Saturday, 2 March 2013

Farewell, Hugh and Rudy

If you had to pick the most significant event in theatrical animation in the first half of 1933, you might get disagreements. Some would argue it was the release of “The Three Little Pigs” by Walt Disney through United Artists. It caused a sensation like no other cartoon to that time. Others might say it was the release of the first Popeye cartoon by Max Fleischer through Paramount. It was Paramount’s bread-and-butter series into the 1960s and it’s conceivable the character is known today because of his exposure on film (especially later on TV) than in print. But the most significant may be something else which eventually changed the course of animation history.

1933 was the year Leon Schlesinger parted ways with Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising then opened his own cartoon studio. If that hadn’t happened, Leon would have continued releasing the cutesy, wannabe-better-than-Disney cartoons that Hugh and Rudy saddled on M-G-M through the rest of the ‘30s. There would have been no Tex Avery, no Bob Clampett, no Frank Tashlin, no Chuck Jones. No Bugs Bunny, no Daffy Duck, no Porky Pig. No laughs.

Whether Harman and Ising were pushed or jumped isn’t so clear-cut in reading the pages of The Film Daily, a trade paper out of New York. Animation histories leave one with the impression Hugh and Rudy were suddenly left out in the cold by Schlesinger, who went behind the backs of his sub-contractors and tried hiring their staff. But The Film Daily tells a tale that’s not so cut and dried. The paper reported that Harman-Ising was trying to work out an alternate release for its cartoons several months before Schlesinger announced he was through with Hugh and Rudy. It seems to me if you’re publicly looking for someone else to release your cartoons, you know your current contract likely won’t be renewed. Telling, too, is Schlesinger announced an expansion of his studio in March after renewing his cartoon contract with Warners. Harman and Ising did not.

The Film Daily has some other interesting revelations in its January to June issues of 1933. Well, interesting to me. A TV station—yes, there was television then—decided to air old Disney cartoons without paying for them. Ub Iwerks retired Flip the Frog. A couple of new studios were announced, one to make a series of Goofy Gus cartoons; one, “No Fare,” was apparently released. There are reminiscences by Paul Terry and J.R. Bray. Oh, and something about Walt Disney looking into a feature-length cartoon with Mickey Mouse. I’ve posted cartoon reviews after the news items, including one of a Soviet cartoon and one a two-reeler with a cartoon insert which I’ve never heard of.

As a side note, Harman-Ising may have received a good share of blurbs because their agent was an old New York vaudeville booker. His clients had included John Bunny (look him up if you’ve never heard of him) and Mae West when she was part of a double.

January 3, 1933
AT LAST Neil McGuire is getting a chance to show what he really can do with his miniature sets and painted backgrounds Neil now has his own studio in Hollywood. . . .he projects living actors against these painted backgrounds and miniature settings he also creates animated cartoon figures that are cleverly blended with the flesh-and-blood actors. . . .McGuire's motivating thought is the creation of illusion for he is sold on the idea that there is too much realism in pictures and not enough of the fantasy and airy-fairy quality. . . ."Folks want the dream-stun," sez Neil "That's the principal reason they attend the motion picture theater."

January 10, 1933
BETTY BOOP IN PERSON
Mae Questal, who does the vocalizing for Betty Boop in the Max Fleischer cartoons released by Paramount, will appear in person at the New York Paramount starting Friday. She takes part in a stage and screen novelty devised by Fleischer.

January 13, 1933
BETTY BOOP ON AIR
Betty Boop, Max Fleischer's cartoon character being broadcast regularly by NBC on stations east of Chicago, goes on a national hookup Jan. 27.

January 18, 1933
Fox is planning to extend its short subject activities in 1933-34 through distribution of 52 single reels in addition to its usual newsreel issues of two a week. The program will be made up of Magic Carpets, song cartoons and a series compiled from library shots made years ago.

January 27, 1933
Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising, who produce "Merrie Melodies" and "Looney Tunes," in association with Leon Schlesinger, played hosts to the employes of Harman-Ising Productions at a dinner-dance at the Airport Gardens. Mr. and Mrs. Schlesinger were guests of honor.

January 28, 1933
"Mickey Mouse" May Go Feature Length
Walt Disney, creator of "Mickey Mouse," is reported from Hollywood as considering the advisability of extending the "Mickeys" to feature length. In other words, under the proposed plan "Mickey" would doff his shorts for long trousers, so to speak. The plan is said to have been in Disney's mind for several weeks, but Al Lichtman, vice-president and general sales manager of United Artists, has let it be known that nothing will be done with it this season. There will be 18 "Mickey Mouse" shorts this season, of which United Artists has already received 11. These 18 will have been completed in about two months, and then Disney is expected to give serious attention to the feature idea. It is also reported that he is playing with the idea of extending natural color to the "Mickeys," just as he has done this season with the "Silly Symphonies," but that idea is still in a nebulous state.

