UPA Cartoons Are Coming!

I am super excited about this – Turner and Sony are releasing “UPA Jolly Frolics” on DVD on Thursday. What is UPA you ask? Only one of the coolest companies ever to have existed in animation history.

Several of the Disney strikers left the company in the 40s, went off and formed their own company, the United Productions of America and produced several Academy Award winning shorts, including “Gerald McBoing Boing” based on the Dr. Seuss story of the same name of a boy who speaks in sounds instead of words.

“Gerald McBoing Boing”

This is the group that brought you “Ragtime Bear” (the very first Mr. Magoo short), “A Unicorn in the Garden”, “Rooty Toot Toot” and Edgar Allen Poe’s the “The Tell-Tale Heart,” one of the darkest films in the medium. We watched all of these shorts in animation history class last semester and I instantly fell in love with the limited animation and graphic style, especially “Rooty Toot Toot”, one of the best cartoons I’ve ever seen.

“Rooty Toot Toot”

Sadly the company began to decline due to pressure from the House Un-American Committee, threatening legal action if anyone in the company was suspected of being Communist.

However, you can PRE-ORDER the DVD on TCM.com site right now and enjoy the films that heavily influenced Disney, Warner Bros. and many of the cartoons you now see on Cartoon Network. The DVD includes 38 shorts and commentary by Leonard Maltin ships out on March 15th.

“Gerald McBoing Boing”

Model Sheets from AnimationResources.org