Jack Lemmon starred in two of Hollywood’s greatest films about cartoonists.
In “How to Murder Your Wife” he’s an improbably wealthy comic strip creator who syndicates a Dick Tracy-like crime fighter. The proceeds from this career allow him to live a Bruce Wayne lifestyle. It just goes to show, work hard and you can have your own Manhattan townhouse and batman.
Today, and for a few more days in the future, I’d like to post screen grabs from his other great cartoonist performance, “The War Between Men and Women”.
This film was written after the put upon character devised by James Thurber and features a few segments animated in his style.
It’s interesting to compare this animation to the UPA “Unicorn in the Garden”. They both feel authentically Thurber, but the stylization of the art and the manner in which they move are very different.
The animation for “War…” was directed by Bob Dranko. The credits list him as “animation supervisor”, which usually means animation director on a DGA film. He was also in the design department at UPA on “Unicorn in the Garden” and worked on the Thurber TV series “My World and Welcome to It.”
Both were produced out of Los Angeles’ Playhouse Pictures.
There’s a stylization to the animation, but it’s not as idiosyncratic as the UPA film.
For instance, the above drawing animates into one below.
Maybe there’s an inbetween or two that could have been put in, but it’s not the sort of “limited animation” of UPA.
There are a few clever moments in the opening sequence.
Dale Case credited as the key animator. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were another 4 or 5 five animators and a dozen assistants uncredited.
The last few scenes of the opening devolve into an extended bi-plane battle.
And we finally get to see a close up interpretation of the Thurber woman.