Wednesday, 16 April 2014

TV Cliches

There’s a reason TV sitcoms of the ‘60s featured a wife who was a witch, a Martian crash-landing in suburbia, an astronaut with a genie and a car that had been someone’s mother. Everyone was tired of what had come before on TV and radio, over and over and over again.

I’m afraid I’m not a fan of most situation comedies from radio’s Golden Age. Plots are contrived. Characters don’t react the way anyone really would. There were exceptions, of course. The best shows manage to avoid or overcome those faults, generally through great acting and dialogue.

Critic John Crosby was no fan of radio’s (and, later, television’s) triteness and he apparently found a kindred soul in one of the industry’s writing fraternity. He summarised some all-too-familiar basic sitcom plots in his column of July 3, 1955.

Comedy Writers Deserve Spanking
By John Crosby

NEW YORK—I read in “Variety” that Lou Derman, a comedy writer, has told off his fellow comedy writers, and high time, “The lush days of comedy writing that began with radio and carried over into television are approaching their zenith—and why?” asks Derman plaintively.
And then goes on to answer his own question. “We deserve a spanking, the whole pack of us. We've allowed our shows to become unbearably dull, repetitious, predictable, wild and sloppy. We've ignored the public mood. A public that's tired of watching story in and story out about—
“Bringing the boss home to dinner and forgetting about the wife's birthday and getting into this disguise so husband won't recognize me and is my wife killing me for her insurance policy? And did he forget my anniversary? And the old boy friend and the girl friend and let's make him think he's going crazy and bringing the boss home to dinner.”
Well, of course, that's by no means all the situations. There's the other one—and how could Derman have forgotten it—about bringing the boss and the boss's biggest enemy home to dinner the same night and having to serve them in separate rooms, husband and wife dashing back and forth, eating like crazy.
Or how about the guy who takes a potential customer to lunch, the potential customer being a very pretty girl, and pretty soon the news is all over Oakdale that Jim Hughes was seen with . . . Could we conceivably do without the matchmakers—the husband and wife who are trying to pair off old Uncle Jim and the widow next door who makes such good humpelfingers?
Or how about the wife who cracks up the car and is trying desperate stratagems to keep her husband from finding out. Or the husband who wants to go on a fishing trip with the boys and the wife decides she's going to go along this year. Or the guy next door who has bought his wife a mink coat and good old Jim hides it in his closet and then Jim's wife finds it and thinks Jim bought it for her and . . . . Or the wife who wants to learn how to play poker and wins all the money.
Or the father playing baseball with his son and he breaks the neighbor's window and runs like a thief. Or the teenage girl who wears mother's diamond clip to the school prom and loses it and . . . . Or 13 year old Johnny whose superior intelligence bails his father out of that mess at the country club. Or the idiotic secretary who by sheer imbecility traps the most dangerous bank robber in the whole world.
Or ... well, that's enough. Anyway they are going to be tough to get away from those old situations. The decline in comedy writing or, at least, its sameness, has driven NBC to attempt a nationwide search for new comedy writers. More than 1,000 aspiring young comedy writers leaped to the call and submitted comedy material. At least 30 writers were considered to be promising enough to have been asked for additional material.
If they unearth one Robert Benchley, NBC will have done very well. Maybe even that is asking too much. If they could unearth just one situation comedy format in which the husband and wife don't even know the people next door and have no intention of meeting them, it will have been worth while.


By the ‘60s, producers got the idea that if you start with an outrageously ridiculous premise, like seven castaways with endless amounts of clothes on a desert island, the audience will accept any kind of plot and characterisation, if the writing is clever. That attitude brought some of the best-loved TV of a couple of generations ago.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Dancing Monkey

John Irving Pettybone wants to find a place to conduct his Dixieland record. He puts it inside an organ grinder’s box.



Suddenly, the organ grinder’s blasé monkey jumps into an insane dance. Here are some of the drawings. You can see the organ grinder’s reaction.



This is from “Dixieland Droopy” (released 1954). Tex Avery used the same kind of gag later in “Cellbound.”

Walt Clinton, Grant Simmons and Mike Lah are the animators in this cartoon. I suspect Lah, who did the great possum dance in “Impossible Possum,” was responsible for this one, too.

Monday, 14 April 2014

And One Baby Zebra

Salesman Daffy Duck added a stampede by a baby zebra to the insurance clause he sold Porky Pig in “Fool Coverage” (1952). Sure enough, the zebra shows up and gallops toward, then over, the camera.



Herman Cohen, Chuck McKimson, Rod Scribner and Phil De Lara are animating for Bob McKimson in this cartoon

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Being Jack Benny, 1936

Here’s another “Life with Jack Benny” column supposedly penned by his wife, one of a number that popped up in newspapers in the mid-1930s. This one doesn’t touch on how the two of them met, but we do read that Jack was a doting father, liked golf, enjoyed hanging out with his old comedian buddies—and that she didn’t like his violin playing (years later, his daughter reported he had to practise in a part of the house where Mary couldn’t hear him.

This is from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 26, 1936.

RADIO DIAL LOG
By MARY LIVINGSTONE

(Batting for Jo Ranson)
Other radio artists may have a little difficulty writing a guest column, but they just aren't fortunate enough to have literary ability the way I do. Of course, poetry Is my specialty but my prose is pretty good, too—I hope. Your radio editor has been good enough to let me play any tune I want on the typewriter. So if it is all right with you, I think I will devote this essay to answering the question that is put to me most frequently—to wit: What kind of a guy is Jack Benny away from the microphone?
On the air Jack portrays a rather quiet sort of fellow, on whom the rest of the cast is constantly picking. He has nobody but himself to blame because he gets up the scripts. Off the air he is equally quiet but hardly the browbeaten lad he pretends he is when showing off for you listeners. If he is browbeaten he never lets on to me. Or perhaps I just don't notice it.
When we're home he never tries to be the comedian, I am very glad to say. As a matter of fact, he does a lot of worrying—he starts in worrying about next week's program the moment this week's is over. Sometimes even sooner. If you see him in the movies you may think he has black hair. Actually there are a few streaks of gray here and there. If he were not doing radio, he wouldn't have those. And if he weren't doing radio he wouldn't be in pictures. So he does not have to worry about that, anyhow.
The greatest fault I find with him is his perpetual good nature. He makes me furious because he is one of those people who always feel good in the morning and gets up early feeling bright and cheery, no matter how late he has been up the night before. Another thing that gets me down is that he will never start an argument. We have our differences of opinion, just like any other couple. But somehow or other I am always the one that starts things.
People often ask if Jack tries to be funny when we have visitors at home. Apparently they think that because a man makes his living by getting other folks to chuckle that he never relaxes. It so happens, that our closest friends are in the business of producing laughs also—the Freddy Allens, Burns and Allen, Block and Sully, the Jack Pearls, and so forth. Benny Rubin, Jane and Goodman Ace and the Eddie Cantors are people we see frequently, too. Whenever we get together with any of them Jack likes to take the part of the audience and get them do their stuff for him. He is a sucker for anything that George Burns says or does, for example. All George has to do is walk in the room and say “Hello,” and Jack prepares himself for a fine evening of laughter—at no expense to him.
I'm very much afraid that our existence must be a great disappointment to the fan magazine writers, because we do not go in very strongly for things they consider suggestive of “GLAMOUR.” Our lives and tastes are very simple. Jack does not care a hang about flashy clothes, late parties and night clubs. He is much more fond of a quiet and easygoing life. If Jack wants to be exceptionally gay and and giddy he will suggest going to a show and top it off by taking in a midnight movie. Try to get glamour out of that!
We do not listen to the radio much, except to news and music. We seldom, if ever, tune in on other comedians. Jack avoids doing so, because he doesn't want, even subconsciously, to be influenced by what the other boys are doing. He really loves fine music, though you would never guess it from hearing him torture “Love in Bloom.” He is also pretty fond of golf, but plays a terrible game. He ought to give it up entirely. One of his greatest pleasures is getting together with his cronies at the Friars Club and just chewing the rag.
Our baby daughter, Joan Naomi, takes up a lot of his time. No matter how busy he is, he tries to take off an hour every day to wheel her. Last week he went around showing his friends the newest scratch she had given him on the nose. He seemed to get more kick out of it than springing a new gag on his pals. He enjoys driving a car a great deal, but I always prefer to hop the trolley. It's not that he goes in for speeding—to the contrary, he just crawls along. But he always seems to be thinking about something else other than where he is going. He is an avid follower of sports and devours the sport page of every edition he can lay hands on. Horse racing gets a lot of his attention, but he picks 'em so badly I have made him stop betting.
I hope this gives you some sort of notion of the kind of bird J. Benny is when, he isn't working. In any case I am grateful to Jo Ranson for the opportunity to display my talent as a writer.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Cartoons of 1942, Part 1

If anyone has any doubt of the impact of World War Two on the animation industry, all one has to do is look at the cartoons released in the first half of 1942.

