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  1.  They had this test footage on the first Beany & Cecil DVD released years ago…  that disc is long out-of-print now.

    The John Carter footage was shown over the years at cons and campus talks that Clampett gave.  I think the audio that accompanies the John Carter footage on the DVD was recorded at one of those speaking engagements years before Clampett’s death.

    Clampett had a fairly short animation career — at least as far as his good stuff is concerned.  (I didn’t much care for the animated Beany & Cecil but liked the puppet show version quite a bit.  There’s a lot of political humor and sarcasm in that show.  The kids’ shows in the 1940s and 1950s could be quite a bit more subversive than people realize.  Don’t believe the hype that the ’50s was all conformity and censorship.  The reality’s a bit different.  Besides, there’s conformity in every era.  The people complaining about the earlier eras generally didn’t live during those times or tend to be misfits that didn’t grow up in some ways…)

    The closest I see to John Carter in animation was probably the Fleischer Superman shorts which is ironic since the Carter stories influenced the Superman comics!

    Clampett just didn’t have the luck or business acumen to get the project beyond animation tests.  Then again, Disney didn’t release the first animated feature, either.  There were at least two animated features produced before the 1937 version of Snow White.  The one surviving predecessor was “Prince Achmed.”  Snow White (1937) WAS the first animated feature done in full-color with synchronized sound… and perhaps the second highest-grossing film in history after Gone With the Wind.  Hollywood’s math is notoriously awful and doesn’t take into account actual ticket sales and inflation…

  2. Clampett’s career as a director at Warner Bros — where he directed his best animation — was fairly short (less than 10 years) but he was definitely a huge influence on the development of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.  He was also the creator of Tweety Bird who was a very different character than the one Friz Freleng teamed with Sylvester the Cat.  Clampett’s Tweety was a much meaner sadistic little s$^t who enjoyed tormenting cats (usually Abbott and Costello take-offs in Clampett’s Tweety shorts).

    I liked Clampett’s Daffy because he was crazy and energetic in shorts like “Duck Twacy” aka “The Great Piggybank Robbery.”

    Perhaps Clampett’s most infamous — and one of his best works — is “Coal Black.”  That short doesn’t get shown outside of festivals and cons but is a great example of jazzy music in the 1940s and the animation that Clampett’s unit excelled at.  It really deserves a quality release on home video.  You get past the caricatures in that short quickly and realize it’s nowhere near “Birth of a Nation” on the racist scale.  Sad thing is that WB withholds “Coal Black” from official distribution but there’s little protest over airings of “BON” on TV and home video!  Most of us acknowledge “BON” as a historic work with some important technical milestones and storytelling firsts in cinema in spite of objectionable scenes and frankly disgusting racial portrayals and glorification of the KKK.

    I’ve always felt live-action racism hits 100 times harder than most racist animation I’ve seen.  “Coal Black” is a film that’s been enjoyed by mixed audiences in the past and deserves recognition as spoof and great animation.

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