Conventional or far out. Cheap or extravagant. Phil Duncan did it all and it did it superbly. Today we take another look at the work of mighty Mr. Duncan, animator for Disney, Screen Gems, Storyborad, Hanna-Barbera, Jay Ward and others studios.
Ideal Dog Food
Produced by Playhouse Pictures in 1953, Duncan animates, and manages to get some interesting timing and motion in spite of the very cheap budget.
Fresh-Up Freddie – Singer
Musical epic from the Walt Disney TV department. You might say he was Nelson Freddie here…
Bullwinkle – Bowling
Animated by Phil Duncan and Rod Scribner. I probably don’t need to tell you which scenes were done by who. From Jay Ward Productions. Voices by Bill Scott and Paul Frees.
Sesame Street – Exit
Directed by John Hubley and animated by Phil Duncan. Hubley had a number of ways of avoiding the expensive ink and paint part of cartoon making (necessary when working on CTW’s tiny budgets.) In this film, the bears were drawn on paper, cut out, and pasted on cels. Conveniently, they are polar bears, and need little coloring. The technique of exposing the drawings for different numbers of frames is also used here. In spite of all that, or maybe because of it, this is a genuinely fascinating film.
Be Quiet, Kind, and Gentle
And now as a special bonus, we present a cartoon from UPA’s The Boing Boing Show, circa 1956. Phil Duncan had animated several cartoons in the series, but there were two cartoons that he both directed and animated. This is one of them. (Unfortunately it’s an Eastman “Cartoon Parade” version. The show was originally in Technicolor.) Vocal stylings by the inimitable Thurl Ravenscroft. Phil’s unique style is very much on display here.