Cartoon Modern Research

The second aspect that quite struck me was a sense of emptiness in the background design. It was done to simplify the animation and reduce costs. But when UPA decided to beat their rivals by creating a new and unique style, who would have thought that less detailed backgrounds would still carry the message across with the same impact. After all animation itself is such a magical thing that only imagination is required to create something new.

From my theory paper:

In the entire film – Gerald McBoing Boing, the characters and its movements are not at all restricted by the backgrounds. Only the necessary details are included and yet it does not give us a feeling that majority of the details are lacking. But it gives the audience room to interpret and re-imagine the given space.
“The floor is generally left blank. Virtually the entire middle ground, so crucial to chase cartoons and full animation is dissolved. The characters stop, and then go motorized in a world that seems floating in a void.” Klein



As seen in the image, the object’s relative size and position gives out a sense of depth, simultaneously creating a fake sense of perception.

References used:

Klein, Norman, Seven Minutes: The Life and Death of the American Animated Cartoon, (1993)

Gerald McBoing! Boing!


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