11 "Mickeys and 7 Symphonies Already Received by United Artists
Eleven "Mickey Mouse" pictures and seven "Silly Symphonies" have been delivered to date by Walt Disney to United Artists out of the projected total of 31 short subjects for the season of 1932-33, according to Al Lichtman, vice-president and general sales manager of United Artists.
There will be in all 18 "Mickeys" and 13 "Sillies" in this season's schedule, and they are coming along at the rate of one every ten days. Thus the season's schedule will be completed in about two months.
The last four of the "Sillies" are in natural color, these providing the greatest single instance of artistry ever to come out of Hollywood.

Cartoons Getting Spicy
"The worst kicks we have are on smut in cartoons. They are primarily a kid draw, and parents frequently object to the filth that is put in them, incidentally without helping the comedy. The dirtiest ones are invariably the least funny."—NAT W. WILLIAMS. Interstate Enterprises, Thomasville, Ga.

February 3, 1933
AMOS ‘N’ ANDY TO MAKE SHORTS SERIES FOR RKO
Amos 'n' Andy will sign contracts today with Amedee J. Van Beuren for a series of 13 cartoon films for RKO release. The radio stars, who open today at the Radio City Music Hall, will be photographed under a new process which forms the basis of subsequent cartoon animation.

February 11, 1933
3 Features, 64 Shorts On New Van Beuren List
... The single feature line-up will comprise 13 Aesop's Fables, 13 Tom and Jerry cartoons, 13 Cubby the Bear cartoons and six Vagabond adventures.

February 17, 1933
PATON FUNERAL TOMORROW
Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon for Theodore C. Paton, formerly an animator for Aesop's Fables cartoons. Services will be at Herrlich Brothers Funeral Chapel, 306 East 86th St., at 1 o'clock. His widow and son survive.

NEW SOUND FOR VAN BEUREN
Photophone high fidelity recording equipment has been purchased by Van Beuren Corp. for its new and larger quarters at 729 Seventh Ave., where the company will centralize all of its cartoon production activities.

February 24, 1933
MAKING CARTOON SERIES
A series of 13 single-reel cartoon subjects is planned by Audio Cinema, under supervision of F. Lyle Goldman. Initial short has been completed under title of "Getting Together."

February 25, 1933
LEICHTER EXTENDS VISIT
Mitchell Leichter, representing Harman-Ising Productions, Ltd., producers of "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" sound cartoons, is extending his visit in New York for about two more weeks.

March 1, 1933
Sogolow, J. P. McEvoy Signed by Van Beuren
Sogolow, popular cartoonist, has been signed by Amedee J. Van Beuren for a series of 13 cartoon comedies. J. P. McEvoy also has been signed by Van Beuren to write scripts for all the Van Beuren cartoon series.

March 2, 1933
Schlesinger Closes Deal On Cartoons for 1933-34
Leon Schlesinger yesterday signed contracts with Warner Bros, for release of new series of "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies," animated cartoons, in 1933-34. Schlesinger also is negotiating for the services of John Wayne to appear in another group of action melodramas. Release for these features has not yet been set.

. . . AT THE Command Performance for King George and Queen Mary in London at the Victoria the bill contained "Santa's Workshop," . . . a Walt Disney Silly Symphony . . . and the kink got a pain in his side from laffink.

March 10, 1933
M-G-M Shorts Program 81 Per Cent Finished
M-G-M has completed 81 per cent of its 1932-3S short subject lineup, with 72 subjects delivered out of a schedule of 89. ... Five of the 12 Iwerks "Flip the Frog" cartoons have been delivered.

March 11, 1933
Schlesinger to Enlarge Animated Cartoon Studio
Leon Schlesinger, who has renewed his contract to supply "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" for Warners and is negotiating an independent release for a series of John Wayne action melodramas, will enlarge his west coast cartoon studios and add animators and cartoon technicians, he said yesterday in New York.

March 13, 1933
Harman-Ising Melodies Continuing on Schedule
Harman-Ising Melodies, producers of animated cartoon shorts on the coast, will continue activity on regular schedule despite bank holidays, it was stated in New York on Saturday by Mitchell Leichter, representative of the organization, after communication with the studio. Leichter also received word Saturday from his wife on the coast stating that the earthquake had created a big scare but not much damage as far as the film colony is concerned.

