A 1950s Animation Lover’s Must-Have

Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation is a fantastic hardback book from Amid Amidi — founder of Animation Blast magazine and editor-in-chief of the CartoonBrew blog — presenting rare and classic examples of mid-century modern cartooning. Amidi showcases the art, the artists, the production companies, and the stories behind them that make us long to see all of these trend-setting animations in their entirety. Cartoon Modern is wonderful as a coffee table book and as a reference work, and no matter how many times we have leafed through it before, we can’t help picking it up again. Here is a sampling of the stylish jewels Amidi has included in his book:

Giddyap (1950, UPA)
Woodpecker from Mars (Walter Lantz Productions, 1956)
Pigs is Pigs (Walt Disney Productions, 1954)
Gerald McBoing Boing (UPA, 1951)
Stage Door Magoo (UPA, 1955)
The Matador and the Troubador (UPA, 1956)

Well, I’ll Be a Monkey’s Uncle!

Hmm, this one leaves us wondering why a song entitled “The Monkey’s Uncle” wasn’t part of the Beach BoysPet Sounds record! While this theme song from the 1965 Walt Disney movie of the same name starring Annette Funicello is certainly more standard Beach Boys cheery, surf-beat fare than the experimental tunes on Pet Sounds, tell us which you like better — the kooky or the critically acclaimed. The movie itself smells like a, well, you get the picture. But regardless of the cheese factor, who wouldn’t go bananas over cute and perky Annette Funicello? She was enough to make anyone one to be a monkey’s uncle. RIP Annette, April 8, 2013. You were one of a kind.