Journey Through Nutritionland (lost Dan Haskett animated short; 1976)
Journey Through Nutritionland (although sometimes spelled as Journey Through Nutrition Land) is an animated short, 15 minutes of length, created by Dan Haskett that was originally released in 1976.
Dan Haskett may not very well-known among the general public, but his animation work has been seen by many. He has had a long career in on many classical animated features, designed characters such as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Tiny Toon Adventures, Alvin and the Chipmunks (1980s version), Animaniacs, helped to adapt The Simpsons for syndicated TV series (where he designed Moe, Ms Krabappel and Barney), and more. He is respected as an animator/artist of immense talent at Disney and Warner Bros.
Although he worked on animated commercials while still in high school (including an infamous "psychedelic" Brim coffee ad), what can actually be called his very first official completed work (which he designed and directed) was this elusive Journey Through Nutritionland animated short, that he worked on before being trained at Disney.
Journey Through Nutritionland was distributed by the Kellogg's company, and it is possible it was a tie-in to their food products, under the guise of educational content.
The premise, according to the Big Cartoon Database, is as follows:
Good nutrition is more than just having enough to eat; having enough, we should exercise choice to satisfy our bodies' needs for vitamins and minerals. In this animated film, a group of children dream of a visit to Nutritionland, where they are given a guided tour. The case is presented for a balanced diet: good nutrition is like an invisible suit of armor – it helps to protect you from diseases. The film introduces various characters representing various components of a satisfactory diet and presents the basics of good nutrition in an entertaining manner.
Journey Through Nutritionland was produced by non-union New York animation studio Tele-tactics. Tele-tactics made commercials, industrial films and animated specials, most of it that remains obscure. This includes the 1-hour animated special Days of Liberty that has remained unsurfaced to this day (originally aired on July 4th, 1976, on New York's WABC for the Bicentennial). Their other animated special, Why The Bears Dance On Christmas Eve, (originally aired on December 12th, 1977) is still available.
The company shut down after the founder, Barry Drucker, unexpectedly died of a heart attack in 1978.
According to some sources (such as book Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat: The Making of Roger Rabbit), fellow animator Tom Sito also worked on the short, although he is uncredited on IMDB.
To this day, no footage or even an image from Journey Through Nutritionland is available.
- IMDB page for Journey Through Nutritionland. Retrieved 13 Oct '20
- Big Cartoon Database Retrieved 23 Oct '20
- Cartoon Brew article about Tele-tactics. Retrieved 13 Oct '20
- Blog article about an animator's working experience at Tele-tactics. Retrieved 13 Oct '20
- Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat: The Making of Roger RabbitRetrieved 23 Oct '20