July 2, 2020 posted by Steve Stanchfield

Animated Segments from “Football Forecasts” (1958)

Here’s a little nitty gritty on Thunderbean stuff in the woiks:

As summer is in full swing the projects are getting more organized as well as getting all details sorted by either myself or the team on each. Our own Devon Baxter has been doing a wonderful job tracking down a lot of rare art from the first half of the Rainbow Parade series. Animation art collector Ted Watts lent some wonderful pieces this last week. I went to scan them at the school, but all the labs that have the bigger scanner have rooms that are cleaned/ closed! I’m hoping to find a solution in the coming few days.

It’s been strange to do ‘finals’ on so many projects in the same weeks – especially ones that have gone on for *years*. The majority of the Puppetoons we worked on are now finished and out of my hands (except for some finishing touches at some point) and earlier today I looked at the final mastered versions of all the shorts for Rainbow Parade, Volume 1. This particular title has been long in progress, so its a great treat to see them all in final versions, all next to each other. It feels complete. Titles are well in progress and menus. I can’t wait to get it out for mastering. I hope to have it off to master by mid-July. I’m also hoping that the scans for volume 2 can resume this month.

The Cartoon Commercials 2 Blu-ray is stepping closer to the finish line, with all the final prints here that need to be scanned to complete the set. I was excited to see a reel of 60s commercials with a majority that I hadn’t seen before- it’s a nice way to round out that set.

Stewart McKissick, my collaborator on the Stop Motion Marvels DVD and its Blu-ray update, has been revising the original booklet. He’ll also provide the cover art for the new set. We now have all but one of the Kinex shorts either scanned or ready to when we’re able. The one that haven’t been able to obtain is Goose and the Golden Egg. Here it is, at Huntley Archives. They charge ‘stock footage’ prices only, and want £25 a second! I begged them to offer us a better deal (who else would *ever* need this whole film?). Because of that, unless we’re extremely lucky and find another print somewhere, we’ll just have to be missing one. Stop Motion Marvels 2 now has almost every film cleaned up too. Some exciting surprises on that set. More on that in the coming week or two.

Flip the Frog is in a similar place, with just four films left to scan or revise of the 38. I do wish *all* the original titles would materialize, but we’ve managed to scan all the ones that seem to exist at this point, unless you have a print hiding in your basement of one of them…

In addition to all this stuff, I’m done or close on 7 ‘special’ discs now, and just hope to be able to scan additional films and reels to get even more in the can. I’m transitioning away from doing any of the order fulfillment or packing myself in the coming weeks (a good thing) to concentrate on finishing more sets.

Frank Leahy

Watching each of these projects get closer to the finish line is really gratifying and odd. On many of these long-term projects, it seemed they’d never get there with so many pieces. I’m grateful to all of you that have helped and continue to support these projects.

Now — FOOTBALL FORECASTS with Frank Leahy (or at least the animated parts!)…

For this week’s film, I thought I’d show you something that showed up in the mail this week. It’s stinking of vinegar syndrome, but it’s really neat. It’s called Football Forecasts, Sponsored by Amoco Gas. It’s clearly the predecessor to a more ‘live’ sports show. The film stock date is 1958.

Leahy had been a fairly well-known football coach at Notre Dame (from 41 to 43, and again from 46 to 53). He had early coached at Boston College. He had played the game in college as well, from 1928 to 1930.

The cool thing about is (from an animation standpoint) is both an animated commercial as well as a little football mascot appearing in reusable clips- as well as some nicely drawn representations of each team. The credits only read “Unipix”. It’s fun – and I’ve edited most of the football out to see these little sections of this 15 minute program. Does anyone have a hint as to what studio may have done this particular work?

That’s all that’s fit to print today! Sorry I wasn’t so properly dressed for the occasion in the video. I will be next time.

Have a great week everyone!


  • From Billboard, April 30, 1955:

    “Du Pont Buys Sper Show for Frank Leahy

    “NEW YORK, April 23. — Du Pont this week bought Frank Leahy to star in its football forecast show of next season. Leahy will replace the deceased Norman Sper and continue the format used in the show last season.

    “The vidfilm series will be telecase [sic] in 150 cities, one of the largest line-ups for a quarter-hour sports show. Norman Sper Jr. will continue to produce the program for Station Distributors. Du Pont will sponsor the program for its Zerone and Zerex divisions. Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn is the agency.”

    By 1958 Amoco, not DuPont, was sponsoring the program. The “Amoco guarantees you more gas per gallon” slogan was copyright by the Joseph Katz Co., an advertising agency in Baltimore, which presumably handled the Amoco account at this time. Joseph Katz passed away in 1958. I don’t know if it’s possible to determine whether the animation was done in-house or sub-contracted to an independent studio, but either way, I think we’re looking at an East Coast outfit.

  • You can actually date this fairly precisely; the games that are being predicted were the ones held on October 4, 1958. In case you’re curious: (1) Notre Dame did win, (2) Army did win, (3) Michigan/Michigan State tied, (4) Dartmouth did win [note the now obsolete Indian], (5) Ohio State did win, (6) Oklahoma did beat Oregon, (7) Clemson did beat Maryland, (8) Pittsburgh did beat Minnesota, (9) Oregon State did beat UCLA. That’s 8 correct picks and one tie, and no incorrect picks. Amoco operated under two names: “Standard” within the Standard of Indiana territory (generally the central plains states, though this changed over time), and Amoco in the other states. As of 1952 (a few years before this), Amoco operated under both names in 41-odd of the then 48 states.

    • In my travels in the 1960’s, I saw a lot of “American” signs, not Amoco. I think both “Standard” and “American” signs were changed to “Amoco” at some point in the 1970’s.

  • Maybe if you start a fundraiser, people could donate money so that you’ll be able to get that film.

  • So Amoco gas contained no lead in the 1950s, yet was sold at prices competitive with all other gasolines containing lead? Curious how, in the early 1970s, the sudden shift to unleaded gasoline coincided with a huge price per gallon increase, gas shortages in the Middle East or not.

  • Steve,
    Which 4 Flips are you lacking?

  • Aaah, but were the football picks against the spread?

    The cat’s tail in the beginning of the video reminded me of the Tex Avery “man in the audience” gag.

    • You raise something of an interesting point. The “point shaving” scandal at CCNY et alia a few years before (see: ) would, in all likelihood, made the concept of “covering the spread” poison on TV. Bear in mind that October of 1958 (when this show was prepared) was in the immediate aftermath of the Quiz Show Scandal (see, among others: ), so that would have made it very problematic, indeed. In your jest, some interesting truths.

  • These animated segments for “Football Forecasts” were made by Rudy Ising, at least some sources like this one say so:

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