January 18, 2014 posted by

Commercials Animated by Art Babbitt


Art Babbitt is an animator who needs no introduction, so naturally I’m writing one anyways. Babbitt was very active in the field of animated adverts during television’s golden age. Like so many of the early TV animators, he had spent many years doing theatrical work. He was one of Paul Terry’s best before Mr. Disney spirited him away. Babbitt contributed to the success of Disney’s early features, but the studio strike of the early forties had famously cut his time there short. Babbitt also worked at the Leon Schlesinger studio animating for Bob Clampett. At UPA, Babbitt was an animator, then a director, then an animator again.

Babbitt was one of the regular animator’s at John Hubley’s Storyboard, Inc. before becoming one of the founders of Quartet Films. Art Babbitt was later made head of the Hanna-Barbera commercial department.

Here are just a few examples of his commercial work…

Natty Boh

Featuring Daws Butler. I always felt that thugs, louts and clods brought out the best in Babbitt, as you will see in this spot.

Faygo Pop

This beautifully animated spot was made to promote Detroit’s own Faygo pop. Produced by John Hubley for the W. B. Donner agency.

Hubert the Harris Bank Lion

One of several bits of animation that Babbitt did featuring the loveable Hubert. Vocals by Frank Nelson.

Salada Tea

Featuring Stan Freberg, this spot is a play on Salada’s slogan, “Take Tea and See.”

Cap’n Crunch

Babbitt would sometimes do freelance animation for Jay Ward Productions like this early Cap’n Crunch spot. Daws Butler is THE Cap’n Crunch.

Orphan Anne

From Hanna-Barbera. Little Orphan Annie and Sandy sell… hairspray?


  • Beautiful animation in all the spots, but especially on the Faygo Pop one. Babbitt really knew how to bring Hubley’s striking designs to life.

  • that faygo black cherry pop spot is a masterpiece.

    • Hopefully the Homestuck crowd will be nice to it!

  • Wow! These are all cool, but that Faygo Pop spot is a knockout!

  • Not only is that Faygo Pop spot beautifully done, but it’s got an integrated cast to reflect Detroit’s population. I dunno what year this was produced, but that’s gotta be an early example of an animated commercial having a multi-racial cast.

  • Babbitt by his own admission thought that, as an animator, he lacked sufficient training in human anatomy. Yet look at what he pulls off in the Faygo Pop spot. He certainly had what it took and knew how to entertain with his animation. There’s never a shortage of thought behind any of Babbitt’s scenes. Ben Washam told me that he once delivered some freelance animation to Babbitt when Babbitt was head of H-B’s commercials division and Babbitt told him that he sometimes went in and changed other animators’ timing once he’d looked at their sheets. Washam replied, “Well, I hope you don’t change any of MY timing!”

  • Must have Faygo Black Cherry.

  • Who needs muscle enhancers and pepper spray when you have Alberto Balsam.

Leave a Reply

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