Monday, January 21, 2008

My Visceral Reaction To Baby Bottleneck

As of late most of my posts have just been my own art etc. But today I'd like to share with you my guts (and the feelings inside them caused by my synapses going off like crazy). The other day I was watching the Looney Tunes Vol. 2 dvd, studying a specific cartoon for a job, and I came upon a cartoon that I had not seen before. I have seen this dvd in particular a few times now, but never clicked the "View All" option, I would just select specific cartoons, and somehow, somewhere along the way I skipped, Baby Bottleneck; a Clampett cartoon! "How could I have overlooked this?," I thought, but nevertheless I proceeded to watch it, casually I wrong I was!

WARNING! The following post has a ton of pictures in it! They are not that big at all so don't worry too much! Plus, they are well worth it!

Instantly I was shocked by the cuteness oozing out of the screen. Look at these little fellows! He really set the standard for what we see as cute! The goofy dog kills me too, that's how I envision Eddie if he were a makeshift Stork.

I wish I had a baby elephink!

Look at the baby skunk's tiny little feet! I'm dying over here, maybe because I'm a girl and I have some sort of chemical reaction to these kinds of images, do you guys get the same feeling I do?

The fit this kitten has is so lifelike! I can't tell you how many kids I've seen like this in the supermarket begging for their favorite sugar cereal or what not. The human element in this cartoon really catches the viewer into believing everything they're seeing even though it is fantastical.

Every character that has appeared so far is off the Richter Scale Of Cuteness (R.S.O.C).

I absolutely looove the design of that baby gator- he is so vigorous! And those wrinkles and asses, oh my!

Look at that leg save!! So perfect!!



Daffy's lip sync here is to die for. I had seen a clip of this scene on John's blog at some point, but didn't know where it came from, well now I know! The acting and gags here walk hand in hand, and come off as being effortless- what skill!

I make this face in the morning when I realize I'm late for school.

These two are making such great poses! I remember thinking how painful it looked for Porky, little did I know more pain was to come!

Clampett has the best dilated eye gags!

Look at the face on that dog! What an amazing move he's pulling off!!!


The characters in this cartoon look so real to me. Like if I were to reach out and squeeze this lil' pup, he'd be warm and squishy. The volume alluded to is unbeatable

What a cute crack!!!

I really wanted a pet turtle before, but this just sealed the deal! He'd look great in diapers as the picture below shows.

What an elegant pose!

This is a tad bit weird, but still cute.


Porky looks more adorable than ever in this cartoon, I really want to give him a big hug and kiss.

Those eyes!!!!!!

Clip 1 From Baby Bottleneck

The next scene is pure genius, it is so chock-full of ideas that I almost fell off my bed watching this for the first time, every gag built up so well to the next, every pose gained momentum, the movement was so rapid, yet clear! I'm a little lost for words right here. It's a feeling I can't describe! As I was putting together this post, some classmates of mine started to giggle in the background. I had the screen paused each time I took a picture, and the lone frames themselves evoke a pure feeling of joy, pure ecstacy!

Look how confident Daffy is! What a genius walk cycle this is! It kills me how large his hat is, what a smart extra bit of fun!

Each of these drawings are so unique and expressive. They should all be hanging in a gallery somewhere.

Ah, yes! The Daffy Hat- I want one!!!

What a smug little asshole.

Clip 2 From Baby Bottleneck

I'm speechless!

The tango continues!

What an insane pose, so strange!

So action-packed! It just keeps building!

Pure insanity! How unreal! Poor Porky, this drawing feels shockingly painful.

Daffy is so cute and crazy, but I really feel for the pain Porky is experiencing, look at his face! It says it all, "please stop!"


This has to be one of the craziest cartoon sequences ever! And yet it still builds!!!

The hat shrunk at some point in that last scene, but now it has grown again. This foot gag... spectacular! Look how loose the drawing is! Its' striking confidence is astonishing!

White gloves coming!

Flesh gloves close in for the kill!

