Mr Magoo – Ragtime Bear

Posted: January 4, 2009 in Animation, UPA
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is the first Mr Magoo cartoon and the third commercially released cartoon from United Productions of America (UPA), that was released in 1949. UPA cartoons are usually not very well regarded by classic cartoon fans. Many people claim that UPA with their use of flat, limited animation ruined cartoons for everyone and they also accuse UPA of being pretentious and boring. I think that this is only partially true. UPA used the limited animation as their form of artistic style and as a way of setting themselves apart from the other studos that used full animation. They were not the first studio to use the limited animation, but they were the first ones to use it exclusively. Other studios followed their lead, but did not do so for artistic reasons, but as a way to cut corners and budgets. During the 1950s theatrically released animated short films started to disappear thanks to the new found popularity of television. Studios gave their animators less and less money to spend on their dying art form. Cartoons that were being made for TV had even smaller budgets than the cinematic ones, which meant that cutting corners became a necessity.

As for UPA cartoons being pretentious, that was probably more true of the later cartoons that were made after John Hubley left the studio. I find the Hubley made UPA cartoons in particular, and many of the early UPA cartoons to be as strong as anything made by the other studios.

  1. […] by mathewm1 on January 15, 2009 I have previously posted the first Mr Magoo cartoon Ragtime Bear. Here is a cel used in that cartoon that is being sold by Van Eaton Galleries for US $600. […]

  2. V.E.G. says:

    Now, these Columbia cartoons is owned by the Japanese. Japanese Company, Sony, that is.

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