Jay Ward and Bill Scott, starting with nothing more than an idea for a single series, built a scrappy little independent animation studio from virtually nothing. And with fortuitous timing, they sold their pilot, Rocky The Flying Squirrel, to a major corporate sponsor, General Mills, as a series. The future looked bright but, as they soon discovered, there was a dark side to the good news.
Through more chicanery than I can list here*, the duo was backed into a corner by General Mill's agency, D-F-S, and forced to produce the show for about half of a comparable Hanna-Barbera series, do the work in a foreign country where much of the staff lacked production experience, find talent to fly there and oversee the work, locate Hollywood animation talent to shore up the ragged edges, fight off constant agency meddling and deal with indifferent broadcasters (ABC and NBC).
|Harmon-Tichton Studios was a producer of animated industrials & commercials.|
|Hanna-Barbera (The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Flintstones) and TV Spots (King Leonardo and His Loyal Subjects, Calvin and the Colonel) were two of Ward's chief competitors.|
*I touch on that chicanery in The Art of Jay Ward Productions but for a more in-depth view, see The Moose That Roared by Keith Scott.