Wednesday, March 19, 2014

And Now, A Word From Our Animated Sponsor

From the sublime to the pastoral to the ridiculous to (DISCLAIMER, dear readers) the politically incorrect, always with imagination to spare - classic animated ads.

Your Blogmeister finds the jaunty stop-motion animation of George Pal's stylish mini-musicals for Horlicks Malted Milk and Philips astounding and weirdly beautiful.

What Ho She Bumps by CarlStallingEnthusiast

The Philips ads pre-date the elaborate musicals the stop-motion specialists would later produce in the 1940's George Pal Puppetoon series for Paramount.

As the underlying theme is the "music 'round the world" content of programs to be heard in the 1930's via cutting edge Philips radios, in 2014 this means frequent lapses into stereotype. The view from Holland of American culture, and especially black music - gospel, jazz and blues - can be both awestruck and grotesque.

With Pal, these at times cringe-worthy moments in his Dutch and American puppet animation films are the direct byproduct of both his love of music and genuine fascination with masks, carvings, costumes, totem poles and tiki motifs from Asia, the South Seas and Africa; snobs referred to it as "primitive art" - just "art" sounds more like it.

It's apparent, even in the earliest of George Pal's puppet animation short subjects for Philips, that he had an aesthetic goal of bringing the world to stop-motion.

This content notwithstanding, the brilliant visual presentation and invention of George Pal and his hard-working animators shines through.

Pal's studio would go on to produce dozens of imaginative puppetoons and innovative special effects for such feature films as Destination Moon and War Of The Worlds.

Again, from the sublime to the ridiculous, here's some stop motion fun in lower budget yet memorable commercials from the 1950s.

The following animated cigarette ads, although very well executed, are hardly an original idea. The legendary painter and filmmaking innovator Oskar Fischinger produced an incredibly imaginative and elaborate theatrical commercial for Muratti Cigarettes (alas, not available online or on DVD) in 1934.

Still, Your Blogmeister, as ever easily amused, enjoys the square dancin' smokes in the following Lucky Strikes ad.

When watching these ads and the (much later) stop-motion work of Henry Selick and Aardman Animations, the thought arises, "eat your heart out, CGI!"

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