Tuesday, 5 March 2019


Perhaps the most interesting-looking cartoons on TV in the early 1960s were the Mel-O-Toons, produced by Art Scott before he went to work for Bob Clampett on Beany and Cecil.

Scott got the rights to put visuals behind old children’s records. The visuals included extremely limited animation. But they had very stylised backgrounds that looked like nothing else on television. Here are some examples from Robin Hood, a 45 rpm record on RCA’s Bluebird label and narrated by John Rust.

A couple of examples of Sherwood Forest.

There are portions of the cartoon where characters stand around behind painted colours like what you see below. I don’t know how they got the effect. Of course, they would have been seen in black-and-white originally.

Some character designs.

Scott used cel overlays in a couple of spots at the beginning to make things look a little less static.

You can read about the Mel-O-Toons in this post and this one.

1 comment:

  1. Grew up on Mel-O-Toons. It did have a very unique look. One I have to admit liking. They would usually give credit to the record label the audio was taken from. A lot were from Capitol Records. I liked trying to guess some of the narrators. I remember the great Claude Rains narrated " David and Goliath ". There were many other notable voices.