It has been such a blast reading When Magoo Flew – a new book on the history of UPA animation studios – by Adam Abraham. What’s more, I am so thankful that many of the cartoons mentioned in this book are on YouTube, so I was able to watch what I was reading about at the same time, and I am even more thankful that I could attend last week’s 3 hour screening at LACMA of UPA films on 35mm!!! My all-time favorite – Rooty Toot Toot – looked amazing, and so did the cartoons I had been dying to see that are not (yet) on YouTube, like Ballet Oop, which is essentially an animated (parody of a) classical ballet class with very cool stylized character posing and layouts.
It’s so exciting that these UPA cartoons are finally on DVD!
I am working my way through the UPA Jolly Frolics 3-DVD Set this month… and loving all the stunning modern visuals and jazzy soundtracks.
I am currently sort of fascinated by the Ham half of the Ham & Hattie cartoons which are so-bad-they’re-good. They are very much products of their time, with silly cultural stereotypes… (Interesting too, that most of these 50’s cartoons feature outsider-teenagers, doctors and psychiatrists…)
Hamilton Ham appears in Jamaica Daddy, a calypso-ish musical number about having more BA-BEES to PER-PET-CHUATE the FAM-LEE. Is it just me or do these Jamaicans look like Mexican caricatures? :)
Saganuki is a story of a woodcutter boy who wants to become a Samurai warrior. There is a Japanese singing accent and one hears “Ah-So!” quite often.
Dino’s Serenade … in which Hamilton Ham goes Italian.
From The Jaywalker (On YouTube)
Baby Boogie – love the layouts and colors!
Gerald McBoing McBoing on Planet Moo – which is actually a pretty bizarre story…
More screengrabs coming soon to my flickr set…
LA Times article on UPA (with pics)
When Magoo Flew Facebook page
Eye candy on Cartoon Brew.