CLASSIC ANIMATED ADVERTISING
September 7, 2013 posted by Jerry Beck

Classic Commercials By Classic Animators

TV commercials. Apparently, everyone did them. We know many classic animators back in the 1950s and 60s moonlighted at the several independent commercial studios, but what about the Hollywood studios themselves? Disney, Warner Bros., UPA, Walter Lantz, Terrytoons, even Paramount’s Famous Studios, all did commercials as well. Here’s the first of what I hope will be a semi-regular round-up TV commercials of particular interest to fans of classic cartoons – curated with an assist by “animator-identifier extraordinaire” Mike Kazaleh.

Chuck Jones. First up, this commercial for Gaines Multi-Menu Dog Food directed (it seems) by Charles M. Jones. This was a General Foods product, introduced shortly after the success of Gaines Burgers (in 1961). Since General Foods was an original sponsor of The Bugs Bunny Show, we can assume this was either produced at Warner Bros. or was an early job for Jones’ Tower 12 Productions. The character layouts of the dog are clearly by Chuck. Mike Kazaleh recognizes animation here by Dick Thompson, Ken Harris and Tom Ray. Paul Frees is the primary voice.



Friz Freleng. Actually we’re not sure who directed this Kelloggs’ Apple Jacks spot, but it was clearly produced at DePatie-Freleng in 1966. Mike says it was animated by Don Williams and Gerry Chiniquy. Paul Frees again, with Mel Blanc as one of the bullies. Great song.



Robert McKimson. From the ABC-TV Bugs Bunny Show – The opening bridge was animated by Gerry Chiniquy, with Dick Tufeld announcing. But that’s followed by a Tang spot clearly animated by McKimson’s unit. Animation by Bob Matz, Warren Batchelder, and Ted Bonnicksen.



Warner Bros. Here’s an obscure commercial animated by Freleng’s unit for Chevy used cars. Mike says its animated by Gerry Chiniquy. Probably layed out by Hawley Pratt. Paul Frees is the southern gent.



Tex Avery. We’ve embed this one before – but its too good not to watch again. Avery directed this Kool Aid spot with Hal Smith as Elmer. Mike says the animation is by Rod Scribner and Benny Washam, “Two more different animators, you never saw”.



Hanna Barbera. There no question this live action/animation Kelloggs’ Corn Flakes spot was animated at H-B. Who directed it? Mike Lah? Marvin Miller is the voice of “Corny”. Kazaleh says its mostly animated by George Nicholas.


26 Comments

  • OK Used Cars is Paul Frees and Dan Seymour.

  • The OK and dog food ads are, along with “The Incredible Mister Limpet”, possibly Paul Frees’s ONLY voices for WB, and the Capitol./Seely stock music is used in at least a few of the WB’s with songs in the others.

  • Oh, WEIRD…the eerie music that plays while Daffy is telling us about Tang (and Bugs is stuck out in the snow) is the same stock music Bill Rebane used for that classic MST3K target, “The Giant Spider Invasion.”

    • Happenstance: That music was also used a few times in Ren & Stimpy. I’d love to know the name of that piece- can anybody clue me in?

  • Wow; Avery actually returned in the 60′s to direct a Bugs Bunny commercial? Never knew that one! (Wished Clampett had done that as well, but it seems he never looked back).

  • Love you pulling in Mike Kazaleh for the animator IDs – as you should! I’m skeptical of the Jones commercial being a Tower 12 job. If it’s from 1962 or earlier, all of the players would have still been in Warners’ employ.

  • Great stuff. I have fond memories of feeding my dog Gaines Burgers which, sadly. I just learned no longer exist. Must be because they dropped this ad.

    • It is a shame when certain brands or products do fade into obscurity. I only recall Gaines-Burgers as it was mentioned in a MST3K riff once. Looking at Wiki, they stopped it sometime in the 90′s, at least it had a good run.

    • Used to feed my dogs Gaines Burgers all the time. Switched them to something else after discovering that Gaines Burgers were full of red dye, a lesson I learned because of an unfortunate incident involving a schnauzer with an upset dtomach.and a new cream-colored carpet.

  • Love seeing these obscure commercials. Especially that Apple Jacks commercial from DFE.

    Hard as it may to believe, I haven’t seen that many commercials that DFE made, even knowing that they made a lot, especially in the beginning.

  • I think Avery said in an interview once that when he was hired to direct some of the Bugs Bunny commercials, some people (who apparently weren’t aware of his presence at WB before he left for MGM) were dubious at the fact that he’d be able to direct anything Bugs Bunny-related.

    • Tex related that story to Joe Adamson in his book on Avery, published in the mid-70s.

  • Wondering if any kids got beat up by taking the Apple Jacks ad literally.

    There was a time when ads cavalierly promised super strength and growth spurts. The former usually took the form of Popeye-type mascots (Cheerios Kid, Sugar Bear, Quisp and Quake) energized by a bowl of breakfast food. These were mitigated by obvious comedy.

    As for the latter, Corn Flakes had a live action kid growing big enough to stretch out on top of a school bus, while Wonder Bread used time-lapse photography to illustrate growth during “the Wonder years”. Think both those campaigns were taken off after complaints kids didn’t grasp the nuances involved.

    Ah, the years before “part of this nutritious breakfast”, “comes with everything you see here, action figure not included”, and “some assembly required.”

    • “As for the latter, Corn Flakes had a live action kid growing big enough to stretch out on top of a school bus, while Wonder Bread used time-lapse photography to illustrate growth during “the Wonder years”. Think both those campaigns were taken off after complaints kids didn’t grasp the nuances involved.”

      It’s a shame when nuance is lost on the young.

      “Ah, the years before “part of this nutritious breakfast”, “comes with everything you see here, action figure not included”, and “some assembly required.”

      And yet I didn’t mind where it went in the 80′s personally with those statements, but certainly it started going sour then.

  • I sure hope you do these frequently! I thoroughly enjoyed them!

    • Thanks Andy. I’ve just talked with Mike Kazaleh and we are discussing having a regular Classic Animation Advertising post every week – perhaps each Saturday. More details next week.

  • Also: Unless I’m mistaken, George Grandpre also animated on the Tang commercial. It looks like he animated the part where Bugs says, “Here’s to the best-tasting drink…” before being interrupted by Daffy bursting in.

    • Bob Matz replaced Art Davis in the Freleng unit – by the early 60′s it was just Batchelder, Bonnicksen and Grandpre in the McKimson unit, with Keith Darling going over to the Jones animation team at that time.

  • Isn’t Avery responsible for the “Raid” commercials?

  • Sounds like June Foray does that single word “Bullies!” in the Apple Jacks spot.Wonder if there was a bigger speaking part on the cutting floor?And how much time and at what cost for that one word?

  • Thank you for sharing your knowledge. These are great. I love old commercials.

  • That Chuck Jones spot looks (and sounds) like it should be renamed ” Now Hear This: The Dog Food”.

  • I remember in the 1960s seeing animated TV commercials in Providence, Rhode Island for a local financial institution called Old Stone Bank that featured Fred Flintstone as spokesman. They always ended with Fred yelling, “Yabba-dabba-doo, love that bank!” Anybody else from the Northeast remember seeing these?

  • Love this feature — some of these commercials actually tickle long-dormant brain cells — and it’s impressive how much talent went into these little 1 minute mini-cartoons.

    What would a modern version be like? Eric Cartman spieling for Taco Bell?….

    • I would suggest the many times The Simpsons have been used to sell anything from credit cards to food/snacks to cars and beyond.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5uHnaJfkwc

  • These are fantastic! Thank you, Jerry and Mike.

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