November 2, 2013 posted by

Commercials Animated by Gerard Baldwin


Gerard Baldwin had an amazing facility for animating. He did brilliant full animation, but he also has a way of doing limited animation in a way that made it seem as if there was more there than there was. Jay Ward in particular would frequently take advantage of Gerard’s ability to do cheap and humorous animation and do it quickly.

One of Gerard’s early jobs in animation was at the UPA studio, working as an assistant to Ken Hultgren. Gerard once said his job was to take Hultgren’s beautiful traditional drawings and mess them up by putting them into the UPA style. Actually he did the job very well. The drawings looked good, and they were still recognizable as Hultgren’s work.

Gerard also worked for Playhouse Pictures, John Sutherland, and Hanna-Barbera where he animated Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear, Snooper and Blabber, and Augie Doggie.

His next stop was at Jay Ward Productions, where he would work on and off for the next decade. Gerard also worked at the Hank Saperstein version of UPA, and at Ed Graham Productions. Post Hanna-Barbera, Gerard would work as an animator and a director, often doing both jobs on the same film.

Here’s a sampling of his commercial work…

Folgers Coffee – Nudity

Made at Playhouse Pictures in 1960. Gerard Baldwin animates, and the multi-talented Mel Leven provides the voice of the coffee bean. Part of a series of spots that examined such phrases as ” Psychoanalysis” “Crime” “Moscow” and “Four Letter Words.”

Cheerios – Thanksgiving

One of those Cheerios commercials cleverly disguised as a Bullwinkle’s Corner segment. Animated By Gerard Baldwin. Voices by Bill Scott, Paul Frees, and June Foray.

Cheerios – Casey at the Bat

None of the advertising agencies I worked for would have ever had made a commercial like this brilliant Jay Ward Production. It is after all “Casey at the Bat,” and that means your spokesman would have to actually lose the ball game even though he used the sponsor’s product! (Sorry if I spoiled the ending…)

Cheerios – Trapeze

Another “Big Jay” cereal commercial. Animating a moose on a trapeze may not be the easiest thing in the world to animate, but Gerard did it anyways. Stock music lovers, listen for a fragment of “Custard Pie Capers” near the end.

Sing Along with Cap’n Crunch

One of the earliest Cap’n Crunch spots. Animated by Phil Duncan and Gerard Baldwin. Voices by Daws Butler, Bill Scott, and June Foray.

Post Crispy Critters – Orange Moose

One of the stranger ideas for boosting sagging sales of soggy cereals. Did somebody at Post’s advertising agency declare, “If this doesn’t get the kids into our camp, I don’t know what will” after a five martini lunch? Actor/ Producer Sheldon Leonard is Linus the Lionhearted.

Bullwinkle Savings Stamp Club

Jay Ward produced this entertaining advertising film for U.S. Savings Bonds. Gerard Animated the whole thing. Bullwinkle meets Mr. Peabody!


  • I take it by the footage, Gerard Baldwin was responsible for the better-animated shorts in Rocky & Bullwinkle (i.e. the ones not outsourced to Mexico)? Shorts such as Dudley Do-Right’s “Saw Mill”? That style always stood out to me, partially because of the fuller mouth movements.

    • Yes, that’s true. Gerard animated quite a few Dudley cartoons. In addition to “Saw Mill” he did many others including “Flicker Rock,” “Railroad Tracks,” and “Mechanical Dudley.” he also animated several Fables and Fairy Tails like “The Sick Lion,” and “The Seven Chickens.”

    • “Flicker Rock” was my favorite, glad to know that wasn’t farmed out.

  • Baldwin later prospered during the 1980s as the go-to producer on Hanna-Barbera’s “The Smurfs.”

  • Love those commercials. I remember seeing that commercial with Bullwinkle’s mother before, but only in black and white. Nice to see it in color.

  • Neat stuff. Bullwinkle also recited poetry in support of Smokey the Bear (who appeared in the spot as a static poster).

    I remember thinking an era had ended when Dudley Doright became a half-hearted mascot for Frosty-Os. The commercial had him talking to the camera in front of a white background and not being funny.

  • Did not know it for years and years but thank you for letting me finally know Gerard Baldwin’s name. As a kid I always knew his style from R&B. I love how he threw out the model sheets at Hanna-Barbera and drew Yogi and Quick Draw in his own style. I thought way back then that the Yogi cartoon with the magician that turns he and Boo-Boo invisible was a Jay Ward cartoon.

  • Wonderful stuff.
    I think the Captain’s gesture when he says ,”It’s sing-along time!” (:08) is a spoof of Mitch Miller’s conducting.

    I know it’s Post, not General Mills but the Crispy Critters’ Orange Moose I would bet is to capitalize on Bullwinkle’s popularity.
    I wonder if Ward noticed. I’m sure it was someone in the agency, or client, who thought they were being clever, moose rhymes with juice.

    The savings bond one is gold.

    I miss the cartoon in animated cartoons such as these.

  • I recognize his work from a few Dudley Do-Right cartoons, as previously mentioned.
    I can learn a lot from him. His limited animation skills are superb.

  • Gerard is alive and well, and on Facebook. Also there is

  • Had the honor of taking his Drawing class at LSC Kingwood campus. He’s an amazing instructor and an even more amazing artist.

  • Gerard is my dad. So nice to read these complimentary comments.

    • Hi Michael
      Long time ago,when I was a student at Cal-Arts your dad was my mentor and a friend.He helped me complete my first film that I ever made”.Destruction Derby” was only 7 min. long animation, a satire about air pollution.To my surprise,big distributer bought it and I kept receiving royalties,however small,over the years.It sure helped at times,living in NYC.
      I just want to thank your father for being a good teacher,to wish him well hoping that he is in good spirits and health.It was like yesterday,I still remember being invited for a dinner in your unique dome house and your mom made spaghetti.What a treat that was for a starving student.Oh God what a good times that was,living in Newport Beach,being at Cal-Arts etc. I should stop now, getting too sentimental.
      Please send my regards to mom and dad and best wishes to you Michael !
      Milan Cupurdija
      Presevska 3

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