March 15, 1933
New Harman-Ising Series For Independent Release
Two independent national distributors are negotiating for release of a new series of 13 animated cartoons to be produced by Harman-Ising Melodies, now producing "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies." Mitchell Leichter, representative of Harman-Ising, expects to close the new deal this week.

March 16, 1933
PAUL M. FELTON DIES
Paul M. Felton, 48, former industrial and theatrical motion picture producer and recently an animator with Van Beuren's Aesop's Fables cartoons, died yesterday of pneumonia. The body will be sent today to Wilkes-Barre, where the funeral will be held. Felton leaves a widow, a daughter, Louise, and a son, Paul, Jr.

March 17, 1933
START NEW CARTOON SERIES
First subject in the new series of animated cartoons being produced on the coast for independent release by Harman-Ising Melodies, who also produce "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies," will be received in New York in about two weeks, according to Mitchell Leichter. Charles Stuart, attorney for Harman-Ising," leaves next week for the coast following a visit here.

March 21, 1933
V. BEUREN ADDS CARTOONERS
A new animating unit composed of 38 artists has been added to the Van Beuren Corp. cartoon staff for the production of 13 "Amos 'n' Andy" shorts which go in work today. The pictures will feature the radio stars in person and also cartoons in character.

March 22, 1933
OPENING NEW STUDIO
A. J. Van Beuren's new recording studios at 729 Seventh Ave. will be formally opened tomorrow with the recording of music and effects for an "Aesop's Fable" cartoon. RCA’s new high fidelity recording equipment has been installed. Van Beuren is now engaging an additional animating staff to handle the "Amos ‘n’ Andy" series. The cartoon department, under the management of Gene Rodemich, when complete will number over 100 employees, said to be the largest in the world.

March 27, 1933
WE ARE informed by Max Fleischer that his cartoon daughter, Betty Boop, will celebrate her birthday on April 1. . . .as Aphrodite, Greek goddess, sprang full grown from the sea. . . .so Betty Boop popped out of Mister Fleischer's dome at the seductive age of 16. . . .and Betty will always remain 16. . . .the envy of every dame. . . .which makes her Different.

March 29, 1933
MARY PICKFORDS PLANS
Mary Pickford, who arrives in New York tomorrow from abroad and leaves immediately for Hollywood to map her 1933 United Artists program, has several stories under consideration. One is an imaginative version of "Peter Pan"; another an original treatment of "Alice in Wonderland" with Miss Pickford as the only human character, all others being done in Walt Disney animation, and the third a story by Edna Ferber.

April 7, 1933
Mitchell Leichter, representative of Harman-Ising Melodies, producers of "Merrie Melodies" and "Looney Tunes," learned yesterday that his wife in the Hollywood Hospital may lose the use of her left arm entirely. . . .she suffered a stroke in the recent earthquake. . . .Leichter has been in New York for several weeks on deals for a new series of cartoons.

April 10, 1933
"POP EYE" CARTOON COMEDIES
Providing an experimental cartoon now being produced by Max Fleischer proves satisfactory, Paramount will distribute a series of 13 "Pop Eye" single-reelers based on the popular comic strip. In this event Fleischer's program for Paramount, which now calls for 18 Betty Boops and 18 Screen Songs, will be altered to provide 13 Screen Songs and a similar number of Betty Boops, in addition to the Pop Eye series.

April 12, 1933
“I REMEMBER WHEN” By PAUL TERRY
as told to PHIL M. DALY

of The Film Daily Editorial Staff
PAUL TERRY, pioneer in the animated cartoon field, chuckles over it now, "remembering when" most distributors thought he was a fit subject for the psychopathic ward when he tried to interest them in his "brain child."
"For three months," Terry relates, "I toiled laboriously in a dinky studio on 42nd Street, struggling with the mechanics of making an animated cartoon, and then, with the finished reel under my arm, I tried unsuccessfully to peddle my first Aesop's Fable all over town. My last hope was in the late Edwin Thanhouser whose studio was in New Rochelle. With fear in my heart, I took the long trek to the Westchester wilderness, and after waiting in the outer office for a number of hours. I was informed that Mr. Thanhouser would show the reel in the projection room.
"He called in several members of his staff, who sat silently through the running of the reel. My little ray of hope died an instantaneous death. Mr. Thanhouser, however, asked me to come back after lunch, and when I returned, found he had picked up a number of kids from the street and packed them into the projection room. The reel was run off again, and the youngsters howled with glee, and the men who hadn't cracked a smile before, laughed loudly with them. And cartoon comedies were born."

