Variety Radio – Spencer Norwich

Spencer Norwich is the young man dancing to cartoony sound effects.  He saw my post and sent me a link to a better quality video.  

Spencer is interested in possibly getting into motion capture.  This is exactly the kind of person who should doing mocap.

The Party

Blake Edwards was one of the greatest directors of slapstick comedy in the sound era. He may be best known for The Pink Panther movies, where he worked with Peter Sellers, an actor of seemingly limitless talent.  For me, their greatest collaboration was in “The Party” (1968).   Sellers plays Hrundi V. Bakshi, an actor from India, who gets fired from the American movie production for a horrendous screw-up.  He then accidentally gets invited to a celebrity party at the home of a studio executive.  Most of the film is about his misadventures in the elaborate, high tech home where he continually tries to fit in, but constantly messes things up.  It is essentially a one man show, equal to any of the greats of the silent era.

Here is a sample video I found on youtube.  There are many more laughs to be found in the rest of the movie.

The ending of the movie involves hordes of party crashers running amok, and it feels unnatural and forced.  But that is my only complaint about this unforgettable comedy.

Usavich Rabbits

I recently posted about Kanaban Graphics, the company that produced Usavich Rabbits for MTV Japan.  I have since received my dvd of Usavich Rabbits, which I purchased on eBay.  Since the youtube videos are so poor and unreliable, I’m posting a bunch of images I like.

The Usavich Rabbits are two bunnies who start this adventure as inmates in a Soviet Prison.   Each episode is exactly one and a half minutes. That’s incredibly short, yet packed with fun.  With 39 episodes, it runs nearly 1 hour of constant high energy.  That’s nearly a feature film, built out of really short films.  The first season mostly involves their conflict with the prison guards, who take the form of steel doors.


During this first season they pick up two secondary characters, a toad and a chick.

They escape during episode 13.

They steal a car.

The second season takes place on the road, but the road is a continuous curve on a hillside.  It rarely changes.  It reminds me of the old 3D effect done by Fleisher Studios.  It is one long chase, with prison guards, cops, and soldiers trying everything they have to kill the rabbits.


The Red rabbit gets part of his head ripped off.

The Green rabbit has super car repair powers.  Here he reassembles the car while it is exploding.

I forgot what’s happening here.  I just know the Red rabbit was in disguise for a roadblock.Season two ends in the evening light, and season three brings them to the city:

Season three brings the rabbits to the city, where Red wants to buy the most fantastic pair of high top sneakers.  But the owner lives at the top of a 13 story building, and he doesn’t want to let the sneakers go.  So the rabbits fight their way to the top.

The boss gets a rocket stuck in his back side.  Henchmen discuss options.

Red dies during a boxing match.  But comes back to life later.

Red gets sliced in two by a laser.

Some things I like:

No dialog.  It’s entirely acting, sound effects and music.  The music is a catchy little tune like what you might hear in a video game.

The two rabbits are polar opposites, one, Green, is nervous and weak. The other, Red, is relaxed and physically equal to Popeye on p.c.p. laced Spinach.

Characters die and come back to life.

Tex Avery sized action.

Each season includes 1 episode that is based on rhythmic beats of sound effects.

It’s just plain bizarre and unpredictable.   I give it my highest praise.  “I wish I made that.”

Quote of the day.

From the book Fools, Clowns  & Jesters:

The first clown was a “clod”, a clodhopper, a witless oaf who in time learned cunning… but who at first was pitiful and in a sense miraculous, for the derangement of his mind was a visitation from God.  His antics, like those of the Fool in the Morris Dance, had a lunatic logic of their own that could not be shared by a more rational – allegedly more rational – people, who were awestruck by the uncomfortable thought that perhaps the pitiful clod was the only one in step with life.”

Alan Wykes, Circus!

Kanaban Graphics

I wish I knew more about Kanaban Graphics.   I first saw their work on Usavich Rabbits, a series of very short animated pieces from MTV Japan. Usavich Rabbits are a pair of bunnies who live in a Soviet prison. One of the bunnies is obsessed with a pair of sneakers he sees in a magazine. In the second season, they escape, and are chased by the authorities. Season three they reach a department store to buy the sneakers, but have to fight their way up 12 floors to get to them. It’s crazy.  Some poor videos exist on youtube, but Viacom keeps taking them down. I have ordered a dvd of all three seasons from eBay.

Kanaban Graphics does have it’s own youtube channel, with only a few videos on it.  The videos are similar to Usavich Rabbits in style. This one has a sheep who is obsessed with a handbag she sees in a magazine. I find these really fun, with a sort of video game atmosphere:

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