Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Jaywalker Backgrounds

UPA’s The Jaywalker (released May 1956) reminds me of something from the National Film Board of Canada. The jazzy xylophone, the flat-voiced narration, the stylised drawings, and the wry little ending.

The cartoon is practically a public service announcement for pedestrian safety. Milton Muffet has some kind of inferiority complex/OCD which makes him jaywalk. It turns out at the end he’s narrating from the dead; evidently a car hit and killed him before the cartoon began.

UPA was quirky with its credits. Who was the background artist in this cartoon? Who’s to say? Jules Engel is credited with “Color” and T. Hee is credited with “Design.” So maybe they’re responsible. Here are some backgrounds.

Abstract shapes are used to symbolise lights on moving cars. There are some in one of the backgrounds, too.

Bobe Cannon directed this cartoon while Billy May provides a nice score.


  1. So apparently there's no record now of who narrated? That surprise ending certainly is insired..(similiar to MGM's classic Dixieland Droopy)

    1. No record? Where did you get that idea? His name is on the cartoon. We posted it here a year ago.

    2. When? With all due respect to you and your excellent blogs, Yowp, I couldn't find it. I even looked it up on IMDB.com and no sign of the cartoon is on there.

    3. Steve, why is this so difficult? Do a basic web search for the cartoon. You'll get instant links to video versions. Here's one. It has a voice credit. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ygy4b_the-jaywalker-1956_shortfilms

      A simple search of Jaywalker on the blog turns up four matches, including this post. One is http://tralfaz.blogspot.com/2016/04/cartoons-of-1954-part-2.html
      All you have to do is hit CONTROL-F , type Jaywalker and hit enter.

  2. I found he reference, weatherman Eugene Bollay. Thanks. Steve