Bugs Bunny sold war bonds. Popeye used his spinach against buck-toothed soldiers who said “Solly, prease.” And Walt Disney got screwed around by grandstanding politicians after being asked to come up with a short to get people to pay taxes to pay for the huge American war machine.

Rudy Ising was still pretending it was 1933, crafting faux Silly Symphonies about cute little animal characters overcoming all kinds of beautifully animated adversity. Meanwhile, George Pal and his team created a short quietly symbolising the vanquishing of Nazi oppression in Holland (anyone familiar with how the Dutch survived through the German occupation must marvel at Pal’s effort).

Elsewhere in early 1942, the beginning of the end came for the Fleischer studio as Dave Fleischer bolted for California to run the Screen Gems cartoon operation. Bugs Bunny became a huge hit. Homer Pigeon did not. And Paul Terry spent money on the rights to Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy. Even Jim Tyer’s taffy-pull animation (had it existed at Terry then) couldn’t have made her funny.

January 2, 1942
Dave Fleischer Quits as Studio Chieftain
Dave Fleischer has resigned as director general of the Fleischer Studios, Inc., in Miami but he will maintain an interest in the cartoon producing organization. Sam Buchwald, who has been an executive of the studio since its founding, has been appointed executive general manager.
The present executive production staff, headed by Seymour Neitel [sic] and Isador Sparber, has been augmented by the addition of Dan Gordon from the story department, and other additions to the story department will be announced shortly. Fleischer subjects are released by Paramount. Its "Mr. Bug Goes to Town" will be released next month. A heavy program is planned for the 1942-43 season.
Reports that Paramount would take over the operation of the Fleischer studio in Miami could not be confirmed Wednesday.

January 5, 1942
Disney to Make 20 Shorts To Train Navy Lookouts
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington — Twenty single-reel films are to be produced by Walt Disney Productions under a cost only contract for the U. S. Navy, it was revealed here yesterday. The films will be used to train Navy lookouts, observers and pilots in recognizing U. S. warships and aircraft as well as the air and sea forces of other nations. They will be shown to navy nersonnel at all ships and shore stations.
The films will be unique in that they will incorporate three methods of photography—live or actual photography, model photography and the animated cartoon style of photography.
All three types will be used in the same film, a method believed never before attempted by the motion picture industry.

January 16, 1942
Inject Disney Into Minn. Anti-5 Blocks Trial
Minneapolis—Walt Disney and his cartoons took the center of the stage yesterday at trial of three major film companies in St. Paul for alleged violation of the state's anti-blocks-of-five law.
Disney was not present but he was injected into the case when Louis E. Goldhammer, RKO district manager, was questioned by David Shearer, attorney for the defense. Under questioning, Goldhammer said Disney would prefer to sell his full-length features one at a time but that he couldn't do this in Minnesota because of the anti-five law.

January 19, 1942
"Dumbo" in 125 FWC Houses
Fox West Coast has closed with RKO for the showing of "Dumbo" in 125 theaters in the Los Angeles and San Francisco territories, Ned Depinet announced Friday.

January 22, 1942
Donald Duck Income Tax Short Okayed
"The New Spirit," special Donald Duck short in Technicolor made by Walt Disney at the request of the Treasury, has been okayed by the industry's War Activities Committee, and 1,000 prints will be distributed among the exchanges around Feb. 6. Some 12,000 theaters are expected to play the eight-minute reel created to show the urgency of paying Federal income taxes early this year.

January 27, 1942
"The New Spirit" Via NSS
National Screen Service will distribute Walt Disney's Treasury short, "The New Spirit." The Donald Duck starrer will be available to all theaters within a week or 10 days.

January 29, 1942
Morgenthau Asks Early "New Spirit" Playdates
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., yesterday sent an open letter to the thousands of exhibitors throughout the country expressing his gratification over the Walt Disney-Treasury Department short subject, "The New Spirit," shortly to be distributed through National Screen Service under the sponsorship of the War Activities Committee.
In the letter Morgenthau also urged exhibs. to show the film at their theaters promptly so that the millions of income tax payers between now and March 15 would realize the urgency of paying their taxes earlier this year than ever before.

Australian Prints Will Serve Dutch East Indies
Batavia (By Cable)—Government here has taken steps to assure the Dutch East Indies a regular supply of U. S. films. Present Hollywood footage at hand, it is estimated, will last six months. In future, negatives will be sent to Australia and positives for local distribution will be printed there.
First casualty of the Pacific war is a copy of Walt Disney's "Fantastia," which left the United States by Clipper for the Netherland East Indies a few days before the outbreak of the war. It has not yet arrived and "must be presumed lost."
Theater managers here say business has returned to normal despite an invasion of this territory. Attendance fell off somewhat but picked up after a few days.

January 30, 1942
Phil M. Daly column, New York
George Pal, who produces those clever Puppetoons for Paramount, is preparing "Tulips Will Grow," which, it is claimed, is a nominee for a special award in the short subject category .... Jack Miller and Cecil Beard are scripting it . . .

February 3, 1942
Puppet Pic Sans Dialogue
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — "Sky Princess," George Pal's seventh Puppetoon for Paramount was shipped to New York for previewing. In Technicolor and with an impressive musical background, the story deals with a sleeping beauty. Sherman A. Rose authored the original idea. William Edison scored the film, featuring "Sleeping Beauty Waltz" and "Humoresque." It is the first puppet movie produced sans dialogue.

Donald Duck's Income Tax Short Shown in Capital
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—A capacity audience of Washington bigwigs last night saw Donald Duck make out his income tax. The place was the National Press Club and the picture was Walt Disney's "New Spirit" which shows in simplified manner with the aid of the famous duck, how to make out the new income tax blanks.
Also shown was the War Department production, "Safeguarding Military Information" and March of Time's latest release, "Far East Command" along with a number of other new shorts.

February 3, 1942
Disney Officers Re-elected; 14-Week Net of $80,804
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—The following officers of Walt Disney Productions were re-elected at meeting of board of directors: Walter E. Disney, president; Roy O. Disney, executive vice-president; Gunther R. Lessing, vice-president; George E. Morris, secretary-treasurer; Oliver B. Johnston, assistant secretary-treasurer; Franklin Waldheim, assistant secretary.
A report on financial operations in the current fiscal year stated that figures for 14 weeks of the current fiscal year to Jan. 3, 1942 shows a balance after all charges but subject to year-end adjustments and before provisions for income taxes of $80,804.25 as compared with a balance of $210,702.94 in fiscal year ended Sept. 27, 1941 before provision of $1,000,000 for excess cost of features over estimated net income.
Balance sheet figures at Jan. 3, 1942 show a gain of $23,815.65 in current and working assets and a reduction of $156,931.63 in liabilities with a resulting increase of $180,747.28 in net current and working assets. Reduction of $99,943.03 in other assets (of which principal item was a reduction in net plant account due to depreciation charges) result in a net gain in net assets of $80,804.25 for the 14-week period.

Disney to K. C. Feb. 13
Walt Disney will attend dedication ceremonies of Disney murals at the Benton Grammar School, Kansas City, where he once was a pupil. Ceremonies are scheduled for Feb. 13.

February 4, 1942
1,000 "New Spirit" Prints Now Playing First-Runs
One thousand prints of Walt Disney's "The New Spirit" starring Donald Duck and made upon the request of Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau, are now in use in key cities throughout the country, and it is expected 12,000 theaters will have played the subject by March 15.

February 5, 1942
Ask Exhibs. to Permit NSS Set "New Spirit" Playdates
The industry's War Activities Committee yesterday moved to expedite showing of the Walt Disney defense short, "The New Spirit," produced for the Treasury. The WAC requested that in addition to waiving clearance on the pic, as has been done on all previous Government shorts, that exhibs. also waive setting their own playdates and permit them to be set by National Screen Service, which is distributing the pic through its 25 exchanges. Object is to get the income tax reel on the screen before March 15 in all theaters.

