Andrea/Duck Dodgers here. I friendly welcome every fan of animation at my blog. The goal is to support the love and rediscovery of Classic Theatrical Cartoons from the Golden Age of Animation, keeping meanwhile an eye on Golden Age "Funny Animals" Comics as well as on modern animated productions! Every SUPPRESSED ethnic caricature to be sometimes presented here is just for HISTORICAL and EDUCATIONAL purpose and NOT to offend anyone. Stay Tooned and Enjoy the place !

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Harlem Shuffle

And now something completely different... or maybe not! Here's "Harlem Shuffle", the Rolling Stones music video directed by Ralph Bakshi and John Kricfalusi . Usually, we are presenting on this blog mainly the cartoons from the golden age of animation ('30s-'50s), yet this one was made in 1986. However, it perfectly evokes the spirit of classic cartoons, in particular those by Tex Avery and Bob Clampett. In fact, I don't think there were many other examples of such cartoony animation made during the early and mid '80s (or the whole '70s for that matter).

"Harlem Shuffle" consists of live-action scenes directed by Ralph Bakshi and animated scenes by John K. Live-action and animation are combined together only in few brief moments, and usually without significant interaction between real and animated characters. The scenography for the live-action scenes has very stylized and cartoony appearance, and the whole music video bursts with energy and creativity.

This music video is also significant as the first project where John K. had control and artistic freedom, and nearly all typical John K. trade-marks are already there. The other artists who worked on "Harlem Shuffle" are Jim Smith, Lynne Naylor and Bob Jaques, who will all become John's closest collaborators in the following years.

The drawing style of the animated scenes is more angular than the later Spumco stuff, and it is very similar to another successful collaboration between Bakshi and John K. "Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures" (1987/88). Also, of special interest is the fact that the main female character is obviously inspired by Clampett's So White from "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, hammerson, for posting this!! This video brought back some great memories, man! And I love the drawing style!

9:30 pm

Blogger David Germain said...

That should be released on DVD or something.

11:30 pm

Blogger Thad said...

For the record Bob's name is spelt JAQUES.

- Thad

1:08 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually like this cartoon more as a series of stills than as a cartoon. It's kind of rough as a video, but it's got some great drawings.

4:19 am

Blogger Hammerson said...

>>That should be released on DVD or something. <<

Absolutely. It's still unreleased on DVD as far as I know, because there are no official compilations of Rolling Stones music videos. My copy was recorded from TV.

1:45 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHOAH!! This is absolutely incredible! Those drawings are amazing, it even has a Coal Black kiss! It's like Kitty Kornered meets Coal Black! WOW!!

6:22 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vicki Jensen did some of the backgrounds and Pat Ventura animated the suicide scene. I animated the giant take and the scene leading into it. Lynne animated the final scene an a few others. There were 2 other animators as I recall but I don't remember their names.

The animation was produced in Studio City in a place where the Alvin and the Chipmunks feature was being made. The crew worked independently of Ralph and I only saw him once during the whole production. He was in NY directing the live action footage with the Rolling Stones while we were doing the animation.

For the record I was never part of the Spumco crew - Spumco was formed around 1988 or 89, years after the Stones video and Mighty Mouse.

3:21 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction - looking at the frame grabs I did not animate the scene before the giant take in the graveyard - that was Pat Ventura's animation I believe.

3:52 am

Blogger Hammerson said...

Thank you for the info. I apologize for mistake, it is corrected in the main text now. I thought you were originally the part of Spumco crew during the production of Ren & Stimpy pilot episode "Big House Blues".

6:40 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooh...FINALLY! I've wanted to see screen captures of the Stones' Harlem Shuffle for a long time because the video moves too fast! Thanks! The first and only place I viewed this video was at and even there it's hard to pause to observe the stills. Does anyone know if I can obtain this video on any DVD? I love the drawings because they remind me so much of my favorite toons like Tin Pan Alley Cats and the chick looks like So White (and a little like Goldilocks in some stills) if she were an 80's rock n' roll video vamp! And they even got that Coal Black kiss at the end! I wonder if the tribute to the classic cartoons started a trend that inspired Who Framed Roger Rabbit which came out a few years later. I also wonder if the part in the end where she kisses and holds the cat inspired Roger & Jessica.

8:31 am

Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

Hammerson did an excellent job here!
The frames posted show some of the wildest moments in the video.
Too bad animation like that is not done nowadays.
I hope John K will continue to do other cartoons like this or "The Ren and Stmpy"/"Ren and Stimpy Adult Party" series.
The animation was wonderful there.

We really need some fresh air of good ol' fashioned animation after the CGI madness of the last years!

11:57 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like the girl and the cat with glasses in that music vidio.

By the way, any chance of putting the Terrytoon Flebus up for next month's cartoon of the month? It on my list of cartoon to see yet.

12:41 am

Blogger Animated AF said...

Haha, I never noticed the Barney Rubble ghost in there before!

6:01 pm

Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

as far as I know, "Flebus" is not PD.
So, no way.

6:32 pm

Blogger Michael said...

Fantastic work!
It reminds me of why I decided to live my life in animation!

I'm curious as to what software you are using for the screen grabs. Surely you are not playing, stopping, grabbing, saving and restarting for every grab???
There must be some bit of auto recording happening here? No?

9:26 pm

Blogger Hammerson said...

>>I'm curious as to what software you are using for the screen grabs. Surely you are not playing, stopping, grabbing, saving and restarting for every grab???<<

Exactly that :-)
I'm using PowerDVD for playing and grabbing the screenshots. Often I go frame by frame through some scenes, to find the most characteristic and interesting moments. Then, every screenshot is loaded into Photoshop, where it's automatically resized and saved again in JPG format, using the simple script. Usually, it takes an hour of work for a 7 minute cartoon. My colleagues Duck Dodgers and mmm...donuts are probably using the same method.
I'm sure there is a software capable of doing automatic captures from DVD, in some interval (every 5 or 10 seconds for example), but in this case, there would be too many screenshots, and still some particular moment or frame might be left out uncaptured.

2:26 pm

Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

Hi Dragan,

actually my shots are saved in BITMAP format.
Then I change them sizes and then I transfer them to JPG.

11:47 am

Blogger John Pannozzi said...

"That should be released on DVD or something."
Ahmen, brotehr. At the least it should be on iTunes.

11:26 pm


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