Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Your Tex Avery Fix

"Screwball Squirrel" (1944), aka The First Screwy Squirrel Cartoon, aka "The one that begins and ends with a cute little Disney squirrel (animated by Avery's resident Disney man, Preston Blair) getting the crap beat out of him."

I don't have time to comment further on the cartoon, but it doesn't need much more comment; it's the essence of Tex Avery's MGM cartoon work: a lead character so obnoxious that he seems almost like a deliberate parody of the wise-guy cartoon characters Avery had helped create for Warner Brothers; gags that are as much about cartoon gags as they are cartoon gags in themselves. It's meta-cartooning at its best.


jorge garrido said...

OOHHHH, BRUDDA. I love this character.

Brent McKee said...

OOHHH BRUDDA. Avery hated the character with a passion, which is why there are only four Screwy Squirrel cartoons and he is definitively killed off in the final one.

Mr. Semaj said...

You gotta love that laugh of Screwy Squirrel, although I also liked his laugh from The Screwy Truant.

Thad K said...

Tex also marked all 'dead' letters of his with a sketch of Screwy.

Kevin W. Martinez said...

Tex Avery hated the character? this is news to me!

Jenny said...

I don't know whther Tex hated Screwy or not, but I sure do. ; )

I think affection for the characters--or indifference, or dislike--comes through in well-made cartoons like a hot knife through butter...or even just a general malaise on the part of the animators/director. These loud and obnoxious turns are all one note, so they leave me totally cold. I couldn't even give a shite about the technique.
Perhaps it's a girl thing?

nancy avery said...

Nancy said

I love Screwy ! Tex Avery was the most creative and greatest animator-Director of all time and created more charactors than anyone in existence!

All the Charactors at MGM he created totally alone.

Nancy Avery