February 9, 1942
House Blocks Funds For Donald Duck Short
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—The House Friday by a vote of 78 to 63 eliminated an allotment of $80,000 to pay the production cost on Walt Disney's Donald Duck film, "The New Spirit," dealing with the income tax.
By a vote of 88 to 80 the House forbade the use of civilian defense funds for "instructions in physical fitness by dancers, fan dancing, street shows, theatrical performances or other public entertainment."
Latter vote referred to the selection of Melvyn Douglas to an OCD post as star contact man and the naming of Mayris Chaney, through the influence of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, to a highly paid OCD post of keeping children fit through instruction in dancing.

February 10, 1942
DISNEY'S "SPIRIT" LOSS, $56,000
Even If Gov't Pays Production Costs, Treasury Donald Duck Reel Spells Red Ink Walt Disney stands to lose approximately $56,000 in the production of "The New Spirit," the Donald Duck short, which was made at the request of the Treasury Dept. This loss will exist even if the Government reimburses him for the production costs which amounted to $80,000 and which the House last week refused to approve.
Disney said yesterday that, while he did not have a contract for the production of the short, he did have a letter from the Treasury Dept. asking him to make it. Because of overtime charges, costs were up $6,000 or $7,000 above the $80,000 figure, Disney said. As theaters that have Donald Duck shorts booked will not want to play "The New Spirit" on the same program, Disney figures he will lose approximately $50,000 in booking cancellations, as the Treasury picture is to be given gratis to the theaters. Eleven thousand prints were ordered so that the country could be blanketed with the picture which, in a light vein, points out the necessity of paying income taxes early.
In addition to Disney's loss, Technicolor quoted the lowest cost possible for prints and delayed its regular work in order to get the picture on the screens by Feb. 15. The short was rushed through in six weeks, whereas it usually takes six months to make the same length subject. National Screen Service is handling the distribution gratis and the film transport companies are delivering them at no cost.
As to his regular commercial enterprises, Disney said that "Peter Pan" was in work and would be released next Christmas or late Fall. "Bambi," Disney said, is finished. Stories in preparation include "Bongo," by Sinclair Lewis, which appeared in Cosmopolitan, and "Alice in Wonderland."
Disney said his studio also was making 20 films for the Navy dealing with aircraft and warship identification at a cost of $4,500 each. He also is making South American subjects in a tie-up with the John Hay Whitney office.
NSS reported yesterday that all of the available 1,100 prints of "The New Spirit" were "doing a job." It was said that every downtown Broadway house has booked the short for a seven-day run, with 148 additional bookings already set.

February 13, 1942
Burroughs Animated Film Said to Use New Principle
West Coast Bureau, of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Jesse Goldburg, veteran indie producer, is reported to have left for New York to negotiate for a major release on an animated Technicolor feature and serial he is planning in association with Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Animated feature and serial is based on Burrough's book, "The Land that Time Forgot." It is understood Burroughs has acquired rights to new patented device for making animated subjects.
New cartoon-making device is supposed to eliminate jerky movements through manipulation of various lights and drawings are made on special plastic material instead of celluloid.
Idea is to show animated feature which Burroughs is preparing in first-runs and revamp film as serial for other situations.

February 18, 1942
No OCD Funds for Pix; Senate Okays House Stand
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—The Senate yesterday approved a House amendment to the appropriation bill for the Office of Civilian Defense prohibiting the payment of any of the funds made available in the bill for the production of motion pictures or the promotion of other forms of entertainment to be used in connection with civilian defense.
The Senate action had the effect of killing payment, already promised by the treasury of $80,000, to Walt Disney for production of the Donald Duck short popularizing income tax payments. This in spite of the fact that Disney is understood to stand to lose considerable more than the actual cost through refusal of theaters to double book Disney shorts.
However, it is almost certain payment for the cartoon will be provided in another appropriation bill later on.
Action in specifically prohibiting any of the funds to be used for movies, etc., grew out of resentment against management of OCD which culminated in appointment of Mayris Chaney, a dancer, and movie star Melvyn Douglas to important posts in OCD.
Bill requires Senate confirmation for any OCD employe receiving $4,500 or more a year.

February 27, 1942
1941 ACADEMY AWARDS
SHORT SUBJECTS

Cartoon: "Lend a Paw." (Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse series).
Best scoring for a musical: Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace for "Dumbo." (Walt Disney. RKO Radio release).
SPECIAL AWARDS
Irving Thalberg Memorial Award to Walt Disney for consistent quality of production through the years.
To Walt Disney, William Gerrity, John N. A. Hawkins and RCA "for outstanding contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures through the production of 'Fantasia.'
"To Leopold Stokowski and his associates "for their unique achievement in the creation of a new form of visualized music in Walt Disney's production, 'Fantasia,' thereby widening the scope of the motion picture as entertainment and as an art form."



Dave Bader Quits Pal; Jack Miller Succeeds Him
West Coast Bureau, of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Dave Bader has resigned as general manager of George Pal Productions, and leaves for New York where he will remain indefinitely. He is succeeded by Jack Miller, Pal's former story head.

March 26, 1942
Shorts Producers Pay Tribute to Besa Short
Dallas—A plaque which memorialized her services to the short subject business was presented to Mrs. Besa Short, Interstate executive, at a special luncheon of the Variety Club this week in the Baker Hotel here. R. J. O'Donnell made the presentation on behalf of 18 Hollywood producers.
Producers whose signatures were affixed to the complimentary expression included Pete Smith, Clay Adams, Robert Carlisle, Jack Chertok, Walt Disney, Jerry Fairbanks, Ira Genet, Joe Gershenson, Bert Gilroy, Richard Goldstone, Gordon Hollingshead, Walter Lantz, Herbert Moulton, George Pal, Fred Quimby, Leon Schlesinger, Jack Warner, Jr., and Jules White.

April 1, 1942
Lakewood Funeral Today For Alexander N. Ivanoff
Funeral services for Alexander N. Ivanoff, 56, associated with Terrytoons for the last decade as musician and film editor, will be held at 11 a m. today in West Hall Funeral Chapel, 313 Second St., Lakewood, N. J.
Ivanoff died suddenly of a heart attack in Cassville, N. J., Sunday night. Before his association with Terrytoons, he was for many years identified with the Ballet-Russe.
His widow survives.

April 2, 1942
Disney Plans an Encore
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney plans a second feature a la "Fantasia" and for it has acquired rights to Debussy's "Claire de Lune" and "Peter and the Wolf."

April 7, 1942
Disney Renews RKO Releasing Contract
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney will continue to release his short subjects through RKO Radio for another two years, delivering 26 Technicolor shorts per season instead of an average of 18 as previously. His 1942-43, 1943-44 group will include subjects from his recent trip through South America and will have South American settings. He will also reinstate "Silly Symphonies."

April 8, 1942
Disney Cartoons to Spur L. A. Agricultural Program
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Dr. Earl N. Bressman, chief of the agriculture division of the Office of the Co-ordinator of Inter-American Affairs, is headquartering at the Walt Disney studio as advisor on animated films intended to contribute to Latin America's development of agricultural specialties fitting into the hemisphere's needs.
Dr. Bressman, who moved in yesterday, will contribute technical information, shape final scripts and prepare narrations for translation into Spanish and Portuguese. Research and story-sketch work have been in work for several weeks at the Disney plant. The cartoon subjects are part of a general plan for wartime and post-war development of co-ordinated agricultural resources of the hemisphere.

April 9, 1942
Advance "Fantasia" Sale In Met. RKO Theaters
Walt Disney's "Fantasia" starts its Metropolitan area runs in RKO theaters on April 30. Tickets will be sold in advance to student groups, art leagues, music, civil and social clubs, religious and other societies.

April 14, 1942
Riding Herd on the Hollywood News-Range
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney will begin production of "Lady," feature-length cartoon, this Summer.

April 17, 1942
Disney Producing Short To Run With Goldwyn Pic
Samuel Goldwyn and Walt Disney have concluded arrangements whereby Disney will produce a Technicolor subject which will be shown at all engagements of Goldwyn's "The Pride of the Yankees." The Disney short will be shown prior to and in conjunction with, the Goldwyn picture about the life of Lou Gehrig in which Gary Cooper is starred.
This deal is the first of its kind and the first time that a Disney short has ever been coupled with a feature picture in this manner. The short will provide a humorous prelude to "The Pride of the Yankees" and will go into production this week.

