Animation Artifacts &Hubley 15 Apr 2006 07:49 am

Duncan Stork

– Years ago I worked at the Hubley studio on a pair of commercials for Vlasic pickles. One of the two spots made it to the air.

This is from the spot that never made it.

Vlasic had a commercial they wanted, and because of the agency’s long time relationship with the Hubleys, they came to him to try to develop the character. (The agency was W.B. Doner, the agency that had done so well with Hubley’s Maypo commercials.)
(Click on image to enlarge.)

The agency came with two already-recorded voices: one was a Groucho Marx impersonator (I’m not 100% sure, but I think it may have been Frank Gorshin); the other was character actor, Edgar Buchanan. John wanted Edgar Buchanan – it was a much richer voice, lots of cowboy appeal.

John designed the character to look like one of those stationmasters in cowboy films. The guy who gives out tickets and does morse code when he has to. The stork had a vest and a blue, boxy, stationmaster-type cap cocked off to the side. It was a great character.

Phil Duncan was the animator. A brilliant character guy who had done everything from Thumper to George of the Jungle. I loved cleaning up and inbetwwening his work. It was all fun and vibrating with life.

This pictured piece of art fell out of one of Phil’s packages. It was a thumbnail plan of the action. Phil would do these things which usually stretched around the edges of his final drawings. In a nutshell, you could see the scene and how he worked it out. Lovely stuff.

I felt this drawing was as beautiful as the original animation drawings.

4 Responses to “Duncan Stork”

  1. on 15 Apr 2006 at 3:05 pm 1.Jenny said …

    My God! From out of my adolescence(I think) comes this gem.
    I loved this character…had completely forgotten about him. He was so appealing. Now I learn why. Thanks!

  2. on 15 Apr 2006 at 8:49 pm 2.Mark Mayerson said …

    When I was at Zander’s from late ’76 to early ’78, they did at least one Vlasic commercial. The Groucho imitation was done by Pat Harrington and it was animated by Chuck Harriton.

  3. on 18 Apr 2006 at 12:46 am 3.Tony Claar said …

    Thanks so much you guys. I remember those charming Maypo ads as a child. John Hubley is still underated as a free-thinking, innovative animator who progressed the medium beautifully. The stork sketches are a delight. Oh, I became an animator, so thanks John, wherever you may be.

  4. on 18 Jun 2009 at 7:25 am 4.steve woods said …

    30 years ago I was also lucky enought to work with Phil when he and John Hubley started out on the UK film Watership-down..I was the first assistant hired on the film and it was Phil who opened the door to me…”Can we start Steve on Monday?” he asked Dennis when he had looked at my Folio, he was diffcult to resist…and Phil was almost the happiest animator I have ever met
    and he know all about all..he even did some work from when he was on the dinosaurs in fantasia 1 I have some of his wok in my store I will retrieve and post…He used to say Get it right get it right get it right..and the rest is easy.
    Well it took me much longer to clean up and lay those same drawings in front of him..but his work had everything one needed to do the clean up..II will never forget him, he could see everything in ones work..and he was always generous. with grace and expertise he would correct the odd mistake or mod the footflick at a stroke…always the scene would look instantly better.

    John left as director after a few months as the watercolour technique he adopted was not found to be working for the Producer..we then went traditional paint and trace..Phil was Brill
    as animation lead..and retruned to the US after the film was complete..30 years later with years in London on commercials and TV and a o Bafta for my work on 3D ..his words still ring..
    I also part time teach in a uni for fun and I tell my animation students the same thing.
    get it right get it right get it right..

    is there any other way…?

    it never fails to get through.

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