The last Fox and Crow cartoon released by Columbia Pictures wasn’t made by Columbia Pictures. It was made by UPA. The story seems fairly well known. Columbia got rid of its own studio that made third-rate imitations of Warners cartoons and worked out a deal with Stephen Bosustow, whose studio was obligated to use the Fox and Crow characters in some of the shorts. By the time “Punchy De Leon” was released in January 1950, Columbia had already sent the first Mr. Magoo cartoon (“Ragtime Bear”) to theatres. Columbia loved Magoo. So the Fox and Crow were banished to Re-issue Land which, as the ‘50s wore on, became an increasingly busy place.
“Punchy” has some fun animation in places but, being a UPA cartoon, the designs are the main focus. Here are a few of the backgrounds.
This background is actually a gag. The Fox and Crow think they’ve found paradise in Florida. The camera pulls back to reveal it’s a billboard and then pans over an ugly swamp.
I haven’t been able to snip together the whole pan of the jungle to the opening where the golden fountain is. So here it is in two parts. The pan is right to left. Some liked plants shaped like hands and fingers.
This jungle background is used during a running scene, so the foliage is at an angle to heighten the impression of speed. The ends of the background don’t quite match up but because there’s a fast pan over it, you can’t tell. There’s another hand and what seems to be a shadow puppet of a rabbit.
The term “Background” isn’t used in this cartoon (this is UPA, not one of those other studios, you know). Bill Hurtz gets a design credit and Herb Klynn and Jules Engel receive colour credits.