GERALD MCBOING BOING (1951) is one of my “desert island” films. It is damn near perfect on every level—an incredible marriage of design and animation, with gorgeous layouts and cinematic composition throughout, spare yet thoughtful color styling and a perfectly appropriate modern film score. The talent on this film was unbelievable in every department: Bobe Cannon (direction), Bill Hurtz (design, with Cannon), Bill Scott and Phil Eastman (story), Jules Engel and Herb Klynn (color styling), Bill Melendez, Willis Pyle, Frank Smith, Pat Matthews and Rudy Larriva (animation). More importantly, the whole crew was on the same page. The animators interpreted the designs beautifully, the background artists created colors that enhanced the mood and story, all the elements in this film weave in and out of each other with an effortless grace. The reason I bring up the film is because Clarke Snyder has generously posted dozens of frame grabs at the Inspiration Grab-Bag. If you’ve already seen the film, these sequential grabs are a great alternative way of studying it. Every element of this film is carefully considered and worked out; for example, note how after Gerald’s father yells at him, all the shots are planned on tense diagonals, until Gerald gets discovered by the radio station and everything become happy again. There’s just so much to learn from this film. It can be purchaesd on DVD, along with the three other Gerald theatricals produced by UPA, at Amazon.com.
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