John Carter meets “Beany & Cecil”

In ancipation of Andrew Stanton’s (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) live action debut, John Carter, this clip of Bob Clampett’s 1936 John Carter of Mars test footage has recently gone viral (thanks to Geeks of Doom, io9 and The Animation Guild, among others):

Of course, longtime readers of Cartoon Brew know this clip comes off the 1999 Beany & Cecil The Special Edition (Vol. 1) DVD, which we have championed for years. I am happy to report Volume 1 was just re-released in a newly remastered version last month. You can only get it through the official Beany & Cecil.com website, and according to the site “the remastered disc has new menus and loads faster, adds Spanish tracks for all of the cartoons (except Beanyland) and several new audio commentaries by Clampett’s kids on three cartoons. There is also a recently discovered storyboard for an unproduced Clampett autobiographgical cartoon titled Cecil’s Scrapebook. What makes it really unique and strange is that it recounts Bob Clampett’s creative and “surreal” life in the person of Cecil.”

I can’t tell you how much I personally love the work of Bob Clampett. These DVDs (Volume 1 and Volume 2) are vital for anyone interested in classic Hollywood cartoons – or anyone who simply wants to laugh. I’ll end this post with one of my favorite Beany and Cecil cartoons (many are now available on You Tube’s Beany & Cecil Channel). I’d be hard pressed to pick my favorite B&C cartoon, but this one is in the top ten – one of the funniest, cleverest and coolest TV cartoons ever, The Wildman of Wildsville:


  • David

    The restoration job on that Beany and Cecil cartoon looks absolutely apalling. The DVNR is terrible. Definitely won’t be buying if that’s anything like the DVD transfer!

    • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

      I can vouch that the DVD version of this (and all the Beany & Cecil cartoons) look nothing like the You Tube embed. They are pristine 35mm transfers. Buy the DVD.

      • http://whataboutthad.com Thad

        So is the new B&C Vol. 1 reissue sans DVNR? The original Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 have appalling amounts of it. A shame. This show’s wit was no Bullwinkle, but they are slick, and the transfers do them no justice.

      • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

        Let me put it this way, these B&C discs are a goldmine of Bob Clampett history and rare materials. I cannot recommend these DVDs highly enough.

        That said, the B&C cartoons themselves (12 of them, which represent about a 1/3 (maybe less) of the material on the Vol. 1 disc) are the same transfers as the original 1999 release. If you already have the original 1999 release there may not be any reason for you to buy it again.

  • Richard

    How could Clampett work on this if he was still animating for Leon Schlesinger.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      He explained it all in the “oral history” section of the first volume DVD!

  • http://popyea.deviantart.com/ nick

    DON’T BUGS ME MAN, DON’T BUGS ME!

  • http://i365art.com/ Shawnte

    I remember this cartoon (I’m kinda old!) I’ve been a fan of Clampett since I was a kid. Lol! Dont bug me man!

    • dbenson

      As a boomer kid I remember Beany and Cecil: the nonstop groaner puns (beginning with Uncle Captain’s map), Dishonest John’s variations of “Confidentially, I stink”, and the merchandizing blitz.

      Also Cecil’s battle with the Invisible Man — after he’d rendered himself invisible as well: “This is the greatest fight ever filmed, kids! Too bad you can’t see it!”

  • Gorgilla

    That John Carter clip is clearly mocap, and hearkens the end of animation as we know it.

    • http://youtube.com/user/Mesterius1 Mesterius

      Good thing it’s still awesome!

  • http://miuniversoloco09.blogspot.com/ Salomon Fenix

    When I wanted to know a little more about Bob Clampett out of curiosity I saw this video and had been very different from the animation of the time but could not now hope it’s good the new film from the director of Wall-E and Finding Nemo.

  • Lestoil Texsize

    Casting Lord Buckley as Go Man was genius at its nakedest.

  • Michael van den Bos

    In my History of Character Animation course I teach at Capilano University in North Vancouver, B.C., I always show THE WILDMAN OF WILDSVILLE as an example of Bob Clampett’s BEANY AND CECIL years. I love this cartoon, but always a handful of my students inexplicably think it is awful! Perhaps it is too surreal for them. I think WILDMAN, and the other BEANY AND CECIL cartoons, are remarkable blasts of Clampett cartoon lunacy sporting tons of appeal. The tone and style is still unlike any other TV animation to this day.

    • Tory

      I’d love to take such a class. It is a shame that some students find it awful. Are there any in love with it?

  • Jim Korkis

    First,don’t forget to give lots of credit to Milt Gray for his work on the first disc. It was so great that it convinced me to buy a DVD player in order to be able to see everything on the disc.

    Second, I interviewed Bob Clampett several times and even wrote an article about the John Carter cartoon and that article is posted here: http://www.johncolemanburroughs.com/0934.html

  • Jane

    Kinda OT but what do you think Disney will do with Andrew Stanton if John Carter fails? It sound so expensive! It will have to make so.much.money for it not to be a flop.

  • Doug

    Clampett was such a free spirit, and it certainly shows in this cartoon. The quality of the animation is typical of early ’60s TV, but the creativity, the characterizations and even the music more than make up for it.

    Who did the voices of the Captain, Beany, and Cecil respectively?
    I probably should know the answer to this, but I don’t. None of them are recognizable to me. Beany’s voice sounds like that of a real kid, albeit a young teen rather than a little boy.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      In the case of this cartoon, it was Jim MacGeorge(Beany/Captain) and Irv Shoemaker (Cecil).

  • Scarabim

    Wonder if Beany and Cecil will ever get a modern-day big-screen treatment?

    • swac

      Let’s hope not.

      Although strangely I just had a vision of a cartoon teaming up Beany and Little Nemo as boy cops who solve crimes with a pimped out Cecil, who’d be called Huggy if he actually had any arms.