Sunday, May 01, 2011

Tex Avery (1908-1980) Pioneer Animator and Director

Frederick Bean "Fred/Tex" Avery (February 26, 1908 – August 26, 1980) was an American animator, cartoonist, voice actor and director, famous for producing animated cartoons during The Golden Age of Hollywood animation. He did his most significant work for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, creating the characters of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, and developing Porky Pig and Chilly Willy (this last one for the Walter Lantz Studio) into the personas for which they are remembered.

Avery's influence can be seen in almost all of the animated cartoon series by various studios in the 1940s and 1950s. Gary Morris described Avery's innovative approach:

"Above all, [Avery] steered the Warner Bros. house style away from Disneyesque sentimentality and made cartoons that appealed equally to adults, who appreciated Avery's speed, sarcasm, and irony, and to kids, who liked the nonstop action. Disney's "cute and cuddly" creatures, under Avery's guidance, were transformed into unflappable wits like Bugs Bunny, endearing buffoons like Porky Pig, or dazzling crazies like Daffy Duck. Even the classic fairy tale, a market that Disney had cornered, was appropriated by Avery, who made innocent heroines like Red Riding Hood into sexy jazz babies, more than a match for any Wolf. Avery also endeared himself to intellectuals by constantly breaking through the artifice of the cartoon, having characters leap out of the end credits, loudly object to the plot of the cartoon they were starring in, or speak directly to the audience."

Avery's style of directing encouraged animators to stretch the boundaries of the medium to do things in a cartoon that could not be done in the world of live-action film. An often-quoted line about Avery's cartoons was, "In a cartoon you can do anything,". He also performed a great deal of voice work in his cartoons, usually throwaway bits (e.g. the Santa Claus seen briefly in Who Killed Who?), but Tex did fill in for Bill Thompson as Droopy, although the individual cartoons where Avery did this have never been specified.


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Chilly Willy: The Legend Of Rockabye Point 1955



Ventriloquist Cat


TV of Tomorrow



Droopy's Double Trouble



Car of tomorrow (uncensored)




Symphony in Slang



Little Johnny Jet



Droopy: Wags To Riches



Droopy: Senor Droopy



SH-H-H-H-H-H




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