The term mise-en-scène was seemingly invented for director Bobe Cannon. Regardless of which designer he was working with, Cannon’s films are consistently excellent in the areas of background layout and character staging. GERALD MCBOING BOING’S SYMPHONY (1953) is no exception, and as beautiful as the stills are below, it’s even more impressive to watch the actual cartoon. Cannon continually surprises the viewer with the myriad interesting ways he moves the characters through these super-lean, nearly abstract environments. The film was designed by T. Hee, color styled by Jules Engel and Michi Kataoka, and animated by Bill Melendez and Frank Smith.
The short can be viewed online HERE, but beware there’s a major cut near the end of the video. The good news though is that the four original Gerald shorts — which includes this film — are being released onto DVD in January. Also exciting, Tee Bosustow is currently working on a film documentary about Bobe Cannon. I’ve seen some of the archival material he’s gathered for this project and it’s amazing. It’s going to be a great (and long overdue) tribute to Cannon.