You Asked For It You Asked For It

You Asked For It

Here’s an kinescope excerpt from the classic 1950s TV show, You Asked For It, from sometime during its first year of broadcast (1950-51 season). Here, host Art Baker is answering viewer mail about how animated cartoons are made, assisted by animator Ken Walker (flipping scenes from the short Plutopia) — and a rather pathetic Mickey Mouse puppet.

  • Hey, that model sheet we focus on in close-up, showing Mickey in a suit, is from PLIGHT OF THE BUMBLE BEE! Then still in production, we can only assume…

  • uncle wayne

    That’s a riot!! Too bad they couldn’t’ve made it a hair more serious, tho….and cut the “kiddie” portion! I’m a giant plush-collector…. but trying to make IT “animate” was pretty damned pathetic, for real!

    Thank you! I have always heard of this tv show…but never actually saw clips!

  • Maybe I’m really wrong about this, but nothing really happened in that damn garage – beyond the possibility of Walt setting up a camera stand.

    Certainly it helps build a terrific myth — starting out in a garage and all, but the fact is that within a few short months of his arrival, Margaret Winkler had provided money for production and the Disney Bros. Studio was established. There doesn’t seem to have been money to do anything more than purchase nice letterhead for the letters to Winkler — and Roy paid for that! Once they had a studio what purpose would a garage two blocks away serve?

    In any case, by the time Mickey appeared on the scene in spring 1928, Walt had long ago moved from his Uncle Robert’s (in fact he had moved at least five times since then) and had settled at the house on Lyric Avenue. That was where the ink and paint work was done for Mickey’s first film, Plane Crazy.

    Perhaps I’ll debate this forever, but that’s how I see it.

  • I worked with Ken at FilmFair. He was a great guy and had a million amazing stories from his Disney days. He was known at the time as the director of the General Mills Monster cereal spots (Frankenberry, Chocula, Boo Berry, etc.) I told Ralph Bakshi about him and Ralph hired him to animate Holly scenes on Cool World. He did the really long scene (that ended up getting stolen) and the scene where Brad Pitt shoos the doodle away from Lonette in the Slash Club. Ken’s company was called Funnybone Films. Is Ken still around?

  • uffler mustek

    i’m only into this thing 15 seconds and Art Baker has said “i tell ya” 87 times.

  • uncle wayne

    Anyone know whose voice that is? Surely it’s not Mr. D. there, eh??

  • Does anyone else find it strange that they took “Steamboat Willie,” the first successful sound cartoon, and played it as if it were silent, with silent-film type musical accompaniment and effects? The irony of it struck me as somewhat funny.

  • Keith Paynter

    That’s gotta be Uncle Walt. Too bad about the misrepresentation of Steamboat Willie being named by Art as Mickey’s first cartoon, instead ofcorrectly naming Plane Crazy. Mind you, growing up, I knew about SW, but never found out about PC until my collecting teen years…

    I think that puppet is Walt’s too. I’m sure I’ve seen it before in some publicity photo, which I can’t place at the moment.

  • A fascinating piece. And you are right about the puppet. That thing will haunt my dreams for years to come.

  • Bobby Bickert

    “Does anyone else find it strange that they took “Steamboat Willie”, the first successful sound cartoon, and played it as if it were silent, with silent-film type musical accompaniment and effects? The irony of it struck me as somewhat funny.”

    That’s exactly how “Steamboat Willie” played at the Main Street Cinema at Walt Disney World in the 1970’s, only since 6 different (looped) films were playing continuously in the same room, there was just “generic” silent film type music playing in the background. The first time I saw it, I was too young to know that SW was “the first sound cartoon” and thus didn’t see anything odd about it being played as a silent film.

  • John A

    The puppet’s voice was probably Jim MacDonald. He had taken over Mickey’s voice sometime in the mid 1940s. (Although I think Walt did Mickey’s voice for the Mickey Mouse Club animation.)

  • Mike

    “Maybe I’m really wrong about this, but nothing really happened in that damn garage – beyond the possibility of Walt setting up a camera stand.” Joe

    Actually Uncle Rober’s garage has the distinction as being the first animation studio in Los Angeles and the west coast. Walt was was working on presentation “Joke Reel” for Alex Pantages,in the garage when Margaret Winkler wired Walt on October 13, 1923, and subsequently abandoned the Pantages project a few weeks later. (One other little titbit: The Winkler contract that formed the Disney Company that we know today, was singed at Uncle Robert’s house)

    Now Walt also rented rented a back office of the Holly-Vermont Realty Company, (4451 Kingswell Ave) for $10 a month about the same time- Either as work for the Pantagas reel or for the Winkler deal- this detail is a little sketchy. Then in February 1924 they moved next door to 4649 Kingswell Ave and remained there for a little more then two years.

    Though the lore and the myth of Mickey being born in a garage, liken to Lincoln in a log cabin, seemed all the more romantic. Hence by the early 50’s the Alice comedies had all been forgotten- Mickey was the star, and yet his glimmer was starting to dim by that time as well.

  • Aside from the confused and inaccurate historical details, how do the images of a wooden frame garage relate to a publicity picture of Walt taken in the early 1930s in an obviously plastered wall room with drapes? The garage was behind Robert Disney’s home on Kingswell. Robert Disney was a Real Estate agent, and I believe that the Holly-Vermont Realty Company belonged to Disney’s uncle. That building at the corner of Kingswell and Vermont is six blocks west of the Disney house on Kingswell. It stands to reason that Robert Disney helped Walt and Roy with the acquistion of the various properties, something that Walt, new to Los Angeles, would have been hard pressed to have accomplished without having had any contacts.

  • Regarding Keith Paynter’s idea that it was Walt’s voice, I believe he is mistaken. First of all, Walt’s MICKEY voice was not as high-piched. Second, Walt was a better actor in the vocal delivery than McDonald in that he did not have to rely on starting and ending each line with the laugh to maintain the pitch. That gets to be annoying and tiresome, and the voice really is not acting, but an imitation without the feeling of genuine warmth that Walt gave the character.

  • Ken Walker

    Yes, Ken Walker is still around. I’m his son. Ken senior currently lives in Scottsdale, AZ. If any of my Dad’s former associates and friends want to contact him send an email to me at xselnce_921 at msn dot com and I will send you his contact information.