Commercial Break: Gulf Oil

After Chuck Menville and Len Janson earned an Oscar-nomination for their automobile-themed pixilation short Stop, Look and Listen (1967), they were commissioned by Gulf Oil to recreate the idea for a series of commercials. Last night I ran across one of the spots on YouTube:


  • Mike Kazaleh

    Wow. I remember seeing those spots on “The Wonderful World of Color” Amazing to see one again.

  • malbow

    makes me wish i could drive with my butt.

  • joe horne

    I remember this add and the question remains…..um…. how does the fuel go in????

    over and out

  • http://Mr.FunsBlog Floyd Norman

    I love these guys. We worked together at Disney, and they persuaded actor, Dick Van Dyke to incorporate one their movies in a TV special.

    Years later, I had the pleasure of writing for Chuck and Len when they were producers at DIC.

  • cliffclaven

    I vividly recall one where the guy stops at a crossing for a trainload of commuters — mostly standing, holding imaginary straps and reading newspapers.

    Was there any connection to the guy who did the cowboy film with imaginary horses (Blaze Glory, I think it was called)?

  • Norm

    Chuck and Len indeed also made “Blaze Glory”, yes.

  • Chris B

    haha I love how the guy left skid marks :)

  • uncle wayne

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh-MID! Thank YOO! I remember them like they were yesterday! (And they appeared right when I was animating mySELF….for science fair project[s]!) That is a great, and beaucoup fond, memory! Thank YOO!!

  • Pedro Nakama

    I remember this commercial. They used to play it during the Wonderful World of Color.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I got a super 8 camera when I was about 11 or so and duplicating this effect was the first thing i set out to do.

  • http://outoftheinkwell.blogspot.com Mike Dobbs

    I loved those commercials so much I assembled a group of friends and did some pixilation of our own with my Super 8 camera. Naturally it wasn’t as smooth, but these commercials were something that inspired me to try to animation myself.

  • Chris McKee

    I have copies of several of the Gulf ads from this time period. Does anyone know where I can get cleaner copies of them? or where more are available?