Animated genius
July 11, 2006 9:46 PM   Subscribe

The Do-It-Yourself Cartoon Kit - a 1961 instructional clip from 85-year old master animator Bob Godfrey, also known for such classic works as Instant Sex, Henry's Cat, and Roobarb. (alert: some links to YouTube)
posted by madamjujujive (7 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Marvellous stuff thanks madamjujujive.
Incidentally and perhaps unsurprisingly, the narrator in that first film was the late Michael Bentine of Goon Show fame.
posted by peacay at 10:20 PM on July 11, 2006

Godfrey won an Oscar in 1976 for Great, his animated musical about the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It's an amazing film including one of the very first uses of wireframe CGI. Naturally it's not commercially available anywhere in the world.
posted by Hogshead at 5:32 AM on July 12, 2006

Hilarious! Thank you MadamJuJuJive. Wonderful pre-Monty Python quirky fun. Was really interested how mischievously irreverant 1969 Pythonesque his 1961 Do-It-Yourself Cartoon Kit was. Bob Godfrey's work was very avant garde for that time and can't help thinking it must have had a big impact on Terry Gilliam, who helped animate, write, produce Monty Python.

The more I think about it, the more I think that single cartoon must have had a big creative impact historically in a number of ways. I can think of a few cartoons that had a similar mischief, like Rocky and Bullwinkle, but maybe it was a mischief that was brewing at that time?

A little more about Great.

My favorite cartoon of the ones you linked is Instant Sex. I just love the rich and interesting visuals in that one, the details. A treat.

There is a nice deep twinkle in his face. A book of his cartoons. A little more in the animation research center.
posted by nickyskye at 7:57 AM on July 12, 2006

nickyskye, Godfrey most certainly had to be the Pythons' precursor, their shows debuted almost a decade later. Godfrey's stuff was ahead of the curve. And I agree about the visuals in Internet Sex - it's done quite nicely.

Thanks for the links and great commentary you bring to this and other threads ... not to mention your delightful and well-researched posts. I'm a charter member in the nickyskye fan club!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:09 AM on July 13, 2006

His 1974 how-to series on animation, broadcast on Saturday mornings, was a kind of revelation to me - I was fascinated by it, not because I was going to be an animator (there was no way I could afford the camera, let alone the film and I had no illusions about the shortness of my attention span) but I loved watching someone with so much love for what he did, and so much skill at it, explain exactly how he did it. He had Gilliam on one week, demonstrating the pram-that-eats-old-ladies sequence. Another week, Richard Williams brought some clips from "The Thief and the Cobbler".

The thing that struck me at the time about all these people (and forgive me if this is an odd observation) was that they didn't feel they needed permission to do what they did, they just got their hands on the equipment and did it, and the potential roughness of the result wasn't a problem. A very important lesson when I got into electric guitars, tape recorders and making noise.
posted by Grangousier at 4:31 AM on July 13, 2006

Grangousier, Such an interesting observation about giving oneself the permission to fulfil one's volition. It reminds me of a Barbara Sher series, called Dare To Live Your Dream.
posted by nickyskye at 9:04 AM on July 18, 2006

ps, dear madamjujujive, aww, thanks for your embarassingly kind and positive words. The feeling of appreciation most definitely goes both ways. I always enjoy your wonderful posts and know I have a lot to learn from you.
posted by nickyskye at 9:33 AM on July 18, 2006

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