Watch the clip to see what happens- it's remarkable! I laughed harder than ever watching this part!
Clip 3 From Baby Bottleneck

After the cartoon ended, I was out of breath, I was reeling from what I had just seen. I decided there that I had just seen the most amazing cartoon ever. Still in shock and awe, I proceeded to call John and tell him about my experience. I described everything that I had just witnessed and felt, I might have said it better right then and there- oh well!

The point I'm getting to is... for those of you that have not seen this particular cartoon- DON'T JUST SIT THERE! Go watch it for crying out loud!


Chris S. said...

Kali, this post measures a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter Scale Of Awesomeness!

Adam said...

This cartoon has the funniest cartoon explosion I've ever seen, when the dog lights the rocket on his back. The timing is perfect. And the word 'Boom' that shows up adds something extra but I don't know what. That dog's enthusiasm is great, with his 'Well back to the drawing board'. I love that dog. His visor is hilarious too. He sold that cartoon for me. Tony Little must have liked that dog too.

And the terrified old man mouse getting batted around by the baby kitten. So funny!. Something so cute being so dangerous is funny in itself, but the acting by the mouse just completes it.

I like how that cartoon is technically sloppy compared to some other Clampett's but it doesn't matter because it's huuuugely entertaining.

fil said...

Great post! I love the screen of porky using his tongue to stop him falling!!! What a face.

Will Finn said...

Nice post Kali, this is one of the very best cartoons ever made. One of the Clampettiest too!

The cute factor is VERY important because there is often a tendency to equate cuteness with effeminateness in cartoon art, although they are not necessarily the same (they can be but they don't have to be). Clampett and Avery were consistently able to inject massive qualities of cuteness into their cartoons without slipping into the effeminate quality of other shorts.

Even the most macho Dads have an innate appreciation of cuteness--(it's what keeps us from destroying our offspring!). I've never stopped to figure out the distinct characteristics of effeminate vs. non-effeminate cuteness, but I recognize it when I see it. In BABY BOTTLENECK, I think it has to do with a parody of the cuteness everyone associates with babies that Clampett is going for. The parody embraces the cuteness while ridiculing it with facility and affection.

boootooons ltd. said...

yaay! you've finally seen my FAVORITE cartoon ever!

now, if i could just get you to watch some cassavettes...

- trevor.

Some Guy said...

This is your best post yet, Kali! It's amazing how cute and baby-like Clampett made those animals!

That DVD has terrible line quality...but I'll take anything at this point.

Anonymous said...

"Baby Bottleneck" even gets life into what would surely be inanimate in another director's cartoon: the about-to-burst machinery, when it's just about to burst in that massive overload. This cartoon is permeated with pure joy.

boootooons ltd. said...

interesting factoid: the mother pig winks at the baby crock before they cut to the next thing.

the reason? schlesinger or the hays office made clampett cut out what the mother pig says to the crock: "don't touch that dial!"

- trevor.

ps: kali, check your email.

Jenny said...

Yah, great cartoon! Great post!

Hobo Divine said...

I love the first one where Daffy Duck is doing the electric boogie with his legs.

Oh and when he yells "Going uuuUUUUUUUUUUP-uh!" when operating the elevator.

Roberto said...

These poses have so much energy, I cannot even believe it. Great post, Kali. In fact, I was coincidentally watching this cartoon again this morning, and I noticed those incredibly cute baby animals (I believe they are nicely done caricatures of cute) as well.

Larry Levine said...

Anyone who doesn't love this cartoon better call Mr. Anthony because they HAVE a problem!

This cartoon is a LOOOO LOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Jesse Oliver said...

Hi Kali'

I love the cartoon "Baby Bottleneck"!

It has got to be one of Clampett's BEST cartoons! I really love the animation in the scene with the dog blowing him self up!!! LOL!!!

And don't forget the scene when Daffy gets hit over the head with a little tiny hammer! LOL!

Great job with your post on this CLASSIC cartoon! :)


patchwork said...

if you & John wrote a book on Clampett it would have such a great well-rounded view!

