Friday, 19 September 2014

Fun Fifties Cars

I love the designs in “Destination Earth.” It’s a mid-1950s propaganda cartoon for the oil industry made by the John Sutherland studio. Tom Oreb and Vic Haboush were brought in as designers.

The cars are parodies of the long, huge-finned vehicles that were de rigeur in the auto industry in the second half of the decade. Here are a few of them. The second one has Buick’s portholes and the fifth is based on the M.G., which were becoming popular then.



Part of a shot of a neighbourhood.



And here are more cars with neat character designs. Dig that crazy beatnik, Daddy-O!



Here’s a car at a gas station. A typical American family is inside. Wait! Where’s dad? Probably hard at work at the office after a four-martini lunch.



Look at all those happy, stylised people, thanks to big oil companies. Thanks, Corporate America!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Minnie the Moocher Cat

“Minnie the Moocher” (1932) is another great Fleischer cartoon, mixing ghosts, skeletons, weird creatures and Cab Calloway’s music.

One little sequence has Calloway’s voice coming out of a spectre cat.



Suddenly spectre kittens pop up behind her and start feeding off her. The mother cat shrinks.



The mother cat hands them a milk bottle with four nipples. They continue to grow but she dies.



Willard Bowsky and Ralph Somerville receive the animation credits

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

How to Be Charley Weaver

As a pre-teen watching “Hollywood Squares,” I knew all the regulars except one. Paul Lynde guest starred on sitcoms. Rose Marie was on the “Dick Van Dyke Show.” Wally Cox was the voice of Underdog. And Charley Weaver was...well, who was Charley Weaver?

11-year-old me had no idea that Charley Weaver wasn’t even Charley Weaver. He was always in character and never introduced by his real name that I recall. It was years later I found that Charley Weaver was the last in a long line of old men characters invented by Cliff Arquette which included Ben Willet on “Point Sublime” and Captain Billy on “Glamour Manor” on radio. Charley parked himself on Jack Paar’s late-night couch about 1959 and started raking in fame and cash.

Charley, er, Cliff, was profiled in a column syndicated by the National Enterprise Association on August 13, 1959. Interestingly, Arquette talked of retiring in three years, ie. 1962. Of course, that never happened, as “Hollywood Squares” came along in 1966 and Arquette appeared on the show until his health prohibited it (he died in 1974).

Charley Weaver Builds An Empire
By DICK KLEINER

New York (NEA)—In his time, Cliff Arquette has had his ups and downs. But the way things are going, it looks like all ups from here on. He’s in the happy position of having turned down offers to do eight Broadway plays, a handful of movies, some TV situation comedies, a flock of special MC jobs and any number of supermarket openings. He’s said no to everything, for the simple reason that he doesn’t need the work.
“I’ve had some lean years and some good years,” he said. “I had it made a few times, then blew it, mostly on bad investments, But I’ve got a good business manager now. And he keeps telling me, ‘For God’s sake, don’t take any more work, you’ll ruin us.’”
It wasn’t always thus. Arquette, in his pre-Charley Weaver days, started out as a cartoonist. When he was 16 or 17, he “kept bugging” NEA Service, in Cleveland, for a job until the artists themselves hired him to run out for coffee. After a few months of that, they let him do a cartoon panel.
“I got an office,” he says, “which was a broom closet with the brooms still in it. And I did a panel of dot drawings—the kind the kids connect and draw an animal. I wanted to sign it but they wouldn't let me, so I got mad.”
With his cartooning days behind him, he went into show business. Even in those early days, he specialized in acting old men. “I like old men,” he says. “And I was too shy to be myself. At parties, nobody paid attention to me as myself, so I started telling jokes as an old man. It worked. Pretty soon, I was thrown out of the parties.”
Through the years, he’s been on hundreds of radio shows, mostly as an old man. So, when TV started raising its coaxial head, he was ready. “I decided I needed a character I could grow into,” he says. “So I began working up this old man. I’d spend hours at the Old Men’s Home in Sautelle, Calif. In those days, there were Spanish-American veterans there, and I’d sit around and talk to those cats.
And he discovered the things that make Charley Weaver so well liked, without ever offending anybody. He noticed that most old men never study how they put on their ties—“they just tie it and where it is, that’s where it stays”—or their hats—“as long as it keeps the sun off their heads, it’s O.K.”
He decided not to use any makeup for Charley Weaver. First, he’s allergic to makeup and, second, his own ruddy complexion photographs well. He began making his own wigs—that’s one of his many sidelines—but quit when he hit it big on The Jack Paar Show and suddenly needed five wigs at once.
“They cost $350 apiece,” he says, sadly.
Charley’s clothes cost more than Cliff’s—$250 a suit, mostly because there are few tailors who can turn out the proper Weaver baggy pants. “I tried growing my own mustache,” he says, “but it ruined my love life.”
His first appearance on the Paar show was over the protests of his agent, who figured it wouldn’t do him much good. It didn’t do the agency much good—Arquette dropped him. Actually, Cliff had been retired, but came back out of restlessness. Nowadays, he’s his own agent—“I learned how to say no, and that’s all you need to be an agent.”
He still has retirement on his mind, figuring he’ll have had it in three more years. Consequently, all his present contracts expire in three years. That’s even true of the contract for his upcoming (probably in December) TV show, which he won’t discuss but which, according to rumor, will be a modernized, Weaverized version of “Hobby Lobby.”
Before that, though, he’s planning to drag out some more members of the Weaver family on the Paar show. Already, Charley’s mother has appeared, and Cliff has plans to introduce grandfather—complete with long white beard.
Arquette is now 53, a round-faced, white-haired, blue-eyed pixie with a great love of life and a fondness for both fun and money. He’s found both in Gettysburg, Pa., where he has a museum full of his collection of Civil War uniforms. Gettysburg, of course, is President Eisenhower’s adopted-home and Arquette noticed that, when Ike was there, he came out of church promptly at 10:20 a.m. on Sundays. So Arquette carefully timed his own trip to the church and delights in pulling up, amid squealing crowds, at 10:19.
“And when the President comes out,” he says, “there’s nobody around. One of these days, he’ll say, “Who’s that little fat fellow?”
As for money, Arquette, between his TV, book, records, museum and other enterprises, will never have to worry again. “I call it,” he says, “‘The Charley Weaver Empire’.”

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Fly Me to the Moon

Sylvester has a string tied to his tooth—then realise Tweety has attached it to a lit rocket in “Bad Ol’ Putty Tat.” There’s one short take, then a bigger one. Here are the anticipation drawings (on twos), then the take.



Ken Champin, Virgil Ross, Gerry Chiniquy and Manny Perez are the animators. Gag by Tedd Pierce.

Will the Real Popeye Please Stand Up

Jack Mercer wasn’t the first voice of Popeye, but he’s the one everyone thinks of. He did it for decades. Here he is with two imposters in a 1974 broadcast of the Garry Moore version of “To Tell The Truth.” Most of you reading this blog probably know which one it is without him opening his mouth. There’s a ground buzz on the audio. Your announcer is Bill Wendell. You can read more about Mercer in this post.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Another Sign of Tex Avery

It doesn’t take long for a sign gag to appear in Tex Avery’s early cartoons at MGM. Here’s an example in “Who Killed Who?” Tex sets up the mystery with some lovely night-time bluish backgrounds by Johnny Johnsen.



And then the camera pans over to a typical Avery sign.



There are no animation credits, but there’s no reason not to be believe Avery’s crew was Spence-Blair-Abrams-Love, with someone else handling effects.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Benny in the Third Person

Here’s another fan magazine story, supposedly written by Jack Benny about himself and his radio show. This appeared in the monthly Radio Mirror (along with the NBC publicity photos in this post) in March 1939.

