Walter Lantz’s heyday was in the late 1940s with Dick Lundy directing and animation by Ed Love, Ken O’Brien and Fred Moore. But Lantz couldn’t get enough money from his United Artists contract to stay profitable, so he stopped theatrical animation for close to two years. When the studio reopened, all those artists were gone and the cartoons had thicker ink-lines and a cheaper look.
Still, there was some good work being put out by Lantz through the first half of the ‘50s. Tex Avery’s cartoons speak for themselves. Ray Patterson and Grant Simmons came up with two nice cartoons before toddling off to form their own studio. And Ray’s brother Don proved himself to be a decent director.
One of Don Patterson’s cartoons was Socko in Morocco, where Woody Woodpecker is charged with guarding Princess Salami from Sheik El Rancid (Buzz Buzzard). It features some nice character and background designs (no layout artist is credited).
Here are some frames from two neat little scenes. The key to the harem slips under a door. Woody opens it and reacts. Cut to a scene of a black panther swatting toward Woody in perspective. The animation of the panther is on twos (one drawing used in two frames of film).
Ray Abrams, Herman Cohen and Ken Southworth are the credited animators. I don’t know whether Patterson ended up animating some scenes.