The best way to identify United Productions of America is to say "They're the people who made 'Gerald Mc Boing-Boing.' " And the best way to identify the quality of their product is to say that every time you see one of their animated cartoons you are likely to recapture the sensation you had when you first saw "Steamboat Willie," the early Silly Symphonies, "The Band Concert"—the feeling that something new and wonderful has happened, something almost too good to be true.Gerald McBoing-Boing
was a 1950
7 minute Animated Adaptation
of a Dr. Seuss
Book of the same name. It was about a young boy named Gerald McCloy who only spoke in sound effects. Unlike other cartoons at the time, this used a more cartoonish, simplistic style and Limited Animation
, although this was more Doing It for the Art
than making a cheap cartoon. It became the first successful theatrical cartoon produced by UPA
, and three more "Gerald McBoing-Boing" shorts would be produced over the years, as well as a short lived primetime animated cartoon (the first ever, too, predating The Flintstones
by a 3-4 years) in 1956. Aside from a few appearances in a couple of Mr. Magoo
shorts, and playing the role of Tiny Tim in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol
, Gerald would fade to obscurity soon afterwards.
In 2005, he returned in a new series with his family, two speaking friends, Janine and Jacob, and a dog named Burp. It featured short sketches with him interacting with the world around him and his friends, sound checks (with animals and other objects switching sound effects) and fantasy tales in between featuring him, Janine, and Jacob, being told in Seussian Rhyme like the original shorts. This series is now available on Netflix.
The original shorts have examples of the following:
The 2005 animated series has examples of the following.