Researching animation history never ends for those of us who are endlessly fascinated by the films of the golden age and the people behind them. The internet era has allowed us to find lost cartoons, rare shorts and films we never knew existed. Case in point: this 1945 Navy training film produced at Warner Bros. Cartoons featuring cartoonist Robert Osborn’s character Grampaw Pettibone. I’d never come across anything about this one (embed below) in all my years of research. Carl Stalling’s music, Treg Brown’s effects and Frank Graham’s narration are unmistakable. Not sure who’s doing Grampaw’s voice. A more complete, time-code free version has been posted at CriticalPast.com.
I checked in with a few friends and all had interesting observations and factoids concerning this film. Amid Amidi told me that “Grampaw Pettibone debuted in January, 1943 in an issue of the “BUAER News Letter” (later “Naval Avaiation News”). The character was created by Commander Spencer “Seth” Hubert Warner and designed by cartoonist Robert Osborn, who also created “Dilbert” for the Navy. (We’ve posted about him before on the Brew.) Osborn continued drawing the character for the Navy until he passed away in 1994.”