Saturday, 21 April 2018

Gerard Baldwin

The animation of your favourite cartoon dog Yowp was entrusted to only four people at Hanna-Barbera. One was the last remaining animator who worked for the studio in the 1950s.

Gerard Baldwin passed away last Wednesday, the 18th, according to the Houston Chronicle. He was 89.

Baldwin started his animation career in 1950 at UPA, as an-betweener I would guess. After a stint in the Korean War, he returned to UPA and then animated commercials at Playhouse Pictures. He arrived at Hanna-Barbera in 1959 and employed his distinctive style on the following cartoons:

Adventure is My Hobby (Snooper and Blabber)
Bare Faced Bear (Yogi Bear)
Bear For Punishment (Yogi Bear)
Big Top Pop (Augie Doggie)
Doggone Prairie Dog (Quick Draw McGraw)
Monkey Wrenched (Snooper and Blabber)
Six-Gun Spook (Quick Draw McGraw)

The backgrounds for five of them were painted by Joe Montell. Both left later in the year for Mexico to work for Jay Ward, with Baldwin directing various cartoons seen on Rocky and His Friends. He returned to Hanna-Barbera from 1979 to 1985 where he directed The Smurfs. Baldwin moved to Houston in 1989.

He had a unique and quirky way of drawing the characters in those ‘50s H-B cartoons. Compare his Yowp to Carlo Vinci’s Yowp (on the left). One of them looks like he’s been chowing down on a lot of duck dinners.



Here’s his Yogi Bear. He drew Yogi with a long neck and with the mouth way up in the snout.



Here’s a take from Doggone Prairie Dog. I understand he did the same swirling-eye thing with Bullwinkle.



He’s partly responsible for a couple of the most un-Hanna-Barbera-looking characters in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Here are the husband and wife in Monkey Wrenched, designed by Bob Givens. I couldn’t tell you how close Baldwin stuck to Givens’ layouts. Wifey badly needs a shave.



Baldwin’s older brother Howard was also in animation, dating back to the 1930s as a writer at Warner Bros.

You can read more about Gerard Baldwin in the Chronicle story and on his web site. We express our sympathies to the Baldwin family on their loss.

8 comments:

  1. Gerard Baldwin:
    May his memory be eternal!

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  2. I'm so sad to read this, Yowp. Gerard was a hero of mine, especially for his animation of Dudley Do-Right and Snidely Whiplash. He did a nice job on Linus the Lionhearted as well. I did a long telephone interview with him just a year or so ago for an article I wrote for Cartoon Research on Linus. When I was just starting out in the business, I asked Gerard how many years it would take to become an animator. He replied, "If you're not an animator by now, kid, you'll never make it." He made me more determined than ever to ask for scenes to do for myself, , instead of assisting. I'll never forget him. I'm so sorry he's gone.

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    1. RIP..it's too bad John Kricfalusi,despite being otherwise totally favorable to thos eold shows, didn't have a gfood opinion of Mr.Baldwin.. He directed the Jay Ward shorts done in-house...the ones with the stock music and Frank comstock soundtracks...RIP.

      Mark I remember your article on Linus the Lion-Hearted,too!

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  3. sorry he's gone yes. but so happy there are people who care about him & carlo vinci etc. early H-B is so good. what an exciting time it must've been-even though there was no money.

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  4. RIP Gerard Baldwin.

    As with the vast majority of H-B animators, I learned about Mr. Baldwin on this great blog. (The first blog I seriously followed, and still by far my absolute favorite blog, of the many I read regularly nowadays).

    In a post of Yowp's from a few years back that mentioned Mr. Baldwin, someone mentioned his autobiography, "From Mr. Magoo to Papa Smurf." My interest was piqued enough for me to order the book. Alas, I was so busy at the time that I never got around to reading it. To this day, it's sitting on my shelf, waiting for me (alongside many other interesting books I've yet to read, I must admit).

    Fortunately (I suppose... might as well look at the bright side, I always say), I'm far less busy these days. And this sad news just motivated me to start reading Mr. Baldwin's biography ASAP. I will not let this year go by without reading it!

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  5. Howard Baldwin wrote at least one WB cartoon-Bugs Bunny's prototypical debut, 1938's "Porky's Hare Hunt", which debuted almost 80 years ago as of April 30! SC

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  6. So sorry to hear. I always liked Mr. Baldwin's animation for Jay Ward. My sincere condolences go to the remaining members of the Baldwin family.

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  7. Really sorry to hear of Gerard Baldwin's passing. He did have a unique drawing style, ie, the long necked Yogi. Sad that the number of any remaining members of that era can be counted on one hand.

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