Monday, November 30, 2009

Silent E, Clark Gist (Produced by Tony Benedict), 1971, plus the film excerpt that ate my day yesterday

Classic Electric Company short, with music by Tom Lehrer.

Directed by Clark Gist, and produced by Tony Benedict, who we will discuss more after this brief interlude:

Now, more on Tony Benedict.

Yesterday Ian (you may remember Ian as the dirty person who sent me this) sent a short to me, asking if I knew anything about it. It's animation to Donovan's musical version of Jabberwocky.

This is that piece:

Now, as I have said before, I am not really an expert on animation, just an enthusiast. I had never seen it before, never heard of it. Donovan Leitch's IMDB turned up nothing. I eventually had to follow a trail from a picture on Google Image Search to find out that it was from a 1971 film called Old Fashioned Picture Book that featured animation interspersed with live action. Here's a clip with more context:

But I still couldn't find out who directed it, and it was absolutely driving me NUTS.

Finally, after literally hours of searching, I found an obscure movie site and an archived newspaper clip that had the answer; Tony Benedict. And lo and behold right here on Mr. Benedict's website is a little slideshow and presentation on the making of the film.

As you can see, the guy has had quite a career; Disney, UPA, Hannah-Barbara, his own production company. I wouldn't have guessed it at all. Watching some of his other work even put me off the trail a bit, because it's very, very different.

And the moral of the story is that I probably had other things I had to do yesterday, but I will drop everything to find out who directed what. And Ian knows this.


  1. Actually, since I don't know you as well as I might like, I DIDN'T know you'd go to that much trouble. Not saying it would have stopped me, but I really had no idea.