THE WIZARD OF OZThe Wizard Of Oz is actually pretty clever, considering it was made for 10 bucks an episode. It's obviously influenced by UPA, but has its own interesting ways to do limited animation. It was animated at Crawley films, who also subcontracted some Roger Ramjet cartoons. The studio had its own unique style, and you can see it in The Wizard Of OZ and in the Ramjet shows they animated.
The Wizard Of OZ has one of the greatest cartoon theme songs. I sing it all the time.
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIOHere's a puppet animated series that played in Canada all through the 60s. I don't know if it was made there, but every Canadian grew up with it. It also has a great theme song.
I like the designs a lot. Very original and appealing.
Rocket Robin Hood
This show had the best theme song ever.
It also must be the cheapest cartoon ever made. Each half hour episode consisted of about 3 minutes of new footage, and the rest was filled up with recaps of what you just saw before the commercial and the same short bumpers that explained the characters' personalities to you. Those bumpers were the best part.
There were 2 seasons of it. The best one was made by Shamus Culhane. I say "best" because it was so badly drawn and clunky. The designs were such that you didn't know whether it was supposed to be serious or not.
Learn about realistic hero Little John and His Barney Rubble eyes. Nice belt design too.
The 2nd season was taken over by Ralph Bakshi, who ruined the show by bringing good artists on to do the layouts. Then it wasn't as funny anymore.
Rocket Robin Hood is basically Canada's version of Filmation cartoons. It's comic book art dumbed-down in the theory that animation drawings need to have nothing specific about them so you can animate them. (Ruby Spears in LA actually had Jack Kirby designing and creating shows for them in the 80s, but they would never use his style, on the grounds that "you couldn't animate it". ---as if you could animate the crappy designs they did actually use.)
I always wondered about cartoons that tried to imitate comic book art, but then would completely tone down everything that we liked about comic books. They'd take out the individual styles that comic artists had, take out the violence and then have crappy stiff animation on top of it. What is the point of superhero cartoons?
Rocket Robin Hood is at least funny in its unabashed badness.
None of these cartoons influenced what became the "Canadian Animation style". Most animators who grew up with these cartoons thought of them as embarrassing garbage and swore to rebel against them and bring back "quality animation" when they grew up....me included. We all found "Art Of Walt Disney" book and were inspired to became a nation of the next Walt Disneys.
The Canadian style really started with the combination of the Sheridan College Animation Program and the early Nelvana specials.
Believe it or not, Nelvana began with what was supposed to be a rebellious bunch of guys bringing new ideas to cartoons. And they did it behind a stinky cheese factory.
I'm trying to find images of these Nelvana holiday specials and some early Sheridan college animation, like "Green Onions". If you can help me out, I can illustrate my next post on Canadian Style cartoons better. Send me some links!
BONUS CARTOON - DODO
This wasn't made in Canada but aired every day at lunchtime. It was made in England, which to Americans, might as well be the same place because you can fold Canadian money to show the Queen's butt.
They sure knew how to make theme songs in the 60s!
They ran this cartoon back to back with Dodo in Ottawa in the 60s. I would race home from school every day on my mustang bike with the banana seat to watch the lunchtime cartoon shows. The theme songs would send me into a frenzy. Then the cartoon would stink.
Hey do any of you fellow Canadians collect old Canadian commercials? I'd love to do a post about them:
Kraft Theater Recipes
Famous Canadian William Shatner for Loblaws "where more than the price is right"
The Dominion song: "Mainly Because Of The Meat"
The Kraft Teddy Bears