The 1950s seem to have been a time of experimentation in animation—when it came to TV commercials. Production houses popped up on both coasts in the U.S., with animators and creative directors who tried different styles of both animation and drawing.
The 1962 book Design in Motion has quite a number of examples of character and background designs for commercials. Let’s post a few of them.
Quartet Films was originally partly owned by Arnold Gillespie and Art Babbitt and was taken over in the ‘60s by Mike Lah. Robert Lawrence Animation was based in New York City and affiliated with Grantray-Lawrence in Los Angeles. Playhouse Productions employed many well-known animators who had come from theatrical cartoons; Bill Melendez was among them. John Sutherland’s studio we’ve discussed before on the blog; George Gordon and Carl Urbano of MGM were among the original directors and a lot of talent went through the studio. I needn’t go into UPA’s history (it appears Charlie Brown was loaded out to UPA in the frame below).
Unfortunately, none of the animators or designers are identified.