In my personal opinion, United Productions of America animation studio or UPA released quite a few worthy animated shorts from it’s inception in 1943 until it ceased production in 1970. From the Academy Award nominated Trouble Indemnity, which was the third animated theatrical short to feature the character of Mr. Magoo, to another Oscar nominated short and one of my personal favorites… The Tell-Tale Heart. For this Toon In offering I felt it was appropriate to share the animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Gerald McBoing-Boing – which was released back on November 2nd of 1950 and DID win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. As I understand it, Dr. Seuss originally wrote Gerald McBoing-Boing for a 45rpm featuring narration by Harold Peary aka The Great Gildersleeve. The animated adaptation was Directed by Robert Cannon with the screenplay adaptation being handled by both Phil Eastman and Bill Scott – all three have an amazing legacy in the animation industry. In particular Scott was well known for his stint on Bob Clampett’s Time for Beany television series but I think it’s safe to say he is best remembered for his work on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Bill Scott would act as head writer, actor, and even co-producer for the latter – a job that allowed him to even write the memorable TV commercials for General Mills products.
I suppose the success of UPA’s adaptation of Gerald McBoing-Boing – say winning that Academy Award – led to a book being released in 1952. In addition the character would receive three more animated shorts with Gerald McBoing-Boing’s Symphony in 1953, a year later would see the release of How Now Boing Boing with Gerald McBoing! Boing! on Planet Moo in ’56. That was the same year in fact that CBS produced The Gerald McBoing-Boing Show which featured other UPA animated fare – I’ve read that it was deemed too expensive to produce and production was halted after three months. That was far from the end of the character’s appearance on TV as for two seasons, back in 2005 he showed up on Cartoon Network.
If you’ve not had the pleasure of seeing Gerald McBoing-Boing before – the story involves a small child that to the concern of his parents reveals he cannot talk but produce all manner of sounds. So please take a few minutes out of your very busy schedule and Toon In and enjoy this incredibly delightful animated short!