It was just a couple weeks ago that I was lamenting on the Cartoon Modern blog the unavailability of the UPA commercials. Today I have some good news to report. I just got word that animation legend Tissa David has contributed her collection of rare UPA-NY TV commercials and original artwork to the Museum of Modern Art’s Film Study Center. David, age 86 and still animating, donated a dozen pristine 16mm and two 35 mm b&w films of TV commercials for products such as Piels Beer, Cheer, Cannon, and Windex.
Also in the donation are original animation production folders for UPA TV commercials (Nescafe, Chrysler, The Danny Thomas Show, Ford Edsel, Grape Nuts and Coca Cola, among others) containing designs, character models, layouts, exposure sheets and hundreds of sequential animation drawings (in rough and cleaned-up versions). The drawings are by both by Grim Natwick, and Tissa David, who was Natwick’s chief assistant for many years. A huge thanks to John Canemaker for orchestrating this donation and helping Ms. David prepare the material for transfer to the museum.