The plot focuses on a murderer whose increasing guilt leads him to believe he can hear his victim's heart still beating beneath the floorboards where he buried him. Seen through the eyes of the nameless narrator, the surrealistic images in the film help convey his descent into madness.
Paul Julian served as both designer and color artist for film, and Pat Matthews was the principal animator.
In May 1953, pre-production started on The Tell-Tale Heart, which originally was intended to be a 3-D film. However, it is not known whether or not the film was animated in this fashion, and it was not released in 3D if it was. There is no reference to 3D in a technical trade review. Furthermore, the leaders on original prints of the film do not indicate it ever was part of a pair of 3D prints, typical of all other 3D pictures.
In 1994, animation historian Jerry Beck surveyed 1000 people working in the animation industry and published the results in The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As...