April 24, 1942
Dave Fleischer to Col.
Dave Fleischer, formerly cartoon producer for Paramount, has been appointed by Columbia Pictures to take charge of its entire cartoon producing unit. Fleischer will be in charge of Color Rhapsodies and Phantasies cartoon series.

Anent Model Houses
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—The last word in modern theater design,—the new Hollywood Paramount Theater,—will be reproduced in miniature by George Pal in his next Puppetoon film, "The Little Broadcast." Locale of the puppet story is exterior and interior of a film house, in which a cast of 50 stringless dolls provide a musical revue in Technicolor.

Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • ODDS AND ENDS: .... W. Ray Johnston, Monogram's president, is very anxious to contact Mrs. Mintz (nee Winkler), widow of Charles Mintz, film cartoon producer .... anyone knows Mrs. Mintz's whereabouts, please inform this department, or communicate the information to Monogram Publicity Dept., 4376 Sunset Drive, Hollywood, Cal.

April 27, 1942
"Bambi" for Music Hall World premiere of Walt Disney's "Bambi" has been set tentatively for Radio City Music Hall on July 30.

April 29, 1942
"Nancy," Post's Comic, As Terrytoon Series
Purchase of the screen rights "Nancy," popular cartoon strip running currently in the New York Post by Paul Terry, producer of Terry-toons, was announced yesterday by United Features, distributors of the Ernie Bushmiller cartoon.
First in the series of Terrytoon releases based on the cartoon strip will be "School Daze," scheduled for release on Sept. 18.

May 6, 1942
One Way to Solve That Star Problem
Four new potential screen stars, fashioned by Fleischer Studio artists, have been signed by Paramount Pictures in 128 strokes of a pen, 32 for each. Named, respectively and alliteratively Pipeye, Pupeye, Poopeye and Peepeye, they are to be featured with their progenitor and prototype, Popeye, in a short cartoon which goes into work immediately.

"Bambi" Songs Via BMI
A contract for the publication of the music from Walt Disney's "Bambi" was announced yesterday by Broadcast Music, Inc., (BMI). Deal marks BMFs first appearance as the publisher of all the songs in an important picture. Picture will be screened at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Cleveland on May 12.

May 13, 1942
DISNEY 75% ON WAR PIX
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Seventy-five per cent of production at the Walt Disney Studio now in Government work and 95 per cent of the personnel that made "Bambi" has been assigned to war pictures. In addition to cartoon films, the studio is turning out Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse posters for Army post use.

May 15, 1942
Frank Churchill, Composer, Dies
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Frank Churchill, who wrote much of the music for Walt Disney productions, including "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf," died Thursday.

"Bambi" Tradeshows Set
RKO will trade-screen Walt Disney's "Bambi" in all exchanges, except St. Louis, on May 25. Showings will be at 11 a.m., except in Detroit, which will screen the film at 1:00. p.m. St. Louis will hold its screening at 11:00 a.m. May 26. A repeat showing at 2:30 p.m. will be held May 25 in New York.

May 18, 1942
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • Familiar characters of Paul Terry's Terrytoon cartoons will soon make their appearance in monthly book form thanks to a contract Paul has signed with Timely Topics.

RECORD DISNEY GOVT FOOTAGE
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—A total of between 75,000 and 100,000 feet of defense films will be turned out by the Walt Disney Studios this year under present plans. All of this was more footage than the studio has ever produced in a year, is being done on a cost basis.

May 19, 1942
Fleischer Drops Feature Cartoons for Duration
Fleischer studio has abandoned the production of feature length cartoons for the duration of the war, according to Sam Buchwald, general manager of the studio, who has been conferring here with Paramount executives. Buchwald said that the studio would concentrate solely on the Popeye and Superman shorts and that topical themes will predominate in the new schedule. Last Fleischer feature was "Mr. Bug Goes to Town."

May 20, 1942
Sinclair Lewis' "Bongo" To be Walt Disney Feature
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney has acquired Sinclair Lewis' Cosmopoliton [sic] Magazine story, "Bongo," for feature cartoon production.

May 21, 1942
NEW ARMY TRAINING FILM
"Identification of U. S. Army Aircraft," War Dept. training film made for the Academy Research Council, is in production at the Walt Disney Studio. Animation and aerial photography are being combined in the film, directed by Ub Iwerks, assisted by Carl Nater, United manager, with aerial photography by Andy Anderson.

May 25, 1942
New Cartoon Technique
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Leon Schlesinger introduces a new cartoon background technique in "Hold The Lion, Please," a "Merrie Melodie," which has the fantastic ideas and unusual colorings of Paul Gauguin.

May 28, 1942
Disney Outlines in Capital 12 Inter-America Pix
Series is Divided Equally Between Health, War And Agricultural Subjects
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington — Entertainment values will be used to explain abroad health, agricultural and economic program for the Americas, according to plans outlined yesterday by Walt Disney to Nelson A. Rockefeller and other officials of the office of the Co-ordinator of Inter-American Affairs.
Sketches of the action and plots of 12 educational pictures, which will be released non-theatrically throughout the world, were shown by Disney and John Hay Whitney, head of the motion picture division of the Co-ordinator's office. The pictures are scheduled for production immediately upon Disney's return to Hollywood the end of this week.
Four Health Pictures
Included in the program are four health pictures dealing with the mosquito and malaria, the housefly and disease, the water supply, and vaccination. In addition to the health pictures, Disney brought to Washington stories for four agricultural subjects, namely, on soybeans, the Amazon basin, the eve[] normal granary and corn and corn products—all showing their relation to inter-American development. The remaining four themes deal with war subjects.
"There is no reason why educational pictures should not be entertaining," said Disney. "Unfortunately many so-called educational pictures have been neither entertaining nor particularly educational. I have always felt that the motion picture had unusual capacities as an instrument of education, if properly used, and in these pictures, with the help of experts assigned to me by the Co-ordinator's office, we had tried to strike a new note which we hope will make ordinarily prosaic subjects acceptable to millions of people whom otherwise we could not reach."
Four Theatrical Shorts
In addition to the educational pictures, Disney also brought with him four unfinished theatrical shorts inspired by people and scenes he observed on his trip through South America last Winter. These pictures "Acquerella do Brasil," "Pedro," "Lake Titicayca" and "The Flying Gauchita," will be released theatrically in South America late this Summer and will reach the screens of the United States early next Winter.
While in Washington Disney also will confer with Army, Navy, and Air officials on a series of films he is making for them on meteorological subjects.

June 1, 1942
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • WE have a hunch that indeed is frankly more'n a hunch .... It's that Walt Disney's "Bambi" will be a terrific gross-grabber for theaters in every situation .... This feature is the most adult the deft Disney has yet delivered, and it's wondrous stuff for the rising generation .... Just as an aside in discussing Marse Disney, his pop version of "Fantasia" is currently coining dough for outlets, as is his laugh-packed "Dumbo" .... Holdovers of both are highly prevalent .... Patrons' enthusiasm for "Fantasia" up Boston way is so unflagging, for example, that it seems a cinch for a third week, notwithstanding the fact that it played for 16 weeks solidly there as a roadshow .... Aside from the oncoming wow, "Bambi," Sir Walter has another new hit,—his Victory March Book (sub-titled "The Mystery of the Treasure Chest"), published by Random House .... This enchanting book has the biggest advance sale of any juvenile volume we know of .... Apparently there is no end to the Disney genius in dispensing the delightful and purveying the practical, for even the Government benefits from his Victory March book.
• • • FRIDAY afternoon RKO Radio hosted a cocktail reception for Walt Disney in the swank West Foyer of the Waldorf-Astoria .... Actually it was a double feature affair, Walt being the big attraction and a "Story Board" exhibit of his original art from "Bambi" being t'other .... For the convenience of the Fourth Estaters the RKO-Disney forces brought from the Coast more'n 1,000 original "Bambi" drawings, thus impressively depicting the art evolution of a Disney opus.

June 4, 1942
Disney's "Bambi" Set For Music Hall July 30
World premiere of Walt Disney's "Bambi" will be at the Music Hall on July 30. Booking was set yesterday by Ned E. Depinet, RKO vice-president, Roy Disney, and G. E. Eyssell, Music Hall president and managing director.

