Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

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

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bob Singer, background painter

In a post from several years ago, I profiled Bob Singer, one of the production designers on Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, who laid out several key areas of the film including the prologue on Broadway and the opening sequence in Scrooge’s office.  In his capacity as a layout artist, he was responsible for drawing the characters and their environments but had nothing to do with how they were interpreted in color.  However, prior to joining UPA, Bob was employed at Warner Bros. Cartoons as a background painter.  He did most of his painting in Bob McKimson’s unit but would occasionally swing into action doing both paintings and layouts for other directors, like Chuck Jones and Abe Levitow.  He was about to become Friz Freleng’s layout man when UPA offered him more money.

During my consultation for I Say, I Say... Son!, the book on Looney Tunes director Bob McKimson, I reviewed a number of Foghorn cartoons and came across one featuring Singer’s work as a background painter.  Below are some frames from the cartoon, Crockett Doodle Doo, highlighting Singer’s sense of color, with layouts by animation legend, Bob Givens.  Click on each image to enlarge it:

You can see the complete cartoon here but if you want to see a nice print where you can fully appreciate the color and design work, order it here.

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