Monday, May 22, 2006

A Hare Breadth Finish

Here's a Terrytoon from 1955, A Hare Breadth Finish. It's based on the old tortoise and the hare story. I believe this cartoon was made while Gene Deitch was heading up Terrytoons studios. There's some great stories of his time at Terrytoons here. Stories of how cheap Paul Terry was when he owned the studio. Here's a quote from article

What kind of a guy was he, to have such a low standard of work, and such low regard for the people who worked for him? The animators told me that in the early days he used to go around the studio, from animator to animator, carrying a ruler. He would measure each animator's stack of drawings, and when the pile was high enough, he'd say, "That's enough, put a The End sign on it!"

I don't know much about this cartoon and who worked on it other than I saw some Jim Tyer animation here and there and that Connie Rasinski directed it. Rasinski directed a lot Heckle and Jeckle, Mighty Mouse and later Deputy Dawg.

Gene Deitch's How To Succed In Animation can be found at

5/23/06-Thanks to Mark Mayerson for pointing out that the copyright date for this cartoon is 1955, which was before Gene Deitch's time at Terrytoons. Either way check out How to Succeed In Animation it' a good read.


Mark Mayerson said...

The copyright date is 1955. I believe that Terry sold out to CBS in 1956, so this is before Gene Deitch came on board.

The amazing thing about Terrytoons is that the design approach and the music tracks didn't evolve at all. Without a date on this cartoon, I could never tell when it was made. It could easily be anywhere from the mid '40's to the mid '50's. In some ways, Terrytoons were the studio that time forgot.

That's why CBS hired Deitch. They knew that the Terry cartoons looked old fashioned and they wanted somebody associated with a more contemporary look to come in and update the studio.

Kevin Langley said...

Thanks for all the info. I agree with what you said about the designs and music being unchanging through the years.

Thad said...

I agree with Mark completely.

BTW, thanks for posting this. "A Hare Breadth Finish" is one of my all time favorite Terrytoons!