Thursday, June 24, 2010

UPA - "Family Circus"

Art Babbit directed and animated this 1951 UPA short. I'm not sure what to think of it. I don't dislike it but it's certainly not that great of a cartoon. I looks like a John Sutherland industrial film to me. Not that that's entirely a bad thing. The animation is good but the character designs and layouts are very conservative compared to what UPA was doing at the time. Sorry for the crappy copy but it's all I have and I haven't seen this one anywhere online so I thought I'd share.


Anonymous said...

Interesting UPA cartoon. I love how the more realistic backgrounds contrast with the character's more graphic, simplistic style, and the animation is great, a lot like the Magoo cartoons being made at the time.

The part where the dad accidentally steps on the toy elephant and starts imagining that he and Patsy are in the circus kept making me think of "My Daddy the Astronaut." Makes me wonder if the guys at Paramount even remember seeing this cartoon.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Exploring child psychology and parental foibles seem to be a common theme in some of these UPA cartoons I noticed (Christopher Crumpet comes to mind). This is probably the first time I saw this particular one myself, and already I'm reminded of a later UPA cartoon from 1954, "Bringing Up Mother", which told of a boy who was running away from home after a newborn baby takes over the family's time.

It's true to argue how pedestrian this cartoon appears in it's design and approach, though I felt it worked to the advantage of the father's dream sequence shown towards the end despite appearing just like a John Sutherland production (or anything made before the 1950's for that matter). I think Babbit did a pretty decent job on this regardless of it's premise, it's a little more interesting than his last cartoon for UPA, "The Popcorn Story", though both are equally OK.

Thad said...

It's not that good, that's for sure. I want more Andy Panda.