These rare 1955 commercials designed by Tom Oreb feature a modern-style Mickey Mouse as the pitchman for American Motors’ Nash Rambler. Oreb was one of the main designers in Walt Disney’s television commercial unit that operated only during the 1950s. He’s the same artist who designed “Destination Earth“.
Rooty Toot Toot is a 1951 UPA animated short film directed by John Hubley. UPA (creators of Mr. Magoo) was among the most highly acclaimed animation companies of the 1950s, with graphic design driving the animation. This cartoon is one of many renditions of the much-sung Frankie and Johnny saga, featuring highly stylized, simplified illustrations and textured backgrounds that bring the characters to life.
One in a series of original illustrations inspired by Mid-Century Modern music and entertainment, this particular scene was loosely inspired by a clip from the 1961 B-movie “Twist All Night” starring Louis Prima. A twisting Prima sings his song “Continental Twist,” which is one of several twist-related songs he recorded on the album “Doin’ the Twist.” While these songs come across as more gimmicky (and underutilize his songwriting and performing talents better showcased in his swing and jazz tunes), he was enthusiastic about the dance craze that swept the world in the early 1960s.
Even though it’s still not officially summer, here in the desert it’s HOT! What better way to escape the heat than with a trip to the beach? This month my newest Desert Gang original illustration has Cass K. Bell, Gil A. Monster, and Otis Kennicott traveling south of the border. Come along for some sun, surf, and sand in Acapulco, the ultra-cool vacation destination of Hollywood stars and jet-setters in the 1950s and ’60s. Find a shady spot, pour yourself a cocktail, and let the tropical ocean breeze whoosh your cares away.