Friday, March 5, 2010

The Crunch Bird (1971)

A 1971 (very) short film produced in Detroit by Ted Petok and Len Maxwell. It won an Oscar, believe it or not.

And yes, this is the whole thing.

7 comments:

Chris Sig said...

0___o Wow....

I'm trying to believe it, but....now I can see how it won that oscar!

Many thanks for sharing another obscurity.

Will Finn said...

This film was legendary when i was a kid, I kept hearing about it but never saw it. Someone finally described it to me and it struck me as not worth the time it took to tell, let alone animate. Given that it ends on a blackout, making the joke visual seems redundant. I like simple animation but this is bush-league stuff really, by any standard.

I have no doubt that the "dirty" punchline is what attracted so much attention--back then that's all it took for a cartoon to be seen as radical.

Another lightweight film from the same era that possibly holds up better is LOVE ME LOVE ME LOVE ME, done in a similar but better vein by Richard Williams. Haven't seen it in 30 years tho.

Brubaker said...

Will,

I'll admit that I'm wondering why this won an Oscar in the first place. It makes me want to check out the other cartoons that was nominated that year.

But yeah, the dirty punchline is probably what drew its attention. Considering what other cartoons were like at that time...

Of course, this is pretty tame by today's standards.

Chris Sobieniak said...

I placed up a different version of the same short here that does have the credits running through the blackout ending...
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xccclc_the-crunch-bird_fun

Michael Sporn said...

Crunch Bird was animated by Ken Kimmelman for Ted Petok. The film's Oscar success enabled them to make a bigger film called THE CRUNCH BIRD FEATURE. Yes, it's a feature and is just a bunch of bad jokes animated by Kimmelman. I don't think the film was ever released, though I did get to watch it at the editor's studio - I ran the entire thing on an upright movieola. It was certainly no better.

Brubaker said...

Wow, never heard about the film. I know there was a sequel short called "Crunch Bird II", though.

Oh, and it was Joe Petrovich who did the animation for the original short. See the video Chris linked, which has the end credits.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Thanks Charles!

Someone elsewhere mentioned the 13 or so shorts that are mentioned on the "Crunch Bird Studios" website and questioned whether they were part of this "feature" at all? I wouldn't be surprised if that's true.