Grease like many other movies has always had a special place in my heart. The first time I watched it I was four years old and at my babysitter house. It caught my eye while I was flipping the channels because of the intro segment.
I thought that I was about to watch a cartoon but after a couple of minutes the cartoon disappeared and the movie begins at a beach. Although the singing of the catchy songs and fun plot line kept me watching until the end!
However there was a hot minute decision that the whole entire movie was going to be a cartoon instead. When the adaptation from the hit broadway show was available as film rights. The first person that was interested in turning it into a movie was Ralph Bakshi. He made some of my favorite movies such as Fritz the Cat, Wizards and Cool World!
His version was a little different than the live version. Bakshi wanted do something like “Fritz the Cat.” And the ending would be Danny Zuko kills myself at the end of the movie. However Bakshi could not obtain the rights of the film but he did ended up making a movie in 1982 called “Hey Good Lookin’. With the same 1950’s vibe with a similar Danny Zuko character background.
However after watching Grease many many……many times. I always wondered who made the cartoon opening segment to the movie?
It was done by a man named John D. Wilson and his studio Fine Arts Film. He also worked on some Disney movies such as Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp. He also did the cartoon version of Cher’s Dark Lady music video:
I always felt like the first three minutes of Grease can be a music video because it really stands out and alone:
And it doesn’t hurt the imagery at all with the song that is playing with it. “Grease” was composed by Barry Gibb (Of Bee Gees Fame) and sung by Frankie Valli.
This song along with four other songs was not part of the original Broadway soundtrack. However “Grease’s” film director Randal Klesier did not like the added songs to the score because he felt like it did not fit the 1950’s music to the film however it did fit the music scene of the year the movie was released. Although John D. Wilson and his studio has tons of references of the 1950’s within the tiny three minute cartoon segment:
Here is a youtube of one of my favorite openings in a movie ever. Play and see how many 1950’s references you can catch while watching it!
Until next time!