Are those Brontosaurus milkshakes Wilma and Betty are drinking as they chat and spend quality time with their families? Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm look like they’re having a ball with their dads Fred and Barney, and Dino is always ready to be called in as an extra babysitter! The town of Bedrock is second only to Springfield in the hearts and minds of cartoon fans, as this show, which was first broadcast in 1960, still ranks second only to The Simpsons in the Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time, as voted on by TV Guide in 2013.
“Prehistoric Playground” was created by master animator Willie Ito, who has had a storied career that has spanned over 60 years, and has had a hand in some of the greatest classic cartoons in almost every major animated studio as a character animator and layout artist. Disney, Warner Bros., Bob Clampett Productions, and Hanna Barbera have all benefitted from his creativity and talent. The artwork is printed in the fine art Giclee process on fine art paper from Ito’s watercolor original art. Each print is then hand-numbered and then signed by Willie Ito. It is offered in an edition of 50.
MORE ABOUT WILLIE ITO:
From the moment he saw the Technicolored splendors of Disney’s first animated feature, Willie Ito knew what he wanted to do by way of a career.
I saw those dwarfs marching across that log bridge, and I was hooked. I knew I wanted cartooning to be my life’s work.
Willie Ito grew up in San Francisco (with a two-and-a-half year residency at a World War II internment camp), but when he finished high school Mr. Ito headed for Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles to pursue his passion for drawing. However, his art education was cut short when he found himself hired by Walt Disney Productions to work on Lady and the Tramp.
From that day on, full-time college attendance was a thing of Willie’s past. Following his Disney stint, Willie found himself working for every major animation studio in town.
A six-year run at Warner Bros. Animation (where he labored at the old “Termite Terrace” for the last twelve months of its life) was followed by a turn at Snow Ball Productions and and then fourteen years in design and layout at Hanna-Barbera. Finally wearying of the animation grind, he veered into character merchandising work with the Disney Co. in the late 1970s. And there he spent twenty-three years designing toys and collectibles, with only one trip back into animation as a key player of the small artistic team that launched Disney Television Animation.