Friday, August 10, 2007

It's Everybody's Background!

The amount of design work created for lost or lesser known animated commercials, industrial films and international cartoons must be stunning. Amid Amidi covers a wide range in his beautiful 2006 Chronicle book Cartoon Modern, a must for fans of 1950's and early 60's animation, but there's much more out there. Case in point : It's Everybody's Business.

It's Everybody's Business ( 1954 ) was a Sutherland Production that extolled the virtues of American capitalism at a time when there was concerns that other economic views might take hold, and that a 20 minute cartoon just might sway that pinko commie sympathizer back over to the good guy's side.
From a strict design standpoint this short is a stunner. Directed by John Sutherland ( with original music by film soundtrack and exotica master Les Baxter and cartoon music pro Eugene Poddany ) this film boasts an all-star design and animation team.

Art directed by Maurice Noble, the amazing production designer, layout artist and director whose credits run the gamut from Snow White to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but who's most often associated with some of the greatest Warner Brothers cartoons of the 50's and 60's including Duck Amuck, Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century, Ready.. Set.. Zoom! and What's Opera, Doc?

The rest of the team were no slouches either, with Warner Brothers vets Emery Hawkins, Abe Levitow and Warner's alum and Charlie Brown main man Bill Melendez rounding out the batting order.
So I' thought I'd share just a small sample of the many amazing backgrounds from this fantastic film. These screenshots were pieced together from multiple images, usually during background pans ( which accounts for some missing areas ), and were stitched together in Photoshop . Unfortunately the quality isn't the greatest as I grabbed these from the public domain copy available at the invaluable Prelinger Archives, but even so the superb work still shines though. Be sure to peruse their vast holdings of animated ( and other ) films available for free on-line viewing.




louis de la taille said...

these backgrounds are amazing ! Thanks for sharing !

Glen Mullaly said...

You're more than welcome Louis.

Tod said...

When you stitch these together you can really see the work put into them. I'm working on a book about Maurice's approach to design. It's something he started the last few years of his life. Do you have any larger versions of these images I might be able to use for the book?

God bless you. tod