Animation History
February 14, 2013 posted by Jerry Beck

Matty’s “Funday Funnies” bumpers

Ever wonder about these? I thought not.


Many of us Baby Boomers remember the original Matty’s Funday Funnies show on ABC back in the late 50s, early 60s. Matty Mattel and his sister Belle first introduced us to the Harveytoons (Casper, et al) and later (in redesigned form) to Bob Clampett’s Beany & Cecil. The characters were spokesmen for Mattel Toys who sponsored the program. The opening of the show and bumpers featuring Matty and Belle (voiced by Cecil Roy and Sylvia Meredeth) were animated by Fleischer/Famous Studios veteran Steve Muffatti (the drawing above appears at the 2:11 mark in the embed below):

Here are the rough boards that were supplied to Muffatti by Mattel’s ad agency (below, click each to enlarge). Some he adapted entirely, others he discarded and came up with his own concepts:

matty470_1 matty470_2

Cartoon Research reader Fernando Ortiz shared with us these six Muffatti storyboards (below) – given to him as a gift by an ex-girlfriend nearly 30 years ago. Here’s the bumper you just saw (at the 1:15 mark in the embed above) in four panel storyboard form. It’s followed by five more (click on each to enlarge):

matty-telephone matty-string Matty_Mattel_board matty_hands film_funnies painting

P.S. And how much did Muffatti get for all his work? $5400. (see invoice below)


(Thanks, Fernando Ortiz and Mark Newgarden)


  • $5,400 in today’s money would be $42,605.07. Not bad.

  • I had a Matty Mattel talking doll. Looked nothing like the cartoon character aside from the striped shirt and a weird little felt crown attached to his curly red hair. Not a favorite. Vaguely recall Funday Funnies, but stronger memories of ventriloquist Paul Winchell introducing Modern Madcaps.

  • Nice to see you back here…I always felt more at home in this space….Specially looking at your magnificent “letterhead” above!

  • Given the time-frame of when the show aired on ABC, this would have been the place where Mattel debuted it’s Barbie doll to the awaiting masses. Too bad Muffatti (who, judging be the letterhead lived two blocks away from my Aunt Rose in Stuyvesant Town, circa 1959) didn’t go for a smaller salary and instead, took a percentage cut of the Barbie sales.

  • Interesting. I’ve seen the Beany & Cecil version before this one.

  • It just shows you how bad the ink-and-paint and clean-up at Paramount had really gotten. The original Muffatti drawing is great, but the actual footage is pretty weak, even for for ‘limited’ animation.

  • I find the animation interesting and very 50’s looking in style. I watch this show when I was a kid, but was never a fan of any of the cartoons they featured. They all fell into an formula that became very annoying after a while. I really hated Herman and Katnip and Casper. I loved Benny and Cecil…

  • Thanks for sharing this rare behind the scenes artwork from”The Matty’s Funday Funnies”tv cartoon series..Jerry.

  • Commenting on the quality of Ink and Paint requires professional experience. Anyone who had done it knows that the inkers do not, and CANNOT vary from the cleaned-up drawings they are given. Any loss in the animator’s original drawings occur during the process of clean up for tracing. There is nothing wrong with the quality of the inking especially since those doing this work were very experienced. Limited Animation as attempted in New York was never quite up to the quality done on the west coast. But one needs to keep in mind the purpose and budgets. The smaller television screen displayed Limited Animation well. I would agree that much of the animation in these bumpers seems stiff. Some of it is beyond what would have been expected. And some such as the run and grab animation of Herman and Katnip was copied from the old main titles and reused. Since this was not intended for theatrical exhibition, the sponsor, Mattel and the network, ABC must have been satisfied. The kids, and I was one of them, were satisfied with what they were seeing, although I saw some of these things, too but accepted it since it was coming to me for free. Give them credit, though. The confetti and party streamers are complicated effects, and it’s obvious they put a lot more effort into that.

  • One questions How many episodes were there of Matty Funday Funnies?

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