Monday, 22 July 2013

An, Ugh, Commoner

Not all of Jay Ward’s cartoons were crude products of inexperienced Mexican animators. Ward always wanted his shows to be made in Hollywood and he got his wish with parts of “Rocky and His Friends.” A number of his “Fractured Fairy Tales” were animated either by his own studio or subcontracted to TV Spots.

One of them his own studio did was “Cinderella Returns,” yet another cartoon with fast and funny dialogue and top voice work by June Foray, Bill Scott and Daws Butler (and, of course, Edward Everett Horton). You can tell it was made by an experienced crew because they did what they could to get the most out of the limited animation. Some of the layouts are overhead angles and there are camera movements during dialogue (instead of just cutting from a close-up to a medium shot). I like the multiples and speed lines during the scene where Cinderella is dancing with Prince Edgar the Mild.

And there’s even perspective animation of the Prince being twirled toward the camera. It’s something almost never tried down the street at Hanna-Barbera around the same time.

There were so many elements to “Rocky and His Friends” that it would have been impossible for Keith Scott’s indispensable book The Moose That Roared to reveal who worked on each cartoon. But it does about this one. The director was Ted Parmalee and Jim Hiltz animated it. George Atkins likely wrote the story.


  1. It's also got the Capitol Hi-Q music, "Custard Pie Capers," (one of a small handful of the L.A.produced Fractured Fairy Tales to have this honor, another being the other Cinderella Ward cartoon and the Ugly Duckling) in full and later in part, Cindy flopping herself several times on the bed in the beginning as well.Steve

  2. One learns something new everyday. I always thought that the commercials were just animated in Hollywood and that most of Jay Ward's cartoons were outsourced.

  3. Robto., you're quite right. Most were outsourced to Mexico. A bunch were not. This is one of them. Keith Scott's book goes into detail as to which ones were not.