Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Beany and Cecil Review

I've a feeling that Beany and Cecil fans are gonna hate.... :X



From when I was but a wee 'un, I used to own a couple of videos of Bob Clampett's "Beany and Cecil" cartoons - originated from the puppet show by Stan Freburg and Daws Butler and later brought to animation some years on - and at the time I really couldn't tell much difference between this and that of Hanna-Barbera's stuff...

But as I got older and currently found time to revisit the B&C cartoons via YT, I've got to applaud Mr Clampett for his bold move into TV Animation. It's thanks to his inspiration and cast of writers that, even with limited animation, his crew managed to keep the cartoons fast, fun and punny. A real bloody treat =)


Then later on, I got word about John. K working on "The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil" for DIC sometime in the late 80's (before he went on to create Ren and Stimpy), which, to many Beany and Cecil fans, was very short-lived; surviving today with a few episodes still available online.

However, after watching a few of these myself, try as I might I just can't seem to enjoy them as much as the "classic" B&C cartoons did before. There have been a few chinese whispers floating around as to probably why "The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil" flopped before its time. Some say of a certain episode that got the show plugged - others claim that John. K never kept to deadlines when making the episodes.


But IMO, I think it was just that, while John and Co were faithful to Clampett's original drawing style and in-character storylines, the episodes I have seen are too slow-paced. This is likely due to the fact that some have been stretched from the 7-min format to approx 15-mins, thus the need to tell a longer story with unnecessary pauses, and elongated scenes with little or no dialogue/music to accompany it just to meet the timeslot.

What made Clampett's Beany and Cecil cartoons so memorable was that they literally packed in a joke-a-minute, whether it was a corny pun or a sight gag there was always something to keep your attention and laugh hard at - whereas John. K's episodes seemed as if they were being played in slow-motion.

Such is the case with "Brotherhood of BLECH", "The Golden Menu" and "D.J's Dissapearing Act". Even "Radio with a Bite" (which managed to maintain the original 7-minute format) never managed a proper storyline with scenes that took too dang long to get through. As if the writers seemed stuck on an idea or gag and left it at that in the storyboard stage... :P

However, the one episode I have seen that has kept my attention is the "Courtship of Cecilia". At least this was told at a semi-faster pace with more gags to develop the story and keep things moving.


So whether it was the fault of the Network, the DIC company or John. K's timekeeping, I don't really know. I just thought it was time to share my thoughts on the series as a whole. It's a shame, too, that it somehow fell into the familiar category today - great animation, promises galore...but lackluster in storytelling.



And that's my Two Cents. Thankyew 8-)

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