Friday, June 01, 2007

Willard Bowsky

Willard Bowsky was a Fleischer animator whose Popeye cartoons were among the most attractive and entertaining of that series. He was also one of the animators most sympathetic to the jazz used on the Fleischer cartoon soundtracks in the early '30's.

Until now, the only real information I've found on Bowsky was in Shamus Culhane's autobiography, Talking Animals and Other People. Joe Campana has written a Memorial Day blog entry on Bowsky with lots of new information, including details of Bowsky's death in France during World War II.

Below is the Popeye cartoon A Date to Skate, animated by Bowsky and Orestes Calpini. There's no Bluto in this cartoon and no conflict with other characters. It's just two people who enjoy each other's company trying to have some fun. I love the warm relationship that Popeye and Olive have in this film and wish that there was more of it in animated shorts.

8 comments:

David Nethery said...

Excellent cartoon ! Thanks for posting that and for pointing me towards the biographical info on Willard Bowsky.

David Nethery said...

Watching it again a couple of times I certainly agree with you about the success of the film being based on the warm character relationship between Popeye and Olive , but I'm also struck by the incredibly elaborate settings this all plays out on top of ... all those crowd shots of people skating, the complicated layouts and animation of the automobiles (in perspective!), and subtle use of the animating background behind them as they're skating and singing in the last shot.

I'm eagerly waiting for the release of the Popeye DVD this summer.

Mark Mayerson said...

David, I agree with you about the layouts. They don't necessarily call attention to themselves, but they are very sophisticated.

You're not the only one waiting for the Popeye DVD. I think that we're all in for a treat and that watching the cartoons in order is going to reveal a lot about the development of the Fleischer studio.

Anonymous said...

The Popeye Cartoons are owned by Sony.

Anonymous said...

The MGM Cartoons and Pre-1948 WB Cartoons are owned by Sony.

Anonymous said...

The B&W Looney Tunes(1930-1943)and Post-1948 WB Cartoons are owned by WB. The Pre-1948 WB Cartoons are owned by MGM.

Anonymous said...

The MGM Cartoons,The Pre-1948 WB Cartoons,The Popeye Cartoons,and The Depatie-Freleng Cartoons are all owned by MGM.

Anonymous said...

Willard Bowsky was the platoon leader of the 2nd Platoon of Troop "B" of the 94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron-Mechanized, 14th Armored Division. Mr. Bowsky and four other men from the 2nd platoon were killed one night by enemy fire. He was a hero, indeed. Handwritten notes of the 94th Cav, as well as "History of the 14th Armored Division", are excellent sources. If family members call me (Gordon) at (970)378-1161, I will forward documents to you at no cost. My late father, Paul A. Green, served with Mr. Bowsky.