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Mel Shaw: The Disney Artist Who Remade Howdy Doody
Posted By Patrick Kiger On December 1, 2012 @ 8:41 am In Legacy | Comments Disabled
In a remarkable career that spanned more than a half-century, Disney design artist Mel Shaw earned a spot in animation’s pantheon for his work on a slew of classic films, ranging from Fantasia and Bambi in the early 1940s to The Lion King in the 1990s.
The Brooklyn-born artist, who earned his first accolades at age 12 when a mule and rider that he carved from a bar of soap won second prize in a Procter & Gamble contest, had a genius for translating Disney stories into drawings. His creations included the compelling title sequence of the 1977 Disney movie The Rescuers , in which one of the characters stuffs a plea for help into a bottle and tosses it into the ocean.
But Shaw, who died on Nov. 22 at age 97  in Reseda, Calif., had another even more famous creation, one for which he seldom received attention. As Shaw’s website  notes, while on a hiatus from Disney after World War II, he teamed with his then-partner Bob Allen  to create the familiar version of Howdy Doody, the freckle-faced marionette who was one of the first big stars of television on the NBC network. Here are five things you probably don’t know about Shaw and the legendary character he helped fashion.
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URLs in this post:
 The Rescuers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZvI1GyQF6Y
 died on Nov. 22 at age 97: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-mel-shaw-20121130,0,6947953.story
 Shaw’s website: http://www.melshawstudios.com/artist.php
 Bob Allen: http://www.utsandiego.com/uniontrib/20080607/news_1m7allen.html
 Frank Paris: http://www.nytimes.com/1984/09/06/obituaries/frank-paris-70-puppeteer-creator-of-howdy-doody.html
 drawing: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g128/davidbellel/david2/david3/howdydoody.jpg&imgrefurl=http://knickerbockervillage.blogspot.com/2009/07/original-howdy-doody.html&h=649&w=664&sz=56&tbnid=vhYnAuFQUHgpPM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=92&zoom=1&usg=__HNfMtyTwYj-OiooDZOqEC0A197k=&docid=bjp2nAHuFtoOkM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dTG5UJayNeqP0QGbiYHoBA&ved=0CDsQ9QEwAQ&dur=445
 “Buffalo Bob” Smith: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/31/arts/buffalo-bob-smith-howdy-doody-creator-is-dead-at-80.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
 1948 Time article: http://www.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,798808,00.html
 1993 New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/11/21/nyregion/these-faithful-fans-always-know-what-time-it-is.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
 U.S. Patent D156687: http://www.google.com/patents/USD156687?pg=PA2&dq=%22robert+y.+allen%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gTq5UPnRJ6qT0QGgjICgBA&ved=0CDQQ6AEwADgU#v=onepage&q=%22robert%20y.%20allen%22&f=false
 2008 newspaper profile: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=fQRSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=uzQNAAAAIBAJ&pg=6907,5365450&dq=mel-shaw+howdy+doody&hl=en
 Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIslhp9vqqw
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