Friday, September 10, 2010

118 A Haunting We Will Go

Title: A Haunting We Will Go
Studio: Walter Lantz
Date: 9/04/39
Director ... Burt Gillett
Story ... Gil Burton, Kin Platt
Music ... Frank Marsales
Animators ... Fred Kopietz, Lester Kline
Series: Cartune
Running time (of viewed version): 7:22

Synopsis: Eightball tells a ghost he doesn't believe in them; he is however eventually scared of them, despite his protestations to the contrary.

Comments: Rich and colorful; the first color Lantz for the year, and the first three strip Technicolor Lantz ever. The last Lil' Eightball cartoon, which is too bad, because they were good cartoons; in spite of the fact that Eightball's characterization goes against the stereotype (he is not scared of things that aren't to be scared of), the character design likely did limit the afterlife of these cartoons. Three cartoons released in over a 32 day period make up the entire series; I wonder if that's some sort of record. The ghost has a witch hat. There's a certain level of Casper precursor action going on here (see also the previous year's Iwerks frolic). It's possible Lil' Eightball is more offensive looking in color (not enough to keep him out of the Woody Woodpecker and Friends v2 DVD release tho). Hmm, there's human character naked crotch in this. Fortunately Eightball is built like Mattel's Ken, so we're still allowed to see the cartoon. Lots of good ghost trick transformations. There are some nice human looking trees in the first outside pan. Eightball has moved to the haunted country since the last cartoon. Eightball disappears for a frame (except his shoes); they missed him two times, since as an effects shot with a transparent ghost, they would have exposed it twice. There's a good bit of animating distorted inbetweens of Eightball's head as he takes from spot to spot. Yet another cuckoo.

Below is how Lil' Eightball looked in around 1946 in a coloring book. He had developed a more regular set of clothes, and changed in his basic design. I don't think the button nose really suited him. And you kinda have to shake your head at the watermelons.


  1. WOW! This one is great. lots of great poses. Also i'm a total sucker for those elongated inbetween frames.

  2. The disappearing cel of Eightball could've been caused by a number of things. If they were using the multiple exposure technique you suggest, I venture the only way the camera operator would've missed it twice was because it was that way on the exposure sheet paperwork, and he was following it to the letter.

    Another possibility, though, is that after the film was rewound for the second pass, the transparent characters were shot against a black background instead of re-laying the original cels and backgrounds a second time. Much easier. I actually haven't come across any reference to this technique being used but I can't imagine why it wouldn't be.

  3. Nice article ! Can you tell me where did you find the picture from the 1946 coloring book ? I'm writing a PhD thesis about animation and this primary source is really interesting ;)