The magazine was aimed at women, so there’s naturally a focus on the happy home life.

What’s a little different about this one is Jack is spoken about in third person, therefore Jack is writing about himself as if he’s another person.

This article was written just before Kenny Baker left the show, therefore there’s no mention of Dennis Day. And Rochester was only a semi-regular at this point and didn’t appear every week.

Speaking of Jack Benny
Your ace comedian lets down his hair (what there is of it) and proves he's as funny with written words as he is on the air (we hope)
By JACK BENNY
I MUST love the spot, because here I am—on it again. The editor of this magazine has just asked me how it feels to be at the top of the radio heap. The little rascal.
Why, that's like asking a man if he still beats his wife. Any way he answers, it's still the eight ball into the side pocket.
In other words, Mr. Smarty Editor, I am going to fool you. How does it feel to be on the top of the heap in radio? I dunno. Ask somebody else. But how does it feel to be Jack Benny? There's a question I can answer—and no one else can.
In the first place, Jack Benny feels just about so big. How big is that? Well, if someone has laughed at his jokes, he is about six foot three inches. If they haven't laughed, he's just three inches. Otherwise, it's always a surprise to him to learn he is five foot ten and a half, and his hair is graying.
I'd say Jack feels very fine in the morning when he wakes up and has breakfast with the wife and kid—yes, that's Mary Livingstone Benny and Joan Naomi Benny—and he likes to whistle when he goes for his two-mile hike. Also, he feels very disgusted when no one believes that he takes that hike, since it is one of the things he really enjoys. When he's working on a picture or on his program, he gets a very shaky feeling in the pit of his stomach and gets so interested in what he's doing that he sometimes forgets to eat—then wonders why his stomach aches. Both the ache and the shaky feeling vanish if an omelet stuffed with creamed chicken is applied internally to his stomach. Incidentally, you can take it from me that Mr. Benny considers that a very fine dish.
After the day's work (if it has gone well), Jack usually has a glad feeling for being able to do that kind of stuff. If the work has gone badly, he feels very low in his mind. He gets a tremendous kick out of talking radio and pictures to practically anyone who will listen.
If he must work after dinner, he raises the devil—but does the work and feels pretty good anyway. If he gets home before eleven at night, he goes up to look at his sleeping youngster, gets bawled out for making a noise, then goes downstairs and tries to get into that book he's been trying to read. Three nights out of four, however, his eyes feel as though they have sand in them, so he trots off to get a couple extra hours of shuteye.
Yep, that's about how Jack Benny feels, I'd say. What's more, he's felt that way ever since he did his first broadcast for columnist Eddie Sullivan seven years ago and all through the three hundred odd shows he's done since then.
In appearance, I'd say that Jack wasn't particularly handsome, except in a quiet, distinguished fashion. You know, sort of the Ronald Colman type. He wears his hair brushed straight back and his teeth brushed in the approved circular motion. What's more, he wears blue, gray, and brown equally well—and I guess that takes care of Phil Harris' remarks about his clothes. He lets his wife select his ties for him because there is nothing else he can do.
I think the most interesting thing about Jack Benny is the way he works. I know it's a surprise to him each week that he gets a show on the air.
When Jack first went on the air, he did long monologues just as he had done on the stage before that. However, he soon ran out of those long monologues, so he added new people to his cast to give his shows freshness. And some of the people have certainly been fresh. It was pretty obvious right away that comedy based upon situation and the character of the cast would be the easiest and most believable comedy.
ONE of Jack's most important activities during preparation of his program is riding herd on his writers, Bill Morrow and Eddie Beloin.
He usually gets together with them each Monday to talk over what he's to do the following Sunday. He meets with them again on Tuesday to try to remember what was said on Monday. On Wednesday, Jack drops into their apartment and discovers that they have gone to Palm Springs.
On Thursday afternoon, there is finally action. Jack gets a telegram from his writers saying, "HAVING A FINE TIME. WISH YOU WERE HERE." You can imagine how that relieves Benny, who has been pretty upset about not having a script. On Friday, Bill and Eddie come back from Palm Springs. And would you believe it? They bring back no material, but the most beautiful sunburn you've ever seen. Benny spends all of Friday afternoon rubbing sunburn lotion into them. As a result, he usually has a pretty good script on Saturday for first rehearsals.
There is one more peculiarity about Jack's method of working, I understand. That is, that he reads the entire script over for the cast before the cast reads it. Strangers have read great importance into this reading, but let me tell a secret. The real reason Jack reads the whole script first is: He wants to have, just once, all those funny lines Kenny and Mary and Phil Harris have.
The real big secret in Jack Benny's life is that he's really very fond of Mary Livingstone. They've just built their little love-nest in Beverly Hills and it certainly is some joint, if I do say so myself. Jack feels that inasmuch as Paramount, keeps propping him up in front of a camera every so often, and his sponsor keeps renting an NBC microphone for him every Sunday, he might as well live out in the land of sunshine.
Of course, the other reason for Jack's decision to stay in California is Joan Naomi Benny. Of course, Mr. Benny is prejudiced, but he will sit on anybody who says Joannie isn't the smartest little trick that ever dumped her spinach off the high chair. Oh, I'd better explain this for Jack while I'm at it. Although Mary has been Mrs. Benny for eleven years, she and Jack ignore that in front of the microphone because they feel it gives a broader comedy angle to be single.
After all, Mary couldn't talk about her dates with Clark Gable . . . and Mr. Benny couldn't talk about Dolores Del Schmoots ... if they also talked about being married to each other.
Well, that's Jack Benny, folks.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Cartoons of 1947, Part 2

Things were not going too well for animated cartoon studios toward the end of 1947. Columbia had closed its operation for good and Walter Lantz took over its cartoon building. And Lantz was having money troubles, too. MGM and Warners had cut units. West Coast animators were out of work with no prospect of the situation improving. Of course, things change a bit a few years later when television started attracting advertisers and the Golden Age of Animated Commercials began. Manny Gould saw the trend coming and quit the McKimson unit at Warners to go into commercial and industrial animation. Only Bob Clampett and Len Levinson joined the ranks of theatrical cartoon producers and their tenure was extremely short. Cartoon production costs were rising but exhibitors simply didn’t want to pay more to show animated shorts because the public wasn’t clamouring for them.

Not only were exhibitors apathetic toward cartoons, so were the trade papers. The Film Daily had extremely little news about animation, Disney features being the exception and Uncle Walt was focusing more on live action.

A story that would affect the whole film industry was brewing at this time as well—hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Walt Disney was happy to cooperate it its effort to find Commies—Disney conveniently found some in the membership of the union representing his workers—and its tentacles were hovering around the nascent UPA. The studio would have more trouble several years later during the blacklist period.

Recently, we’ve been augmenting these posts with stories from the daily editions of Variety. This time, we’re going to incorporate them into the body of the news portion of the post and they’ll be labelled as such. Unfortunately, a number of the stories are incomplete. My thanks to Steve Stanchfield and Thad Komorowski for the frame grab from Bob Clampett’s solo effort for Republic. It’s a shame conditions weren’t rife for cartoon shorts as the Charlie Horse series could have been very funny, although it likely would have been quieter in tone from his work at Warners.

July 3, 1947
Morgan Nears End of 31-City Exchange Tour
Oscar A. Morgan, Paramount short subjects and newsreel sales manager, on Tuesday completes a 31-city tour of branch sales offices on the company's 1947-48 shorts and newsreel program. All of the U. S. and Canada will be covered with the final meeting in the New York branch. Morgan, who returned to the home office from the road yesterday, pointed out that the past season was the greatest sales year in Paramount's short subjects history and said that a decision to increase its cartoons releases from 18 to 24 was based upon that factor. Move was made, he observed, as some companies were trimming their cartoon schedules.

