Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Marty Taras Model Sheets - Barney Google, Snuffy Smith and Loweezy

Three model sheets by animator Marty Taras. As simple as they appear to be I really enjoy looking at them -- especially if you were to compare them to the finished cartoons, which I've never seen but am told are no great shakes. Anyway, I'm putting them online because otherwise they'd just sit in a box, and that's just not right! King Features Syndicate had Paramount do 50 cartoons which were released in the early 1960s. You can find out more about them here (you'll need to scroll down a little more than half that page).

My father animated 3 of the cartoons. Talk about "mailing it in", he literally did just that: we were living in Los Angeles by then and he was freelancing for Paramount, mailing the work back across the country to New York.

I have some partials for one titled Off Their Rockers. In that, Antique Alfred offers the hillbillies meager bucks for their furniture, which they they are delighted to get since they think it's plain 0ld junk. Alfred, however, plans to sell it for plenty of dough as rare and authentic. I had planned to post a few alongside these, but really, they're quite minimal and it would only diminish Taras's fine models.


Dave Mackey said...

Wal-Mart is selling a King Features compilation DVD that has all 50 Snuffy Smith cartoons on it, with a lot of other goodies. The pilot cartoon was made by Jack Kinney in 1961.

These model sheets by one of the top Paramount animation artists were useful to the majority of the animators who worked on these, except for one James Tyer, who pretty much did his own thing on about 7 of the cartoons.

I was once in a hotel room in Estes Park, CO, and they had the old cable channel FoxNet which regularly ran the KFS cartoons about 1993 or so, and "Snuffy's Fair Lady" came on, and I was shocked at the change of style! I'd probably seen the cartoon about a dozen of times when our local channel ran it (I think WPIX had them), but I remember gaining a new appreciation for Jim Tyer that day. He carried through that style into some of the other cartoons he did in the 60's like "Stuffy Derma" (he animated all four episodes) and "Batfink".

Anonymous said...

I think almost all the voice tracks on the Snuffy Smith cartoons (and the other concurrent KFS Beetle Bailey and Krazy Kat series) were also recorded in California, while the animation work was done all over the place (N.Y., L.A., Australia and Prague), so your dad's cross-country work was a little different, but not surprising for these cartoons.

eeTeeD said...

thanks for sharing these!

marty taras is one of my favorite artists. the work he did for famous studios and harvey comics was amazing.

Dave Mackey said...

True about the voice work - the "Beetle Bailey" cartoons were notable because it was the first voice teaming of Howie Morris and Allan Melvin, who later worked well together on Hanna-Barbera projects such as "The Magilla Gorilla Show". The Joe Oriolo pilot "Labor Shortage" was probably Morris' first animation voice work, two years before breaking into H-B as "Jet Screamer". June Foray also contributed to a handful of those cartoons, too.

p spector said...

Thanks for all the comments and information. I only wish I had more of his material to post. I see a visit to WalMart in my near future.

Anonymous said...

Morris and Melvin were also part of the West Coast migration at the end of the 50s and start of the 1960s, with Howie having done "Your Show of Shows" and Melvin "Sgt. Bilko" originally in New York. So it's kind of appropriate they did their first cartoon voice work for New York-based studios.

They were also two of the four voice artists to do work with Paramount before Hanna-Barbera -- Bill and Joe used Bilko's Maurice Gosfield as Benny the Ball in "Top Cat", but your dad and Dave Tendlar already had used him as the title character in 1958's "Greatful Gus". And of course Arnold Stang became the voice of TC after the Herman & Katnip series ended.