Tommy Mohawk and his little pal, Chatter!
We recently acquired a stack of rare television commercial model sheets created by Disney artists in the '50s. When these animated ads were produced, Walt was looking for ways to earn extra money to keep his studio afloat and help finance Disneyland. The characters you see here for Mohawk Carpets were drawn in 1952 in the traditional Disney style.
Here's Chatter the Squirrel, looking suspiciously similar to another famous nut-loving rodent in the Disney firmament. Apparently his oversized headband would sometimes cover his eyes, causing him to trip and run into stuff.
And this sweet Indian maiden is Minnie (short for "Minnehaha"). There were eight Mohawk spots produced in all, with the following descriptive titles: Tommy Tests Carpets, Tommy Supervises Weaving, Tommy Plants Carpet Seeds, Tommy Designs Carpets, Tommy Falls for Minnie, Tommy Gives Animals Sleeping Carpets, Birds Use Waterfall for Loom, and Tommy Harvests Carpets.
Here's the complete model sheet:
Notice that the Studio stamp at the top isn't Disney's, but reads "Property of Hurrell Productions." Producing commercials for TV in the early days was considered waaay beneath the status of a major Hollywood movie studio, so Walt set up a separate, secret television production studio on the Burbank lot operated by famed glamour photographer George Hurrell...who just happened to be married to Phyllis Bounds, the niece of Walt's wife, Lillian!
George Hurrell, incidentally, had photographed Walt for this famous portrait way back in 1940.
So anyway, I'd really love to see some of the Mohawk Carpet ads (Tommy Plants Carpet Seeds?? Sounds cool!) I haven't found any of them online, except that googling "mohawk carpet animated" yields this nifty roadside relic in Denver, Colorado: