I’d forgotten I had this until I posted the GERALD item below and it’s something I promise you won’t find anywhere else. Below is a two-page UPA inter-office memo dated September 26, 1952 in which UPA president Steve Bosustow discusses how GERALD MCBOING BOING’S SYMPHONY went over budget. It’s well known that the UPA studio had trouble sticking to budgets on its theatrical shorts, and that fact is stated in a number of animation history books including Leonard Maltin’s OF MICE AND MAGIC and Mike Barrier’s HOLLYWOOD CARTOONS. But this document, which breaks down overages by department, sheds a fascinating new light on the studio’s operations and how it was spending money on its films.
The memo also raises some interesting questions. For example, Bosustow speaks of a “constant morale problem” in the animation department. My best guess is that the morale problem stemmed from the Hollywood blacklist which had torn apart the studio earlier in 1952. In another budget analysis for MADELINE, Bosustow again blames the animation overages on the issue of morale: “We believe this was almost wholly a result of studio morale when, for a period of almost two weeks, there was no work done in Bobe’s unit.”
Anyway, hope you folks find this as fascinating as I do. I have a couple more of these overage memos and I’ll post them if anybody’s interested.