Sunday, October 28, 2007

Frank Endres

For some reason I like Frank Endres' animation style. I think it's because of the rubbery cartoony look and feel of it. He was, in my opinion, the last hold out of the Fleischer style. During the 40's and into the 50's his animation was still using elements typical of the mid-30's Fleischer Studio animation.

Endres started with the Fleischers in 1930 as an opaquer (sitting next to Jack Mercer) and worked his way up through the ranks to animator. (and eventually director - though not on any Popeye shorts) His first Popeye animator credit was on 'Stealin' Ain't Honest' released in 1940 although he has uncredited animation in 'It's the Natural Thing To Do' released in 1939. Before that he animated for Myron Waldman's unit on the Color Classics and Betty Boop cartoons.

I wonder why Endres was chosen to animate for Steve Muffati on the first Superman cartoon produced at the Fleischers. His cartoony animation style is noticable in contrast with the realistic styled characters. (scenes of Lois putting on the aviator's cap and the plane flying into the distance, etc.) It's a strange mixture for sure.

Absent from the Famous Studio during the war years, Endres served in the Navy during World War 2. The last Popeye cartoon he animated on before his departure was 'Me Musical Nephews' and the first Popeye cartoon he animated on upon his return to the studio was 'I'll Be Skiing Ya'.

During the last years of Popeye, Endres' work went through a marked style change. His Popeye looked different and his animation was stiffer than earlier efforts. I wonder what happened to cause him to change his animation style.

Endres' animation on Popeye was exclusive to the Johnson unit until the shorts ceased production.

Stealin' Ain't Honest - 1940

Doin' Impossikible Stunts - 1940

Flies Ain't Human - 1941

Scrap the Japs - 1942

Me Musical Nephews - 1942

I'll Be Skiing Ya - 1947

The Royal Four Flusher - 1947

Wotta Knight - 1947

Safari So Good - 1947

All's Fair at the Fair - 1947

Robin Hood-Winked - 1948

How Green Is My Spinach - 1950

Quick on the Vigor - 1950

Punch and Judo - 1951

Cookin' With Gags - 1954

Spooky Swabs - 1957

Saturday, October 20, 2007

George Germanetti

Without having counted the exact amount of animation footage he did, I would say that George Germanetti was the most prolific of all the Popeye animators. His work spanned three different time periods of the character - Fleischer, Famous Studio, and King Features.

The first Popeye credit for Germanetti was on the 1935 Fleischer cartoon 'Choose Yer Weppins'. He animated primarily for Willard Bowsky's unit until 1939. At that point Germanetti's work wasn't exclusive to any particular unit until the later Famous Studio years when he became part of Al Eugster's crew.

Germanetti had an aesthetically appealing look to his Popeye (contributing to the overall appeal of the Bowsky unit cartoons) and his style must have been well regarded during the Fleischer and Famous Studio eras as evidenced by the use of his drawings for publicity art and posters. I have posted some examples below of Germanetti's scenes and artwork.

To see a photo of George Germanetti (and other Famous Studio animators) check out Mark Mayerson's amazing site on animator Al Eugster at:

Choose Yer Weppins - 1935

I Ski Love Ski You Ski - 1936

Hold The Wire - 1936

Popeye Meets Ali Baba's Forty Theives - 1937

A Date to Skate - 1938

Hello - How Am I? - 1939

Olive's Sweepstake Ticket - 1941

Me Musical Nephews - 1942

Happy Birthdaze - 1943

The Island Fling - 1946

Wotta Knight - 1947

Alpine For You - 1951

Popeye's 20th Anniversary - 1954

Parlez Vous Woo - 1956

Popeye's Double Trouble - 1961

Fleischer Studio in-house publication cover (thanks to Jerry Beck)

1940's generic 1 sheet poster

1950's generic 1 sheet poster

Next Animator ID: Frank Endres