Disney Motion Denied
Federal Judge Henry W. Goddard yesterday denied a defendant's motion to dismiss the copyright action brought by Southern Music Publishing Co. against Walt Disney Productions and Santly-Joy in connection with songs Southern claims to own. Motion claimed that the Court lacked jurisdiction.

July 7, 1947
Brussels Award for "Concerto"
M-G-M's Tom and Jerry Cartoon, "The Cat Concerto," was awarded the grand prize for Technicolor cartoons at the Brussels Film Festival. Picture, which also won an Academy Award as the best cartoon of 1946, was produced by Fred C. Quimby.

FANCY FREE READY
Daily Variety
Walt Disney's "Fun and Fancy Free" is ready. "How Dear to My Heart" and "Sing About Something" are in animation. "Alice in Wonderland" is now on Disney's "story boards," and probably will start through animation late this year.

July 8, 1947
Impossible Pictures To Make Cartoon Series
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood— David Flexer, Memphis circuit operator, has teamed up with Leonard L. Levinson, film and radio writer, to incorporate Impossible Pictures, Inc., at Sacramento, to produce a new series of cartoons in Ansco Color. Levinson is prexy, Flexer, vice-prexy, Sidney Schwartz, secretary-treasurer, and Sam Wolf, counsel. Cartoons will be a series of imaginary travelogues; first is titled "Romantic Rumbolia, the Sea of the Rumba."

July 9, 1947
Minimum of 36 Features Planned by RKO
A 1947-48 program of 36 or more features, plus 189 short subjects, was announced yesterday for RKO Radio by Ned E. Depinet, executive vice-president, at the company's 16th annual sales meeting in the Waldorf – Astoria Hotel.
Nearly 20 of the 1947-48 features are completed, including ... two Disneys ...
Total of 189 shorts will comprise ... 18 Walt Disney Technicolor cartoons, plus six Disney revivals.

July 11, 1947
Technicolor For 65% of M-G-M's 1947-48 Shorts
A program of 48 short subjects, with 65 per cent of them in Technicolor, will be released by M-G-M in 1947-48, Fred Quimby, short subjects department head, announced yesterday. Of the total, 42 will be new subjects, augmented by six Gold Medal reprint cartoons. Schedule lists 10 Pete Smith Specialties, 16 cartoons, six FitzPatrick Traveltalks, six John Nesbitt Passing Parades, four 2-reel M-G-M Specials, and the six cartoon re-issues.

Use Live Fish In Metro Cartoon
Daily Variety
New one-reeler, forerunner of a new Metro cartoon series combining live-acting and animation, rolled yesterday. Titled "The Catfish and the Mermouse," short features Tom and Jerry and marks the first time under- water sequences and living fish have been used [remaining text unavailable]

July 14, 1947
ILL IN FIX
Daily Variety
Grace Enright, of Metro cartoon department, is reported in satisfactory condition at St. John's hospital, Santa Monica, after emergency appendectomy [remaining text unavailable] July 16, 1947
Ralph Wilk column, Hollywood
A forerunner of a new series of M-G-M cartoons, featuring the combination of live-action and animation is production. New cartoon, featuring Tom and Jerry, has been titled "The Catfish and the Mermouse." Film 'tis said, marks first time that underwater sequences are used for a cartoon. Companions of the cartoon team will be live fish.

Disney Assigns NEW 3 Story Developments
Following recent conferences in Hopewell, N. J., Walt Disney Prod. and New Entertainment Workshop have agreed to use the story development facilities of NEW. First assignment handed NEW by Disney is "So Dear My Heart," which is now in production. It is a novel by Sterling North to be published soon. North will work with NEW on film version. Larry Watkin of NEW will do "The Little People," also for Disney. He will go to Ireland for research. A third Disney assignment is for NEW to develop a screen treatment of American covered wagon days to be produced after 1950.

July 18, 1947
STORK REPORTS
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—A son, weighing seven pounds, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Fred "Tex" Avery at St. Vincent's Hospital. Father is director of M-G-M Technicolor cartoons.

Five New Features Set By Disney Through 1950
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney will produce five feature productions for release between now and mid-1950, in addition to a replay of "Bambi," the Burbank studio revealed. All of the new productions will emphasize music and will be made in Technicolor.
Schedule includes "Fun and Fancy Free," set for release this year: "Bambi," to be re-issued early next year; "So Dear to My Heart," for Fall, 1948; "Sing About Something," Spring, 1949; and untitled feature for the Fall of 1949, and Disney's most ambitious production, "Alice in Wonderland," planned for the Summer of 1950.
While several of the new pictures will be various combinations of cartoon animations with living performers, present plans call for "Alice" to be entirely in animation.

July 22, 1947
Pal Buys Two Songs
Daily Variety
George Pal yesterday purchased two songs written by Peggy Lee, titled "Sleep In Peace" and "Take a Little Time To Smile," for introduction in "Tom Thumb," initialer in Pal's series of live action-animation features for UA release. Producer has inked Miss Lee to vocalize her own tunes [remainder of text unavailable]

July 25, 1947
Disney Mulls M-G-M Offer Of O'Brien for "Alice"
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Despite a published report that M-G-M is seeking to add Walt Disney as an independent producer, offering Disney Margaret O'Brien for lead in "Alice in Wonderland," it is reliably learned that as yet Disney has not decided whether "Alice" will be a live or animated character. It is also learned there have been no discussions between principals of M-G-M and Disney. There have been discussions between RKO and Disney for RKO to use space at latter's lot. But no deal is expected to be consummated until Peter N. Rathvon, company prexy, concludes a deal for Atlas Corporation's stock in RKO.

August 1, 1947
Eight Shorts Series For WB Next Season
Eight series of short subjects, comprising 78 one-reelers, eight two-reelers and twice weekly issues of the Warner Pathe News, will be released by Warners in i947-48, Norman H. Moray, short subjects sales manager and president of Warner News, announced yesterday at the afternoon session of the sales convention....
Program is rounded out with 13 Blue Ribbon Technicolor cartoons and 26 Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes in Technicolor.

August 8, 1947
Daily Variety
ABC CANCELING 2 SHOWS FOR DONALD DUCK
BC will cancel out two regularly scheduled programs, "The Clock" and Sammy Kaye's "So You Want To Lead a Band," on Sept. 8, in favor of Donald Duck and Jiminy Cricket. Walt Disney cartoon characters, portrayed by Clarence Nash and Cliff Edwards, will star in an hour-long documentary feature forecasting conditions in America in 1960. Show, titled "1960? Jiminy Cricket," stems from recently published Twentieth Century Fund Survey, "America's Needs and Resources." Script is by Lou Hazam Charles Harrell will direct.

August 13, 1947
Disney in "Alice" Deal
Walt Disney has acquired the rights to Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," "Through the Looking Glass" and "Hunting of the Shark" from Paramount. Also purchased by Disney were the Para rights to a musical play, entitled "Alice in Wonderland." Disney has given the green light on production of "Alice," to be based on the John Tenniel illustrations.

