Monday 11 August 2014

Fred Finchley's Stylised World

Like a lot of studios, John Sutherland adapted to changes in animation as the 1950s wore on. There was a lot of MGM squash-and-stretch, one-drawing-per-frame animation in Sutherland’s industrial shorts in the late ‘40s. But with the rise of UPA in the ‘50s, designs and some of the movement became minimal. Fortunately, Sutherland dealt with well-heeled corporate clients, so I imagine he didn’t have to worry about costs and, therefore, his artists could concentrate on design and animation.

“Working Dollars” was made for the New York Stock Exchange in 1956. Even through these lousy screen grabs (oh, for a decent, restored version), you can see the flat style the studio was going for. I like the gopher munching on the money saved in a tin can underground. I wonder if that was a Bill Scott joke; he co-wrote the cartoon.

The layouts are by Bernie Gruver, who worked at Ray Patin and later at Playhouse Productions and for Bill Melendez, with backgrounds by Ed Starr, a long-time Sutherland employee who had come from the Screen Gems (Columbia) studio. The animation is by Emery Hawkins, George Cannata and Jim Pabian, who all seemed to bounce from studio to studio. Former MGM animator Carl Urbano is the director. Marvin Miller provides the voices. And although Sutherland did produce fully-scored cartoons, this one uses Jack Shaindlin’s stock cues from the Langlois Filmusic library.

1 comment:

  1. Eric O. Costello12 August 2014 at 03:09

    Nice name for the obviously "bad" brokerage firm: "Thimblerig."