Magoo and Mickey’s First Television Adventures: Transitional Advertising Forms and the Theatrical Cartoon Star
Abstract: In the mid 1950’s Disney and UPA, adapting to survive the changing economic and cultural climate, began using characters from their theatrical cartoon shorts in television advertising. Cinematic innovation had failed to prevent sales declines. However, pervasive advertising promised new revenue. Combining cinematic style with television technology, these hybrid texts suggest a brief yet experimental animation movement. Contextualized in both theatrical and television history, myriad influences can be discerned that are crucial to animation’s emergence in a new cultural space. These texts, rediscovered on the internet, also mirror shifts in contemporary animation practice and theory.
Biographical Statement: As a Project Specialist at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, I develop cognitive simulations for education that integrate cutting edge computer animation. My theoretical animation work complements this academic practice. This paper is a case study in a larger effort, initiated to survey individual animation practice through periods of industrial transition. A parallel study is focused on development of animated advertising in India today. I received my Masters degree in May, 2008 from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, concentrating in animation studies. Accordingly, this paper is part of an exploratory effort for future dissertation research.