Laurenz Tunes Cartoons
Daily Variety
John Laurenz has been signed by L'Estita Films of Mexico to do voice characterizations for a series of Mexican animated [remainder of text unavailable]

August 15, 1947
LANTZ CARTOONERY MOVING TO NEW H'WOOD QUARTERS
Daily Variety
Walter Lantz moves his base of operations week of Aug. 24 from Universal-International, where he's headquartered for more than 10 years, to new quarters in Hollywood. Cartoon producer has taken three-year lease on old Screen Gems building at Seward and Willoughby, and is entirely refurbishing structure before swinging his staff of 55 over from valley lot. Producer, with 6,000 square feet more space than he formerly had available, will expand his commercial film activities, in addition to turning out 12 cartoons annually for United Artists on new deal. First cartoon on new UA releasing deal must be delivered next month. This already [remainder of text unavailable]

August 18, 1947
OUTLOOK BLEAK FOR CARTOONISTS; 40% NOW UNEMPLOYED
Daily Variety
With approximately 40% of Hollywood's cartoonists still unemployed there is not much chance of any of the cartoon studios increasing their staffs and thus providing more employment this year, according to Walter Lantz, prexy of Cartoon Producers Guild. As a result, many are giving up hope of any immediate studio assignments and going into other types of work, such as commercial art and other fields where their talents may be utilized. Even with full employment at Lantz's own studio, Metro, Warners and Disney, with several smaller units, unemployment still continues at its highest sustained figure.

Disney Declares Divvy
Walt Disney Productions' board of directors last Thursday declared a quarterly dividend of 37% cents per share on the six per cent cumulative convertible preferred stock payable Oct. 1, 1947 to stockholders of record Sept. 13, 1947.

Ralph Wilk column, Hollywood
WALT DISNEY is touring Alaska in preparation for a feature-length film he is planning on that territory. His idea is to treat Alaska in the same manner as he treated Latin America in "Saludos Amigos," which presented a series of animated sketches of South American customs and animals.

August 20, 1947
Daily Variety
WOODY WOODPECKER character is most popular on Walter Lantz' roster of cartoon figures, producer reports. Popularity of tough bird is predicated, Lantz claims, on fact he is always cast in heavy role, and his meanness brings him closer to audiences than other Lantz characters, such as Larry Penguin, a comical and sympathetic figure but not endowed with humanness enjoyed by Woody, who goes around making himself disagreeable. Producer reports that interest in woodpecker character outdistances others 10-to-one, judged by heavy fan mail received by company.

August 21, 1947
Lantz Delivering 12 For UA '48 Release
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Having expanded his production activities, Walter Lantz has 12 completed cartoon stories in work, all of which will be delivered to United Artists for release during the coming year.
With six currently in production, Lantz will deliver the shorts at the rate of one per month beginning in mid-September. The program consists of five Woody Woodpeckers, four Musical Miniatures and three Andy Pandas.
Assisting Lantz in the role of technical supervisor is William Garrity, formerly with Walt Disney.

August 22, 1947 (Motion Picture Daily)
Film Composer Dies
Hollywood, Aug. 21. — Lucien Denni, film arranger and composer and musical director of animated cartoons, died at his home at Hermosa Beach, Cal., Tuesday.

Metro Releasing 3 Shorts Next Month
Daily Variety
Metro's shorts department tees off its 1947-48 season with three September releases, "Football Thrills No 10," a Pete Smith Specialty, and two Technicolor cartoons, "Slap-Happy Lion" and "Mouse In the House."

August 25, 1947
Bugs Bunny, WB cartoon character, has been promoted to master sergeant for his services in the Marine Corps recruiting campaign.

August 27, 1947
Republic Sets 27 Features, 20 Outdoor Films
Republic's 1947-48 program will include 27 features, 20 outdoor action dramas and westerns, and four serials, supplemented by a novelty feature and four cartoon shorts...
Program will be accented by color, with 12 of the outdoor films, several features, the novelty picture and the cartoons being produced in the company's [T]rucolor...
Bob Clampett will produce four Trucolor cartoons, the first titled, "It's a Grand Old Nag."

September 10, 1947
Daily Variety
Specialization grows more potent, not only in science and commerce but in film cartoons. Metro has signed a houndawg named Droopy on account of he barks with a Mississippi drawl.

September 12, 1947
112 Shorts for Col With 24 in Color
A program of 112 short subjects and three serials, with 24 of the shorts to be in color, was announced for Columbia's 1947-48 schedule yesterday...
Schedule announced includes...eight Color Rhapsodies; eight Color Phantasies; eight Color Favorites (re-issues)...

September 18, 1947
Disney Pic at Globe Sept. 27
Disney's "Fun and Fancy Free" will receive its world premiere at the Broadway Globe on Sept. 27.

September 23, 1947
Daily Variety
Daughter, weighing seven pounds, 10 ounces, to Mrs. Gene Hazelton Friday at St. Mary's hospital. Long Beach. Father is Metro cartoon department layout artist.

September 26, 1947
Daily Variety
WOODY HERMAN and Paramount exchanges are working up showings of George Pal cartoon, "Rhapsody in Wood" in which bandleader is featured, so that film will be released in various towns concurrent with forthcoming tour of Herman's new band [remainder of text unavailable] October 6, 1947
Gould Joins Fairbanks West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Manny Gould has been named supervisor of all animation production for Jerry Fairbanks Productions. A veteran of the cartoon field, Gould formerly was with Warners and Screen Gems.

October 7, 1947
LANTZ CALLS MEET OF CARTOONISTS ON SHRINKING MART
Daily Variety
Walter Lantz, prexy of Animated Cartoon Producers Association, will call a meeting of membership late this week as result of confab with Arthur Kelly, exec veepee of United Artists in charge of foreign distribution. Session will be convened in effort to work out some means of cutting corners in cartoon production costs, at same time keeping people in this branch of business at work. Lantz reported that Kelly told h m to gear his product, released through UA, for United States market only, and to forget European market. "It's really bad," Kelly informed producer, summing up European situation and prospect as a market, as result of his observations when he spent some time there recently . "You have to make your money here. You may not live long enough to get your money out of Europe." Cartoon producers have been worried for some time about loss of foreign market, or most of if, and have been considering ways and means of getting their profit out of domestic market only. Lantz for past year has been gearing his product to show a profit strictly from U. S. market, and other producers have been trying to follow suit. To meet new situation, Lantz announced yesterday that it will mean simpler stones and greater simplify cation of animation, if quality is not to be sacrificed. Since exhibs and public have come to expect certain quality, this element will b? retained, with new methods devised to cut costs. Meeting will attempt to adjust production to new problems which have arisen and pave way for satisfactory domestic grosses.

October 8, 1947
CARTOONISTS GUILD BACKS LANTZ PLAN
Daily Variety
Screen Cartoonists Guild yesterday contacted Walter Lantz, prexy of Animated Cartoon Producers Association, and offered its full cooperation in working out problems facing cartoon producers in cutting production costs, made necessary through loss of foreign market. Lantz now will meet with members of his association either next Monday or Tuesday to discuss possible methods of cutting corners and still maintain quality without any further reduction in ranks of artist personnel. Matter of footage and number of drawings for each subject also will come up for discussion. There is a possibility Lantz later may call on SCG for suggestions. This will be decided at next week's meeting.

October 20, 1947
CHARTERED
JORY TELE-COLOR CARTOONS, INC., New York; to produce animated films; capital, 200 shares of no par stock; by Tom Seidel, Celia R. Alin, Edward Leven, Carol Church.

October 23, 1947
Metro Adding 4 To Tom, Jerry Sked
Daily Variety
Fred Quimby, Metro cartoon producer, upped the schedule of "Tom and Jerry" Technicolor cartoons yesterday from eight to 12 for the 1947-48 season. Because of increased demand for the four-time Academy award winners, Quimby has lined up stories for six Tom and Jerry [shorts].

