Monday 1 December 2014

Naked Sheep of Tomorrow

A sheep has been crossed with a pair of long underwear on the Farm of Tomorrow. It makes shearing obsolete. Here’s how the farmer gets the wool.

The drawings are on twos but the camera keeps panning.

I like how the sheep looks at the audience, turns to look at its wool, then looks at the camera again.

The background may remind you a bit of something from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. That’s because it was drawn by Joe Montell, who worked at H-B during 1959. In fact, he painted the crosses on the grass and dots in the trees you see here in Yogi Bear backgrounds as well. When the Tex Avery unit closed at MGM in 1953, he found his way to the John Sutherland studio. Evidently he was active in the union. Witness this story from Variety, July 31, 1956:

Enter Foreign Teleblurbs In L.A. Cartoonists Fest
For first time in the five-year history of the Screen Cartoonists Guild Annual Film Festival, foreign firms will participate, sending examples of their teleblurbs, according to fest chairman Sterling Sturdevant.
Jim Pabian, director of Les Cineastes Associes of Paris, largest European outfit in the field, will attend, according to fest flack Joe Montell. Also coming over are Halas & Batchelor of London, and Dibujas Animados S.A., Mexico City, with general manager Pat Matthews attending.
Fest opens at the BevHilton on Sept. 23.

You may recognise the names above. Sturdevant was at UPA, Pabian worked for Harman and Ising and Matthews was one of Walter Lantz’s best animators before moving to UPA.

“Farm of Tomorrow” gets ragged on a lot—it’s like Avery needed to fill his quota so he came up with some groaners and used limited animation—but it has its moments. Paul Frees is the narrator. A woman who’s not June Foray lends a voice and Daws Butler supplies a short line, along with another man I can’t identify.

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