Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cartoon a Day: The Dover Boys at Pimento University or The Rivals of Roquefort Hall

The Dover Boys at Pimento University or The Rivals of Rouquefort Hall
Directed by Chuck Jones (as Charles M Jones)
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 2

"The Dover Boys" is an odd little cartoon which I must admit I had not seen until tonight. It's presented as an 1890's style melodrama in which three college boys must rescue their girl from an evil cad.

Some of the humor may be lost on audiences today as we are not as familiar with the style being parodied, but a lot of the humor still holds up. The sequence in which the villain kidnaps the maiden is especially funny, not just because of the gags but because of the style of animation. It utilizes a technique called "blur animation" (according to the commentary track). This is where the character jumps between poses very quickly, with little in-between artwork. This works really well with the unique character design.

This is also an unusual film for Warner Brothers as it features an all human cast. None of the regular stable of characters or talking animals of any sort appear. But the design of these human characters is really intriguing. The three Dover Boys are all very different in their design, and the stiff design of the girlfriend works so well, especially when she breaks from her rigid pose quickly to throw the villain across the room.

The is definitely a cartoon that deserves further examination. I'll have to watch it again soon.

No comments: