Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

A blog dedicated to the making of the first animated Christmas special, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Art of the Jay Ward Studio


If everything falls into place, it appears that the follow up to the making of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol book will be a book on the art of the Jay Ward studio.  As I mentioned in the previous book, both UPA and Ward shared a number of key artists throughout the early 60s.  One of those artists, Shirley Silvey, kept a lot of material from her days at both studios and as I began sifting through the material, it occurred to me that there was a book in both her life and work as well as a book on the visual aspect of the one studio, who more than any other, tried to keep 'funny' alive in TV animation.  I proposed the book to Classic Media and the Ward estate, who are tied together as Bullwinkle Studios; both were enthusiastically behind it.

This book won't be a history of the Jay Ward studio, Keith Scott's thorough examination of the Jay Ward studio, The Moose That Roared, has already covered that topic and covered it exceptionally well.  This is meant to be a visual encyclopedia of the art created by some of the industry's most talented designers and boarders within the context of TV animation's 'golden age'.  The reason I'm devoting space to on this blog is that although I've collected a lot of images for this book already, I'm asking any and all collectors of Jay Ward art for scans of their art for use in the book in order  to make it as complete as possible.  This call includes original storyboards, model sheets, layouts, cels, backgrounds, pitch art for unsold pilots, promotional art, ad art, the Bullwinkle comic strip and comics, etc.

I realize that much of the early Ward production work was done in Mexico making it extremely difficult to locate, if in fact it still exists.  However, more often than people realize, episodes, titles and bridges were animated in Hollywood and every so often, an artifact from those productions shows up.  If you're a collector of Jay Ward production art or know someone who is, please have them contact me here.  And if you know family members of artists who worked at Jay Ward, please send them my way.

To be clear, I'm not looking for scene cels, art that was manufactured for the retail market.  It's unclear as to whether or not General Mills or Quaker Oats will cooperate with this venture so for the time being, I'm focusing on the entertainment side of Jay Ward productions rather than their commercial productions like Cap'n Crunch or Quisp and Quake.  The book is scheduled to be published late next year. 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

GREAT idea for a new book! I've got the other JW books but sadly, as you know, original art for the most part is very minimal.
If this new book is half as good as your Magoo book I'll be proud to own it!
I'm going to email you later about some original drawings(storyboard??)I bought several years ago from an Ebay seller in Mexico and I have fairly good quality scans of a lot of the Bullwinkle comic strips by Al Kilgore.

best,DJAnderson

squeakyboots13 said...

Looking forward to seeing what's in store for this book. I've got a couple issues of the "Bullwinkle and Rocky" comic book from the late 70's and recent photographs of the Bullwinkle Fun Center in Seattle if you're interested in either of those.

Anonymous said...

My father Duane Crowther free-lanced for Ward among others for many years- mostly commercials but I do remember him animating a Tom Slick episode and probably some other of Ward's entertainment shows. Unfortunately I have no artwork to contribute, (I have stuff from his Duck Soup years but nothing from his free-lance days) but I wish you luck with the project!

Darrell said...

At this point, I'm only looking for original art, whether it's from the TV productions, comic strip or comic books.

Darrell said...

Glad to know that Duane worked on some of the Ward productions. I've come across several artists now that didn't do enough to receive screen credit but should be recognized in the book. Do you remember which episode he animated on?

Julie Gallaher said...

Hi this is such a great idea for Christmas. Christmas is fast approaching, hoping it's gonna be a happy year for us!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the only thing I remember is visiting a studio as a teenager in Toluca Lake and seeing he was working on a Tom Slick episode. My most vivid memories are of his work on the commercials, I know he did as least several Quisp and Quake spots and some Cap'n Crunch ans probably others. His widow Cathy may know more.

Darrell said...

Someone has identified the Tom Slick episode now and I am also in contact with Cathy. Thanks for writing back!

Anonymous said...

What episode of TS was it? I wonder if is on any of the R&B DVDs?

Darrell said...

The episode is titled, "The Cheap Skateboard Derby" and is on the George of the Jungle DVD set.

Aged parent said...

I wish you very well on your project to produce the Jay Ward book.

A nice, appreciative and intelligently-written one would be most welcome, especially after the dreadful Chuvonic (sp?) book of some years back. I recall after speaking with Jay Ward's wife, Ramona, who was looking forward to the publication of this proposed "coffee table" volume on the work of her husband, how utterly disappointed I was in it when it came out.

Perhaps the whole disastrous tone of the book was set by the introduction by the creator of "The Simpsons", who isn't in the same class as Ward and Scott.

Good luck on the book.

Darrell said...

Thanks for your kind wishes. I don't know of anyone who wasn't disappointed by the Rocky and Bullwinkle book. It appears to have been mostly about art direction and not about the art. I'm in rough layout on the book now and can assure you there will be plenty of great art to drool over.