Though these particular frame grabs are Abner Kneitel’s work, the gag was Tyer’s: the first instance of a Tyer “shrink take.” (Thanks to Bob Jaques for the information). Click to enlarge.
by Rachel Newstead
Well, I learned two things today. One, my powers of observation are not quite as sharp as I thought they were, and two, when I’m wrong, I’m spectacularly wrong.
After reading this post on animator Bob Jaques’ blog last night, I began to worry about the accuracy of my “Freeze Frame Friday” post from last week on Jim Tyer. After writing Jaques for confirmation, it seems my fears were justified:
The frame grabs you posted from Anvil Chorus Girl and Service With A Guile are not Tyer’s work. The examples from Service With A Guile are the work of Ben Solomon. Tyer’s work doesn’t show up until later in the cartoon.
He followed that up with another note adding:
BTW, Tyer did not have Clampett-like nervous energy–it was his own style, completely different and as far as I can tell pre-dated Scribner’s energetic work at WB.
I’ve always prided myself on being as accurate as I can–if at all possible, I back up my statements with a quote from a well-respected animation author/blogger. I could not find any definitive information on which scenes Tyer did in which cartoons, and therefore had to rely on my best guess.
Unfortunately, I didn’t say it was my best guess. Jaques is rightly critical of such people, those who make an outright statement of fact without checking, thereby spreading misinformation like a virus.
I’m shocked and embarrassed to find that I, in this case, was actually part of the problem. I can assure you such incidents will not be repeated.
The stills I posted will remain, as they are indeed an example of why I love the Popeye cartoons of that period, the early Famous period. The poses and expressions, misattributed though they were, are priceless.
That said, a true example of Tyer’s work–or at least, work under his direction–can be seen above. Bluto reacts to the sight of Popeye in drag with a trademark Tyer “shrink take”–the first use of such a gag, according to (appropriately enough) Bob Jaques, in his commentary track for the cartoon Too Weak To Work. (It can be found on the DVD set Popeye The Sailor, Vol. 3, 1941-43).
The misinformation ends here and now, at least on this blog.
(Information added attributing frames to Abner Kneitel, 3/26/10)