Wednesday 12 February 2014

Telephones of the Future

Many of the animators who brought you characters like Bugs Bunny, Red Hot Riding Hood and Gerald McBoing Boing worked on non-theatrical cartoons as well. Some were commercials. Others were industrial films.

Here’s one from 1962 from Jerry Fairbanks Productions. I won’t get into Fairbanks’ long history, but by the time this film was completed, he was making live action shorts for commercial clients. Occasionally, he’d use animation. I suspect he subcontracted the work in this one to Chuck Couch’s company.

You may recognise the names in the credits. Ed Love, Don Towsley and Dick Thomas were at Hanna-Barbera about this time. Towsley was mainly known for his work at Disney, Love was in the Tex Avery unit at MGM and animated for Walter Lantz as well, among many places. Thomas was a background artist at Warners, first for Bob Clampett and finally for Bob McKimson. Corny Cole had been at Warners, too. Tom Yakutis may be best known for work at DePatie-Freleng but he also spent some time at UPA. Bill Perez was responsible for titles at Hanna-Barbera after Art Goble retired in 1962. And director/writer Couch had been at Disney and Lantz. He had a bit of experience with industrial shorts about telephones. He wrote “Mr. Digit and the Battle of Bubbling Brook” the previous year for AT&T (the short was produced by UPA). Love worked on it as well.

This isn’t a terrific cartoon, but the designs may be of interest. Compare the future in this cartoon to the future as seen on “The Jetsons” the same year. Frankly, I enjoy the Jetsons’ interior and exterior designs a lot more. And fans of Ed Love will spot his animation right away.

The voice actors aren’t credited. I should know who they are, but I can’t say for certain. I think the crazed professor may be Johnny Coons. Dialer sounds a bit like a sped-up Doug Young at the start.

Fairbanks saved money not only by using limited animation but having Ed Paul cobble together stock music for the soundtrack. Most of it is from the Capitol Hi-Q library. Since you asked, the cue when Dialer is about to tell us about the future is EM-120 Dramatic Main Title by Phil Green and the last cue is LM-9A Light End Title by Spencer Moore.

1 comment:

  1. Really dig the last line the Butler has here that subverted your expectation of hearing the S word muttered, decent writing there!