Grim Natwick's dancing waiter

If I could only take 5 cartoons to a desert island, the Fleischer's 1930 Talkartoon DIZZY DISHES would be pick #1.

One of my favorite elements of this cartoon is the Grim Natwick animation. To give you an idea of what Grim would do with a scene, first take a look at this clip of Bimbo the waiter being handled by another animator:

Bimbo moves to the beat in a rhythmic, on-model and distortion-less manner, and as a result the animation doesn't really provide any surprises pulsating with life. It's your regular mechanical rubber-hose fun - which I have no problems with of course!

But check out what happens when the waiter is put into Grim's hands:

Wow! He's so alive! Don't you love how he twists and turns and taps his feet? The way he shifts his weight back and forth seemingly effortlessly all the while playing with a turkey on his head - and on top of all that, rolling his eyes around - amazing! Grim's straight-head animation is filled with surprise and magic.


One of the reasons Grim's animation is so alive is no doubt due to his expert skills as a draughtsman. He studied life drawing in Vienna, and according to Shamus Culhane's book he was a much stronger artist than the other Fleischer animators at the time.

(courtesy of Steve Worth and the ASIFA Archive)

Grim was able to translate that knowledge and understanding of human anatomy to the rubber hose anatomy of Bimbo.

This combination of DRAWING SKILLS plus CREATIVITY is unstoppable.

Well anyways, here's more Grim waiter animation for you to enjoy:

DIZZY DISHES can be found on VHS tape 1 of the Betty Boop boxset on Amazon here:

And check out John K's post on these Grim Natwick clips as well:


Stay tuned - more hidden gems from DIZZY DISHES to come!

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At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of the Fleischers, I'm doing a three part-post on the History of Popeye. I had recently uploaded Part two, so if you have the time, I was wondering if you could read it, and tell me if I had done my homework. Thanks.

Oh, and before I press the P.Y.C button, I would like to say that you have a very informative blog.

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Gabriel said...

way cool, i think my favorite betty boop artist is Grim Natwick. Well, at least i think the stuff i like most was done by him, but i'm never sure. I sure would like to know exactly what parts are his in Mysterious Mose and Swing you Sinners, just to be certain.
I have some doubts about the straight ahead process. Does the guy really have to draw every frame in the right order to qualify? What if he still invents the animation as he goes along but only draws every third or fourth frame, leaving the others to be inbetweened? The poses are not planned in advance, so would that be straight ahead too?

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Okapi Figment William said...

I've never heard of this cartoon. Very Cool :)

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Sean Worsham said...

Great post on Grim Natwick. It's great to see a producer such as yourself trying to understand the animation principles. :)

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Terrific post! Grim's animation is great!

At 2:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had recently done a post on http://understandinganimation.blogspot.com/2007/09/ub-iwerks-almost-forgoten-legend.html & I was wondering if you could read it and tell me if I had done my homework. Thanks.

BTW, thanks for the great screen caps of these vintage, but excellent cartoons!

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Agustin Croxatto said...

Amazing! love that rubber hose cartoons!!


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