Sunday, 20 October 2013

A Cow on Wheels and Other Salesmen

Have you been checking out Mike Kazaleh’s great series of posts at the Cartoon Research web site? He’s been examining the work of animators who spent time in the 1950s coming up with TV commercials.

The ‘50s were probably the Golden Age of Animated Commercials. They seem to have blanketed the airwaves at one time. Cartoons were funny. Cartoons were warm. More importantly, cartoons sold product. New animation houses popped up to create them. And those houses—Storyboard, Quartet, Animation Inc., Ray Patin, among others on the West Coast—attracted many top animators who had been working on theatrical cartoons at MGM and Warners. So if you wonder where people like Emery Hawkins or Bill Littlejohn ended up when their names vanished from cartoon credits, commercial and industrial houses are the answer.

The commercials gave animators, layout artists and directors a chance to come up with cartoons that rivaled UPA for stylised, “modern” designs. There are quite a number of them on internet video sites and Mike has linked to some of them.

Here’s a compilation video someone has put up on-line. My favourite is the Foremost cow on spoked wheels. The design is really funny and the animation is pretty neat (the cow does a 180 and the kid has a staggered walk). Mike has revealed the artist behind it is Rod Scribner, who needs no introduction to anyone familiar with the people behind Warner Bros. cartoons.

Late note: Mike has written to mention this compilation is his, too. Thanks to Chris for mentioning it in the comments as well.

1 comment:

  1. Here’s a compilation video someone has put up on-line.

    That someone is Mike Kazaleh himself (he goes by EastWillis on YouTube)!