We continue our series of commercial reels from the Paul Fennell Studios with some spots that look forward to what Hanna-Barbera would be doing a few years later. The principle designer at Fennell was Ed Benedict, who went on to design Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and many other classic characters for Hanna-Barbera.
Here Paul Fennell’s crew is joined by Hanna-Barbera’s first on-staff animator, Carlo Vinci. Unhappy with the direction the Terry-Toons studio had taken, Vinci had recently relocated his entire family from New York to the West coast to join his old friend Joe Barbera at MGM. But soon after he arrived, the MGM cartoon studio closed its doors, and Vinci was out of work. He was quickly hired by Disney to animate for the wrap around segments in the Disneyland TV series, but Vinci wasn’t happy with the “old boy” attitudes and the slow pace of the work at Disney. He took freelance work for Fennell on commercials and was introduced to Ed Benedict whose design sense lent itself perfectly to Vinci’s animation style. When Hanna-Barbera was formed in 1957, Vinci and Benedict were among the handful of artists who were the first to be hired, and they helped to establish the studio’s house style.
Ed Benedict likely designed and laid out all of these commercials, and Vinci’s animation can be seen sprinkled throughout this reel. The Ipana Toothpaste and the Swiss Creme Sandwich cookie spots appear to be entirely animated by Vinci. This reel of animated commercials produced by the Paul Fennell Studios includes spots that haven’t been seen in over half a century.