Musings & Interests of David Stipes
RSS icon Home icon
  • Ogg and the Pink Baby Dinosaur

    Posted on July 12th, 2009 dstipes No comments


    This is a frame from the first commercial I was paid to work on; my first professional job in 1969 at Cascade Pictures. This is from a Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies cereal commercial featuring a caveman named Ogg. (His wife was “Kell” … for Kell-Oggs.)  These characters were used until about 1975.  (see link below)

    The stop-motion set-up was unusual. Ogg was mounted on a stationary rig while the Styrofoam rocks and environment were slid past a fixed, stationary camera.

    I was assigned the job of animating the various layers of rock moving past the camera in the background. Each layer was attached to fine string that was pulled a few fractions of an inch per frame.

    The baby dinosaur was suspended on fine monofilament and also animated frame by frame.


    The puppet construction and animation was the work of a terrific designer, Siegbert Reinhard, who also had success with his fine art paper sculptures in the 1980s and later.  Siegbert’s technique was pretty simple. He started with a block of poly-foam (simple cushion foam) that he carved with an electric knife. Once he was satisfied with the shapes he cut them open and inserted an armature made of either braded aluminum armature (sculpting) wire as in the baby dinosaur or a simple ball and socket armature made with thin steel plates and brass ball links as in Ogg. If you look carefully you can see that the baby dino’s legs are actually separate from the body which allowed the use of the relatively weak wire. The spines are glued on carved foam pieces.

    The puppets were painted with “Cartoon Color” cartoon Cel Vinyl paints from The Cartoon Colour Co, in Culver city, CA. (Update: Cartoon Colour is now selling under the name:  Novacolorpaint)    Wearing rubber gloves, Siegbert poured paint onto his palms and squished it into the entire foam puppet like it was a big sponge. Since the paint is a remarkably flexible pigment the puppets remained soft and easy to animate. Details were brush painted.

    An interesting side note. The now famous visual effects supervisor, Dennis Muren, was the cameraman on this shoot. He hid the mount holding up Ogg by projecting straw colored light onto a piece of retro-reflective 3M Scotchlight material placed in front of the rig. Dennis adjusted the light intensity by eye for every frame where the rig would be visible.

    This was probably the first time front projection materials was ever used in a commercial. Only one year earlier in 1968, 3M Scotchlight became famous for its use in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

    I have not seen Siegbert Reinhard for many years. But I no sooner posted this than fellow AI instructor, Kevin Hedgpeth,  e-mailed and sent a link to Reinhard’s studio.  I am glad Siegbert’s work is still available.

    Edit 2019: Cartoon Colour is now selling under the name:  Novacolorpaint

    Kellogg’s, Cocoa Krispies, Styrofoam, Cartoon Colour, Cel Vinyls and 3M Scotchlight are registered ® trademarks belonging to their respective owners. They are used here for educational purposes and are not intended in any way as an infringement upon the owner’s registered trademarks.


    9 responses to “Ogg and the Pink Baby Dinosaur”

    1. I would have never guessed that these were made of foam rubber. They looked like stuffed animals. I don’t remember these commercials very well, but I think it was because this was during my college years and I didn’t have the opportunity to see a lot of TV then.

    2. Hello Cookster,

      Thank you for your comments and support! Siegbert was a master with that poly-foam and a carving knife. (I should have invited him over for holiday dinners to carve the turkey.)

      In the 1960’s and through mid ’70s, Cascade Pictures was the premiere commercial production campany in California. Ogg was only one of the many stop-motion characters they provided. Others were the famous Pillsbury Doughboy, Hans, the Nestlie’s chocolate man, and Mrs. Buttersworth.

      It was a terrific place to work and learn!

    3. I went and looked at Siegbert’s art page. His paper art is just fantastic (although I don’t know where you would hang some of his art)! 😉 I’ve used the carving knife with the foam myself. It didn’t quite look like his. As far as the turkey goes, you would have all starved because no one would want to eat the art work.

    4. Good point!

    5. Wowsers, that’s some cool stuff! And what a cool unique process all-around of going about it. I wonder if Dennis actually picked that up from 2001…

      I remember those commercials, running on Saturday Mornings. Wish they were on YouTube, but no luck, eh.

      David, can to expound on just why this unusual technique and approach was used, as opposed to the conventional, established tried-n-true method of SMA?

      Thanks! 🙂


    6. Hi Deg,

      Dennis Muren was probably the first person to ever use front projection in a feature film. He used it on his production of “Equinox” in about 1965 or 1966, several years before “2001”.

      As I remember Ogg runs a long time. This animation set-up allowed the rigging and lighting to be more compact instead of mounting a really long overhead stop motion track, camera dolly and extensive lighting.

    7. Very interesting on both points. Thanks, David! 🙂


    8. I love the dinosaur! It’s just soooooo cute! So is this why when I say “I love doing stop motion” you answer “Why? (with a few laughs!)”

      I think it’s great that they let you actually do stuff on your first job! And I bet they had never before seen rocks move so well!

    9. This is the advantage of working at a smaller company; you get to do a lot of things…like pulling rocks on strings.

Better Tag Cloud