MatDerRan said...

Not only do I love the cartoon but also Carl Stalling and Clampett's use of the song "Powerhouse" during the assembly line.

David Germain said...

I first saw this cartoon a long time ago, sometime back in the early '90's on a VHS cassette simply titled "Porky!". I still have that cassette in a box. And, of course, I own the LTGC vol. 2 as well. I've seen it many times and I hope to see it many more times. It is indeed one of the many masterpieces Clampett was cranking out at this time (along with Book Revue and The Great Piggybank Robbery just to name a few).

Side note: one of the gags here is reused from a Rudolf Ising/Friz Freleng cartoon Shuffle Off to Buffalo made in 1933. Clampett delivers it well in this cartoon though.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

I'm so glad to hear this cartoon get the praise it deserves. It's visceral filmmaking at its finest!

Chris S. said...

I do remember seeing this a long time ago - especially the end! I searched for the complete cartoon and all I could find was this one which will have to do until I buy the set! What a blast! Wonderful cartoony chaos.

Michael J. Ruocco said...

One of my faves! I've never seen any animation like this anywhere else. There's nothing else like it in the world. It's an exquisite, priceless (& quite demented) gem of animation.

Looney Moon Cartoons said...

Here is a link to the Cartoon on Daily Motion. Its pretty Lo-res but you get the idea.

Thanks for the in-depth analysis Kali!

Mr. Semaj said...

Wait, you NEVER saw this cartoon before? Even all those years it aired on the Turner networks?

Anyways, I love the part where Daffy's hat changes sizes.

Nico said...

I first saw this film when I was about 11 or 12, played on Cartoon Network.

I don't remember myself being so mesmerized at a cartoon, not to mention laughing so hard. I would leave the TV on all day sometimes just to not miss it repeat!! I've been big on Looney Tunes since I was a kid, but this short stood out from all the rest. thanks for doing a post on it Kali!

Bazarov said...

Ha! I like your scale of cuteness. I remember in a psychology class from yesteryear that there were actual proportions that can be seen in most mammal infants. Clampett obviously found similar proportions or, oddly enough as is often the case with art, was able to produce a "supercute" proportion that isn't found in nature but what tickles our brains the most. For a neuroscientific perspective on art I'd suggest you look at some of Ramachandran's lectures. One can be found here:

Keep up the good work and the best of luck for your future.

Elisson said...

One of my favorite Clampett cartoons...the visuals still have me rolling on the floor every time I see it...and I've known about this one since before you were born!

Baby Bottleneck has a very different feel from most of the other Clampett-directed cartoons. It's looser, the drawing is less precise and more cartoony.

If you can bring 10% of Clampett's nuttiness to the cartoons you're doing today, you'll be doing the world a great service. You've got the talent, and you've got a great mentor...

Ken Mitchroney said...

Nice work Kali. This is one of my top ten favorite cartoons of all time. Bob's unit at the top of there form. More color card backgrounds please!

Mitch K said...

YES! MAN! That giant hat gets me every time! There's absolutely no reason why he should be wearing a hat of that girth.

Brian Romero said...

A great post on a fantastic cartoon!

Kali Fontecchio said...

I'm so glad everyone likes it as much as I do! And I hope the people who went and watched it loved it as well!

Thanks Will- what you said made a lot of sense, and I didn't think of it that way originally!

"If you can bring 10% of Clampett's nuttiness to the cartoons you're doing today, you'll be doing the world a great service. You've got the talent, and you've got a great mentor..."

That's very sweet of you! But now the pressure is on, and my shoulders might give out!

Wow, I always end sentences like this ---> !!!

Marc Deckter said...

The whole sequence of Daffy's leg getting stretched out and then the chase on the conveyer belt and then Daffy looking at the audience and shrugging is one of my favorite pieces in ALL OF CARTOON HISTORY.

Leonardo said...

Extremely funny that Daffy's talk/walk after refusing to sit on the egg and the pursuit in the transportation band, first with that loosed leg and then both of them trying to escape back.