Animation Inspiration

The Rabbit Hole

Take a trip into the Rabbit Hole and lose yourself in the surreality. The Rabbit Hole is a place to honor bodies of work by animators, cartoonists, and other artists from yesteryear and today. As always, I truly appreciate you watching Hobo Moon Cartoons. Please enjoy your visit, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Bugs Bunny in Hare Trigger

Friz Freleng (1945)

Hare Trigger is a 1945 Merrie Melodies short directed by Friz Freleng and stars Bugs Bunny. The short featured the first appearance of Yosemite Sam, as well as the first short to credit the whole animation staff who worked on the short.

The short is also the first to use the shortened version of the song Merrily We Roll Along that played from 1945 to 1955.

Yosemite Sam is an American animated cartoon character in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons produced by Warner Bros. Animation. His name is taken from Yosemite National Park. Along with Elmer Fudd, he is an adversary of Bugs Bunny. He is commonly depicted as an extremely aggressive gunslinging prospector, outlaw, pirate, or cowboy with a hair-trigger temper and an intense hatred of rabbits — Bugs in particular.

Animator Friz Freleng introduced the redesigned or renamed character in the 1945 cartoon Hare Trigger. With his grumpy demeanor, fiery temper, strident voice and short stature, and fiery red hair, Sam was in some ways a caricature of Freleng.

Other characters with Sam-like features appear in several Merrie Melodies shorts shown below.

Super-Rabbit

The Bugs Bunny entry Super-Rabbit (1943) features the cowboy character Cottontail Smith, whose voice is similar to Sam.

Stage Door Cartoon

Stage Door Cartoon (1944), however, features a southern sheriff character that looks and sounds similar to Sam, except for a more defined Southern stereotype to his voice. 

Humorous Phases of Funny Faces

J. Stuart Blackton (1906)

James Stuart Blackton was a British-American film producer and director of the silent era. One of the pioneers of motion pictures, he founded Vitagraph Studios in 1897. He was one of the first filmmakers to use the techniques of stop-motion and drawn animation, is considered the father of American animation, and was the first to bring many classic plays and books to the screen.

Blackton’s 1906 film Humorous Phases of Funny Faces is often regarded as the oldest known drawn animation on standard film. It features a sequence made with blackboard drawings that are changed between frames to show two faces changing expressions and some billowing cigar smoke, as well as two sequences that feature cutout animation.

The Enchanted Drawing

J. Stuart Blackton (1900)

James Stuart Blackton was a British-American film producer and director of the silent era. One of the pioneers of motion pictures, he founded Vitagraph Studios in 1897. He was one of the first filmmakers to use the techniques of stop-motion and drawn animation, is considered the father of American animation, and was the first to bring many classic plays and books to the screen.

J. Stuart Blackton was an Anglo-American filmmaker, co-founder of the Vitagraph Studios and one of the first to use animation in his films. The Enchanted Drawing, created in 1900, is considered to be the first film recorded on standard picture film that included some sequences that are sometimes regarded as animation. It shows Blackton doing some “lightning sketches”.

Out of the Inkwell

Max Fleischer (1923)

Out of the Inkwell was a major animated series of the silent era produced by Max Fleischer from 1918 to 1929. The series was the result of three short experimental films that Max Fleischer independently produced in the period of 1914–1916 to demonstrate his invention, the Rotoscope, which was a device consisting of a film projector and easel used as an aid for achieving realistic movement for animated cartoons. The Rotoscope would project motion picture film through an opening in the easel, covered by a glass pane serving as a drawing surface. The image on the projected film was traced onto paper, advancing the film one frame at a time as each drawing would be made. Fleischer’s younger brother Dave Fleischer was working as a clown at Coney Island, and served as the model for what was to become their first famous character that later evolved as “Koko the Clown.”

Francis Bacon: A Brush with Violence

Richard Curson Smith (2017)

Francis Bacon was the loudest, rudest, drunkest, most sought-after British artist of the 20th century. Twenty-five years after his death, his canvases regularly exceed ÂŁ40million at auction. Bacon’s appeal is rooted in his notoriety – a candid image he presented of himself as Roaring Boy, Lord of Misrule and Conveyor of Artistic Violence. This was true enough, but only part of the truth. He carefully cultivated the facade, protecting the complex and haunted man behind the myth. In this unique, compelling film, those who knew him speak freely, some for the first time, to reveal the many mysteries of Francis Bacon.