Animation collector Martin Almeyra sent me another intriguing set of historical pieces from his archives to share with our readers: several annual Christmas cards from the staff of Walter Lantz Productions to Walt and his wife Gracie (the voice of Woody Woodpecker). Click thumbnails below to enlarge. The first one (below left) is undated but note the signatures of directors Alex Lovy, Paul Smith, and musician Clarence Wheeler. Not sure who drew the humorous image. The one from 1964 (center) shows how far the staff has shrunk, and is signed (among others) by animators Cal Howard and Les Kline. By 1971 (below right), the artwork matches the quality of the films… but is interesting nonetheless.

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Jerry Beck

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