October 27, 1947
LANTZ LOPS 10% OFF CARTOON COST; NO PERSONNEL CUT
Daily Variety
Pattern for reducing production costs is being worked out by Walter Lantz which other cartoon production units may follow. While still in its introductory stages, cut is expected to be at least 10 per cent, with possible greater lowering of costs as plan is worked out. Project involves no cut in personnel. While effecting a saving, Lantz has added to his employment roster, which now reaches nearly 70. Simplified stories, with fewer characters, and less props, is format Lantz is following. New system, not only speeds production but also the cartoon action itself, thereby making for faster entertainment. Situations and gags are concentrated upon, for more constant audience reaction. Lantz hit upon idea as necessary, in light of having to cut production costs or go out of business. Reluctance of exhibs to pay any more for cartoons, despite fact that in past few years they have gone up over 180 per cent in cost while payment for product has increased only 16 per cent during same period, made it imperative that some saving be effected.

Testimony Digest
WALT DISNEY told the House Committee on Un-American Activities Friday that Herbert K. Sorrell, CSU head, once said that he could use the NLRB "as it suited his purpose." Disney said that he proposed to Sorrell that an election of Disney workers be held under the Wagner Act but Sorrell objected and told him "he used the Labor Board as it suited him." Disney testified that Sorrell threatened to "smear" him if he did not agree to union demands and to "make a dust bowl" out of the Disney Studios. As soon as Sorrell called a strike, Disney said Communist and Communist group including the League of Women Voters, started a "smear campaign." "There was just no way you could fight it back," Disney stated.

October 28, 1947
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS took exception to the testimony of Walt Disney, who telegraphed the Committee that "I want you to know that I had no intention of criticizing the League of Women Voters as of now."

Lantz Delivers First Cartoons To UA
Daily Variety
Walter Lantz this week delivered to United Artists first two pictures under his new contract

October 30, 1947
CARTOON ECONOMY PUT UP TO EACH PRODUCER
Daily Variety
Individual cartoon producers will have to work out their own problems in cutting production costs to con form to present market. This was brought out in meeting of the Animated Cartoon Producers Association, called by prexy Walter Lantz in an effort to hit upon some common ground in slicing corners and still keep people in this line of work on payrolls. With problems of major studios and indies turning out cartoon pro gram quite different, two sides could not come to any agreement on means of procedure. Majors [remainder of text unavailable]

November 3, 1947
DENIES WAR DEPT. BANNED CARTOON
Daily Variety
Denying the War Department barred the animated cartoon, "Broth-erhood of Man," as charged during the un-American Activities Commit tee hearing in Washington, Stephen Busustow, prexy of United Productions, which made the film, disclosed over the weekend that the Army ordered 200 prints in July for use in Germany to further democratizing program. The banning charge was made by Robert Stripling, counsel for the Thomas committee [remainder of text unavailable]

November 4, 1947
Daily Variety
Technicolor cartoon, "Hollywood Bowl," started yesterday at Metro by Fred Quimby.

November 5, 1947
Polacolor, Three-Color System, Used for the First Time in Cartoon
Polacolor, a new three-color film process reputed to be cheaper than any now available, was unveiled by Paul Raibourn, Paramount vice-president, in a demonstrated lecture on "The Technical Aspects of Color and Sound," delivered before a group of Eastern reviewers representing national women's organizations on Monday.
Perfected by the Polaroid Corporation, Polacolor is described as technically similar to the Kodachrome and Ansco processes, eschewing the imbibition system of Technicolor.
Raibourn screened "The Circus Comes to Town," a single reel cartoon subject, the first to use the new process. Audience reaction was obviously favorable.
The Paramount vice – president would not reveal the extent of the company's program for additional pictures utilizing the new process, but indicated that other short subjects were under consideration.

November 11, 1947
Disney Meant Shoppers, Not Voters, in Testimony
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney meant to refer to the League of Women Shoppers in his testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, rather than the League of Women Voters, the producer stated in a letter to Rep. J. Parnell Thomas, chairman of the Committee. Disney said he was misled by a similarity of names and actually meant to name the League of Women Shoppers as one of the first groups to "smear him and put him on the unfair list" during a strike.
Letter was read yesterday to the national board of the League of Women Voters who are meeting in Washington, along with a covering letter from Gunther R. Lessing, chief counsel for the Disney studio, which points out the similarity of names between the two organizations.

RKO Sets 22 Films For Release in 1948
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — RKO schedules 22 features, including one reissue, for release during 1948. Group includes 11 from independent producers and 11 made by RKO.
Independent product scheduled embraces...Walt Disney's "How Dear To My Heart" and "Bambi," the latter a reissue.

November 13, 1947
Levathes Lists 42 '48 Shorts for Fox
First company to switch its release of short subjects from seasonal to calendar-year basis, Peter G. Levathes, 20th-Fox shorts subjects sales manager, announced yesterday the company will parallel its feature product release with a similar January to December setup for the briefies.
... Of the 42, 22 will be Terrytoons...
Paul Terry reviewed the history of animated cartoons and cited the decreasing number of producers. He emphasized that where other cartoon producers have decreased their output he has increased. His yearly output is 20. In 1948 the schedule is to be upped to 22. Terrytoons, Terry revealed, are shown in over 18,000 theaters in the U. S. and Canada.

November 14, 1947
Disney 37 1/2 Cents Dividend
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Board of Directors of Walt Disney Productions declared a quarterly dividend of 37 1/2 cents per share on company's outstanding six per cent cumulative convertible preferred stock payable Jan. 1, 1948, to stockholders of record Dec. 13.

PIGS PLACED ON DISNEY MENU
Daily Variety
Walt Disney yesterday announced purchase of the Ellis Parker Butler satirical classic, "Pigs Is Pigs," for an animated cartoon. Rights to the book were acquired through the But-ler estate. "Pigs," written in 1905 as a magazine story, was pub-lished in book form the following year, has [remainder of text unavailable]

November 18, 1947
Ralph Wilk column, Hollywood
Walt Disney has re-grouped several of his projects and will bring them out as two features: "Melody Time," six cartoons and two containing cartoon and live animation, and "Two Fabulous Characters," two animated stories.

November 19, 1947
Impossible Lowers Costs With New Cartoon Technic
Impossible Pictures feels that it has almost done the impossible with its first effort, "Romantic Rumbolia," Prexy Leonard Levinson pointed out yesterday in explaining why he and Vice-President David Flexner had entered the cartoon field at a time of spiralling costs and inadequate rentals.
Levinson said that despite the added expense of making the cartoon short in Anscocolor, company was able to achieve economies by using a different approach both in technique and in subject matter. "Rumbolia," he observed, is the starter in a series of 12 "Jerky Journeys" a year, to be distributed by one of the majors. Negotiations get under way this week.
Levinson's background has been mostly in radio—he originated "The Great Gildersleeve" show, and for three years co-authored "Fibber McGee and Molly." Flexer operates a chain of 14 standard theaters in the South, plus two drive-ins. By 1949, he plans to operate 23 more. Flexer has been in exhibition since 1932. Before that he had been a UA salesman in the Pittsburgh territory.

November 21, 1947
Fairbanks Expanding
Daily Variety
To meet increased production of commercial cartoon films, Jerry Fairbanks Productions yesterday completed installation of a new modern animation camera and crane. Construction of a completely modernized camera room boasting the latest safety devices was finished earlier this week.

