Posting random classic photos has become the raison d’être of Facebook, but I just couldn’t resist sharing this vintage 1948 photo of pioneering animation producer Walter Lantz and his characters. There is so much goodness here – that zany painting of Woody Woodpecker, those cool off-model Woody stuffed dolls – not to mention Lantz himself holding an Oswald Rabbit plushie, and that scary Andy Panda doll giving him the evil eye.

This publicity still was released in August 1948 by the “World Wide Photo” news service. This was a period when Lantz had broken with Universal and his studio was about to close (temporarily). The caption on the back reads:

ANIMATED CARTOON MAKING

In his office in Hollywood, animated cartoon motion picture producer Walter Lantz sits with dolls inspired by some of his cartoon stars. He holds Woody Woodpecker and Oswald Rabbit. Alongside of him are Andy Panda and another Woody Woodpecker. The last named is also shown in the painting hanging on the wall. Lantz, a graduate of the Arts Students League in New York City, began in the animated cartoon field in 1916.

(Thank you, Jim Engel)

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