What is with all the hate on Terrytoons?

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OriginalGagBonkers
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What is with all the hate on Terrytoons?

Postby OriginalGagBonkers » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:02 pm

I've seem to have noticed that there are people who really dislike the terrytoons studio. Although, I've only run into a few people who had admitted to me liking their cartoons. Can anyone explain to me why there is such a hate to this studio? I only saw a few of their cartoons(two mighty mouse cartoons and a gandy and sourpuss). But I never understood why people hate this studio.

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J Lee
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Postby J Lee » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:05 pm

You really have to watch a whole bunch of them over a short period of time -- as used to be the case when the cartoons ran daily in syndication -- to understand the problem. Even more than Famous Studios in the early 1950s, there's just a ton of repetition/going through the motions in the stories and much of the animation and directing. Combine that with virtually no changes in sound effects and no attempt be Terry (or no permission granted by Fox) to allow the use of any of the studio's popular songs, and that's why, as Leonard Maltin noted 30 years ago is in part why it's really hard to tell a 1939 Terrytoons from one done 15 years later, just before the arrival of CinemaScope and then the CBS purchase and the changeover to Gene Deitch.

That's not saying there are no good Terrytoons -- the Heckle and Jeckle series (especially the Connie Rasinski directed and/or Jim Tyer animated ones) have a lot of enjoyable moments. But when you go through the studio's full output and run it over and over and over again as in the 1950s through the early 80s on TV, the flaws become really apparent.
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Prinzenick
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Postby Prinzenick » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:27 pm

Terrytoons were pretty much the bottom of the barrel when it came to animation during the Golden Age. Extremely formulaic stories, suffered from sloppy inkers and artists, were made largely for children (as Paul Terry admitted in the documentary included in the "Makin' Em Move" DVD) and had very hollow, weak characters.
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Darkblader
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Postby Darkblader » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:39 pm

The Terrytoons studio was probably the only studio not to follow the routes from Disney, but the outcome of it was terrible. Most of the cartoons are a bit not worth mentioning, although Gandy and Sourpuss are likely the key inspiration to John K's Ren and stimpy.

It should be worth mentioning that Paul Terry only believed that animation should be done as a business. That could be a reason why nearly half of their cartoons look rather terribly animated. Not to mention its limited animated as well is not hard to tell that its limited either.

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Bannedcartoonfan
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Postby Bannedcartoonfan » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:55 pm

Well, no matter what anyone says I will always LOVE Mighty Mouse. They predictable drama stories of Mighty Mouse rescuing Pearl Pureheart from the clutches of the evil Oil Can Harry. Terry made a bunch of crap but you tell that they had a lot of fun making them which makes watching them all the more fun to watch. Especially ones with that awesome Jim Tyer animation.

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Postby Geezil » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:32 pm

This'll be quick and painless: In the past hour, I've tried twice to submit a lengthy response to posts 2, 3, and 4 above, but my clicking on "Submit Post" has twice gotten my message deleted, and booted me out of GAC entirely. If three's not "the charm" in this case, you'll at least get to see this post ...

...so, in short, Leonard Maltin was wrong.

I'll elaborate further when and if GAC again allows me that luxury. (I've alerted Jon Cooke to this problem offstage as well.) Thanks.
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Speedy Boris
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Postby Speedy Boris » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:45 pm

J Lee wrote:You really have to watch a whole bunch of them over a short period of time -- as used to be the case when the cartoons ran daily in syndication -- to understand the problem. Even more than Famous Studios in the early 1950s, there's just a ton of repetition/going through the motions in the stories and much of the animation and directing.
Can't the same be said for most anything, though? Marathoning (or at the very least, over-watching) any studio's output is never a good idea.

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tristar
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Postby tristar » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:53 pm

I haven't seen very many Terry-era shorts, and they've all ranged from mediocre to terrible, with the exception of a few. (THE POWER OF THOUGHT comes to mind specifically as being one of the better ones). Most of the time, they're fun time-wasters, except when Jim Tyer animates a scene, when they become essential viewing.

On the other hand, I have never seen a bad Deitch-era short; every single one I've seen was either okay or fantastic.

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Jack G.
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Postby Jack G. » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:28 pm

If someone were to put together a best of Terrytoons, that'd be great. I'd pick that up before I'd pick up a non-Popeye Famous Studio's release.

But to watch 'em all is to see just how formulatic things are.

Jim Tyer's animation and Carlo Vinci's dance sequences are fun viewing though.

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Thad
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Postby Thad » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:36 pm

While inadvisable to watch anything in large dosages, it's impossible to watch a cartoon from 1935, 1945, and 1955 from any other studio in succession and not notice a single stylistic development. The occasional, bold experiments (The Power of Thought, Lucky Dog) aren't like those at Famous Studios, where there's strong evidence that the staff could regularly make cartoons on the level of Warners with better conditions. The Terry gems really are, and I hate saying it, accidents.

While a real history of the studio is truly needed, the films do deserve their lousy reputation. Jim Tyer or not.


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