November 26, 1947
PAR READY TO DEBUT ITS NEW POLACOLOR
Daily Variety
With every major working feverishly to develop new color processes, Paramount now bids to take the lead in the tint-derby. Par has tied up with Polaroid Corp., which operates a plant at Cambridge, Mass., and has agreed to release at least six color cartoons in Polarolor by the end of April. Polacolor is the trade name for a three-color process which the Polaroid outfit has been perfecting. Understood that Par has some sort of financial tieup with Polaroid but exact relationship is still hush-hush. When filmed, Polaroid [remainder of text unavailable]

December 2, 1947
Six of Paramount's 24 Cartoons in Polacolor
Paramount will release 24 cartoons, all in color, during the 1947-48 season, an increase of six over the past year, Oscar A. Morgan, short subject sales chief, announced yesterday.
Six cartoons will be in the new three-color process, Polacolor, which it was recently unveiled by the company as a potentially less expensive system. Cinecolor will claim three of the short subjects, with the balance in Technicolor.
Paramount plans an even further increase in cartoon production for the 1948-49 season, Morgan said when a total of 30 will be released.

December 3, 1947
Gal For 'Andy'
Daily Variety
"Miranda Panda" was added by Walter Lantz to his lineup of cartoon characters yesterday. She'll make her screen debut as girl friend of "Andy Panda" in "Scrappy Birthday."

December 4, 1947
Cat' Meows Again
Daily Variety
Fred Quimby, Metro cartoon pro ducer, was notified yesterday that his Oscar-winning "The Cat Concerto" had been awarded the bronze plaque as the best in its class at the Belgium World Festival of Films and Art.

December 9, 1947
Lantz In 90 Day Slowdown
Daily Variety
Until UA Solves Problems Walter Lantz yesterday announced that he will curtail production over 90-day period. He has given his creative staff a three-month layoff, effective December 15. Reason for this is attributed by Lantz to two factors: (1) inability of Technicolor to service him with more than a limited number of prints for producer's annual 12-cartoon program for United Artists release; and (2) he wants to wait until UA management has settled its problems. Move will affect only those doing creative work, however, Lantz reported. Painters and brush people, and others doing completion work on cartoons, will remain at their posts through 90-day interim. Producer will resume full pro duction again March 15, with new schedule established at this time to meet his UA commitments.

December 15, 1947
METRO HITS HIGH IN CARTOONS WITH 14 IN WORK
Daily Variety
Metro cartoon department hits new high in production activity this week, with 14 animated shorts in various stages of camera work. Nine are "Tom and Jerry" cartoons, with balance composed of other subjects. "Tom and Jerrys" include "Mouse Cleaning," "Polka Dot Puss," "Hatch Up Your Troubles," "Heavenly Puss," "Little Orphan," "The Cat and the Mermouse," "Love that Pup/' "Tennis Chumps" and "Jerry's Diary." Others are "Senor Droopy," "Out-Foxed," "Dog Tired," "From Wags To Riches," "Little Rural Riding Hood." Company will release eight cartoons during first half of 1948, all of which have been completed. These comprise "The Bear and the Bean," "What Price Fleadom," "Kitty Foiled," "Little Tinker," "The Bear and the Hare," "The Truce Hurts," "Half Pint Pygmy" and "Old Rockin' Chair Tom."

December 17, 1947
Polaroid Expects To Cut Color Costs
Present price for a release print [in Polacolor] is 5 3/4 cents per foot, compared with the current figure of 5.92 cents for Cinecolor and 6.22 cents in Technicolor.

Lantz's UA Commitments To Be Met on Schedule
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walter Lantz announced that his first year's commitments to United Artists Corporation will be met on schedule. Lantz-UA deal calls for release of 11 cartoons a year, of which the first three have been delivered. Remaining eight films are in various stages of production. They will all be delivered by July of 1948, on schedule, states Lantz. In order to reduce inventory of pictures in production, Lantz states that he has given his creative staff a 90-day layoff, starting this week. When his studio again resumes full production Lantz will establish a new schedule which will just meet United Artists commitments.

NEW THREE-COLOR FILM PROCESS DEMONSTRATED
Daily Variety
New York, Dec. 16. - Polacolor, new three-color film process developed by the Polaroid Corporation, was demonstrated here today. Medium used was a one-reel Paramount cartoon, "Circus Comes To Town." Color proved brilliant but lacking in Technicolor's depth. However, it's generally agreed cartoon is hardly a fair sample to show quality of color film. Polacolor is slightly cheaper than the two others widely used, running 5 1/2 cents per foot. William Ryan, research engineer who developed process, disclosed that one complete unit is capable of producing upward of 3,000,000 feet annually. Now operating in Cambridge, Mass., company will deliver prints in eight days. In future it'll be three days, Ryan said.

December 23, 1947
CBS Net to Televise Special Video Cartoon
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — "Santa and the Angel," cartoon short utilizing a special type of animation developed for television by Stephen Slesinger, president of Telecomics, Inc., will be used in the Christmas telecast of the CBS Eastern television net.



REVIEWS

July 2, 1947
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse"
M-G-M 8 Mins. For Laughs
When Jerry Mouse persistently steals his milk, Tom Cat decides to brew a deadly potion. The drink has a strange effect not only on its intended victim but on Tom as well.

July 10, 1947
"Along Came Daffy"
Warners 7 Mins. Very Good
Daffy Duck arrives at the home of two fur trappers who are on the point of starvation. In Daffy they envision a delicious dinner and much hilarity ensues as they chase their quarry hither and yon. A very good cartoon with a great many laughs.

July 11, 1947
"Doggone Modern"
Warners 7 Mins. Lots of Laughs
A modernistic home filled with mechanical gadgets provides the background for two inquisitive pups. They get into various scraps with the machines, especially an electric dishwasher and an overzealous carpet sweeper. Lots of laughs.

August 14, 1947
"Inki at the Circus"
Warners 7 Mins. Good
Little Inki is billed as a ferocious wild African at a local circus. The bone he wears in his hair attracts two pups who decide to steal it. The chase leads through various midway concessions with the Minah bird thrown in for good measure. Good cartoon entertainment.

"Cad and Caddy"
Paramount 8 Mins. Fair
Little Lulu wanders about a golf course and is pressed into service as a caddy. The golfer has a generally bad time since he is a duffer and tries to take it out on Lulu. She eludes him, plays possum. Finally she gets off with her promised reward—lollipops. In color.

"Bootle Beetle"
Disney-RKO Okay
Technicolored Donald Duck as a bug-hunter pursues the wary bootle beetle, catches him, then loses him. This goes on. Eventually beetle wins. Good for the youngsters. Animation up to WD standard.

"Much Ado About Mutton"
Paramount 8 Mins. Fair
A noveltoon, this is still another version of the wolf with an appetite for juicy little lamb chops and how he fares pretty badly when they give him the well known works. In color.

