Bob Clampett: Rover's Rival
One such cartoon that classifies as being just plain funny is Warner Brothers' Studios "Rover's Rival" directed by Bob Clampett. Additionally, it's one of my favourite Clampett cartoons period. Yes, I know it's in black and white, and yes, I know it's an early effort of his (and hardly measures up against such masterpieces as "Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs" and "Tortoise Wins By A Hare"), but in the scheme of things, it is a great cartoon all around.
It has the silly, yet amusing method of delivering gag after gag, in Clampett's own inimitable style. Puns, sight gags, and topical references ("Yeah, man!") are abundant in this clever romp about Porky trying to teach an old dog new tricks.... Plus, the timing of gag delivery is top-notch and razor-sharp!
In these days at WB Studios, circa 1937, Ub Iwerk's studio had just closed down and Bob inherited some of Iwerk's former staff: Lu Guarnier and Jack Carey. Chuck Jones remained Bob's head animator until he was given a unit of his own a year or so later. But it was also noted by Tim Cohea, that Bob Cannon, Jerry Hathcock, and Bill Hammer were believed to have made the shift over during this grey period as well- but exactly when, it was not known. However, in "Porky's Hero Agency", Bob's very next cartoon, the caricature of animators Chuck Jones, Lu Guarnier, and Bob Cannon can be seen in the picket fence- so it is safe to say that they were indeed on staff for "Rover's Rival".... and the artwork of Jones and Cannon can easily be seen in the cartoon as well.
There are several brief scenes to which I cannot attribute an animator in particular- however, I have observed that the same art style can clearly be seen in Iwerk's two previous cartoons, "Porky's Super Service" and the most excellent "Porky's Badtime Story". It is for this reason that I believe these unknown styles must belong to two of Iwerk's original staff, probably Bill Hammer and Lu Guarnier. I'm probably wrong with this association, but they also disappear or are very minimal in Bob's next cartoon, "Porky's Hero Agency", which signifies that these animators were either moved or left to join Ub back at his new studio making the Columbia cartoons.
Either way, here's my breakdown of the cartoon. And if I possibly get a few of the attributed scenes wrong, well- correct me and we'll both be sure. However, that doesn't stop it from being a most enjoyable cartoon.... Hope you like it.
More animation posts on the horizon.... but first, I've got a move coming up.....