Gerard Baldwin had an amazing facility for animating. He did brilliant full animation, but he also has a way of doing limited animation in a way that made it seem as if there was more there than there was. Jay Ward in particular would frequently take advantage of Gerard’s ability to do cheap and humorous animation and do it quickly.
One of Gerard’s early jobs in animation was at the UPA studio, working as an assistant to Ken Hultgren. Gerard once said his job was to take Hultgren’s beautiful traditional drawings and mess them up by putting them into the UPA style. Actually he did the job very well. The drawings looked good, and they were still recognizable as Hultgren’s work.
Gerard also worked for Playhouse Pictures, John Sutherland, and Hanna-Barbera where he animated Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear, Snooper and Blabber, and Augie Doggie.
His next stop was at Jay Ward Productions, where he would work on and off for the next decade. Gerard also worked at the Hank Saperstein version of UPA, and at Ed Graham Productions. Post Hanna-Barbera, Gerard would work as an animator and a director, often doing both jobs on the same film.
Here’s a sampling of his commercial work…
Folgers Coffee – Nudity
Made at Playhouse Pictures in 1960. Gerard Baldwin animates, and the multi-talented Mel Leven provides the voice of the coffee bean. Part of a series of spots that examined such phrases as ” Psychoanalysis” “Crime” “Moscow” and “Four Letter Words.”
Cheerios – Thanksgiving
One of those Cheerios commercials cleverly disguised as a Bullwinkle’s Corner segment. Animated By Gerard Baldwin. Voices by Bill Scott, Paul Frees, and June Foray.
Cheerios – Casey at the Bat
None of the advertising agencies I worked for would have ever had made a commercial like this brilliant Jay Ward Production. It is after all “Casey at the Bat,” and that means your spokesman would have to actually lose the ball game even though he used the sponsor’s product! (Sorry if I spoiled the ending…)
Cheerios – Trapeze
Another “Big Jay” cereal commercial. Animating a moose on a trapeze may not be the easiest thing in the world to animate, but Gerard did it anyways. Stock music lovers, listen for a fragment of “Custard Pie Capers” near the end.
Sing Along with Cap’n Crunch
One of the earliest Cap’n Crunch spots. Animated by Phil Duncan and Gerard Baldwin. Voices by Daws Butler, Bill Scott, and June Foray.
Post Crispy Critters – Orange Moose
One of the stranger ideas for boosting sagging sales of soggy cereals. Did somebody at Post’s advertising agency declare, “If this doesn’t get the kids into our camp, I don’t know what will” after a five martini lunch? Actor/ Producer Sheldon Leonard is Linus the Lionhearted.
Bullwinkle Savings Stamp Club
Jay Ward produced this entertaining advertising film for U.S. Savings Bonds. Gerard Animated the whole thing. Bullwinkle meets Mr. Peabody!