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Archive for the ‘Ed Benedict’ Category

This post comes via Mark Christiansen’s blog as well as Yowp (both blogs are inexhaustible resources of 50s-60s era Hanna-Barbera). Apparently a mysterious stranger has recently posted black and white Hanna-Barbera show bumpers on You Tube. With layouts and animation by studio stalwarts like Ed Benedict, Art Lozzi and Ed Love, these bumpers are quick, funny scenarios, highlighting various characters in the Hanna-Barbera stable and packed full of great gags and wonderful compositions. Another highlight of these bumpers: the voice acting of Daws Butler, as everyone from Snagglepuss to Huckleberry Hound and Rojay North as the voice of Mr. Jinks*. Hilarity does indeed ensue.

*UPDATE!: The good folks at YOWP have informed me that it wasn’t Rojay North who did Jinks, but actually Daws Butler. What an amazing range! In fact, YOWP just posted an interesting article on some of the mysteries of who voiced who at Hanna-Barbera.

As a sidenote, I recently ran across the following model sheets that artist Bill Wray had posted, all of which were drawn by the incomparable Ed Benedict. I’m always astounded by Ed’s mastery of shape and design; everything is so thoughtful and pleasing to look at. Plus he indicates the thick/thin lines of the characters even at the pencil stage. The finished versions of the pencils are so clean; they could very well have been final inks.

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I’ve posted a few times about Ed Benedict and his amazing body of work, but I thought I post again because, well, each time a look at more of his designs I become inspired all over again.

 

 

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Ed Benedict’s character designs are simply wonderful. They are so disnticnvtive, and funny and alive. He has great command of combining angular/curvy designs without going too far in either direction. He even does thick and thin line work at the pencil/sketch stage! Holy crud, what a madman!

Much of his work laid the foundation for the look of many Hanna Barbera’s most famous characters. You can still see the impact of his design all over Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Yet he is relatively unknown outside of the industry, and tends to get discarded in favor of character designers from Disney. I would love to see a book completely devoted to the wonderful work of Ed Benedict, with tons of interviews because the guy sounds so curmudgeonly! I’d pay top dollar, I tells ya!

The following interview conducted by John K appeared in a laser disk version release of the Flintstones.

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Here’s an appreciation of Ed Benedict by John K that appeared in Animation Blast Magazine…

 

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Tom Oreb and Ed Benidect were both great character designers who worked at different ends of the spectrum but were forging a common, distinctive aesthetic during much of the 50s, Tom at Disney and Ed at Hanna-Barbara (this is far better outlined in Amid Amidi’s amazing book, Cartoon Modern ). Both strived to give their character designs a mix of angularity and roundness which made for striking combination of shapes that often trumped the resulting animation. They were both superior draughtsman who knew how to create simple, pleasing characters with charm to spare. (Tom Oreb’s redesigned Mickey Mouse for an TV ad never saw the light of day, but it has so much more character than many of latter day model versions of Mickey. Again, check out Cartoon Modern to see the model sheet.)

I bring theses two designers up because their designs are always inspiring to look at. I feel my own characters are the most successful when they are built from angles and curves rather than one or the other.

Growing up in the 70s and 80s I was exposed to a lot of Hanna-Barbara programming as were most people my age, some bad, much of it good, like the Flintstones, a staple of my after school cartoon viewing. Although I didn’t know who Ed Benedict was at the time, his designs made a huge impression, and like the cartoons of MAD artist Don Martin, influenced the way I would draw for the rest of my life.

All of the following illustrations are courtesy Amid’s wonderful Cartoon Modern. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go there NOW! It’s a great companion to the book.

Tom Oreb

 

 

 

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Ed Benedict commercial designs

 

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