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Bil Baird's Cartonella
Bil Baird's Cartonella - Web Poster - Baroto

Cartonella was an original Musical Fable written, produced, designed, scored, and directed by Bil Baird.

In its purest sense it was a tale Bil liked to tell best: A damsel in distress, saved by an unlikely hero from the clutches of an evil villain, but beyond the basic folklore of the plot was an element of  timeless entertainment from a classic entertainer. Though not as elaborate  as his productions of Alice in Wonderland or Pinocchio the  funding for this show was provided by the milk carton packaging industry.

In essence what began as a modest little stage play with a public service announcement started to take on a life of its own. What this meant for me and the other members of Bil's staff  was work, work, and more work. Aside from creating Cartonella's wig and body shape I was sewing drapes for traveling stages, making costumes, painting heads, and scenery, and baking latex molds. There was always something to do.

The secondary characters themselves were sometimes borrowed from stock like the head of the giant Sleepyfingers, which was originally used in a Social Security advertisement. We remounted his head onto a helmet base, making him soar eight feet, added expanding shoulders of polyurethane and created two  giant-like hands with dangling fingers for him to stalk his prey with.

Cartonella -storyboard - Baroto

This storyboard sketch shows two of Bil's characters from the CARTONELLA SHOW: Prince Jack and Sleepyfingers, the giant, battling it out for the honor of the Princess Milkwhite. I painted this quick watercolor at the time to supplement my portfolio photos. If I had known it would someday be the only record of the production I would have taken more time to execute it.

First produced as a stage show and then as an industrial film . This was the last project I worked on at the theater. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this film please contact me. I would love to see it. MB

Cartonella Portfolio Playbill - Baroto

CARTONELLA, the fortune-telling cow, was attracting the spotlight when arrangements were made for her to appear in the annual MACY's THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE riding her very own float. For this event a new larger sculpt of Cartonella was commissioned along with a larger set of calves to accommodate the new scale and venue as they paraded down Sixth Avenue. She and Bil also received additional publicity in the NY Times Magazine section (seen below). Unfortunately, this clipping was printed on news-stock and hasn't survived the years very well even with my Photoshop restoration.

Bil Baird with Macy's Cartonella & Calves - Baroto

The Macy's Cartonella's head was produced in Celastic and featured animated wooden eyes with  latex rubber ears, and horns  This was the largest celastic head I had worked on for Bil at the time. The calves were now larger too produced in latex similar to the original Cartonella. We used a special rubber paint to tint the calves faces. I once again reproduced Cartonella's wig, using larger scale yarn and created the working poly-foam hoof you see in the picture so she could wave at the crowd and handle props. MB
Bil Bairds Alice -Button