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Arthur "Art" Davis (June 14, 1905 – May 9, 2000) was an animator and director who worked for a number of studios during his career, throughout multiple eras.

He worked at Screen Gems (as an animator), Warner Bros. (as an animator and director), Hanna-Barbera (as an animator and, a couple decades later, a director), and De Patie Freleng Enterprises (as a director).

     Warner Bros. Theatrical Cartoon Filmography 

1946

  • Bacall to Arms - Uncredited; finishing what Bob Clampett started
  • Mouse Menace - Starring Porky Pig

1947

  • The Goofy Gophers - Starring Mac and Tosh
  • The Foxy Duckling
  • Doggone Cats - Starring Sylvester the Cat
  • Mexican Joyride - Starring Daffy Duck
  • Catch as Cats Can - Starring Sylvester the Cat

1948

  • What Makes Daffy Duck - Starring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
  • Nothing But the Tooth - Starring Porky Pig
  • Bone Sweet Bone
  • The Rattled Rooster
  • Dough Ray Me-ow
  • The Pest That Came to Dinner - Starring Porky Pig
  • Odor of the Day - Starring Pepe Le Pew (yes, really, though as a more standard screwball comedy character compared to Chuck Jones' take on him)
  • The Stupor Salesman - Starring Daffy Duck
  • Riff Raffy Daffy - Starring Porky Pig and Daffy Ducknote 
  • A Hick, a Slick, and a Chick
  • Two Gophers From Texas - Starring Mac and Tosh

1949

  • Holiday From Drumsticks - Starring Daffy Duck
  • Porky Chops - Starring Porky Pig
  • Bowery Bugs - The only Art Davis cartoon starring Bugs Bunny Note 
  • Bye Bye Bluebeard - Starring Porky Pig

1962

  • Quackodile Tears - Starring Daffy Duck

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Tropes associated with Art Davis and his cartoons:

  • Art Evolution:
    • Davis's unit was shut down in 1949, and he was absorbed into Friz Freleng's unit, where he stayed until the early '60s. However, he was given a chance to guest direct one more cartoon at WB, 1962's "Quackodile Tears". Unfortunately, due to the slimmer budgets by the '60s, not to mention using Freleng's animators rather than his team from the late '40s, the animation was much simpler and more rigid, and the designs far less conducive to rubbery movement. It was basically Freleng lite (though Davis' brief stint as director after Bob Clampett and Frank Tashlin left can best be described as Clampett-lite at worstnote ).
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    • Davis would get an even later chance to co-direct two made-for-TV shorts "The Yolks On You" and "Daffy Flies North". Obviously being TV budget, these cartoons are simplified even further, though have odd flourishes of energy not even in "Quackodile Tears".
  • Depending on the Artist: A number of the cartoons Davis directed at WB featured heavy airbrush effects when characters moved quickly, most of them coming from animator Don Williams.
    • It was always easy to tell whenever Emery Hawkins was animating, as his animation was arguably the most rubbery and floaty.
  • Deranged Animation: As with his predecessor, Bob Clampett, though, unlike Clampett, Davis' deranged animation was slightly more restrained in movement, focusing more on comic weirdness and lapses in logic. Justified as Davis worked at Fleischer Studios in the 1920s, so some of what he did there rubbed off on his later work.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: "The Foxy Duckling", "Doggone Cats", "Odor of the Day" (aside from "Gesundheit!" at the end).
    • "Bone Sweet Bone" is mostly this, though there is some dialogue.
  • One-Shot Character: Many of his 1946-1948 cartoons starred one-shot characters. It's been theorized this is because he was the newest director and thus had to establish himself before being trusted with the major characters, although that theory falls flat when you realize that Davis had some cartoons with familiar characters in them (mostly Daffy Duck and Porky Pig cartoonsnote , but he had two Sylvester cartoonsnote , a Pepe Le Pew cartoonnote , a Daffy Duck cartoon with Elmer Fudd in itnote , and a Bugs Bunny cartoonnote ).
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  • Paying Their Dues: Want to know why Art only directed one Bugs Bunny cartoon? It's because there was an unofficial rule that new directors couldn't touch the studio's biggest star until they had proven themselves capable as a director first. Unfortunately, by the time Art was allowed to direct one ("Bowery Bugs"), the studio closed his unit.
  • Production Posse: Was an animator for Friz Freleng during the '50s.
  • Signature Style: Davis was arguably the director who most emulated Bob Clampett's rubbery style (though Davis' rubbery style wasn't like Clampett's. There were more airbrushed motions and wacky sight gags in a Davis cartoon somehow made less sense than something you'd see Bob Clampett donote , which is no surprise, considering Davis inherited Clampett's unit after Clampett left the studio.
    • Davis also used more black-outs to go from one scene to the next, and experimented with making the established Warner Bros. characters of the time act out of character. "What Makes Daffy Duck?" has Daffy as a Bugs Bunny-style trickster who manipulates both Elmer (who is smarter and more sane, but no less a comic foil, in this cartoon compared to the later ones, where he's dumber and more neurotic) and a fox into fighting over who gets to hunt him, Pepe Le Pew is still shown as a relentless pest on "Odor of the Day", but the romantic/sexual undertones have been removed, Sylvester had two distinct personalities in the two Davis shorts he was in ("Doggone Cats" had him as a silent trickster with a nameless orange cat as his partner in crime and Sylvester on "Catch as Cats Can" had a Simpleton Voice, no lisp, and took orders from a Bing Crosby-esque parrot who needed help killing a Frank Sinatra-esque canary), the Goofy Gophers, while still polite to each other, were more mischievous and destructive in "Goofy Gophers" and "Two Gophers from Texas", and, while Bugs was still a trickster (albeit a bit more murderous, in that he drove a luckless man looking for a rabbit's foot to suicide) in "Bowery Bugs", his brief cameo in "Goofy Gophers" had him speak in a higher voice with no Brooklyn accent.
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