Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Toons Around The World: George Moreno Jr. And British Animated Productions
Señor Blogmeister seldom recycles/rehashes previous postings, but here's an exception to that rule: a spotlight on British Animated Productions, producers of a Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog favorite, the Bubble & Squeek cartoons.
The series, starring a pub ale-swilling cabbie and his anthropomorphized lil' car, was the brainchild of former Walter Lantz Studio and Fleischer animator George Moreno, Jr.
This blogger will take a Bubble & Squeek cartoon over a Disney from the same era (with the exception of those directed by Jack Kinney, the Jedi Master of The Goof) any day of the week.
The Bubble & Squeek series and British Animated Productions had a brief but memorable run, which abruptly ended when an influx of cartoons imported from the U.S. hit Great Britain screens in 1948.
The British Animated Productions staff included director Harold F. Mack, animators Pamela French, Jimmie Holt, Leslie Boyd, Fred Thompson and Hugh Gladwich.
The animators appeared in the following British Pathe newsreel.
My favorites are the two cartoons co-featuring an irascible rodent known as Colonel Rat and his sidekick Willie The Worm. Yes, that's right, Colonel Rat and Willie The Worm, slated for their own offshoot series.
Well, that Colonel Rat and Willie The Worm series didn't happen. The tax on imports was reduced in 1947, an influx of U.S. cartoons from Warners, Disney and MGM on British soil (not unlike the mid-1960's invasion of British rock bands on American soil) resulted. . . and it was bye bye British Animated Productions and David Hand's GB Animation. The cast of characters did survive for awhile in comic books.
For more info, check out the British Animation and UK Animation blogs.