Happy Birthday, Bud Luckey!

As a change of pace, here’s some happy news about a veteran animation artist: today is Bud Luckey‘s 75th birthday. Luckey’s career stretches from Quartet and Format Films in the 1950s to design and story work on most of the Pixar features and the short Boundin’, which he directed. And, of course, he will always be fondly remembered for the many catchy Sesame Street segments he wrote, performed and animated, like “The Ladybugs’ Picnic,” “The Alligator King,” “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Nine,” and this one:

UPDATE: Animation artist Phil Rynda wrote a post about Bud Luckey’s influence on him and drew this birthday tribute with Luckey’s character, Donny Budd. Awesome!
Donny Budd


  • http://highlyrecommended.blogspot.com Satorical

    The Ladybugs’ Picnic has been stuck in my head for more than 30 years. Well done.

  • jordan reichek

    Happy B-Day, Bud!!

  • http://www.brucelaing.com Bruce Laing

    Many happy returns, Bud.

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    Seeing Bud’s cartoons fire off bolts that traverse synapses in my brain that haven’t seen power in years. These shorts (and many others from Sesame Street at the time) were instrumental in getting me into animation long before I knew what I was really seeing. I wish PBS would get Bud to do some new segments for Sesame Street. Paging Linda Simensky!

  • Tom Heres

    It wasn’t until Budmania hit after The Incredibles and Boundin’ were released that I really became aware of Bud. I’d been a fan since Sesame Street debuted and never knew it.

    Happy Birthday, Bud. May I call you Bud? If not, I’ll call you Buddy!

    Thanks, Buddy!

  • Trevor

    I have to agree 100% with Floyd. Every Bud Luckey short, whether on Sesame Street or Boundin’, never fails to put a goofy smile on my face that can’t be wiped off until I go to sleep. I hope that just one of my films could ever have that kind of effect on people.

    Happy birthday Bud!

  • http://www.animehell.org tohoscope

    I often find myself singing the Alligator King while stuck in traffic. Happy Birthday Bud!

  • http://www.inkandpixelclub.com/ Sara

    I’m a little late to the party, but I’m another Sesame Street alum with fond memories of all of the aforementioned segments. And it’s always great to hear about someone who has been in the animation industry for years and is still working. Happy birthday, Mr. Luckey, and thank you for everything!

    “They talked about the high price of furniture and rugs
    And fire insurance for lady-bugs.
    Ladybugs twelve,
    At the ladybugs’ picnic.
    Doo-doot doo!”

  • Tim Hodge

    “The Alligator King” has got to be my favorite Sesame Street song of all time.

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    Yes – this is absolutely charming stuff.
    I’m all for looking forward to newer things but the newer things need to be at least this lovely.

  • http://tomboycomics.blogspot.com Emily

    Happy birthday, Bud Luckey! Boundin’ is my favorite Pixar short, and I’ve always had a certain fondness for Bud’s original Woody and Buzz designs. I confess I didn’t realize he did those Sesame Street songs…I just youtubed them. I must have seen Alligator King a million times! Classic.

  • Doug Nichols

    Happy Birthday Bud!

  • http://scuzzbopper.blogspot.com Ken Priebe

    That’s awesome….happy birthday to a great talent! I’m a big fan of his work, and my 3-year-old daughter loves singing along to ‘Ladybug Picnic.’

  • http://amymebberson.blogspot.com Amy Mebberson

    ‘That’s about the Size’ is my absolute favourite Luckey piece ever.
    The song describes a pretty deep concept for a children’s show, but in such a warm, jaunty way.

    ‘It’s nice to know that though we’re small there’s always room to grow, and that’s about the size of it’

    That’s the Sesame Street I miss *sigh*

  • http://meridiandream.com/ jim m.

    Bud’s success and sensibilities definitely make the case for an artist finding his/her own independent path. Happy 75th, Bud. Here’s to 75 more years (if this healthcare bill passes).

  • Newt

    Something missing in the ongoing Brew posts of rejected CN pilots (as well as being absent from the stuff CN bought) is abundant in Bud Luckey’s work, and it’s known as CHARM.

  • http://www.jeffpidgeon.com Jeff Pidgeon

    Happy birthday, Bud! Anita & I wish you nothing but the best!

  • http://www.rynda.com Uncle Phil Rynda

    Woah! Thanks for posting my drawing. And a huge “Happy Birthday” for Mr. Luckey.

  • http://hand-drawn-animation.blogspot.com David Nethery

    A very happy birthday to Bud Luckey !

    I’m another one who was a fan of your work (via Sesame Street) before I ever knew your name.

    There is something really warm and wonderful about these short animated pieces. I’ve spent some very happy moments this afternoon watching those YouTube clips and searching for more. Newt used the right word : “Charm”.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    While I do remember Ladybugs’ Picnic and Alligator King, “That’s About The Size” was my personal fav from Bud, as it made me rather think too much about those issues I knew my parents would never answer fully. Of course in school, the teacher would be yelling at you for daydreaming, but I just couldn’t help but look out the window at the “Big Picture” and think of how insignificant I was in it. You just help but be impressed at this 90 seconds of pure charm to get you all psyched up to think a little more each day.

  • NicKramer

    Happy belated birthday, Bud!

    I should mention this segment was shown in episode 1839 and it sorta fittingly preceded one of the most menorable and tear-jerking moments of the show. You can figure it out.

  • Greg Ehrbar

    For those of you who collect vinyl, be on the lookout for a Sesame Street album called THE COUNT COUNTS, which features a generous selection of the songs you heard in those great cartoons. They are re-creations, not soundtracks, but they’re recreated by the likes of Jim Henson and his cohorts. This is the only album to feature such a large group of the songs from the short Sesame Street films.

  • Elizabeth Grosklos

    I have been happy for all your successes through
    the years when your name kept popping up in
    the news. Your work with Pixar and then your nomination
    with Boundin. I take pleasure that I had a chance to know
    and work with you. I first met you when I
    was with Cameron Guess and Assoc. I went by name
    of Betsy then. It’s been Elizabeth since ’74.

  • Melinda

    Can you buy a CD or DVD of his sesame street short songs? My son loves them.