June 17, 1942
Col. Jumps High-Brackets Pix
Important among the shorts offerings will be ... a new series of Color Rhapsodies cartoons, to be made by the newly signed Dave Fleischer.
Single reel series, in addition to those mentioned, include 16 Phantasies.

Universal Revamps Shorts Lineup; Subs Two Series
The Walter Lantz and Andy Panda cartoons have been augmented to 10 and will introduce two new starring characters, Homer Pigeon and Woody Woodpecker, formerly in supporting roles. Lantz also will make a new series of six Swing Symphony Cartoons in Technicolor.

Harvey Day Leaves Hospital
Harvey Day, general manager of 20th-Fox Terrytoon shorts, will leave the New Rochelle Hospital today and return home after treatment for a broken arm. Day probably will remain at his home in New Rochelle for another week following hospitalization.

June 19, 1942
Historic Pic to Museum
"Finding His Voice," one-reel animated cartoon subject released by Western Electric Co. in 1929 to accompany dedication of sound-on-film reproducing equipment in hundreds of theaters throughout the U. S., has been presented to the Film Library of the Museum of Modern Art here, and finds a place in the institution's archives because of its historic importance in the development of sound motion pictures.

June 23, 1942
De Seversky's Book As a Disney Feature
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney has purchased the screen rights to "Victory Through Air Power," Alexander de Seversky's current book, and will base a feature-length cartoon on it for Fall release. The Severesky story is regarded as a commercial extension of the work Disney is now doing in Army and Navy aircraft identification pictures. Every available artist will work on the picture to insure early release. Animation has already been started.

June 23, 1942
Metro Signs Fred Quimby To New Term Commitment
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Metro has signed Fred C. Quimby to a new termer.

June 30, 1942
BOOK REVIEWS
THE ART OF WALT DISNEY, by Robert D. Feild. 290 pages. Illustrated, including color plates. The Macmillan Co. $3.50.

To the unnumbered tens of thousands who revel in the art of Walt Disney, as manifested these many years through both short subjects and, more recently, feature cartoon comedies, this well conceived and splendidly executed volume by the director of the School of Art in Newcomb College, Tulane University, will be virtually a "must."
Written after considerable time spent at the Disney studio in 1939 and 1940, when its resources were at his disposal without restraint, Feild's work is no stodgy, highbrow tome for the classroom, but rather an extremely readable, deeply intriguing and highly illuminating presentation of—to quote the foreword —"the art of Walt Disney as a growing force in our midst."
Feild has been wise indeed in his approach. Realizing that "it has become customary for most of us who are concerned with art to devote the greater part of our energy to the study of the past," with the result that "it is no wonder that we have no standards by which to judge the art of today, no terminology with which to discuss, for instance, the work of a man like Walt Disney," Feild resolutely—and successfully, in the opinion of this reviewer—moves to end the deficiency.
In so doing, the reader is treated to an "inside story" encompassing the techniques involved in making the animated sound picture, the structural layout of the Disney model studio, the organization of the studio personnel and the modus operandi by which Disney permits creative ideas to enjoy full rein.
Feild divides his book into four parts and 13 chapters, all remarkably well illustrated. Part one concerns the comic strip's advent, Disney's apprenticeship and comment upon Disney's development of the feature-length cartoon. Part two is aptly titled "Mickey's Dominion," while in Part three, four chapters are grouped under the equally revealing title, "Tell Us a Story." In Part five, in which "the screen's the thing," Field dwells upon the music room, animation, and final stages.
In the latter, Disney ponders culture, offers this definition:
"As I see it, a person's culture represents his appraisal of the things that make up life. And a fellow becomes cultured, I believe, by selecting that which is fine and beautiful in life, and throwing aside that which is mediocre or phoney. Sort of a series of free, very personal choices, you might say.
"If this is true, then I think it follows that freedom is most precious to culture. Freedom to believe what you choose—and read, think, say and be what you choose. . . ."
Has it ever 'been said better? CBB.

REVIEWS

January 8, 1942
"Porky's Pooch" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Warners 7 mins. Amusing Tid-Bit
Porky Pig, a prosperous plutocrat, is minding his own good business at home in a lofty apartment house, when a rap comes at the door. It's a mongrel, persuasive, persistent pup in search of a master. Porky isn't interested, all arguments to the contrary, and gives the visitor the well-known bum's rush. But back comes the pooch, time and again. The dialogue is crisp and amusing. Finally, the dog falls from a window ledge, apparently despondent. Heart-touched, Porky hastens down to the street and consents to take the hound into his home. It's all actionful and diverting. Producer is Leon Schlesinger; supervision is by Robert Clampett; story by Warren Foster; animation, I. Ellis; and musical direction by Carl W. Stalling.

January 9, 1942
"A Torrid Toreador"
20th-Fox 7 mins. Lively Cartoon
A Terry-Toon in Technicolor covering the adventures of the Americano Cat with the Mexican Senorita. Papa finds the pair together and challenges the bravery of the American by putting him into the bull ring. Considerable action takes place some of which should register for laughs.

“A Yarn About Yarn”
20th-Fox 7 mins. Diverting
Time-honored fable of the black sheep who makes gocd after causing a great deal of trouble. In this average cartoon, the black sheep cries "wolf" once too often and the Mother Sheep is captured and taken to the lair of the wolf where she is about to be sheared. Then the black sheep arrives in time and the wolf is sent spinning through the mill machinery.

January 12, 1942
"Red Riding Hood Rides Again"
Columbia 7 mins. Sub-par
Cartoon in Technicolor about the adventures of little Red Riding Hood has very little in animated humor to make it a presentable program offering. Even the ending is in questionable taste as it employs a patriotic device whereby the wolf is drafted into the army just as he is about to eat little Red Riding Hood. Doesn't make much sense.

"Happy Circus Days"
20th-Fox 7 mins. Entertaining
This Terry-Toon in Technicolor presents a little lad who goes to the circus and listens to the barker explain the wonders under the big top. Barker's spiel is so graphic, the lad can picture what happens. So he and his dog set off for the movies. Which may not be so funny but it is a good plug.

"Flying Fever"
20th-Fox 7 mins. Fair
A bit of cartoon animation that is neither here nor there. In other words, the antics of Gandy the Goose are not funny although they certainly take in a great deal of territory. Most of it has to do with Gandy's attempt to become an aviator.

January 28, 1942
"Fraidy Cat" (M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 7 mins. Amusing Cartoon
A creepy radio program has Tom Cat icy and shaking with excitement. His agitated state is noted by Jerry Mouse who decides, evidently, that all a rodent has to do to frighten the feline is to play on his nervous system. So Jerry turns on a vacuum cleaner which blows a white sheet, and resorts to other tricks to make Tom Cat shudder. But when the latter discovers who is perpetrating the practical jokes, he goes after the guilty mouse hammer and tongs. The mouse barely escapes the jaws of Tom at the finale. Amusing for both grown-ups and the younger generation.

"Under the Spreading Blackship Shop" [sic]
Universal 7 min Sub-par
Technicolor cartoons is about Andy Panda and Papa Panda who are working as blacksmiths. Situations are unimaginative as far as humor content is concerned. The action has to do with Andy's desire to shoe a horse and Papa's idea to cure him which boomerangs much to Papa Panda's discomfort.

"The Field Mouse" (M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 9 mins. Actionful and Solid
Containing lots of imagination and action. The story recounts how young Herman, a field mouse, is lazy about getting up in the morning and going to work. His kindly old grandfather gives him some advice and a pep talk, and off goes Herman to help gather and store grain. But along comes a huge harvesting and thrashing machine which perils the field mouse colony. Both Grandpa and Herman are caught in its intricate belts and mechanisms, and fight like mad for their lives. Herman finally escapes and gets to a new home. Just when all hope is o'er for Grandpa's reutrn, he, too, shows up. Subject is well delineated and among the solid contemporary cartoons.

January 29, 1942
"The New Spirit"
WAC-Disney 8 mins. Give Three Cheers
Even Donald Duck is doing his bit for Uncle Sam via Walt Disney who has turned out a splendid cartoon in Technicolor for the Treasury Department. The subject is available gratis under the supervision of the industry's War Activities Committee, with National Screen Service also donating its services for physical distribution.
The effort rates cheers for a host of reasons. In a short span it switches from comedy to dramatic and inspiring effect with ease. Made mainly for the purpose of urging folks to pay taxes promptly it comes up with a good slogan: "Taxes to beat the Axis." Any subject about income taxes is tough to start with, but when the Disney animators, can present it in such a humorous vein that the topic becomes enjoyable and provides laughs, you have an idea of what a swell job they did.
Comedy footage has Donald Duck's reaction to a radio speech about necessity of paying income taxes. Latter portions are vivid screen canvases of where the money is going concluding with a memorable drawing of the sky patterned after the flag.
After this short don't be surprised if Donald Duck turns up on a dollar bill. He deserves it.