August 25, 1947
"Fun and Fancy Free" with Dinah Shore, Edgar Bergen
Disney-RKO 72 Mins.
AGAIN DISNEY DELIVERS ANOTHER CONTRIBUTION TO THE GAYETY OF THE NATION.
Walt Disney's latest contribution to the gayety, delight, and entertainment of the nation is another film to be loved by children, provide mental stimulation to adults and produce box office figures as well-rounded as the animated characters that flutter, caper, parade, emote and glide through its various scenes. And that goes not only once but many times.
Again live-action and animation are skillfully blended. With Dinah Shore on the soundtrack the first half of the telling, along with Cliff Edwards in the guise of Jiminy Cricket, a rare piece by Sinclair Lewis, the story of "Bongo," a circus bear, is narrated. "Bongo" is a frustrated character when first seen. Confined to his cage in the circus train, he is only liberated when due to perform. His performance in the big top is a wonderful thing, he rides the monocycle on a tightrope, stands on his head, also on the rope, juggles countless objects. Then for the ultimate in finales, he makes a high dive from hundreds of feet aloft to land on a wet sponge. But he is not happy and when the chance offers he escapes to live in the forest. After a hectic introduction to the sights, sounds, denizens and weather of the outdoors, he meets up with Lulubelle, another bear. A performing bear, he does not know his species get romantic via the slap. In this manner he almost loses Lulubelle to a wopper of a mean bear called Lumpjaw. But with his prowess Bongo bests Lumpjaw after a series of events that only can transpire in animation. Bongo gets Lulubelle and happiness reigns. This first section registers all the way. In part two Bergen takes over via live action and with the assistance of Luana Patten, Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. Jiminy Cricket lurks on the premises. It's a party at Bergen's and he tells the trio a version of Jack and the Beanstalk, only it is Mickey and the Beanstalk, with Donald Duck at his best, and also Goofy.
Living in Happy Valley where a singing harp is responsible for prosperity and plenty, the boys—Donald, Mickey, Pluto—are seen facing starvation when the harp is stolen by the giant that lives upstairs. Donald is going mad. Mickey sells their cow for beans which sprout over night and transport their house ever upward into the domain of a dopey giant who had stolen the harp. The familiar tale of the adventures of Jack is woven cleverly here and at length after many hair-raising and highly comic situations the boys restore the harp to Happy Valley.
Frequently the narrative switches from the adventures of Mickey, et al, to snide cracks by Charlie. Snerd is his entertaining, dopey self and at the conclusion the giant, in a supremely clever touch of animation plus live action lifts the roof of the Bergen house, asks Ed?ar if he saw Mickey. Bergen faints away. The giant goes off to Hollywood searching hither and yon for Mickey. On the way he investigates The Brown Derby. The neon sign on the hat fascinates him. He puts it on his head and makes for the hills.
The Technicolor is fine. The music is gay, lilting, smooth. Loaded with the best in imaginative animation, again Disney delivers up what is required.
CAST: Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd, Luana Patten, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Jiminy Cricket, Anita Gordon, Cliff Edwards, Billy Gilbert, Clarence Nash, The Kings Men, The Dinning Sisters, The Starlighters, Dinah Shore, Edgar Bergen.
CREDITS: Produced by Walt Disney; Live action photography, Charles P. Boyle; Live action director, William Morgan; Process Effects, UB Iwerks; Sound Supervisor, C. O. Slyfield; Sound Records, Harold J. Steck, Robert Cook; Film Editor, Jack Bachom; Story, Homer Brightman, Harry Reeves, Ted Sears, Lance Nolley, Eldon Dedini, Tom Oreb; Musical Director, Charles Wolcott; Score, Paul Smith, Oliver Wallace, Eliot Daniel; Songs, Ray Noble, Buddy Kaye, Bernie Benjamin, William Walsh, Bobby Worth, George Weiss, Arthur Quenzer.
DIRECTION: Excellent. PHOTOGRAPHY: Fine.

August 27, 1947
"Pest in the House"
Warners 7 Mins. Funny
Bellhop Daffy Duck is assigned to conduct a guest to peace and quiet. This sets off a series of events, one noisier than the other. Good for lots of laughs in any audience.

August 29, 1947
"Well Oiled"
U-I 7 Mins. Plenty Laughable
Herein Woody Woodpecker, in Technicolor, runs out of gas. He swipes some from a parked car that proves to be the police. A chase ensues. Woody hides in a gas station, utilizes the various appurtenances, duels with a grease gun and finally gets slopped up himself.

September 9, 1947
"Mickey's Delayed Date"
RKO 7 Mins. Right for Any Bill
When Mickey Mouse is late for a date, Minnie telephones him only to find he's asleep. Giving him a fifteen minute dead-line she hangs up. Following Mickey through his quarter-hour antics is a barrel of laughs and right for any bill.

"The Mild West"
Para. 7 Mins. New Twist
A cartoon satire of the wild and woolly West, this suddenly swings into an audience singing spree. A complete new twist in presenting a plea to sing, it is loaded with laughs and should go over.

"Popeye and the Pirates"
Para. 8 Mins. Rates with Top Popeyes
Popeye and Olive are enjoying a sail on the briny when intercepted by Captain Kidd (who's really Bluto with a French accent) and his boys. The Kidd uses all his tricks to woo and win the fair damsel but Popeye stokes up on spinach and sends the heavies to Davy Jones' locker. Best Popeye to come out lately.

September 15, 1947
"The Talking Magpies in Going South"
20th-Fox 7 Mins. Many Laughs
When Heckle and Jeckle decide not to fly South for the Winter they offer themselves up for adoption to a kindly old grandmother. The old lady turns out to be a hungry wolf who would like nothing better than mag-pie. The chase is on and provides many laughs till the pair finally take off for points South.

"Mighty Mouse in a Date for Dinner"
20th-Fox 7 Mins. Good
Plenty of laughs and action as the mice try to elude a hungry cat, and succeed till one unfortunate victim is caught. He persuades the greedy cat to let him go in search of a fatter and more tender morsel. The sub turns out to be Mighty Mouse who chases the cat, is cheered by the mice and winds up the story. Good cartoon which will please the kiddies.

September 18, 1947
"Foul Hunting"
RKO 6 Mins. A Barrel of Laughs
Goofy goes in for a bit of duck hunting and ends up eating the decoy he started out with. As he "honks" through the cartoon he attracts hundreds of the feathered creatures which elude him at every turn. As usual, a barrel of laughs.

"Foxy Duckling"
Warners 7 Mins. Many Laughs
When a fox finds that a pillow stuffed with duck feathers is the only way to cure his insomnia, natch, he tries to ensnare a duck. His failures are varied and many and likewise the laughs.

"One Note Tony"
20th-Fox 7 Mins. Lots of Fun
Little Tony, the drummer in the Jungle Symphony orchestra, can't master his one-note solo and is heckled unmercifully by the conductor. A playful elephant takes matters into his own trunk and Tony, unwittingly, starts off a jam session which the sleepy audience digs, solidly, and crowns Tony King of Swing. Lots of fun.

September 26, 1947
"Salt Water Tabby"
M-G-M 7 Mins. Delightful
A delightful Tom and Jerry cartoon wherein the two continue their feud. Tom goes to the beach where ne meets a lady who he thinks is the cat's meow, but Jerry tries his darndest to break up the romance. Should hit the top of the laugh parade.

October 7, 1947
"Mouse in the House"
M-G-M 8 Mins. Wonderful
This time its Jerry battling two cats — Tom and an ally he picked up in the alley. Twice as much fun as Jerry runs circles around them both. Wonderful cartoon material.

October 29, 1947
"Cagey Canary"
Warners 7 mins. Cute
The canary learns that a strong whistle will always bring the lady of the house a-running every time the cat attacks her. The cat solves the problem with a pair of ear-muffs. The rumpus that ensues gets them both kicked out of the house. Cute cartoon.

November 5, 1947
"Slap Happy Lion"
M-G-M 7 mins. Exceptional
A mouse relates the tale of how a lion, once king of the jungle, suddenly went crazy at the sight of the mouse. An exceptionally good cartoon, it's filled to the hilt with laughs and should do exceptionally well.

"House Hunting Mice"
Warners 7 mins. Should Click
Hubie and Bertie, in search of a new home, decide on the ultra-modern House of Tomorrow. Their adventures with the many time-saving gadgets featured in the house finally decide them against it. Many unusual and humorous angles give this a good chance for success.

"A Bout with a Trout"
Paramount 8 Mins. Lots of Laughs
Little Lulu plays hookey to go fishing. Falling asleep she escapes harrowing dangers ahd awakens to head straight for school. Lots of laughs here.

