It was Mr. Magoo, introduced in 1949's Ragtime Bear that gave UPA (United Productions of America) its first popular success. But it would be Gerald McBoing Boing completed in 1950 and released in January 1951 that would solidify the studio's reputation.
Gerald McBoing Boing is simple but highly stylized with bold line drawings, understated motion, striking color and airy design. It was a major departure from the classic Disney, Warner's and MGM cartoons of the day.
Gerald McBoing Boing won an Oscar and was greeted with many accolades upon its debut that resounded for several years and paved the way for other UPA endeavors.
Or can he? The owner isn't sure Gerald has the strength, so he summons the doctors; Turnpike, Heartburn, Von Moose, Von Bushwacker, Crankshaft, and old Dr. Suess to check him out. He passes the physical so Gerald goes on the air.
Gerald gets the symphony score and his radio script mixed and sound effects get intertwined with the music and the owner is so mad he tosses Gerald out. But when the telegrams come and his performance is praised by all the experts Gerald is given a raise by the station owner.
All this didn't go to Gerald's head, he didn't boast, like most, cause he doesn't speak words, he goes 'Boing! Boing! instead.
When the kidnapped Gerald arrives the King starts to ask him questions. When Gerald goes 'Boing! Boing! Boing! the King thinking it is the earth language tries to communicate by making sounds. Asked what Gerald is saying, the King says, "He don't speak English." Asked how he knows what Gerald is saying, the King replies, "Cause I'm the King!" Asked how come he's the king, he replies, "Cause I wear the King's hat, that's why!"
The King then states they will return Gerald to the earth and invite the earthlings to come up and see them. Having no money for fuel, the King makes the supreme sacrifice, and hocks his hat. When they get to earth Gerald introduces the King and his sidekick, Murdoch, to the mayor, making sounds of course. Then the King makes sounds also, the mayor thinking it is the Moo language also starts making sounds. Everyone is going boniga! boinga! boinga! thinking they all understand each other.
The King and Murdoch return to Moo. To get ready for the earthlings visits to Moo, the King tells Murduch that he will set up a school to teach all the inhabitants of Moo to speak the earth planet language. "So if you listen real close on a quiet night, you can hear coming from the planet Moo, boinga! boinga! boinga! boinga! boinga! boinga!"
The professor realizing this is a going to be tough thinks it will take private lessons. The professor has a plan, he will shock Gerald into talking. Several speech experts arrive to view the experiment, the professor puts a tack on a chair and asks Gerald to sit down, thinking the pain will force Gerald to blurt out 'Ouch! It doesn't work.
The McLoy's go home, but Gerald feeling sorry for the professor gives him a call. When the professor hears Gerald on the phone he gets another idea, Gerald's larynx is upside down. The professor takes the McLoy's to the phone company where they have a contraption that translates overseas calls. The professor calls Paris, France and asks them to connect him to Gerald, who is in another room. Gerald answers the phone and goes 'Boing! Boing! Boing! The sound goes into the contraption, on the other end the professor and the McLoy's listen...then smile.
The McLoys then return home and are grateful for the marvels of science, mainly the phone company's unscrambling appliance. Their little boy no longer only goes 'Boing! Boing! Boing!, by saying it into the phone, it comes out as "How Now Brown Cow!"