Database for Animation Studies


From Songfilms to Telecomics: Vallée Video and the New Market for Postwar Animation

From 1948–1952, Rudy Vallée, a successful performer whose career spanned radio, film, recorded music and stage entertainment, expanded his operations into the burgeoning US television market with the launch of his independent production company, Vallée Video. One of hundreds of forgotten companies that arose during this period to meet growing demand for programming content, Vallée Video offers an important case study for understanding animation workers’ role in postwar television production. Drawing on corporate records and films preserved in the Rudy Vallée Papers at California’s Thousand Oaks Library and the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the authors’ analysis documents Vallée’s use of freelance artists and external animation houses for work ranging from camera effects for illustrated musical shorts to animated commercials and original cartoon series. These productions demonstrate the fluid movement of animation labor from theatrical film to small screen markets and participated in larger aesthetic shifts toward minimalist drawing styles and limited character animation that would soon dominate mid-20th century US television.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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