Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Your Safety First
Your Safety First was produced in 1956 by the John Sutherland studio for the Automobile Manufacturers Association. Its story by Norman Wright and designs anticipate The Jetsons. Even the voice of the lead character sounds a lot like George Jetson, although he’s played in this industrial short by Marvin Miller instead of George O’Hanlon (the voice is very similar to the one he used as Colonel Cosmic in Sutherland’s Destination Earth in 1954). Coincidentally, O’Hanlon had done some work for Sutherland in the past.
Former MGM director George Gordon (whose brother Dan was later a story sketch artist at Hanna-Barbera) may have come up with the designs in conjunction with Wright and layout artists Gerry Nevius and Charles McElmurry. Like The Jetsons, the cars have bubble tops. Unlike The Jetsons, they drive on pavement, though they can fly to pass overhead.
No Space Needle-esque apartment for the main character in this cartoon. He lives in a stylised home on the ground.
But like George, Jane, Judy and Elroy, they eat food in a pill and have a grandpa going on 117 years of age who zooms around in a car like a teenager.
A few more designs.
The animation in the short is by Cal Dalton (ex Warners Bros.), Ken O’Brien (ex Disney), George Cannata (ex Fleischer) and Fred Madison (who moved to Cascade Pictures and became president of the Screen Cartoonists Guild in 1957).