August 23, 2014 posted by

Philling Airtime: More Spots Animated by Phil Duncan

Conventional or far out. Cheap or extravagant. Phil Duncan did it all and it did it superbly. Today we take another look at the work of mighty Mr. Duncan, animator for Disney, Screen Gems, Storyborad, Hanna-Barbera, Jay Ward and others studios.

Ideal Dog Food

Produced by Playhouse Pictures in 1953, Duncan animates, and manages to get some interesting timing and motion in spite of the very cheap budget.

Fresh-Up Freddie – Singer

Musical epic from the Walt Disney TV department. You might say he was Nelson Freddie here…

Bullwinkle – Bowling

Animated by Phil Duncan and Rod Scribner. I probably don’t need to tell you which scenes were done by who. From Jay Ward Productions. Voices by Bill Scott and Paul Frees.

Sesame Street – Exit

Directed by John Hubley and animated by Phil Duncan. Hubley had a number of ways of avoiding the expensive ink and paint part of cartoon making (necessary when working on CTW’s tiny budgets.) In this film, the bears were drawn on paper, cut out, and pasted on cels. Conveniently, they are polar bears, and need little coloring. The technique of exposing the drawings for different numbers of frames is also used here. In spite of all that, or maybe because of it, this is a genuinely fascinating film.

Be Quiet, Kind, and Gentle

And now as a special bonus, we present a cartoon from UPA’s The Boing Boing Show, circa 1956. Phil Duncan had animated several cartoons in the series, but there were two cartoons that he both directed and animated. This is one of them. (Unfortunately it’s an Eastman “Cartoon Parade” version. The show was originally in Technicolor.) Vocal stylings by the inimitable Thurl Ravenscroft. Phil’s unique style is very much on display here.


  • I’ve never seen more than a handful of pieces from The Boing Boing Show. Thanks for sharing that one.
    Bullwinkle animated by Rod Scribner is a delight.

  • Didn’t Phil worked on some of the “Schoolhouse Rock” songs? I remembering reading that his name was used in the background during the “Lucky Seven” song.

    • There is a “Phunky Phil” visible in one of the backgrounds of the “Lucky Seven” picture, but more likely it’s referring to producer Phil Kimmelman.

    • Yeah, that was it. I read that in a book that I own a copy of, but I haven’t read it in a while as it’s hidden in my of my book sheleves.

  • l worked under phil Duncan as an assistant om watership down in the late 70’s. I have the book signed by him as a momento and photos and drawings that were always flooding from.his hand…he was generous at 66 years of age wad always eager to share his experience…and had more enthusiasm than most teenagers. .. His mind was very fertile and he told us te three rules of animation….get it right get it right get it right….but focus on the first one….it stuck…

  • Hi Steve I also worked alongside him on Watership Down. He was the most generous animator in sharing his knowledge and expertise, and was one of the nicest people I ever worked with.

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