Animation Artifacts &Illustration &Layout & Design 08 Jun 2011 07:35 am

Terry Bgs

- I have a few Terrytoon Bgs and thought I’d post them today. They come from a number of different shorts from the late ’30s. If you have any idea of titles, please don’t hesitate to leave a note.

I have to say that I really am in awe of the watercolor and/or tempera painting abilities of the artists. They’re quite attractive in person. I must say that they stand up well against some of the other studio work I’ve seen. There were a couple of second rate watercolors done for some MGM Tex Avery shorts I’d seen only yesterday. I wouldn’t expect Terrytoons to be better, but they are.







This Bg is from “The Three Bears” (1939)

Possibly “When Knights Were Bold.”

This is from “The Glass Slipper” Oct. 7, 1938

11 Responses to “Terry Bgs”

  1. on 08 Jun 2011 at 8:46 am 1.Mark Mayerson said …

    These do look very nice. I’m sure it’s because there was a longstanding technique on how to teach painting. Unfortunately, there was nothing equivalent for writing comedy or animating, which is why the background artists did better work than the rest of the crew.

  2. on 08 Jun 2011 at 8:48 am 2.RodneyBaker said …

    Wow. Perfection.

    It would be great to see the rough designs for these if anyone reading this has access to them.

  3. on 08 Jun 2011 at 5:03 pm 3.Mark Sonntag said …

    These are really nice, BGs in the 30s and 40s were really beautiful. They really understood color back then unlike much of the garish stuff we see today.

  4. on 08 Jun 2011 at 5:47 pm 4.Chris Webb said …

    Thanks for posting these. What are their dimensions?

  5. on 08 Jun 2011 at 9:05 pm 5.Michael said …

    If you enlarge them they fall approximately 12.5 x 10.25 at 100dpi. This is actual size.

  6. on 09 Jun 2011 at 12:53 am 6.Robert Schaad said …

    These are beautiful, Michael. I was fortunate to get 2 Terrytoons BGs a few years ago.

    I think in general people tend to pick apart many of the Terrytoons (on any number of levels)and find fault(s). Maybe it’s the passage of time, but they do have a distinctive charm…and to me (at least), they don’t appear to be copying any of the other studios of the time. ps I really like some of their character designs, and that includes the new terrytoons from the late 1950s.

  7. on 09 Jun 2011 at 9:47 am 7.Aaron Long said …

    These are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing them with us. The level of artistic ability in the golden age, even at the lower-end studios like Terrytoons, was phenomenal.

  8. on 09 Jun 2011 at 1:53 pm 8.Tom Minton said …

    Perhaps Paul Terry’s worship of the cheap dictated that he not change his house watercolor background style, because his painters were likely very fast and because it worked. It’s amazing to see high volume backgrounds done this well in a tricky medium without at least one glaring perspective error, the norm today.

  9. on 09 Jun 2011 at 2:12 pm 9.Daniel Caylor said …

    I absolutely LOVE this stuff. These BGs and the MGM Tom and Jerry’s are gorgeous. Though, the Pinocchio ones are my faves. :)

  10. on 09 Jun 2011 at 3:45 pm 10.Charles Brubaker said …

    Nice. Do you know the names of the BG painters were working at Terry at the time?

  11. on 12 Jun 2011 at 8:09 am 11.Juan Bauty said …

    Awesome all of them!

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