We received a surprise in the mail today from Archive supporter James Tucker- a DVD of great fifties industrial films, including UPA’s groundbreaking Man On The Land. This film includes animation by Pat Matthews, Grim Natwick and Art Babbitt, but animation isn’t the primary attraction here. It’s the drop dead brilliant layouts by Director Bill Hurtz, Associate Director Art Heinemann and background artists Bob Dranko, Boris Gorelick and Paul Julian (among others). Just about every setup in this film is strong enough to be an illustration in a book. Check out the depth and lighting in these backgrounds. They may be painted flat, but they sure aren’t composed flat. If this sort of design sensibility was applied to a cartoon with vivid characters, humor and entertainment value, wouldn’t it be incredible?
This is a large file, so allow yourself some time before clicking on the link.
It’s great folks like James Tucker that make sure that cartoons like this aren’t lost and forgotten. We all owe him a big thank-you for sharing his film collection with us at Animation Resources.
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.