Saturday, November 14, 2015


Arthur Davis "has the most credits of any animator in history! No joke!" His work never received its due during his life or after his death, even though it was masterful and highly advanced. He was the first Hollywood animaton director to exploit staging and timing in florid cinematic terms (Frank Tashlin's work began being released in 1936.)

Cartoonist Mike Kazaleh approached Davis late in his life when Jones & Clampett were the only directors who mattered, and got, "You don't mean me. You must be wanting to know about somebody else." When Davis was asked about his cutting methods, he answered, "You cut it the way you see it."

Better known for his directorial stint at WB in the 1940s, reviewed here are four shorts from his Screen Gems period.

(Thanks to animators Nicholas John Pozenga & Mike Kazaleh for info.)

PUTTIN' OUT THE KITTEN (1937), a masterpiece in which the "story" is barely a story, but presented in an outstanding way, with cinematic wisdom.

THE PUPPET MURDER CASE (1935), with shadows & montage applied way ahead of the time of the mid 1930s.

LET'S RING DOORBELLS (1935). Simply an Art Davis tour-de-force. The spectacle comes at an unexpected point.

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL (1937).  A fearless retelling of Andersen's tale. Nominated for an Academy Award.

1 comment:

nodnarB said...

Wow! Great stuff! I love Art Davis' WB cartoons, and getting to see these early films is a treat!