I never turn TCM off for any long period of time — which is why I did not miss one of the most entertaining, mind-blowing, stop-motion pixilation short films of the modern era! I tuned in a bit after the title, and it was driving me crazy not knowing what I had just seen! But then I went to the oracle known as Twitter and all was revealed.
Nominated for an Oscar in 1967 (in the live-action short category), Stop, Look and Listen still has an audience asking, "How did they freakin' do that!?" Even with all the advancements in animation, CGI, blue screens and Pixar, we remain totally awestruck by Chuck Menville and Len Janson's ability to appear as though they are really driving along Southern California streets on their asses.
And it was through the All-Knowing Google that I discovered that Chuck & Len had been Disney Cast Members in the Walt Disney Studios' animation department. Furthermore, they made Stop, Look and Listen independently while working for Disney. And then much rejoicing was done here in our apartment.
There's some fun anecdotes over at The Animation Guild blog about Chuck & Len's time at Walt Disney Studios. It's especially fascinating to read how Walt played a part in the making of Stop, Look and Listen and that their second stop-motion film was possible thanks to Dick Van Dyke — which gave them their first big break!
So do yourself a favor and take a ten minute break to stop, look and listen to this gem these gents put together that continues to depict SoCal drivers accurately to this day.