Friday, May 21, 2010

Cinemagic: Pogo Comes Alive

In 1980 Cinemagic Magazine (issue #9) printed an article about the making of the stop motion animated feature length film I GO POGO: THE MOVIE (based on Walt Kelly's famous newspaper comic strip) that was due out in theaters that fall. Never heard of it? Just click on each image of the following scans to enlarge and read the article in it's entirety (plus a rebuttal at the end). I was there on the movie crew and I have provided some comments below each image - John Ellis

Top: Animator Ruth Schwartz; Middle: Animator Kent Burton; Bottom: Animator Kim Blanchette
From the summer of 1979 until the summer of 1980, 50 or so talented artists bravely banded together to make an animated feature film in the wilds of a shopping mall in Crystal City, Virginia (near the Pentagon). This ISN'T EXACTLY the story BUT is being presented here for those who missed it AND for the sake of posterity. Be sure to read the last page for Production Designer Charles Chiodo's rebuttal of this article and of the treatment of the crew by the producers. Note that the names of the "I Go Pogo" crewmembers pictured on these pages have been added as comments at the bottom of each page (by unknown assailants). Presented as a public service by the Okeefenokee Muckrakers Lodge, Glee and Perloo Musketeers, Ltd.

Top Right: Cameraman Victor Abdalov and Animator Kent Burton; Bottom Left: Senior Animator Stephen Oakes and Director of Photography Bob Starbird

Pictured: Special Graphics & Fabrication Artist Chris McDonough

Pictured: Top: Senior Animator Diedre Knowlton; Bottom: Scenic Artist Keith Vincent Koontz

Pictured: Bottom: Animation Director Stephen Chiodo

Pictured: Top: Animator Kent Burton; Bottom: Cameraman Victor Abdalov and Animator Kent Burton

Pictured: Bottom: Camera Operator Wayne Dulaney and ? behind the Mitchell 35mm camera

Pictured: Top: Assistant Art Director Michael Tabacco

Pictured: Top: Animator Louise Campbell; Bottom: Senior Animator Stephen Oakes and Director of Photography Bob Starbird

Charles Chiodo's rebuttal letter from Cinemagic #11 1981

Well the movie did come out in the fall of 1980, but not in the theaters. Fotomat Home Video released it on VHS and Beta...if you can find one of those, that's currently the best way to see the film. It was later seen  in seriously bastardized form on HBO and via Disney Home Video...those versions are to be avoided like the plague. Trust me.

IF you have trouble reading the article you can also click on the following link to download a PDF version of it:

I will add some more history and comments here as time permits. Hope you enjoyed seeing this piece on I Go Pogo: The Movie. 

If you REALLY want more info, join some of us that made the film on our group on Facebook at:


Friday, January 29, 2010