February 5, 1942
"The Art of Self Defense"
RKO 8 mins. Amusing
While not up to the standard set by previous Walt Disney efforts, cartoon is still an amusing animated Technicolor effort. It attempts to trace the art of self-defense from the prehistoric days. Best shots are those of Goofy as Father Time. Sequence bringing cartoon up-to-date shows Goofy training for his big bout in Madison Square Garden which ends with a one-punch knockout at the hands of his adversary.

February 6, 1942
"The Brave Little Bat" (Merrie Melody)
Warner Bros. 7 mins. (Superior Short)
Cleverly delineated, and with appeal to all cartoon devotees, "The Brave Little Bat" belongs among the better shorts of this series. It recounts the adventures of Sniffles, a young mouse, who is driven to shelter in a windmill when an electrical storm breaks. In the windmill resides a little bat whose wings are a source of amusement to Sniffles. The bat,—a mouse with ability to fly, as Sniffles sees it,—is only too aware of the fact that another resident of the windmill is a ferocious cat. The latter discovers Sniffles' presence and moves for his destruction, but the intended victim is rescued by the bat. Footage is in Technicolor. It's a tab reel of superior quality.

"The Village Smithy"
RKO 7 mins. Hilarious
Donald Duck scores again. In this, the Walt Disney cartoon star is a blacksmith who endures a number of irritating events. His attempt to pace a rim around a wheel is the funniest sequence. Rim keeps popping out unexpectedly until its flattens Donald. Then he tries to shoe the mule which also ends disastrously for Donald. It will make audiences laugh. It's in Technicolor.

"Rookie Revue" (Merrie Melody)
Warner Bros. 7 mins. Strong on Satire
Filmed in Technicolor under the supervision of I. Freleng, this Leon Schlesinger-produced reel deals satirically with life in Army camps, and the various military chores the rookie must perform. Footage is spiked with gags, and a lot of fun is had anent equipment. Fans, of course, will take it in good humor, for the situations are so ridiculous that it couldn't be otherwise. There is good animation by Richard Brickenbach [sic].

February 16, 1942
"The Tangled Angler"
Columbia 8 mins. Amusing
What happens when a pelican tangles with a saucy fish for amusing cartoon although action at times becomes repetitious. The fish is always one step ahead of the pelican who attempts to catch him. But the fish is too clever and the pelican is forced to depart after several exasperating experiences.

February 18, 1942
"A Hollywood Detour"
Columbia 8 mins. Okay
A Color Rhapsody in Technicolor about a burlesqued tour through Hollywood. A narrator takes the audience to Hollywood Boulevard, Brown Derby and other assorted places of renown. Most of the animation and humor is routine.

"Blunder Below"
Paramount 7 mins. Fair
Popeye demonstrates how to handle the enemy submarines in some ordinary animation. Highlight of the cartoon shows Popeye swimming to ae submarine and grabbing like Indian Clubs, the three torpedoes fired at him and flinging them back. He tackles the submarine and brings it on board. All of which happens after he consumes his spinach.

February 24, 1942
"The Hungry Wolf"
M-G-M 8 mins. Entertaining
Set this color cartoon down as passable. It tells the story of a starved wolf who goes soft-hearted when a bunny walks in on him out of the storm to furnish him with the only means of sustenance. After the bunny is gone the wolf changes his mind and takes after the little fellow. The wolf is saved from death in the storm by the bunny's pals. At the end he is being fed to the gills by the bunnies.

"Mickey's Birthday Party"
RKO-Disney 8 mins. Excellent
This one has to do with the fun and trouble attending a birthday party given for Mickey Mouse by Minnie Mouse. All the guests are worshipping at the shrine of Jive while in the kitchen a goof is trying to bake a cake with disastrous results. The goof finally goes out to buy one. In bringing it into the room he falls and wrecks it. Laughs galore. This is in Technicolor.

"Pluto Junior"
RKO-Disney 7 mins. Fine
A pup is the pivot around which this short revolves. The little fellow is always getting himself into difficulty. If it isn't one thing it's another. Some of the jams he gets into are highly funny. He is really in a tough spot when he lands on a clothesline. Pluto tries to save him and they both land in a tub full of soap suds. It is in Technicolor.

"Wacky Wigwams"
Columbia 8 mins. Good Satire
A satirical Technicolor short is clever in spots but would have been better without a few of the old gags thrown in. It is a take-off on Indian life. We get glimpses of rug weaving, making pottery, the medicine man who does a terrific snake dance to induce rain and finally hits upon the idea of cleaning his car. No sooner said than done, the rains come. This one is a little different and should go over nicely. It is supervised by Frank Tashlin, directed bv Alec Geiss and has some good animation and music by Volus Jones and Paul Worth, respectively.

March 26, 1942
"The First Swallow"
M-G-M 8 mins. Good
This Technicolor short with a background narration is very nicely done. It weaves the story of the legend built around the return of the swallows each year to Capistrano. A padre in the mission takes care of a bird which has been hurt and when the swallow recovers and flies away the padre has a nostalgic feeling about the little incident. However, the bird returns with his ever growing family and that is all there is to this little episode. But it creates a nice mood.

"Who's Who in the Zoo" (Looney Tune)
Warner-Schlesinger 7 mins. Highly Amusing
This animated cartoon takes the audience on a zoo tour with very hilarious results. Most of the fun derives from the narration, which is packed with gags. The behaviour of the various animals depicted gets plenty of laughs. Good is the word.

April 2, 1942
"Aloha Hooey" (Merrie Melodie)
Warner-Schlesinger 7 mins. Topnotch
Grand fun—that's what this Technicolor cartoon is. It's all about a crow and a gull, stowaways, who abandon the ship when they spy a South Sea lady bird on an island beach. Most of the footage concerns their rivalry to win the fair one's heart. The crow wins when he saves the cutie from a gorilla.

"Good-Bye, Mr. Moth"
Universal 7 mins. Amusing
Andy Panda plays the role of a tailor in this one. Everything is going hunky-dory when a moth enters his shop and starts to make itself at home. This moth, being a pig, chews up all the garments in the joint. In trying to get rid of it, Andy Panda wrecks the shop. The moth gets away in the end. Great fun.

"Mother Goose on the Loose"
Universal 7 mins. Fair
Mother Goose is given a modern twist in this Technicolor short. All the characters in that nursery classic are paraded in a series of panels which do not produce any excess laughs. Bo Peep, Jack and Jill, Georgie Porgie, Simple Simon, the Little Lamb—these and others are depicted. This is a Walter Lantz item.

"Conrad the Sailor" (Merrie Melodie)
Warner-Schlesinger A Howl
Laughs galore are to be found in this Technicolor animated cartoon. A duck and a crow are involved in a feud aboard a battleship. The crow messes up the duck's deck-mopping activities. From there on it's a chase creative of many uproarious incidents. The thing winds up with the duck finally getting rid of the buttinsky crow.

"Any Bonds Today"
Warners 2 mins. Amusing and To-The-Point
A two minute Technicolor cartoon produced for the Treasury Department which puts its idea over lightly and quickly but extremely well and makes the audience want to buy bonds and stamps. A neat little trailer that every exhibitor should be happy to have the privilege of showing.

April 17, 1942
"Oh Gentle Spring" (Terry-Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Good
In this Terry-Toon the denizens of the fields and the trees issue forth to celebrate the coming of spring. And again the flowers bloom. Birds, animals and insects are seen carrying on joyously. The film sparkles with gayety and is enhanced by music to fit the mood. A commentator delivers lines that are often highly funny. Very entertaining.

"Fleets of Stren'th"
Paramount 7 mins. Good
Popeye is showing his stuff again as a result of excess spinach consumption. This one is fast-moving with lots of clever ideas. Popeye is in the Navy and at the command of his superior officer, mans a mosquito boat single handed and just when it looks as though the tar is going to be demolished by Jap planes the old vegetable comes to the fore and the Rising Sun is wiped out.

