Monday, March 8, 2010

"Biet Anton"- Rare animated commerical

In 1951, Sweden was very prosperous, and its residents were among the most movie-going people on the world.

Sweden had more money to spend on commercials than Kaj's Native Denmark. His friend Kjeld Simonsen was invited by an advertising agency to pitch storyboards for an animated commercial. The intended commercial was for a Swedish savings bank. Kaj, Kjeld and Ib Steinaa teamed up to make an album of storyboards and cel models that would far exceed the client's expectations.

The ad agency offered them a contract to produce the commercial. Since it had to be produced in Sweden, Kaj and his friends set up their studio in Stockholm.
Kaj animated the main character, Kjeld Simonsen animated the rest of the bees, Ib Steinaa painted the backgrounds and composed the music.

Their leisure time had also proved to be beneficial, as it helped them become better animators- while Danish theaters exclusively screened Disney and Popeye cartoons, Swedish theaters would run the rest of Hollywood's Golden Age output, Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry to name a few. Can you imagine the excitement that ensued?

It was also thanks to their patron, Mr. Cederroth that Kaj was first introduced to Norman McLaren's films from the National Film Board of Canada, where Kaj would later make some of his finest films.

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