February 1, 2014 posted by

Commercials Animated by Warren Batchelder and George Bakes

Hey Gang, another twofer! Former Warner Brothers animator Warren Batchelder, and former Terrytoon animator George Bakes. Bakes was one of those great natural animators. He did a lot of commercial work, particularly for General Mills. The repetitive nature of those spots eventually caused him to walk away from a lucrative contract. “Take Lucky Charms for Example,” said George, “You change two words and you get a new commercial; I’ll make a blank, and blank away!”

Batchelder had worked as an assistant at WB for several years before being promoted to animator in the mid-fifties. Fortunately he turned out to be a good’n. After WB shut down he became one of the regulars at DePatie-Freleng.

• Please note that the image quality of these videos may not be up to our usual mediocre standards.

Star Kist

This is one of a handful of spots where Shep Menkin did Charlie the Tuna’s voice. Henry Corden is the voice of his pal. Warren Batchelder animated the spot except for the tag at the end, which was animated by Manny Gould.

Pink Panther Flakes

Noxious pink cornflakes from Post. At least the spots were actually made at DePatie-Freleng. This one was animated by Warren Batchelder, who worked on many of the real Pink Panther cartoons.


Burger Chef and Jeff

More Batch animation. Also from DFE. Paul Winchel is the Burger Chef here. In some of the other spots, Hal Smith plays him.


A pair of Hardees spots animated by George Bakes. Allen Swift and Bob McFadden are Speedy McGreedy and Gilbert Giddy-up.

Fruit Stripe Gum

More animation by George Bakes. Most of the spots in this campaign went along the same lines as this one…

Life Savers

They got that Bo Diddly thing working in this clever spot. More George. More fun.


  • a terrytoons animator unhappy because he found the scripts he was working with repetitive? one would think he would have become immune to such things.

    speaking of classic animated advertising, here’s an interesting studio that I was not aware of until recently …

    there’s quite a large collection of their work on youtube (though i’d much rather have a dvd collection) …

    and if anyone knows how to get their hands on a copy of THIS here in the states, please let me know …

  • Funny that some Hardees commercials were posted after a Burger Chef commercial. Hardees ended up buying most of the Buger Chefs stores once that chain went under.

    • Now Hardee’s is under the same umbrella with Carl’s Jr. They kinda got them doing the Checkers/Rally’s thing.

  • Always liked that Fruit Stripe Zebra cameo on Mighty Mouse:The New Adventures (“Still Oily After All These Years”).

    • At least they still have him on the package today, not too obscure though they aren’t advertising that gum much lately.

  • I have a hard time telling Warren Batchelder’s and Tom Ray’s animation apart. Surely I can’t be the only one.

    • I worked alongside Tom Ray and I think that he and Mr. Batchelder had very different styles. Batchelder’s work was very naturalistic and emphasized weight in the character. His action analysis and timing were exceptional. Tom’s animation was less “full” in its animation. He strived more for economy, and also leaned quite heavily on layouts he was given, making them key parts of the action. Batchelder drew, the Pink Panther for instance, in a unique manner. Batchelder spent a long time as Virgil Ross’ assistant at Warner Bros. and I sense he learned a lot from him. He was an assistant at Warner Bros. for at least seventeen years before he was credited as an animator. Why he was looked over for that job for so long is a bit of a mystery. Maybe he resisted the promotion?

  • It’s a shame Batchhelder was never interviewed. He lived up until 2007…

    • I made an attempt to get in touch with Warren Batchelder in 1995 when I was living in LA. I was given an address from the Cartoonists’ Union, but my letter came back as undelivered. I was keen to talk about his animation style because I had been a big admirer of his for many years, so I agree Devon, it’s a great shame he was never interviewed.

  • Oh, I recall FRUIT STRIPE GUM commercials, but with the opening line, “Yipes, stripes…!” These ads were fun, though.

  • For me, these commercials bring back lots of wonderful childhood memories. I especially remember when Fruit Stripe gum was introduced to the market in the mid-70’s. I thought it was the best thing to hit the candy shelves since the Jolly Rancher hard candies, which was my most favorite at that time.
    The last thing Bakes did for General Mills was a series of Cheerios commercials that reintroduced a former spokescharacter for the product, Kidd, and his female companion (I never knew what her name was, provided she had a name at all). Soon after he left commercial animation far behind him, Bakes was hired by Ralph Bakshi to animate for an upcoming project that would eventually become “Cool World”.

    • Actually, that Cheerios spot was a good deal before the meltdown. The last spots were a collection of Lucky Charms and Trix, we had 8 spots in production simultaneously when George took to his tractor and dug a pond on his property upstate. The Kid and Sue spot you mentioned was produced while the studio was still in Manhattan on 45th Street.

  • Hey Mike, Warren and George really did a great job on those commercials as they really gave’m their all. Keep ‘em comin’.

  • George Bakes is still alive and well at 89 yrs old. He would tell me stories… never knew how true they really were.

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