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“Tubby The Tuba” January 17, 2008

Posted by Jeff in 1946 through 1960, Cartoons, Classical, Movies, Music, Puppetoons, Zook.
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Reg Massie, 1945

Reg Massie, 1945

Unlike clay animators like Nick Park, Will Vinton or Art Clokey, George Pal’s animators worked in a “replacement technique” using hand-carved wooden puppets. A separate puppet (or puppet part) was used for each motion, rather than clay or hinged parts. A single walking sequence, for instance, could involve 12 pairs of legs for one character. An average Puppetoon short would use 9,000 puppets.

Based on the children’s book by Paul Tripp (and not to be confused with the inferior 1970s feature), Tubby The Tuba was one of two George Pal Puppetoons designed by Reg Massie to be nominated for Academy Awards in successive years.

Here are other Puppetoons designed by my father.

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Comments»

1. Julia - December 16, 2006

Huh- I remember seeing a different cartoon (the 70’s one you mention?) in elementary school. This one *is* cooler. I always remembered this because of my brother’s tuba proclivities.

2. Jeff - December 16, 2006

The 1976 Tubby the Tuba was produced at the NY Institute of Technology on Long Island. NYIT was an early pioneer in computer animation techniques, and they blew a lot of $$$ trying to use computers for TtT before giving up and doing it more-or-less traditionally.

Both Tubbys were based on a record originally narrated by the author, Paul Tripp, with music by George Kleinsinger. The story needs good music to work, and the feature threw in some really terrible pseudo-rock-and-roll and a weird circus subplot that watered down the original story.

The TtT feature was produced at the same time my mom and your mother-in-law were working on Raggedy Ann and Andy in Manhattan. NYC hadn’t had an animated theatrical feature in thirty-five years, and then they had two at once — everyone was working!

Anonymous - January 6, 2013

Are you George Oriolio’s offspring? I knew him and Bert Hecht a long time ago

3. Upper Fort Stewart - April 4, 2007
4. Charlie - February 10, 2008

I remember this well as a kid. Thank you for sharing it.

5. Theresa Yankoski Wyzinski - May 10, 2008

Boy did this bring back memories of my childhood! I loved Tubby the Tuba so much I named my dog Tubby when I was 7. Used to watch this cartoon on a show we had in our area called Hatchy Milatchy. They always played Tubby the Tuba. 50 years later I and I still remember every part of this cartoon. I am keeping this in my favorites. I miss my childhood so much. We I get depressed missing it I will watch this again. Thank you so much for putting this on here.

6. Leslie Gibson - June 3, 2008

Thank you so very very much. This is a real day brightener! How often I think of the song, the bullfrog and their conversation. This is beautiful.
Leslie Gibson
903-568-4350

7. Lisa Tait - September 13, 2008

You’ve brought back a lovely childhood memory I’ve treasured but haven’t seen in oh so many years. I couldn’t believe you’d posted the whole movie. I have tears in my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing this little gem.

8. Sue - January 6, 2009

Do you know where one can purchase a dvd of all of George Pal’s Puppetoon shorts in one place. We used to have a VHS we recorded a long time ago with John Henry and several others, and can not find it. Just wondering if there is a dvd or vhs with them all on it available?

9. Stephen Chiodo - October 17, 2010

Tubby was the best. Thanks for showing it and telling us about your father’s involvement.

10. Peter McKennon - June 13, 2012

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting this absolute gem of a film, one of the most cherished films of my childhood. I’m very proud to say that I am the grandson of Dallas McKennon who voiced Gumby in the Pal-centric “Puppetoon Movie”. I’m glad your father was part of the hopefully eternal legacy that is stop-motion animation. I plan to pursue said medium as much as I can, it helps when you’re an animation major at the Art Institute of Portland.

11. Eve Potts - December 5, 2013

Dear Jeff–Having a hard time getting in touch with you. I’m working on an exhibit for the Westport Historical Society on the New Yorker cover artists who lived in Wesport area (696 covers by 13 artists). Your father did one cover and we are planning to include him in the exhibit. I have done a bio which I will attach for our info and would love to hear from you. Thanks. Eve Potts


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