CLASSIC ANIMATED ADVERTISING
April 5, 2014 posted by Mike Kazaleh

Public Relations, Education, and Animation

Today we will be looking at a quartet of animated sales and educational films. Hopefully, some of these shorts will be new to you – the names of their animators and directors should not: Gerard Baldwin, Fred Crippen, Bob Carlson and Jim Tyer. Just a small sample of the kind of work these artists did beyond their better known work in entertainment cartoons.

Just Imagine

First up, a public relations film made for the phone company by the Jam Handy Organization – it’s part live-action, part stop-motion, and part cel animation. The animation here comes to you courtesy of the very wonderful Jim Tyer. This film is a very good illustration of the pieces that went into the old dial phones. Back when AT&T was an honest to goodness monopoly, the phone system and all its components were property of the phone company. Consequently they were solely responsible for its maintenance and its upkeep. The Western Electric phones like the kind you see in this film were very durable, and virtually indestructible.



How We Feel About Sound

Next, the first in a series of educational shorts produced by Playhouse Pictures and leased to elementary schools and libraries. Directed and animated by Bob Carlson. This was transferred from a 16mm Ektachrome print, so it actually has nice color. The final production number for this film indicates that it was from 1969, but it’s likely that the film was in the hopper before that, possibly as early as 1965.



Popcorn

Here’s an Air Force Reserve recruiting film produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1974, starring the voice of Keenan Wynn. Directed by Gerard Baldwin, with character designs by George Cannata Jr. (who happened to be Gerard’s nephew.) Layout and background by Cannata and Walt Peregoy. Unfortunately the script was very dialog heavy. They tried to maintain visual interest by keeping the cutting brisk, and using some interesting compositions. The featured music was the hit record “Popcorn” as recorded by Hot Butter. Very Moog-y, it merely heightens the effect that you are seeing something from the seventies.



100 Years of the Telephone

And finally, another PR film for the phone company – this one from Pantomime Pictures, directed by Fred Crippen. A number of familiar voices whiz by including Joan Gerber, Bob Arbogast, and Shep Menkin. From 1976.

12 Comments

  • I’ve seen “Just Imagine” before and I didn’t realize that Jim Tyler did the animation for that film. I assume this was around the time Tyler started working fory Terrytoons.

    Also, didn’t “Pantomime Pictures” produce animation for Childrens’ Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop)?

    • Yes they have! I think it was already discussed earlier here.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kvd37xuZWc

    • Yes, Fred Crippen did Sesame Street segments. He later did segments for NATIONEL GEO KIDS, which I worked on.

    • Fred Crippen did quite a bit of work for CTW. We even featured one of his films in our Sesame Street post a few weeks ago, and may one day do a whole post about it.

  • Back when AT&T was an honest to goodness monopoly, the phone system and all its components were property of the phone company. Consequently they were solely responsible for its maintenance and its upkeep. The Western Electric phones like the kind you see in this film were very durable, and virtually indestructible.

    I remember those days well. I still keep “The Phone Company” in mind even though I know they no longer exist. It’s that sort of nostalgic sentimentality I carry with me.

  • That Air Force Reserve short is surprisingly good for Hanna-Barbera. It makes you wonder why they pandered to the lowest common denominator.

    • Yeah it does seem like they could do so much if they hadn’t catered to that L.C.D. as always. It’s nice to see these touches of creativity otherwise not commonly seen.

  • Is that Ezra Stone as the little telephone character?

    • It does sort of sound a bit like him, but I’d guess that Jam Handy used a local actor from the Detroit area.

  • Never recognized “Just Imagine” as Tyer’s work before, although looking at it now, it seems obvious! So was Tyer possibly responsible for the animation in Jam Handy’s notorious “A Case of Spring Fever” (although it was produced six years prior)?

    • Yes, I believe Tyer did the animation for “A Case of Spring Fever”

      I know that Archive.org has this film listed as being from 1947, but I’m not 100% convinced that that is in fact when it was made. There is no copyright on the film, and I’d suspect that it was made a little earlier than that. Possibly around 1940 or ’41. If any body has any information about this, please chime in.

  • The “self-assembling phone” animation in “Just Imagine” is very reminiscent of an even more elaborate stop-motion sequence that appeared in another Jam Handy film of a few years earlier. This three-minute scene appeared as the finale of a 20-minute film sponsored by the Electric Auto-Lite Company; it’s unbelievably choreographed and features many of Auto-Lite’s products, which at the time apparently included cookware and luggage! Here’s the link to it…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMAwShodPIc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>