Lines and Colors art blog

Animated TV Titles

Animated TV Titles, Anatomy of a Murder, The Wild Wild West, Bewitched, Monty Python's Flying CircusIn the 1950’s 60’s and 70’s, a number of non-animated television shows had animated titles, something that was also common in movies of the time.

Undoubtedly influenced by the film title mini-masterpieces of Saul Bass, the TV titles were usually much cruder and less imaginative, but still amusing nonetheless.

Some of them were in fact pretty good, notably:

the clever opening titles for The Wild Wild West (image at left, second down), a terrific 60’s television show (not to be confused with the tragic mess that was the 90’s remake movie with Will Smith), I love the way in this title the seemingly separate scenes in the panels progressively interact with the main character in the center panel;

Bewitched, the titles for which were more fully animated than most (third down);

and, of course, Terry Gilliam’s wonderfully loony animated collage titles for Monty Python’s Flying Circus, of which there were several versions (bottom). has posted a nice article with some examples of these and others, titled The Golden Age of Animated TV Opening Titles.

Some of them are a little over-compressed and you may be able to find better copies by cruising YouTube and the other video aggregation sites, I don’t know.

While you’re thinking about animated titles, it’s always worth a stop by the Submarine Channel’s Forget the Film, Watch the Titles, to see what delights have been added to their selection of movie titles (see my posts on Forget the Film, Watch the Titles).

[Via Digg]



2 responses to “Animated TV Titles”

  1. Hollywood hasn’t lost its affection for those Saul Bass animated titles, either. The Leonardo DiCaprio/Tom Hanks romp, Catch Me If You Can, made in 2002, had a lovingly nostalgic title sequence that was pure delight.

  2. Yes. Thanks, Dan. It’s great to see that influence carried forward.