Fleischer &Models 30 May 2012 06:05 am

Fleischer Model Sheets – Popeye and Betty

- In Vince Cafarelli‘s collection of model sheets, there are a number from Popeye cartoons of the Fleischer era. These, for the most part, seem to be designed for the one-off cartoons. These are the more eccentric model sheets, and it’s no wonder that they don’t go into a lot of detail They didn’t expect to need them again once the individual shorts were finished.

As such, there are very few images of Popeye here, except where he’s wearing an unusual outfit – as in the third model, Romeo & Juliet.

Olive Oyl

An assistant’s guide to Olive’s head

Romeo, Juliet and Bluto


Popeye’s annoying nephews

The jeep

The goon

The Bull

A new uniform for Popeye and
an early non-Fleischer film.
(As Thad Komorowski writes below, this model sheet
is from THE MIGHTY NAVY, a Fleischer film. I was wrong.)

And to add to the models here are two from the late Betty Boop.

This first shows the normal Betty Boop mouth actions for a
simple bit of dialogue. Expect this to be on the test tomorrow.

And here’s a Betty mouth chart for the improvised dialogue.
Interesting that they had that all worked out.

They obviously animated in sections where they’d ask
the actors to provide the gags. With Popeye,
they’d just keep the mouths shut.

6 Responses to “Fleischer Model Sheets – Popeye and Betty”

  1. on 30 May 2012 at 9:19 am 1.J Lee said …

    Shamus Culhane in his autobiography criticized the late 30s-early 40s Fleischer model sheets for their problems outlining characters in motion, though the top row layouts for the Goon (Kneitel?) actually indicate more motion than the slow, lumbering walk the characters were given for the 1938 cartoon.

    Also, judging by the ’39 date on the nephew model sheet, that’s actually when they were just Popeye and Olive’s imaginary sons, for “Wimmin In A Myskery”. The way Willard Bowsky and Tedd Pierce handled that story, they were supposed to be incredibly obnoxious as part of Olive’s nightmare. So they did their job in that cartoon — it was the ones that followed and turned them into Popeye’s nephews where the ‘ugly-but-cute” the studio was striving for rarely overcame the annoying part.

  2. on 30 May 2012 at 11:44 am 2.Thad said …

    A minor correction to this fantastic post: THE MIGHTY NAVY is most certainly a Fleischer Popeye cartoon.

  3. on 30 May 2012 at 1:06 pm 3.Charles Brubaker said …

    My understanding is that the Fleischers produced the animation first, and then the voices were recorded (by projecting the finished animation to the actors).

    How often was this done in Western animation? This method is the standard in Japan, but otherwise rare elsewhere.

  4. on 30 May 2012 at 1:23 pm 4.Stephen Worth said …

    The Fleischers animated to temp tracks and then post dubbed the voices. The music was often recorded in advance, like wth the jazz cartoons, or they had a rough piano score to work from. You don’t get that kind of synergy between music and picture without some recording in advance.

    That Betty lip sync model is horrible. If you watch the cartoons from that period, they trace the heads off that sheet a lot of time. After Grim Natwick left, they began reducingnher to formulas.

  5. on 30 May 2012 at 4:50 pm 5.Michael said …

    In fact, key lines of dialogue were all recorded in advance. These were the necessary lines that advanced the plot. They were kept to a minimum, but they were planned. Other sections were left for improvised jokes, and there were separate sessions for that. This is how Jack Mercer explained it to me.

  6. on 31 May 2012 at 2:22 pm 6.The Gee said …

    Do you recall when the separate sessions for the improvised jokes occurred in the process? It isn’t super important. Just curious.

Trackback This Post | Subscribe to the comments through RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

eXTReMe Tracker
click for free hit counter

hit counter