Saturday, January 5, 2008

Franklyn Vs. Lava: "Adventures of the Road Runner"

Thanks to Speedy Boris on the Termite Terrace Trading Post for doing this! Here's a neat little comparison of some scenes from "Adventures of the Road Runner" (scored by Milt Franklyn) and "To Beep or Not to Beep" (scored by Bill Lava.)

"To Beep" used footage previously made for the "Adventures" pilot/featurette, but Franklyn had passed away by the time "To Beep" was made.

Years later, for television, "Adventures of the Road Runner" itself was mined for material to create two shorts called "Zip Zip Hooray" and "Road Runner Ago Go", both of which retained the original score by Franklyn.


J.E.Daniels said...

I'm not sure if it's because I grew up with "To Beep" in it's released form, but I have to admit I like the Lava score better.
My decision could be affected by the terrible sound effects used with the Franklyn score (they just don't work).
Great post! This just further proves that the musical score adds so much to an animated cartoon. Especially a full orchastra.

Charlie said...

Personally, I like Lava's music better. His music actually seems a part of the film, while Franklyn's is sort of quiet and you can't tell if it stopped playing or kept going.

J Lee said...

I've been a longtime champion of Lava's music for the catapult scene being better than what Franklin did, both for its mechanical/soulless inevitability feeling and for the fact he cleverly started it in the previous scene with the wrecking ball gag, so that when Wile E.'s second attempt with the catapult shows up, it comes as something of a surprise the first time you see it. Lava also had a better end gag to work with, and his fanfare music does seemlessly flow into the 1955-64 end title music, something of a rarity for his scores.

On the other hand, Lava's music for the spring-and-boulder gag highlights everything that was wrong about his 1962-63 WB scores. Once the plan starts to backfire, Lava gives us a series of clangs, dings and screetches that doesn't follow the action on screen as much as try and compete with it for wackiness. Franklin's score here, while not memorable, does what a cartoon score is supposed to do in not taking your attention away from the animation on screen.

jill santi said...

well, what can I say in few words about the long work of those great artists such as Lava and Franklyn?
LAVA RULES!! That's my opinion!

jbwarner86 said...

I'm gonna go against the grain here and say that Franklyn's score is better. Despite having grown up with the Lava-scored "To Beep or Not to Beep", I still think Franklyn's score suits the onscreen action much better - the sequence where Wile E. continues to nudge the catapult and then dive into the manhole is a perfect example of how Franklyn knew how to make the music compliment what was going on in the cartoon.

Tony said...

I like the Franklyn score better. It's more sudden and intense while the Lava score is meandering, soft, and boring.
One other thing I noticed is that the colors in the Lava sections make my eyes hurt.

WileE2005 said...

Franklyn's score is better. Bill Lava's music sounds like the background music from "The Flintstones!"

The only Lava music I prefer is the one from the Cool Cat and "Bunny and Claude" cartoons, as well as his "Rabbit Stew and Rabbits Too" score. But the music he wrote for the late-1960s Speedy vs. Daffy cartoons can drive me nuts!

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