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CBTV Student Fest 6: Slim Picking Fat Chances

Slim Pickings Fat Chances is a student film by David de Rooij and Jelle Brunt from the Willem de Kooning Academy in the Netherlands. We’ve already written about this film on the Brew and we couldn’t say enough good things about it. Lots of student films pay homage to Tex Avery and Looney Tunes shorts but few get it as right as Jelle and David have in Slim Pickings. This film is good, funny and unpretentious cartooning at its best.

Co-director David de Rooij shared some details with us about the filmmaking process and will answer questions in the comments:

I teamed up with Jelle so we could make a bigger and better graduation film than we had seen before from our school. Jelle also had a funny idea for a short cartoon, so I convinced him that we should work together. Ultimately the initial idea was thrown out because it got too complicated and we decided to start with a simple idea, like many of the classic cartoons that we love. We wanted to make our own classic cartoon, so we watched and analyzed a lot of Looney Tunes and Tex Avery cartoons. Nowadays you don’t see a lot of cartoons anymore that are made in a traditional way, there is a lot of tweening going on. Although we didn’t make this cartoon on paper. we used the computer to work in a traditional way.

Almost every aspect of the cartoon we made together: We brainstormed to come up with a funny story, we both did character designs and redesigned each others’ designs, we both animated, did clean-up, and colored. We cleaned up each others’ animation to blend our styles even more. Only the backgrounds Jelle did all by himself because he’s a lot better than I am.

Currently we have sent and are still sending our cartoon to many festivals all over the world. The main reason is to be seen by a lot of people and hopefully it allows us the opportunity to make more of these films.

Official film website:
Filmmaker website: Jelle Brunt
Filmmaker website: David de Rooij

  • Great job, David! It turned out really well. The sound design is really solid, and you had some really great color work. I really liked the compositing on the end “souls rising to heaven” scene. Your animation looked great and this is a awesome project. Hold your head high, you rule!

  • Solid work! (And a real education in how much Carl Stalling’s arrangements contributed to the verve of the Warner Bros. cartoons.)

    The bear suit gag in particular made me laugh out loud … timing worthy of Friz Freleng.

  • Awesome short guys. Really has that fun cartoony feel.

  • amazing film! i love the big, dumb wall-eyed ‘golden mullet’ manager, and the acting when the main character ‘re-fills’ the beer glass. wonderful, gross gags and lots of gorgeous locales!

  • Rupe

    I didn’t notice the cowstitute the first two times i watched it. Can’t imagine why…

  • Really great tribute to the old Looney Tunes style! Loved the short and gags. Great job guys!

  • uncle wayne

    Wow….what fun-ness! And great to hear the Scott Bradleys (“Dixieland” AND “Homesteader” Droopy!), PLUS the heavenly tones of Mr. Stalling!

  • DonaldC

    A tad crude, but very entertaining overall. Well done.

  • Great directing and timing. I liked the use of the cross dissolves after the establishing pan as we truck-in. The computer allows so many films to zoom right in but you understood to soften the transition. Each gag topped the last. You really understand the cartoons you pay tribute to. I laughed as hard as watching those golden age ones. No kidding.

  • Quite brilliant. Great job!

  • Tim Schuit


    Encore encore!

    Had so much fun watching that :D

  • Anna

    This was a riot!! Great job

    The cow on the girlie balcony made me pause and laugh for a minute. Dun know why a cow was so hilarious, but it was

  • top cat james

    Just like “Daffy’s Inn Trouble”, except funny.

  • Pez

    Wow that’s great!!! It just gets better and better as you watch it. It really left me with a feeling of regret that I had not created a student film with my pals like this back in college. I love it. It is amazing how much funny stuff is with looney tunes music too. I want to especially compliment the person who edited the sound. Might be the best I have ever heard.

  • wilbert

    This film feels like Deja vu with Alzheimers.
    Did Tex ever doing a gag where a guy drinks his own piss? Or a mouse who pukes in someones beer..? A Cow Hooker?
    Couldhave maybe.
    Go Dutchies!

  • Bravo! A worthy tribute to the classics :)
    A Cowsitute…what twisted minds… :P

  • Gummo

    I can only echo all the other comments here. A wonderful, modern (that is, more vulgar!) take on the classic Loony Tunes style, with actual laugh-out-loud gags and perfect sound and music editing (which makes such a huge difference to the enjoyability of an animated short, especially one like this, which is essentially silent).

    The bear suit gag may have been the single best gag in the film, but the first big gag — the mouse in the drink — was almost as good and immediately defined how this short was going to be both like AND unlike the classics.

    You gentlemen are extremely talented and I look forward to seeing more from you!

  • Bob

    Yay you rule for life!

  • I have to agree with you, Gummo ; the mouse in the beer gag was almost as laugh-out-loud funny and well-timed as the bear suit gag . Both of those were high points of comic timing which show that these students have studied the masters carefully. The rest of the film was funny , with several great gag sequences, but those two gags in particular (Mouse in the Beer and Bear Suit) made me feel like I was watching a classic Warner’s cartoon.

    I’ve watched this film several times now and more than ever I am convinced that the musical arrangements from people like Carl Stalling and Scott Bradley are the * secret ingredient * that is missing in most modern cartoons. The makers of “Slim Pickings, Fat Chances” did a great job of “re-purposing” Stalling and Bradley scores that fit very well into this film. (too bad they can never release the film commercially unless they clear the rights to those scores) This film succeeds on so many levels , but especially in the careful use of musical underscoring . Watching it again I say again : Bravo !

  • Ryan W. Mead

    Great stuff. I agree that the bear suit was by far the best gag, but there were a lot of great moments. The face of the Golden Mullet’s owner made me laugh each time he showed up on camera. These two are obviously going to go far.

  • STEF

    It’s made me go back in time to those days of eating chips from a giant bowl, sitting on my little girl’s room fuzzy carpet, lening back and enjoying some real warner cartoons.

    It really shows you thought this thru and worked intensily to make you and others happy. Thanks, guys, this was great to watch.

  • Thanks a lot for the nice comments, everybody!

  • Ridd

    wow this is great! congrats!

  • Michael

    Sweet!I could literally count the Looney Tunes the way you guys have tweaked them :)
    All in all,a very fitting tribute indeed
    *gulps down his last bottle of Beer* :D

  • Pez

    I love the work you guys did on this short. Are you looking for work?

  • I just saw it on Vimeo and I’m excited! Finally an animation with nice bgs and humour. And no 3d…. Well done guys. From a Tex Avery fan

  • I use to visit Warner’s cartoon unit on the studio lot way, way back in the fifties. Chuck, Bob and Friz were still there, and I loved the place. They made cartoons that were actually funny.

    They’re all gone now, but I know they’d be proud of you. Well done, guys.