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Cartoon Culture

The Best Halloween Costumes of 2011

Fear not! The dastardly Dan Backslide won’t win this round. The Dover Boys–Tom, Dick and Larry–have come to the rescue!

Dover Boys

Actually, the quartet behind this brilliant classic cartoon tribute is a group of animation students who attend the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Andy Scherman is Tom, Adam Coren is Dick, Morgan Bobo is Larry and Robert Crisalli is Dan Backslide. All are seniors except Crisalli who is a junior.

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Most readers should be familiar with the Chuck Jones cartoon being celebrated, but in case you’re not, go and watch The Dover Boys at Pimento University.

  • Ha ha! Oh my God that’s brilliant! XD

  • Did they try the three-way punch?

    • Sarah (with an h)

      They did do it during class. It was ridiculously awesome!

  • TheDirtyVicar

    Most readers should be familiar with the Chuck Jones cartoon being celebrated, but in case you’re not, shame on you!!

    Go and watch The Dover Boys (at Pimento University) – immediately!!

    • amid

      Our readership is in the tens of thousands, and we have many international readers who didn’t watch Warner Bros. cartoons growing up. Not to mention, there’s many teenagers and twenty-somethings here in the US who aren’t familiar with WB shorts thanks to their absence from broadcast TV for the last decade. On the plus side, let’s be happy that there’s four students in a single animation program who know what Dover Boys is. That’s pretty remarkable in itself.

      • The “A RUNABOUT” line was actually prominent on a certain popular web forum of unsavory repute a few years back.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        They stole it, I thought no one would ever know? :-P

      • The short has become popular among bronies due to it being played constantly on the Synchtube as filler.

  • uncle wayne

    ooooooooooooooooooooooooh my God!! That is, truly, priceless!!

  • Thad

    This made my Halloween. A nice joke for them and the three other students familiar with the cartoon.

  • Clint H.

    A Dan Backslide costume! I’LL WEAR IT! NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW!

  • Unhand her, Dan Backslide!

    • Sardonic Tuba

      Hey! We’re getting in a rut!

  • Vixie

    This made my day. If these guys are the future of animation, I’d say it has a great future.

  • I really got a kick out of their costumes when I saw it on Facebook a few days ago. Probably the best costume troupe I’ve seen in a while, and I’m glad they’re getting some good publicity here!

    Andy Scherman (Tom) , Adam Coren (Dick) and Morgan Bobo (Larry) are seniors, and Robert Crisalli (Dan Backslide) is a third year. They’re a good bunch of guys, and it was fun knowing them when I was still at SVA.

    Great job, guys!

  • J Lee

    Pity they couldn’t get a Dora Standpipe to round out the ensemble.

    • Steve Gattuso


      (father’s money)

  • Haha, genius!! There should be actual costumes and toys of these guys.

  • Tom Minton

    Next year they must go as three blur inbetweens.

  • Jonah

    If I were friends with them, I’d totally go as the alert young scout.

  • Jason H

    Wasn’t Chuck Jones mocked when the Dover Boys came out due to his overuse of 1-3 frame blur motion inbetweens?

    Chuck Jones was ahead of his time.

  • Kristjan

    When is the movie The Dover Boys coming to theaters?

    I have secretly been loving this cartoon for years.

  • Funkybat

    I’ve always wondered if the character design of Brock Samson was inspired by Tom Dover…

  • Doug Nichols

    Just looking at this cartoon again – since it’s so handy! thanks for putting it in there! – and the credits made me wonder who, Chuck Jones, who always gets the credit, or Robert Cannon, the brilliant animator/director in his own right, is really responsible for this cartoon’s dynamic action & smeared frames? Anybody have any insight into the particulars of the inter-crew dynamic for this short? Jerry? Anybody? Jerry?

  • I had never heard of the cartoon so I thought the guy in purple was meant to be The Joker.

  • wow! what a coincidence–I was totally watching this short yesterday.

    Then I realized it’s not a coincidence, I watch this cartoon every day.

    well-done! PS the pose at 8:25 in the cartoon is amazing.

  • I had a couple of these guys as my students, and when one of them told me this was his costume last week, I thought it was 1 of the best ideas ever, and I proceeded to tell everyone I knew about it…

    Great job guys, you didn’t tell me you had a Dan Backslide as well, amazing!

  • Tom Minton

    Director Alan Zaslove once told me that it was indeed Bobe Cannon who figured out those zip-blur inbetweens in “The Dover Boys”. Anyone who wants to disagree take it up with him.

    One could argue that the effect is overdone in “The Dover Boys” but it provided the measure for just how far they could go with such a gimmick. Jones may have realized that too much of it became a distraction to the animation and never took it that far again but the blur inbetween (in all of its mutations) became a part of the Warners animation canon thereafter. The various Warner directors seemed to use it most often with Daffy because he was painted primarily solid black and whatever his shape he would read as a sillo. Just look at “Duck Amuck” where Daffy is going completely insane and tell me they could have known how to move Daffy like that had they never done “The Dover Boys.” If you disagree, Alan Zaslove and I will both take you on.

    Even Disney occasionally used the zip-smear inbetween, though not as broadly and never too often, when Walt was alive. Can’t have cartoons being too cartoony, for God’s sake.

    In 1978 Milt Gray showed “The Dover Boys” to Eddie Fitzgerald and he showed it to all of us young punks in the Filmation storyboard department. Those zip-blur inbetweens became a part of all of our DNA. It is great to see at least three members of the current youngest animation generation influenced by the sheer energy of that classic cartoon. Now, figure out how to use it in a manner that does more than reference its source. We never did!

    • Doug Nichols

      Thanks, Tom!

    • amid

      Great info, Tom! Thanks for sharing. I’d definitely take Zaslove’s word. Bobe was his mentor and they spent a lot of time together at UPA.

      The unmentioned contributor to Dover Boys, besides Jones, Cannon and background artist John McGrew is the film’s character designer John McLeish. He played a deeply significant role in modernizing the look of animation in the early 1940s, and he designed this film, as well as narrated it. Jones sadly never acknowledged McLeish’s contributions to the film.

      • Doug Nichols

        More great info! Thanks, Amid. It clearly wasn’t Mel Blanc or any of the other usual suspects on the VO.

  • Kate

    My classmates are f’in awesome. :D I’d been hearing about this plan for a couple weeks and I’m so glad their costumes turned out so well. Wicked awesome animators and people too. Everyone in the animation department loved it!

  • Huzzah! This is one of the very few Chuck Jones ! actually enjoy!

  • Robert Schaad

    Thanks, Tom! Thanks, Dick! Thanks, Larry!

  • uncle wayne

    Where (“oh where”) is Dora???

  • Steve Gattuso

    Ah yes, the cartoon that made it impossible for me to think of Pepperdine University the same way ever again…

  • Mister Twister


  • I’m torn between my two favorite scenes here: Dan consulting the Handbook of Useful Information or Dora spinning the poor, bedraggled villain over her head before launching him into space.

  • Great costumes!! Amazing cartoon! Good festive post.

    Help Tom!!

    Help Dick!!

    Help Larry!!

  • Jei

    Wow! It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen this! Nostalgic!

  • Matt Patton

    Just a quick question — does Dora have feet or little wheels. She seems to roll along tracks at the beginning . . .