Eric W. Schwartz

A Day at The Beach: A Flip The Frog Cartoon

Flip and his girlfriend Clarisse Cat are heading off for a relaxing day at the beach. Unfortunately, Flip is not the only one to find Clarisse rather hot ...

A history of Flip the Frog: Flip was created around 1931 by animator Ub Iwerks. Iwerks was originally a friend and partner with Walt Disney in their fledgeling cartoon studio. Ub designed the original Mickey Mouse and animated the first few Mickey short cartoons almost single-handed. Iwerks was the skilled draftsman and animator, while Disney wrote and directed. Around 1930/31, A producer named Pat Powers offered Iwerks the chance to have his own studio and he Accepted. The cartoons Iwerks created Powers would distribute to MGM. Iwerks' first character was Flip the Frog, and flip's debut was in a VERY early 1931 two strip color (three strips are needed for a full spectrum) cartoon called Fiddlesticks. In this cartoon Flip resembled a real frog. After a couple cartoons, the producer urged Iwerks to redesign Flip into something 'cuter'. In the process Flip gained a hat, gloves, shoes and shorts, making him look a lot less like a frog and more like Mickey Mouse with the ears and black nose ripped off. Flip the Frog cartoons, and Iwerks' cartoons in genenal, did not have much success because Iwerks lacked the inventiveness and storytelling ability to match his abilities as artist and animator. (The reverse could be said about Walt Disney, which is why the two made a very good team) In 1933, Flip the Frog was abandoned for the character Willie Whopper. several years after that, the Powers/Iwerks studio shut down completely. Iwerks went back to Disney, and became a sort of mechanical engineer, pioneering the process of xeroxing pencil drawings onto clear cels (to make the animation process quicker and cheaper). Flip the Frog and the Iwerks studio were almost completely forgotten, except to animation historians. – Until ... In the year 1990, Eric Schwartz attended a presentation of old cartoon shorts at the Columbus College of Art and Design, where he attends classes. One of the Cartoons shown was a Flip the Frog cartoon, «Room Runners», which impressed Schwartz with its good animation and surprising amount of sexual jokes for a 1930's cartoon. Eric Began to storyboard his own Flip the Frog Cartoon. He originally intended to copy «Room Runners» but switched to his own storyline. Flip was redesigned, stylised, and modernized (he also looks something like a frog). Using the Amiga computer as his medium, Schwartz brought Flip the Frog back to the world.

© Walter Randelshofer. All rights reserved. Animations used under permission.