Today marks the birthday of Jim Tyer, one of the craziest animators that ever lived. So to commemorate this occasion, I've put up a bunch of links to images and videos of his animation, and information about him.
Here's his IMDb entry:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0878734/
Jim Tyer was born on February 7, 1904, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Tyer's career in animation began back in 1926, but it wasn't until he arrived at Famous Studios in the early 1940s that his animation style really starts to show. Here are the first three cartoons Tyer worked on at Famous, in full. They're all Popeye/World War II propaganda cartoons, so be warned that there are plenty of overtly racist stereotypes of Japanese and Germans abound.http://www.guba.com/watch/2000903486?duration_step=0&fields=23&pp=40&query=Popeye&sb=5&set=5&sf=0&size_step=0&o=29&sample=1170807084:0c4da354f0f4366f128aa6492a8f25aefdc7ca5dhttp://www.guba.com/watch/2000903004?duration_step=0&fields=23&pp=40&query=Popeye&sb=5&set=5&sf=0&size_step=0&o=23&sample=1170807951:b56f9070baae497cbdd0eab78a7b3cbf42484efchttp://www.guba.com/watch/2000904502?duration_step=0&fields=23&pp=40&query=Popeye&sb=5&set=5&sf=0&size_step=0&o=2&sample=1170807084:2a05a3657c4f8ddaaf038ecc70d6f5c47d5015e3
Here's one of the last cartoons Tyer worked on at Famous Studios. By this time, Tyer's animation is more noticeable.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmYjt8jIDrU
Tyer moved to Terrytoons in 1946. Many animation historians say that of all the golden-age animation studios, Terrytoons was the worst, with their formulaic stories and bland animation (and yet they're still better than most of the cartoons on TV nowadays, in my opinion). Tyer stood out from the rest of Terrytoons' animators; his animation is off-model, untamed, and radically different, causing his scenes stand out from the rest of the cartoon. Because of this, most Terrytoons are fun to watch just because Tyer's animation appears in them.
Here are a bunch of clips of Tyer's animation at Terrytoons:http://www.strangetoons.com/strangetoons%20root%20folder/shows/Jim%20Tyer/jimtyer.htmlhttp://classicanimation.blogspot.com/2006/07/mighty-mouse-funhouse.htmlhttp://classicanimation.blogspot.com/2006/07/helpful-geni.htmlhttp://classicanimation.blogspot.com/2006/09/lost-jim-tyer-footage.htmlhttp://classicanimation.blogspot.com/2006/09/more-tyer-action.htmlhttp://classicanimation.blogspot.com/2006/09/tyer-tortoise.htmlhttp://classicanimation.blogspot.com/2006/09/more-tyer-magpie-action.htmlhttp://classicanimation.blogspot.com/2006/10/good-ol-fashioned-cartoon-plagiarism.htmlhttp://classicanimation.blogspot.com/2006/11/non-stylized-cartooniness-mo-jim-tyer.htmlhttp://classicanimation.blogspot.com/2006/11/mighty-tyer-helpless-hippo.htmlhttp://klangley.blogspot.com/2006/07/jim-tyer-scene-from-movie-madness.htmlhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as2cenuKc-4http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY_d0Q3UTcwhttp://www.animationarchive.org/2006/07/filmography-jim-tyers-barnyard-actor.html
Here are some more frame-by-frame screen shots of Tyer's animation:http://inspiration-grab-bag.blogspot.com/2006/05/jim-tyer-animation-cats-tale.htmlhttp://inspiration-grab-bag.blogspot.com/2006/05/more-jim-tyer-animation-mother-gooses.html
A story that Tyer illustrated:http://www.thegremlin.com/PT/pt_soony.html
Some comics drawn by Tyer:http://www.strangetoons.com/strangetoons%20root%20folder/AAA/jim%20tyer%20comic%20pages/tyercomic1.htmlhttp://www.animationarchive.org/2006/06/media-jim-tyer-comic-books.html
By the 1960s, Tyer started doing TV animation at Joe Oriolo's studio and Hal Seeger Productions. Even when working on series like Batfink
, Tyer's animation and drawings were still energetic and easily-recognizable.http://www.davemackey.com/animation/seeger/milton/index.htmhttp://www.davemackey.com/animation/seeger/batfink/bfeptable.html
Jim Tyer's last animation credit was Ralph Bakshi's animated adaption of Fritz the Cat
. Bakshi, who met Tyer at Terrytoons, reminisces about him:http://www.awn.com/mag/issue4.04/4.04pages/bakshidrawing.php3"As my hero animator, Jim Tyer, used to say, 'Hey Ralph, stop worrying. Everything moves, so put it down, have fun and go home.' Yeah, Jim had fun, more fun than any animator I knew at the time. He distorted, he drew off model -- yes, off model, and threw shapes around like he was Jackson Pollack, the animator. He had fun. The rest of the guys stared at Disney and cried, 'If we could only do that, boo-hoo.' Jim would walk around the inking department -- yes, hand-inking with Crokille pens -- telling the inkers, 'Don't worry about where my line is, don't stiffen up the animation, keep it loose. The color will hold it together. Have fun. It is just cartoons.' This, compared to another guy who would scream, 'You wiggled the nose on that cel! What are you doing ruining my animation that way!'"
In Fritz the Cat
, Tyer mostly animated the scenes that take place in Harlem. His animation is nowhere near as loose as his earlier stuff, but his drawing style can still be recognized.
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING MOVIE CLIPS CONTAIN SCENES THAT ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK!
In these two clips, Tyer animated the majority of the scenes at the bar, and some of the scenes with the Fritz and Duke in the stolen car.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwIbynrUrKshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qcexqte0yQ
In this clip, Tyer animated many of the scenes with the crows, as well as the armored cops running toward the camera.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TwKCVQ-B0c
And I believe there's one brief Tyer scene at the beginning of this clip of the sniper crow getting shot.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40b7JWfknFQ
Jim Tyer passed away in March 1976. But to this day, there are cartoonists and animation historians that still admire his work. Tyer is definitely one of my favorite animators, because he draws how he wants to draw.
Enjoy the videos, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JIM TYER!