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.
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.
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.