April 20, 1942
"Eat Me Kitty Eight to the Bar" (Terry -Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Excellent
High hilarity is to be found in this Terry-Toon. A cat is palsy-walsy with all those creatures traditionally the enemies of the feline. The cat does its greatest job of kindness on a mouse. Viewing the strange conduct from the sidelines is a bulldog, who is flabbergasted by such unorthodox conduct on the part of a cat. The dog tries the kindness business with a goat and gets badly banged up as a result. That cures him.

"Cat Meets Mouse" (Terry-Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Swell
There are a lot of laughs in this story of a cat which conceives the idea of imprisoning mice in a concentration camp composed of a box. The mice finally escape and put in a call for help. Soon an immense army of mice goes after the cat, using every conceivable instrument to bring the cat to terms. The thing winds up with the cat ignominiously defeated and capitulating to the mice. Technicolor gives added attraction to this short.

"The Raven"
Paramount 14 1/2 mins. Amusing
A Technicolor burlesque of the famous Edgar Allan Poe poem. It employs a few good gags but takes in some pretty old ones too. The Raven, in the person of a vacuum cleaner salesman tries to sell an old Scotchman and gets all tangled up in the usual comic situations. The color and art work are excellent and the characters are new. Should take with cartoon fans.

"Donald's Snow Fight" (Donald Duck)
RKO 7 Mins. Good Fun
From the Disney atelier emerges another amusing Technicolor Donald Duck. This time he ruins a snow man created by his little nephews by coasting smack down a hill and through it. The fight gets under way and there are a considerable number of clever situations woven into this reel. The military theme is brought to the fore—they all whip up torpedoes of ice and knock Donald for a real loop. Lots of fun.

"Pipeye, Pupeye, Poopeye and Peepeye"
Paramount 7 mins. Diverting
Popeye is trying to get his retinue of nephews to place the proper evaluation on spinach by demonstrating fighting, dancing and even a good beating up. Despite their aversion to the herb, they manage to swallow it and follow his example by giving him a rousing booting and then, nonchalantly, with fishing tackle slung over their shoulders they walk over him and stroll down the street. This is good for any bill.

"The Bulleteers"
Paramount 9 mins. Fast-Moving A Superman item in Technicolor. This time a swift bullet-shaped missil shoots out of nowhere and leaves devastation in its wake. The gang responsible for the wreckage threatens the mayor of the city and infuriated by his refusal to heed the warning proceeds to do considerable damage until Superman comes in and gets everything under control. Sure fire thriller for the kids.

"Dog Meets Dog"
Columbia 8 mins. Fair
The dog catcher is after a bulldog who is roaming the streets without a license in this Phantasy Cartoon. The culprit gyps a license from a meek little spaniel and spends an appalling night filled with hideous nightmares because of his low trick. He goes to the pound to give himself up—finds the place in flames and by rescuing the dogs and the catcher becomes a hero. Nothing exceptional about this reel.

"Symphony Hour" (Mickey Mouse)
RKO 7 Mins. Okay
Mickey Mouse, leader of a fine symphony orchestra, gets a sponsor for a full hour program and just as the big moment approaches Goofy smashes into an elevator shaft and does a thorough wreckage job on the instruments. However, the program goes on and the noises emitted from the remains turns out to be hot jive. Just as the sponsor is about to commit mayhem on the whole gang, the deafening applause of the audience saves the night. This is in Technicolor.

April 30, 1942
"Horton Hatches the Egg" (Merrie Melody)
Warner-Schlesinger 9 mins. Fine
This story of the faithful elephant that hatches the mina bird's egg while she is away having a gay time has a touching quality as well as humor. The sight of the elephant sitting on the egg despite every discomfort and humiliation because a promise is a promise cannot help but move you. When the egg is finally hatched out pops a baby elephant with wings. The bird tries to claim the offspring but gets nowhere. Technicolor helps the film tremendously.

"The Wabbit Who Came to Supper" (Merrie Melody)
Warner-Schlesinger 7 mins. Terribly Funny
Tremendously hilarious, this Technicolor cartoon dealing with Bugs Bunny's moving in on a hunter who has inherited $5,000,000. The rabbit has taken advantage of a clause in the will which stipulates that the inheritor must be kind to all rabbits. Knowing he can't be harmed, the rabbit carries on with impunity, making life miserable for the heir. The tables are turned when it develops that taxes and other charges have reduced the fortune to nothing. Sure-fire.

"Donald Gets Drafted"
RKO 9 mins. Swell
The usual Disney standard is maintained in Donald Duck's latest experience. The opening sequence shows him looking at a series of excellent posters concerning Army life as he is on his way to the draft board. Becoming very ebullient about the whole idea he lushes in for his physical and goes through the usual grief and tribulation a selectee is faced with. Disney has whipped up some hilarious situations. This is in Technicolor.

"Daffy's Southern Exposure" (Looney Tune)
Warner-Schlesinger 7 mins. Splendid
This animated cartoon shows what happens to Daffy Duck when he refuses to go South with the other ducks at the approach of winter. His independence costs him a lot of harrrowing moments. He almost is eaten by a wolf to whose home he comes for shelter from the elements. It all serves to teach Daffy a lesson and to provide picture customers with some fine entertainment. Snappy music adds to the enjoyment of the film.

May 21, 1942
"The Wacky Wabbit" (Merry Melodie)
Warner-Schlesinger 7 mins. A Howl
Fourteen-carrot entertainment this "Wacky Wabbit." There's a laugh in every foot. The wise-guy rabbit in this instance tries his tricks on a gold prospector. He drives the poor guy crazy, confounding him and keeping him constantly on the jump. Bugs Bunny grows in stature with every new Merry Melodie release. He bids fair to become as funny as any character now in animated cartoons. The smart showman should grab this short.

"Nutty Pine Cabin" (Andy Panda)
Universal 7 mins. Just So-So
The trial and tribulations that beset Andy Panda in trying to build a cabin among the big trees are the subject of this cartoon, which is in Technicolor. A young beaver keeps giving Andy trouble. At last the cabin builder blows up. There is quiet for a while, but up pops the beaver again, this time with re-enforcements. They gnaw through a tree and topple it on top of the cabin. This one isn't any too funny.

May 25, 1942
"Little Gravel Voice"
M-G-M 8 mins. Good
Made under the supervision of Rudolph Ising, this Technicolor cartoon is vastly amusing. The central character is a young burro whose touching efforts to gain the friendship of the other animals are a total failure. Every time he brays he drives them away without meaning to. Their attitude changes when his braying is responsible for saving their lives from a big bad wolf.

"The Draft Horse" (Merry Melodie)
Warner-Schlesinger 7 mins. Very Funny
A dopey farm horse, determined to do his bit for his country, tries to enlist in the Army. He is rejected as being sub-par physically. On his way back home he runs into a sham battle. He is lucky to escape with his hide intact. That cures him of his yen to be in the Army. He compromises by taking up knitting for the boys in the service. There's plenty of horseplay in this animated cartoon in Technicolor—and extremely funny.

May 27, 1942
"Bambi"
RKO-Disney 69 Mins. BEAUTIFULLY AND TENDERLY TOLD FANTASY IS ANOTHER TRIUMPH FOR THE DISNEY TECHNIQUE.
Walt Disney has worked his magic spell again in this Technicolor dream, "Bambi." A stroke of fortune threw the Felix Salten book in his hands, and he has met the challenge with an infinite inspiration that has placed the theater-goers of a war-torn world in heavy debt to him. The film offers a release from reality that will be reflected in heavy grosses at the box-offices of the land. Grown-ups will revel in it with an enthusiasm to equal that of the children.
The Salten story of a deer provided Disney with a subject of great universal appeal. It is difficult to remain unmoved by Bambi's experiences, some of which are very funny. Some scenes are filled with an inexpressible tenderness, others with a red-blooded excitement and a thumping action that will get a great rise from the younger people. Never is the production less than engrossing at all times.
Bambi is the prince of the forest who enjoys the love and devotion of all the other animals. The film traces his life from birth to the glory of his full maturity when he rules as the undisputed guardian of his animal kingdom. Bambi's training for leadership begins when his mother is killed by hunters. His first great test comes when he enters into mortal combat with a villainous buck that menaces Faline, the doe to which he has plighted his love. Again Bambi shows what he is made of when he rescues Faline from a pack of hunting dogs, which he battles single-handed, if such can be said of a deer. The two become separated when the forest is set ablaze by careless hunters but are reunited at the end.
The forest fire provides this idyll with a spectacular climax in which color is used with tremendous effect. In fact, the color throughout the film, applied with stunning artistry, is employed as a striking means of creating mood and establishing emotions. "Bambi" is alive with a host of secondary animal characters, some of them treated in extremely hilarious fashion. Two of them, a thumping hare and a coy skunk, are notable. Both are good for plenty of resounding laughs.
The real villain of the story is Man, who is responsible for all the misfortune that befalls Bambi, Faline and the others in their animal paradise.
Too much praise cannot be heaped on all associated with this production. David D. Hand did a great job as supervising director. Among those deserving special mention are Perce Pearce, credited with the story direction; Larry Morey, who did the adaptation; Thomas H. Codrick, whose art direction sets a high artistic standard, and Frank Churchill and Edward H. Plumb, whose musical score, an achievement of a high order, adds to the effectiveness and beauty of the film.
CREDITS: Producer, Walt Disney; Supervising Director, David D. Hand; Story Director, Perce Pearce; Story Adaptation, Larry Morey; Based on book by Felix Salten; Music, Frank Churchill, Edward H. Plumb; Art Director, Thomas H. Codrick; Supervising Animators, Franklin Thomas, Milton Kahl, Eric Larson; Oliver M. Johnston, Jr.
DIRECTION, Superb. PHOTOGRAPHY, Superb.

