW, the BG behind the cels is from the same sequence, but it is not in the precisely correct position for the cels.

    This half-hour was the first "Tiny Toons" animation produced by Cuckoo's Nest, James Wang's company in Taiwan.

    Also, this was the infamous early episode that had such thick lines that Steven asked for the whole thing to be redrawn/re-inked with thinner lines.

    I believe the print of this cartoon used in the Tiny Toons DVD is an early version with some of the thick lines remaining.

    Another first: this episode features the very first animated script ever written by Sherri Stoner: "Debutante Devil."

    A highlight from this episode: the act three Plucky Duck cartoon, "Duck Out of Luck," directed by Eddie Fitzgerald with great comic intensity. This is one of my very favorite Eddie cartoons.

  6. Is it because it was one of the first skits that your son voice acted in as well?

  7. "Duck out of Luck" still had some pretty thick lines even in the retakes.

    Why were they so thick in the first place? I've never seen Wang draw that way on any other show.

  8. Patrick,
    I don't recall my sons being involved in the voice work on this episode...but I could be wrong...

    I think the problem arose because, at the outset, the Cuckoo's Nest crew drew small figures on small fields.

    For instance, rather than using a large 12 field format, which we requested in our layouts of most scenes for "Tiny Toons," they went with a 6 field. The smaller fields can be a time/money savings when it comes to pencil mileage, and can also save time and money in terms of the smaller size of a BG. In essence, a smaller field used in the drawing/painting requires less effort.

    When these smaller images were xeroxed and then magnified to fill the screen, the lines grew thicker and came to dominate the characters.

    Steven disliked the thick-line look -- and this style certainly didn't match the thinner-lined animation coming from TMS and AKOM. So a quick adjustment was requested of Cuckoo's Nest.

    I suspect many cartoon shows use thicker lines nowadays, as a stylistic choice. But back then, we were pushing for a thinner animated feature quality line.

    Cuckoo's Nest, of course, made the adjustment and proved to be an essential player in producing quality animation for "Tiny Toons," "Animaniacs" and "Pinky and the Brain."

  9. So, how many cells do you keep from the series you work on Tom? Almost all? Or only a few

  10. not anywhere near all.

    Initially, WB gave me a bunch, but over the years I have given more than half away to friends and charities.

    I still have a nice batch -- some on the walls, some in files.

  11. Thinking about it, all would be quite impractical. I did the math. Based on the average number of cells i think you said in one of the extras on animaniacs vol.1 30,000 cells for each episode of Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Freakazoid, and Pinky and The Brain (I'm aware that you worked on many other series, I'm just using these as an example) The total amount of cells combined from every series
    would equal aprox 8,580,000. Wow, Where did WB store all of those cells? Not to mention backgrounds, and character layout sheets. It really put into perspective just how animation cells alone can add up. Of course, I didn't take into account unused sequences, or reshoots.

  12. My bet is most of the cels have been destroyed, either through neglect or for lack of storage space. The Warner Animation Archives kept a few cels and BGs from many of the episodes of each series.

    When Warner Bros. closed their studio stores -- a huge tactical error due to their alliance with the "virtual store" that was AOL -- they basically shut down their outlet for cel sales to the public. Sad.

    And now, of course, for most animated shows, there are no cels, so the cels that do exist remain a tactile and nostalgic connection to animation's recent and not-so-recent past.

  13. Yeah, it was always neat to go to a WBSS and see actual cels from the show. I never was able to afford one, alas. (I suppose if I hadn't bought all the other trinkets and clothes over the years, I might have been able to!)

    This talk of cels, and Luke mentioning unused sequences, reminds me of a few cels I've seen that are from unused bits. Maybe you can remember what they were.

    One I saw in a studio store gallery had Mr Skullhead holding a stick for his dog (the dog that he was seen giving a bath and having had dry-cleaned in one Good Idea / Bad Idea sketch). Presumably, this stick-holding cel was from an unused GIBI.

    I liked to think it went:

    Good Idea: Playing with your dog in the yard.
    Bad Idea: Playing with your dog in the street.

    But I wonder what it really was.

    The other two are labeled as being from Potty Emergency. I guess they were from a post-potty scene. These cels were seen by other fans who sent me pictures which I show here in an old set of pages I made years ago called "LACTOSE" (remember the days of funny Animaniacs-related acronyms?), which was short for "Lost Animaniacs Clips -- Takes Omitted; Scenes Excised".

  14. If the Skullhead cel was not from "Skullhead Boney Hands" -- in which Skullhead had to contend with the family dog who was trying to bury him all the time --then, as you suggest, Keeper, it was probably an excised scene from a "Good Idea, Bad Idea" that went on too long.

    After the first few "GIBI's," we realized, for this segment, brevity was truly the soul of wit. We kept these babies tight.

    Also, on occasion, they became a little too gross and we trimmed back. The cel featuring Skullhead, a dog and a stick sounds like a GIBI about teaching your dog to fetch or dig up bones. I don't remember the punchline. It might've been something tasteless like... "Good idea: Teaching your dog how to bury bones. Bad idea: teaching your dog how to bury grandpa." Or something atrocious like that.

    We had several that never made it to air. For obvious reasons. We'd change copy and images on GIBI up to the last minute pretty frequently.

  15. Wait, Warner Bros. just destroyed the cels? I thought they had a direct policy requiring them not to destroy or wipe archived materials?

  16. There were literally tons of cels and bgs produced from 89-99. Are they in storage somewhere? Maybe. But where? And to what end? To be sold or reused? Unlikely. And even if they are stored somewhere, there's a very good chance they are all stuck together like huge plastic cinder blocks.

    Unless they have already been packaged and sold, for the most part, these images, in cel-form, are gone forever.

  17. I guess it would be pretty difficult storing over half a billion or more cells in proper storage.

    What a shame though, the cels could have come in handy if anything ever happened to the original Animation of the show.

  18. Warner Brothers doesn't even want to finish the DVD sets. I have a gut feeling that if something actualy ever happened to the masters, I seriously doubt they'd rephotograph anything, even if they could.

    Hey Tom. I'd love to see some character layouts, maybe some story boards (if you have any), and in particular character construction for the Warners

  19. There's a few that I have which are in this ZIP file, Luke: Also in there are some of Walter Carzon's original artwork for the Animaniacs comic strips that ran in some overseas newspapers. I don't know what the dialog was for any of them though!

    I used to have one of the pre-whiskers model sheets, but that was when I was still using my Amiga, so the file was "lost" when I got my first PC.

  20. Those are cool Keeper, thanks, I just saved them. Now, maybe Tom can show us more. I'd mainly just like to know how to construct The Warner's heads. They're so hard for me to draw.