Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Home-Made Cartoon Comps

What better way to while away the house-bound Winter months than to nerd out with my various low-end video editing programs? (Also, being unemployed helps to create a huge window of opportunity!)

Thus was "CARTOON CAPERS" born.

Initially, I had concentrated on tweaking silent-era cartoons and this spilled over into the first volume. Included are Three silent "Aesop's Fables" and a like number of "Out Of The Inkwell" cartoons.

From then on, I decided to concentrate on sound-era cartoons.

My first task was to take the Felischer Talkartoon "Radio Riot" and re-synchronize the soundtrack. For some reason, the track on my video copy slid 'way out of synch throughout the cartoon. It actually turned out pretty good and emboldened me to continue my experiments.

The Terytoon, "Bull Ero" was interesting. The source for my video copy seemed to have been made up of a couple of prints that were spliced together in such a way as to repeat certain scenes and make for a very confusing narrative. (Suddenly that's an issue for a Terrytoon?) I did a little scene shuffling and trimming. I also lifted a song from the middle of the cartoon and used it as the "bed" for the new title cards I created.

For "Farmer Al Falfa's Ape Girl" I simply took stills of the existing title cards and redid the opening to remove some unsteady framing issues. I did a similar thing for "The Lorelei" but also increased the brightness, as it looked rather murky.

I felt my experiments on the first group went well enough to continue with a second volume of all-sound cartoons.

"Jazz Mad" was another dark and murky-looking Terrytoon that needed considerable "brightening up." I made no attempt to re-edit it as no amount of fussing could possible make a dent in this cartoon's incoherence.

"Ye Olde Songs" and "Radio" got new title cards.

The Fleischer cartoons "Yip-Yip-Yippy" and "Pudgy and the Lost Kitten" got new title sequences. In the case of "Yip-Etc." it was to re-do the curious case of the main title being inserted twice during the sequence. The Pudgy ones were done to remove some German subtitles. I didn't remove the subtitles during the cartoon itself, though.

The "Stone Age Cartoons" all received new title sequences to spiff up edits, sound track glitches, etc.

I tackled "cleaning up" the titles on a bunch of "Scrappy" cartoons. Particularly he short main title for "Scrappy's Expedition."

I redid the main titles for a bunch of "Oswald" cartoons, as well. This was mainly to get rid of the Sunset Films TV titles and to approximate (my concept) of their theatrical versions.

Included are also some "Aesop's Sound Fables" that I had been wanting to tweak for some time now. Number one on my "hit list" was an entry from a dollar DVD called "Frisky Frolics." The whole cartoon was about two seconds out of synch and I was able to remedy this using the experience gleaned from the "Radio Riot" experiment, above.

The title sequence for "Cinderella Blues" had some framing problems and I was able to remedy that by grabbing a section that was stable and looping it over the soundtrack. The synch wandered in one part due to a splice in the track, but it seems to corrects itself quickly enough.

For volume four, I took an entire disc of Terrytoons and played with them.

Nearly all of them got new title sequences to remove the standard cut-n-paste TV title cards. I left a few with "Castle Films" and "Barker Bill" title sequences in tact just because I liked them that way.

I think I'll stop after four volumes. Unless, or course, another pile of old cartoons fall into my lap and I once again am bitten by the bug to tamper with them.