June 10, 1942
"The Army Mascot" (Walt Disney Cartoon)
RKO Radio 7 mins. Disney At His Best
So that every dog will have his day, Walt Disney devotes this swell reel to the beloved, lose-jointed and eternally sniffin' Pluto. The screen's most famous canine invades an Army camp, there to find that a Bulldog, a Mexican hairless, and a spirited goat, christened Gunther, are living on the fat of the land, with the warm affections of the soldiers thrown in. Pluto, anxious to become a mascot of the Division, weighs the possibilities of shutting the goat in the latter's abode just before a commissary truck brings around the dog and goat food.
But Gunther's fare turns out to be tin cans, and the irate horned creature succeeds in breaking out of his quarters, with disastrous results for Pluto. Aside from being a mascot, Gunther is a keen strategist and plans Pluto's Waterloo. But the plan backfires, catapulting the goat miles high as the ammunition dump explodes. Pluto ingratiates himself with the Division via his ability to chew a whole bar of tobacco, winding up as the official mascot. Here is a fine Disney short, arrayed in magnificent Technicolor.

"Old Glory" (Merrie Melodie)
Warner 7 mins. Good
This is a patriotic Technicolor cartoon that is both educational and entertaining. Porky gives up in disgust trying to memorize the Pledge of Allegiance and falls asleep. He dreams of Uncle Sam's taking him in tow and explaining to him why he should devote himself to learning the pledge to Old Glory. Uncle Sam makes his point by reviewing for Porky's benefit the events in American history that secured our freedom.

"Nutty News"
Warner-Schlesinger 7 mins. Very Funny
A satire on the newsreels, this cartoon provides excellent fun. The scenes are a humorous distribution of some of the favorites of the newsreel cameramen. A good touch is a commentary spoken by Elmer, the rabbit, a highly funny character featured in the Bugs Bunny cartoons.

June 15, 1942
"Juke Box Jamboree"
Universal 7 mins. Cleverly Done
A Walter Lantz "Swing Symphony" in Technicolor concerning Muzie Mouse who is deprived of his rest nightly by the rhumba tunes played in a juke box in the restaurant he has chosen as his home. In an attempt to bust the machine, he falls into a glass loaded with a potent drink, swallows it and gets into a pretty happy frame of mind. All sorts of spirits come to life in the shape of flower pots, turtles and rhumba-dancing gals. Muzie has a gay old time of it and then crawls back into his little trap for a solid night's sleep. Very amusing, with swell rhumba music.

"Gandy Goose in Tricky Business" (Terry-Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Good
A goose and a cat are the characters in this cartoon. The goose fascinates the cat by a fantastic demonstration of the art of magic. The cat tries to duplicate the tricks without much success, getting himself entangled in one mess after another. The fun comes to a head in a magic shop, where a number of tricks backfire badly for the cat. There's plenty of goofiness to please the customers.

"Ace In The Hole"
Universal 7 mins. Fairly Funny
In this rather routine Technicolor cartoon, Woody Woodpecker is training for the Air Corps and is most impatient about doing everyday chores. In a good sequence we catch him flying along on the shadow of a nlane. Consumed with curiosity, he drapes himself in a pilot's suit, takes off without even being vaguely familiar with the rudiments of flying, practically kills the sergeant, and ends up with a horse clipper and what looks like a hopelessly unending line of animals to trim!

"Lights Fantastic" (Merrie Melodie)
Warner-Schlesinger 7 mins. Excellent
This cartoon in Technicolor has novelty, which should make it a distinctly attractive booking. The action takes place on Broadway at night. The Rialto's famous electric signs, now darkened by Army ukase, are the inspiration for the gags and music. There are loads of laughs in this short, which offers something different. The film, in Technicolor, is based on a story by Sgt. Dave Monahan.

"Wilful Willie" (Terry-Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Fair
This cartoon is all about a bad mouse whose parents can't get him to drink milk. In a dream he is transported to the wide-open spaces of the West where he roams the wastelands as a mean desperado until fate pursues him into the burning desert. There he is on the verge of dying of thirst when suddenly he comes upon a glass of milk. The dreamer wakes up cured of his aversion to milk. No better than fair.

June 22, 1942
"The Stork's Mistake"
Twentieth-Fox 7 mins. Fair
Paul Terry's stork makes a bad break in this subject. He delivers a baby skunk to a most unwilling rabbit family. Shunned by this clan and every other one he tries to crash, the skunk manages to prove his utility by saving the rabbits from a bunch of vicious dogs and consequently is accepted into their midst.

"All About Dogs" (Terry-Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Mighty Funny
Here is a cartoon in Technicolor that uses the physical characteristics of dogs as a means of creating comedy of an extremely excellent brand. After each dog is introduced it is put through a little act in which those qualities associated with it in the public mind are burlesqued. Very clever and completely satisfactory.

"Gandy Goose In The Outpost"
Twentieth-Fox 7 mins. Amusing
Paul Terry has done a take-off on Army life in this single reel, which happens to be graced with some novel situations. Gandy, under the supervision of the Tough Sergeant Cat, goes through the usual paces in preparation for the ultimate Japanese air attack. Gandy and the cat do a tricky job of annihilation without any outside assistance. This one is good for any bill.

June 25, 1942
"Tulips Shall Grow" (Madcap Models)
Paramount 7½ mins. Excellent Subject
With each short in this series, the imagination and technical skill of Producer George Pal increases. This reel should be set down by exhibitors as his best to date. The story is presented as a fantasy, but is much more than that, for it obviously and strenuously portrays the ruthless occupation of Holland by the Nazi hordes. Pal does not tag the invading army as that of Hitler, and he doesn't have to resort to this because the parallel is inescapable even to the mind of the least-alert of theatergoers.
Pal introduces two new solid-geometric characters of carved wood,—the hero and the heroine,—in the persons of Jan and Janette, two lovers in a windmill studded community of heavily canalized Holland. Their gaiety and contentment are shattered by the ruthless army which blasts the peacefulness of their lives and turns to ruins the dwellings of the country. But then, and prophetically, come the delivering hosts of the United Nations, and with them the restoration of the land and its people.
Tulips, symbols of the Dutch nation, grow again, the trampling of the Nazi heels notwithstanding. Not only does this short belong in the category of pure entertainment, by virtue of its excellent and novel animated action, but it demonstrates the power of the short subject to recount consequential themes with an intensity out of all proportion to its physical size.

"Puss ‘n’ Toots" (M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 7 mins. Lively Nonsense
Here's a delightful bit of nonsense to make audiences chuckle. Tom, the bullying cat, and Jerry, the persecuted but resourceful mouse, tangle here in the field of romantic rivalry. Into the household where the feudists dwell comes a glamorous gal cat with whom Tom is at once heart-smitten. He drops his usual pastime of annoying Jerry to court the newcomer. But Jerry is decidedly interested, too, in the fascinating femme feline, and puts his rival in a very embarrassing light by perpetrating upon him some of the many indignities which Tom has chronically dished-out. The cartoon is amusing throughout and will divert old and young alike.