Welcome back, friends. It’s been a little bit since we’ve last had a Toon In offering. We are going not with the traditional cell animation for this go around however. This time we are sharing a classic 1947 bit of stop motion animation from the George Pal studio. One of his popular Puppetoon series of theatrical shorts, 8 of which were Oscar nominations. This includes of course Tubby the Tuba.
Although Tubby the Tuba ended up losing to Tweetie Pie.Which by the way was the very first Merrie Melodies short to feature Sylvester and Tweety Bird.
To be fair, the Puppetoons are described as replacement animation instead of stop motion. Replacement animation is when the animator uses multiple parts on a model that have been manufactured. Many time this will be facial features, just snapping them on and off. For a fantastic example of the replacement animation style, one need only recall The Nightmare Before Christmas!
When all is said and done, around 70 Puppetoon shorts were created. George Pal would have done more but the cost of making them soared after WWII. It’s been reported that a short animated this way would take thousands and thousands of carved parts. The ceasing of making such shorts ended up a boon for Pal. He would go on to become a Director of live action films in fact. Like 1960’s exceptional adaptation of H.G. Well’s The Time Machine.
In Tubby the Tuba we are introduced to an anthropomorphic orchestra. The titular character is not happy however. The poor tuba feels left out as he is never able to play any of the beautiful melodies like his fellow instruments provide.
For Tubby all seems lost until he manages to encounter a very helpful frog. While the tuba is feeling sorry for himself he is gifted an appropriate tune by the frog. But will it be enough to impress the conductor of the orchestra?
Now go and grab your favorite refreshments and enjoy Tubby the Tuba!
[Via] Melodious Zach