Throughout the 1950’s, television commercials were an important part of the UPA cartoon studio’s output. In fact, it’s widely believed that commercial work kept the company afloat, as their Columbia-released shorts often went over budget. Spots were produced at the main studio in Burbank, as well as the New York studio. Here are just a few of the many advertising films they made…
Ten minute sales film from 1949 for the Timken Roller Bearing Company. Fully animated in Technicolor, it features the voice of Stan Freberg as Big Tim.
One of four Webster’s Cigars spots directed by Pete Burness in 1950. Pat Mathews animates. The great Marvin Miller narrates, trying to sound as Latin as possible. Of course this was before the revolution…
Three spots from 1955. These are from the New York studio. Directed by Gene Deitch.
A tale of two love birds. Humorous limited animation by Fred Crippen.
Magoo – GE
Mr. Magoo was often enlisted to be a product spokesman. The longest running Magoo campaign was for General Electric lightbulbs. Jim Backus is Mr. Magoo, and Jerry Hausner is the voice of Waldo. Take a look at the comic book that Waldo is reading.
Mars – Zoo
It’s 1959, and we’re getting near the end of the era. The director here is probably Rudy Larriva. Shortly after this, a series of events including the departure of Herb Klynn (and several of the remaining key staff members) and the non-renewal of the Columbia shorts contract conspired to put control of UPA into the hands of the infamous Hank Saperstein.
Magoo – Flying Saucer
This is from the Saperstein period. Magoo is still selling lightbulbs in this kinetic spot by Abe Levitow.