Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Woodpecker Works

Michael Sporn’s joined the Lantz-fest with a post that touches on the role of The Woody Woodpecker Show in stoking his desire to be an animator, meeting Lantz in NYC, and commentary on various Lantzers, with screen shots from Ace in the Hole.

I too have fond memories of The Woody Woodpecker Show. It was part of my routine. I watched it religiously, often with friends. I was particularly fond on the ‘behind the scenes segments,’ where Lantz would show how cartoons were made. Hot Stuff! I certainly tried out some of the drawing tips he gave out, though I never aspired to be an animator.

But – think about it – how often did a TV show take you behind the scenes? Not often. TV shows & movies were just out there. Like ‘em or leave ‘em, you had to take them at face value, ‘cause that’s all you got to see. But Walter Lantz showed you how cartoons were made (as did Walt Disney). Even as you laughed yourself silly over Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda and the others, you also knew something about how the magic was done. Making it just a little bit more your magic.

What I’m wondering is if this early sense of the strings, levers and pulleys in the puppets and behind the curtain is the roots of my adult interest in how art works. Not what it means, no! not that! How it works.

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