HUDSON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Ron Campbell literally animated our childhood. Starting in 1958 in his native Australia with cartoons like Popeye, Beetle Bailey, and Krazy Kat, Campbell’s career spanned the entire golden age of Saturday morning cartoons.
Sadly, Campbell passed away in January 2021 at the age of 81 but he left behind dozens of paintings that he created during his retirement. These paintings were inspired by many of the beloved cartoons that he was involved with, including the Saturday Morning Beatles cartoon series, Yellow Submarine, Scooby Doo, Smurfs, Rugrats, Winnie the Pooh, George of the Jungle, Jetsons, Flintstones, and finishing his career with Ed, Edd, n’ Eddy.
Ron Campbell’s animation paintings will be on display and available for purchase at the Park Theater in Hudson, for three days only. The exhibition kicks off on Friday, August 19, and runs through Sunday, August 21.
In 1964, while still living in Australia, Campbell was woken up by a phone call from King Feature’s producer Al Brodax. Brodax told Campbell that they had just sold a new show and he would like him to direct it. When Campbell asked the name of the show, Brodax responded, “The Beatles.”
Campbell remarked, “that’s great, but insects make terrible characters for kids’ cartoons.” Campbell soon learned a lot about the Fab Four, directing over half of the episodes which debuted on ABC on September 25, 1965. It continually fueled new music to the young kids of America, as they followed the bouncing drumstick of each Beatles tune.
The Saturday Morning Beatles Cartoon series received monstrous ratings in its time slot. Campbell also wrote the foreword to the definitive book on the Beatles cartoon series, “Beatletoons.”
After moving to America, Campbell was once again approached by Brodax to help in the animating of the Beatles’ feature-length animated film Yellow Submarine. Campbell went on to animate many scenes including the Sea of Time sequence, and much of the action between the Chief Blue Meanie and his sidekick Max as well as the Nowhere Man character.
Through his studio, Ron Campbell Films, Inc., Campbell was also involved with some of the most beloved cartoons spanning three generations, including Scooby Doo, Winnie the Pooh, Krazy Kat, George of the Jungle, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, the Smurfs, Goof Troop, Sesame Street, Captain Caveman, Rugrats, Ed, Edd n’Eddy, Yogi Bear and dozens more. His show “The Big Blue Marble” won many awards including a Peabody for Excellence in Broadcasting and an Emmy for Best Children’s Show of the Year.
After retiring from a 50-year career, Campbell began painting subjects always based on the animated cartoons he helped to bring to the screen. With an emphasis on The Beatles, his Cartoon Pop Art has been featured in galleries worldwide.
The gallery displaying Campbell’s paintings will be open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, August 19, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 20, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 21. The Park Theater in Hudson is located at 723 Warren Street.
Sample of the paintings: