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Encyclopedia > Gerald McBoing Boing

Gerald McBoing-Boing is a 1951 animated short film about a little boy who can only speak in sound effects. It was adapted by Phil Eastman and Bill Scott from a story by Dr. Seuss. It was directed by Robert Cannon and produced by John Hubley.

This film was the first successful theatrical cartoon produced by the UPA animation studio, after their initial experiments with a short series of cartoons called The Fox and the Crow. It was meant to be an artistic attempt to break away from the ultra-realism in animation that had been developed and perfected by Walt Disney. While Disney's animation methods produced lush and awe-inspiring images, it was felt that realism in the medium of animation was a limiting factor. Cartoons did not have to obey the rules of the real world (as the short films of Tex Avery and their cartoon physics proved), and so UPA experimented with a non-realistic style that depicted caricatures rather than lifelike depictions of real people. This was a major step in the development of limited animation - though despite the abuse of the form that would arise in the future (due to cost-cutting methods), Gerald McBoing Boing was meant as an artistic exercise rather than merely a way of producing cheap cartoons.

The film won an Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Cartoons and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

The complete UPA series is as follows:-

  • Gerald McBoing-Boing (1951)
  • Gerald McBoing-Boing's Symphony (1953)
  • How Now McBoing-Boing (1954)
  • Gerald McBoing-Boing on the Planet Moo (1956)Academy Award nominee

The second and third films in this series maintained the Dr. Seuss-style rhyming narration, but were not based on his work. The final film abandoned this approach.

The Big Cartoon DataBase (http://www.bcdb.com/)



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