Sunday, 27 April 2014

A Famous Woodpecker

Many new cartoon studios seem to have popped up in the late 1940s and early 1950s, ready to make industrial films or commercials for movie houses or television. Some of the old guard studios got into the business as well; Walter Lantz needed it to survive.

Here’s a drawing from an industrial film made by Famous Studios in New York. The facial expression on the right looks like something you’d see in adults in a Little Audrey cartoon. The film was highlighted in the May 1949 edition of Business Screen Magazine along with the article below.

Sponsor: Westinghouse Electric Company. Film: It's CSP For Me. Producer: Famous Studios.
► CSP means "completely sell protecting." In the new Westinghouse movie it refers to those transformer boxes which appear near the top of some power line poles, old style models of which evidently go out of whack occasionally because of overload from increased consumption of electricity or lightning.
Realizing the difficulty of making an interesting and entertaining film on the quality of various transformers, Westinghouse has gone to much pains to work up a story with an amusing plot to provide color and liveliness to its subject. Famous Studios (Popeye, Little Lulu, etc.) produced It's CSP For Me as a ten minute cartoon film in Technicolor, featuring a harassed lineman who has to replace three burned-out transformers in one day, with a scoffing woodpecker for comic relief.
Westinghouse's CSP model is introduced in a "school tor transformers" where the animated boxes are taught the principles of de-ionized lightning arresters, cooling oil thermal circuit breakers, external operating handles, overload warning lights, etc.
It comes out quite good, incongruous as it may seem. The pleasant little hokum added to the necessary information on the product will undoubtedly serve to make it much more palatable for the convention and sales use Westinghouse intends it for.
Kenneth Banghart is the narrator and Milo Bolton and Art Carney speak for the leading characters.

Banghart was a newscaster for years in New York City. Carney is famous today for “The Honeymooners” but on radio he was known for his accents and impersonations, talents he rarely used on television. He regularly appeared on The March of Time.

The film doesn’t appear to have been copyrighted.

1 comment:

  1. The head tilt of the woodpecker does recall a bit of the poses Famous used for Red Lantern in their "Land of the Lost" trilogy of roughly the same time period.