Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Scattered Flintstones thoughts

As noted in an earlier entry, I've been watching season 1 of the Flintstones recently (courtesy of Lovefilm rentals), mostly spurred on by John K's postings about it, in particular regarding the fact that, due to HB having not yet had time to sap the life out the animators and make them all draw the characters completely on model, they look slightly different every episode (and often between shots). The backgrounds are gourgeous, too. I don't plan to watch all 6 seasons through, though I'll watch bits of following seasons to see if I can identify where things started to degenerate. Though, actually, I thought I started to get whiffs of it even just by the end of the 1st season.

Really appealing early episode drawings by Ed Love and Carlo Vinci (both thieved from John's blog, because I neglected to take lots of screenshots of the earlier episodes).

Still nice drawing by I'm-not-sure-who from the episode "Astr'nuts" (on the fourth season 1 disc).

 Somehow slightly blander proportioned drawing from "Room For Rent".

 Hmm, actually, looking through my screenshots the differences aren't as obvious as I thought they were when I was watching the episodes. I definitely got a feeling of the characters being more "on-model" most of the time with these later episodes than the earlier ones. But I guess I'll need to see some second season footage to see if it was just my imagination.

I think the backgrounds started getting a bit less great, too. "The Good Scout", spends alot of time with this really disgusting-looking background. That purple and green combination offends my eyes.

A more tasteful background from"Long Long Weekend".

Though these are even better, in my opinion, and they're not even the best BGs from the early episodes, just ones that I think are comparable to the above (also thieved from John's blog).

Things definitely went wrong by the 6th season, though. Though actually this is pretty good compared to some other stuff I saw looking quickly on Youtube.

I also had a look at some of the made-for-TV movies and specials...but I wouldn't wish those on my worst enemy so I won't post them.

Also, in the "Astr'nuts" episode, Wilma says something I didn't think you could say on American prime-time TV in the 60s!


By the way, there's something funny went on with the PAL DVDs for this. Generally it looked surprisingly good: I don't know what the hell they did, but despite having been made for 30fps NTSC tv, the footage seemed to run at 25fps without frame-blending, without obviously dropping frames (though my only way of judging this is that oscillating camera shakes seemed intact), and seemingly without just slowing it down (even without pitch-shifting, the difference between 25fps and 30fps is significant). However, the second half of "The Tycoon" suddenly becomes a mess, maybe because there are lots of chase sequences, which have fast run-cycles and BG pans, which are shot on ones...but then again, there are plenty of other instances of those in the other episodes (such as that screenshot from "Long Long Weekend" above), and no ghosting.

This is what every frame looks like watching it on a progressive display (like a computer monitor). It's okay if you're using an interlaced display (a CRT TV) but that's old, obsolete technology by now.
I wonder if BluRays have this problem.

One final thought: Bea Benaderet's voice excites me.

Even though Betty was the least-developed character, I always thought she was the cutest.

Coming soon, another post about bloody anime.

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