Down the Tubes: The World of United Productions of America

Down the Tubes is a (semi) regular feature where we, the SAW staff, share our favorite movie-related videos with the Wasteland. 

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United Productions of America, better known as UPA, was an American animation studio active from the 1940s through the 1970s. They were famous for their Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing shorts but their biggest contributions to the animation world was their revolutionary technique of limited animation. Although this style of animation came to be widely used in the 1960s and 1970s as a cost-cutting measure, it was originally intended as a stylistic alternative to the growing trend (particularly at Disney) of recreating cinematic realism in animated films. In short, Disney and their contemporaries, were aiming for realism, while UPA bucked the trend and went after the abstract.

The Royal Ocean Film Society’s three part series titled ‘The World of UPA’ chronicles their rocky beginnings, their eventual success and ultimate downfall. It’s a comprehensive look at an under appreciated studio who was way ahead of the curve. Below is the first of three videos and if you’re a fan of animation, I highly recommend you check out the entire series.

What did you think about the video? Are familiar with UPA or the work of The Royal Ocean Film Society?

Let us know in the comments below!