Clint Clobber, from a model sheet.


Original Medium: Theatrical animation
Produced by: Terrytoons
First Appeared: 1957
Creator: Gene Deitch
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During most of its existence, Terrytoons was the one animation studio that changed least with the times. Head honcho Paul Terry was so reluctant to adopt anything new that he once broke with a partner who wanted to waste their money on the fad …

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… of adding sound to the studio's output. And it wasn't just techlology — stylistically, a 1950s Terrytoon looked pretty much like a 1930s one, except for the fact that Terry, unlike other animation moguls, didn't make any cartoons in color until the '40s.

But in 1953, when Terry bowed out and CBS took over the studio, things changed radically, with new styles, new management and a new outlook on life. Grizzled old animators and directors, long set in their ways, had to adapt to hotshot young bosses. Within a few years, the studio of Little Roquefort and Oil Can Harry had become the studio of Flebus and Hashimoto-San. This was the environment in which Clint Clobber arose and briefly flourished.

DeWitt Clinton Clobber (his full name) was conceived by producer Gene Deitch (Gerald McBoing-Boing, Terr'ble Thompson) as a somewhat more subtle character than what the studio had typically done before, such as Heckle & Jeckle. He was a humanoid character, the superintendent of a run-down old New York apartment building, with all the callousness and bad attitude typical of the position. And yet, he was pretty soft and sensitive on the inside, at least when nobody was watching. He showed true tenderness, especially, for the decrepit, disreputable building he cared for, The Flamboyant Arms, and for his job of caring for it.

Deitch later said one of the factors inspiring Clint was a desire to find a new character for Doug Moye to voice. Moye, a cameraman for the studio, had a big, booming voice that had gotten laughs as The Terry Bears' Papa, and Deitch had decided to retire those characters. But funny as his voice had been in the earlier role, he wasn't a professional actor, and this one, Deitch decided, called for professional acting. Deitch brought in Allen Swift (Tooter Turtle, Simon Bar Sinister) for the role in the majority of Clint's cartoons.

Clint Clobber was strictly a product of the 1950s. The first of his seven cartoons, Clint Clobber's Cat, was released during July, 1957. The last, The Flamboyant Arms, came out during April, 1959.


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