Pittsburgh Scores! The Pro Scoreboard Art of Kensington Falls Animation
On December 21st the Toonseum will host an opening reception for it's brand new exhibit Pittsburgh Scores! The Pro Scoreboard Art of Kensington Falls Animation. Hundreds-of-Thousands of Pittsburgh sports fans have cheered over these animations on the Jumbotron at Pirates, Steelers and Penguin games and now the Toonseum is giving you a closer look. You will have an opportunity to meet the producer behind these iconic animations as well as the opportunity to purchase these unique works for your sports memorabilia collection.
In 1979 Michael Schwab co-founded Kensington Falls Animation, a studio focused on producing traditional character animation TV spots, educational and corporate animations, motion graphics, and titles. With the animation industry moving to computer graphics in the 1980s, the studio moved away from corporate animations and motion graphics and concentrated more on hand-drawn and illustrated character animation.
By the mid 1980s, the studio developed their use of rotoscope animation and began to produce sports animation for TV spots and scoreboard entertainment. Animation production for the Pittsburgh Maulers, Spirit, Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers became part of the studio's yearly production schedule.
The first successes for the studio in sports animation was a rally animation for the Pittsburgh Spirit Soccer Club titled, “Hot Legs Are Back- Spirit Soccer,” and the Pittsburgh Maulers Football Club's scoreboard animation and TV spot tag, “Maulers are Here.” Both animations became finalists at the Intl’ Film and TV Festival of New York (1984).
With their contacts at the Civic Arena, the studio then produced two award-winning TV spots for the Pittsburgh Penguins titled, “Hockey Night,” and “Pittsburgh’s New Ice Age,” which both won Telly Awards for Best Animation (1988-89) and established the Penguin’s “Steroid Penguin” character.
After the success of the Pittsburgh Mauler animation on the scoreboard at Three Rivers Stadium, Kensington Falls presented their first concept to the Pittsburgh Pirates which would be used for a Pirates’ TV spot tag and scoreboard animation, “The Pirate Ship” (1986). This relationship with the Pirates would go on for the next 24 years and showcase many scoreboard features including T-shirt Toss, hot dog skits, bloopers, game opens, tour of the stadium, the three versions of the Pirate laugh, and rally animations, most notably the “Pirate Train”(1989). The Pirate scoreboard team and Kensington Falls would go on to win Best of Show Presentation at the 1991 I.D.E.A. Scoreboard Animation Conference.
Kensington Falls Animation continues their craft of hand-drawn, digitally-painted character animation for TV spots, sports and entertainment animation productions.
The celebration begins at 7:30pm on December 21st, 2012. The price is $5.00 for non-members; free for members. Go to
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The mission of the ToonSeum is to celebrate the art of cartooning. Our goal is to promote a deeper appreciation of the cartoonists and their work through hands-on workshops, community outreach, cartoon-oriented educational programming, and exhibitions or original cartoon art.