Animation Artifacts &Frame Grabs &Story & Storyboards 23 Jul 2012 04:33 am

Oom Pahs

- I’m a fan of T.Hee‘s work. I bought the storyboard he did for the film The Oom Pahs a while back. How could I go wrong since I also love UPA and Bobe Cannon, who directed it. This was the first collaboration between T.Hee and Bobe Cannon.

The short was a 1952 UPA film directed by Bobe Cannon. The film’s music score was by Ray Sherman who worked with Ben Pollack’s group, the “Pick-a-rib Boys.”
T. Hee boarded and designed the film with Jules Engel doing the bgs, and the animation was by Roger Daley, Bill Melendez and Frank Smith.

The film isn’t one of the best UPA shorts. I find the style interesting (cut out colored construction paper) but the story (which to me seems to be a variation of Warner’s I Love To Singa, which was a take on Jolson’s Jazz Singer) is a jazz vs classical music riff. The film talks down to its audience a bit – a frequent problem with many of the UPA films.

The pages I have obviously are not the whole thing nor are they consecutive in number, but they’re a good sampling.

Here are those board pages intergrated with frame grabs from the same sections of the film so you can see how closely the cutout animation followed T.Hee’s board.

The story tells of a young trumpet in a family of horns.

He gets in trouble playing baseball (jazz) when he should be . . .

. . . practicing his classical music lessons.

1 2
#1 is a rough version of #2. Both are page 13.

“… And he’s going to play the way I say!”

There’s no doubt the cutouts are pasted to cels.

“And he marched pompously from the room.”

The animation repeats itself exactly, and it could not
have been animated under the camera, on the fly.

“And went . . . ”

” . . . KA BOOM!”

“OomMama wisely said nothing
and sipped her tea.”


Jazz . . .

“Doc, OomMama and OomPapa drop their cups and saucers . . . ”

“. . . and hustle up the stairs.”

Jazz, loud.



“A band without a horn just ain’t a band.”

“A horn without a band is still a horn.”

“A band without a horn sounds so forlorn.”


“Just gotta, just gotta, just gotta . . . ”

“. . . have a horn in the band.”

OomPapa agrees that sometimes you need a break.

The End

To see a couple of layout drawings for this short, from Hans Walther‘s collection, go to site here and here.

2 Responses to “Oom Pahs”

  1. on 24 Jul 2012 at 12:33 pm 1.Thad said …

    When I first saw this short years ago, I was left scratching my head, wondering what the hell I just watched. The recent DVD set did not improve my opinion of it, save some newfound appreciation of the beautiful design and experimental approach to the animation. Besides the heavy-handedness of the story, the narration and music is poorly mixed. This film has none of the charm or fun of the highly similar and much earlier I LOVE TO SINGA, on which Cannon was an animator.

  2. on 01 Aug 2012 at 8:41 pm 2.Liim Lsan said …

    Bobe Cannon would repeat himself sometimes… all they cared about with this short was how ‘cutout-y’ it was. Legend has it that Hee tried to persuade the cameraman to shoot without the platen glass so it looked more like cutouts…

    See, what I hear they would do in cases like this is animate tracing around the cutout, ink that onto cels, and place the cutouts on the cels and shoot it. Issue seems that there’s so few levels you can use…

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