A TV Ad Created Independent Animation
On Faith and John Hubley's (accidentally) era-defining commercial.
Happy Thursday! We’re here with more from the Animation Obsessive newsletter. Today, it’s the story of an unlikely milestone in animation history: Faith and John Hubley’s commercials for Maypo cereal.
You may recognize the Maypo ads. They’re from the ‘50s, but they bounced around in pop culture for another 50-plus years. MTV swiped its most famous slogan from them. They made a cameo appearance in The Iron Giant (1999). The lead character in the ads appears on boxes of Maypo even now.
That character, Marky, is based on the Hubleys’ own child. He voiced himself via improvised recordings. This wasn’t normal for ads — but these weren’t normal ads. They were family productions, a little like home movies, made with a personal spirit. Their success was a fluke that launched Faith and John Hubley’s independent work.
How? And why? That’s what we’re exploring today. Here we go!