The 1950’s was a particularly rich period in the animation World. With the ubiquitous Disney now fully at large, many studios were searching for new styles and techniques that would overide the hyper realism of Walt’s factory machine. One particular studio sought a more economical approach to animation with a much more simpler form but also a form that would give a completely new reading of what cartoon animation could be like. UPA (United Productions of Amercia) saw the light of day in 1943, set up by three former Disney artists, Stephen Bosustow, David Hilberman, and Zachary Schwartz. UPA were strikingly different in that they created a much more graphical style that had its foundations in the great modernist aesthetic of the era. A classic and instantly recognisable example of this style is Mr. Magoo.
In Europe too companies popped up like wild fire to take up this new modern aesthetic and animation became a standard means not only for entertainment on the big screen but also to take on the TV revolution in the form of commercials. The sheer number of commercials produced during the 50’s & 60’s was phenomenal however little can be found nowadays in terms of DVDs or online videos. That I hope though will change soon. In these examples below, which are French productions it is quite reamarkable to see the earlier influences of experimental film with swirls of abstract, simple graphical forms, keeping tight with the music, visually as sonically developing a communicative narrative.
Further readings : Cartoon Modern Blog