"The Invisible Mouse"
M-G-M 7 mins. Rates Very High
Completely hilarious is this tale of Jerry, who becomes invisible after falling into a bottle of invisible ink, and Tom, his feline opponent. If Tom had troubles before he's really baffled now, much to the merriment of the audience. Rates very high.

"The Big Wash"
RKO 7 mins. Excellent
Goofy is hindered, in his caretaking job of an elephant, not only by her playfulness but by her extreme unwillingness to take a bath. Packed with humor, as Goofy tries different means of persuasion, it is an excellent comedy reel.

"Dreams On Ice"
Columbia 6 mins. Cute
In their anxiety to go ice-skating, a boy and his dog flood their room and open the windows expecting the cold air to freeze the water. While waiting, they fall asleep and dream of an ice palace with dolls and animals skating. They awaken to find the water as before and a surprised mother gazing at them. Cute color cartoon.

"Wotta Knight"
Para. 7 mins. Good Laughs
Popeye appears in the middle ages to joust with Bluto for the hand of the Sleeping Beauty, who is really Olive. Bluto comes up with some nasty tricks but Popeye manages to outwit him. Lots of good laughs.

"Mail Dog"
RKO 7 mins. Rings The Bell
Pluto is stationed as a mail carrier in the northern snow country. On one of his routine deliveries he meets a rabbit whose sole aim in life is to keep warm. Thumping along he does everything to distract the dog who finally gets the mail through. Rings the bell twice for entertaining cartoon.

"Safari So Good"
Para. 7 mins. Very Good
Bluto turns up in the jungle, looking suspiciously like Tarzan, and tries to lure Olive away from Popeye. With the help of a tiny monkey, Popeye manages to down his spinach and prove who's really king of the jungle. Very good cartoon.

November 13, 1947
"Doggone Cats"
Warners 7 mins. Lots of Laughs
Wellington, the dog, ordered by his mistress to deliver a package post haste, is intercepted at every turn by two cats. Their mad antics infuriate him but he reaches the end of his rope when he discovers the package he delivers is food for them. Lots of laughs.

"The Royal Four Flusher"
Para. 6 mins. Good
Popeye takes Olive for a stroll in the park but is interrupted by Bluto who whisks her away to his penthouse. Olive is overcome till Popeye comes over and trounces the bounder. Good cartoon for laughs.

November 21, 1947
"Naughty But Mice"
Para. 7 Mins. Gag-Filled
When Herman, the city slicker mouse, learns that the cat has been raising havoc with his country cousins, Zeke, Hiram and Louie, he decides to take action. Filled with gags.

"Little Orphan Airedale"
Warners 7 mins. Recommended
An extremely funny tale of a dog who escapes from the dog pound only to find the outside world unhospitable and cruel. Beating a hasty retreat back to his former home, he provides many good laughs with his encounters. Recommended for laughs.

"Solid Ivory"
Universal 7 mins. Amusing
Woody Woodpecker and a hen come to blows over which is his billiard ball and which is her egg. He tries to woo and win but fails miserably. His only consolation is that when the chicks appear, one is his exact replica. Good laugh-getting cartoon.

"Super Lulu"
Para. 7 mins. Good
In her "Super Lulu" costume Lulu rescues her father from a burglar. He had objected to her reading Super comics, but never does again. Good on any program.

November 24, 1947
"The Baby Sitter"
Paramount 7 minutes Clever
Lulu, operating a baby-sitter service, has her hands full with baby Alvin. He runs her a merry chase which ends in their own special Stork Club. Cleverly done and fun.

"Rhapsody in Wood"
Paramount 9 minutes Humor and Music
Music Maestro Woody Herman explains his famous clarinet in a storybook tale made novel by George Pal's Puppetoons. Done to music, it has both humor and music to offer and should please a wide range of fans.

December 8, 1947
"It's A Grand Old Nag"

Republic 8 1/2 minutes Lot of Fun
First color cartoon from this company packs a lot of wit, imagination in its brief time and delivers hilarity all the way. Plot takes film production, techniques and the like over a burlesque route wherein a horse is engaged to double for a star horse. It is sly kidding from that point on and should give the laff register a workout.

"Kitty Caddy"
Columbia. 6 minutes Above Par
Dog and cat match wits in a hilarious golf match which is continually interrupted by reasonable facsimiles of Hope and Crosby. Above par for laughter.

"Mexican Joy Ride"
Warners 7 minutes Laugh-Getter
Daffy Duck inadvertently gets into a bull fight while vacationing in Mexico. After much difficulty he eludes the bull and starts back home, unaware that el Toro is close behind. Wonderful laugh-getter.

"The Band Master"
UA 7 Mins. Noise, Color, Fun
Andy Panda, as leader of a circus band, is completely overcome by the succession of breath-taking acts. He not only has trouble with his musicians but the performing artists as well. Lots of noise, color and fun.

December 18, 1947
"All's Fair at the Fair"
Paramount 8 Mins. Excellent
When Popeye takes Olive to the fair she is thrilled with Bluto who is giving an aerial exhibition. She suddenly finds herself stranded in a floating balloon with him, and is saved only by the energy embodied in Popeye by his spinach. Excellent cartoon.

"Chip an' Dale"
RKO 7 minutes Very Funny
Two chipmunks, Chip an' Dale, are very much annoyed when Donald Duck decides to take a log which is their home for kindling wood. They do everything to discourage D. D., and finally walk off with the log. Very funny and should prove a good seller.

"Now That Summer Is Gone"
Warners 7 minutes Cute
With all the squirrels storing nuts for the winter season. Junior decides to double or nothing the family supply. Unfortunately, he loses, and the story he tells Pop doesn't go over. Cute cartoon with a good many laughs.

December 24, 1947
"Slick Hare"
Warners 7 minutes Very Funny
Waiter Elmer Fudd is on the spot when a reasonable facsimile of Humphrey Bogart orders a rabbit dinner and there is no rabbit in the house. Bugs Bunny is the solution to his problem but B. B. refuses to play along, till he discovers it's not Bogey, but Baby who wants the rabbit. Very funny cartoon with B. B. as his usual witty self.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Classical Flames

Bugs Bunny played classical music on the piano. Tom and Jerry played classical music on the piano (and won an Oscar). So why not Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda?

Daily Variety reported on January 23, 1946:

Lantz Doing Chopin “Chopin’s Musical Moments,” based on four of the composers’ works, will be the first of the New Classical Cartoon series to be produced by Walter Lantz. Series will be titled “Musical Miniatures” and will be done in Technicolor. Dick Lundy will direct.

The trade paper further reported on February 4th that Ted Saidenberg and Ed Rebner had been signed by Lantz to play the 88s on the soundtrack.

A cute gag is when the barn-theatre where the dual piano performance is taking place catches fire. The flames come to life and form a little circle like a football huddle. Note the one flame giving field instructions.



The cartoon won a Musical Courier award in May 1947 for best musical short. Darrell Calker handled the score.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

I've Censored the Sailor Man

No one swore in our home when I was a child, but I knew there were words that you shouldn’t say, though I didn’t know what they were.

There were swearing gags in a few cartoons I watched back then, but the one that made the biggest impression was the Popeye cartoon “Shape Ahoy.” Maybe the fact there were real human hands involved was the reason it stuck out. Or because the Popeyes ran ad nauseum on a local TV channel. Here are a couple of frames from a battered old AAP print (courtesy of Devon Baxter).



The old hoofer Jack Ward and Irving Dressler were the storymen on this cartoon, directed by Izzy Sparber.