April 14, 1933
Mickey Mouse Special
In the March issue of "The Boys' Outfitter," trade paper in the kid apparel field, Mickey Mouse receives exploitation hrough ad tieups on no less than 16 pages. In some instances, the Mouse is the most prominent figure on the page, and the magazine as a whole resembles a Mickey Mouse Special. Kay Kamen is under contract to Walt Disney to handle the commercial activities of Mickey.

Coming and Going
ED. DONNELLY arrives today from the coast to rejoin the animating staff of Aesop's Fables.

April 17, 1933
WE ARE in receipt of a polite correction from Leon Schlesinger . . . who states that his production company is making "Looney Tunes" and "Merry Melodies" . . . and that Harman-Ising are the animators . . . Looks as if Walt Disney's Silly Symphony, "Flowers and Trees," has hung up a new record . . . it is now in its 28th consecutive week in theaters of Lunnon [London] . . . it has played the Tivoli, New Gallery, Marble Arch, Coliseum, Capitol, Dominion, Astoria, Kingsway, Tatler, Shaftesbury, Piccadilly, Rialto, Cameo and Plaza.

April 21, 1933
Color Cartoons, Musicals On New Amkino Lineup
A series of colored cartoons on Gulliver's Travels and three musical comedies are now in work in Moscow as part of Amkino's schedule for 1933-34. Two comedies also are being made by Eisenstein and Dovzhenko.

April 22, 1933
Collegians Pick Mickey
Princeton, N. J.—Lionel Barrymore and Norma Shearer trailed Mickey Mouse for popularity among Princeton freshmen in a poll conducted by their publication, "The Dink." The cartoon character copped first place as the most favored screen player.

April 25, 1933
Cartoon Comedy Studios Opposed to 30-Hour Week
Following receipt of advices from the coast that the proposed 30-hour week would seriously hamper work at cartoon comedy studios, Charles Stewart, attorney for Harman-Ising Productions, Ltd., makers of the "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" released by Warners, has left for Washington to confer with sponsors of the bill. Stewart, who has been on a visit in New York, will speak for Walt Disney as well as Harman-Ising at his Washington conferences. Advices from Washington indicate that film developing laboratories would be affected by the proposed bill.

May 1, 1933
CONFERS ON CARTOON WORK
After conferring in Washington on the 30-hour week bill as it would affect animating studios, Charlie Stewart, attorney for Harman-Ising, makers of "Merrie Melodies" and “Looney Tunes” for Warners, has returned to Hollywood to take up the matter of a new releasing contract being negotiated by Mitchell Leichter, Harman-Ising representative, now in New York. Leichter expects to announce the new release deal shortly.

May 3, 1933
“I REMEMBER WHEN” By J. R. BRAY
as told to DON HANCOCK

of the Film Daily Editorial Staff
I REMEMBER when I was a cartoonist contributing sketches and comic strips to the McClure Newspaper Syndicate, Judge and Life. That was back in 1913 and I was definitely convinced that cartoons could be made to move on the motion picture screen and that they could be sold commercially. Winsor McCay had made his famous 'Gertie' but it was part of a vaudeville act and it was essential that McCay appear in person to deliver the talk that put the stunt over.
"McClure's syndicate manager said I was 'bughouse' but I engaged three artists and for three months, every day and many nights, we toiled at the so-called 'bughouse' idea. I established a make-shift studio on a farm up the Hudson. It was a combination of animated cartoon and motion picture and the technique didn't re-appear until 1918 when Max Fleischer produced his Out of the Inkwell' series. "We called the cartoon The Dachshund'.
It measured 900 feet, consisted of over 10,000 drawings and we thought it was great. We showed the picture to many people—film folks and laymen.
Opinions differed. McClure's syndicate manager still insisted that it was worthless. He said, 'Bray, stick to that sort of stuff and you'll go broke and stay broke.'
However, Charles Pathe thought differently. After he had seen it he exclaimed, Mr. Bray, I prophesy you will become a millionaire through this invention.'
"This fundamental idea, now called the Bray-Hurd patent, continues to bring in a royalty for every cartoon released by any company."

. . . An exhibit of original watercolors and drawings by Walt Disney is on view at the galleries of Kennedy & Company for the entire month at . . . 785 Fifth Ave.

May 4, 1933
New Animating Device Invented by Fleischer
Max Fleischer, cartoon producer, has invented an "approach camera" for use in making cartoon closeups and is using the apparatus at his studio. Device allows photographing of drawings with camera as near as one inch, as compared with the 14-inch distance ordinarily required. The outfit includes a swingback objective bed.

NEW HARMAN-ISING DEAL
Deal between Harman-Ising, makers of the "Merrie Melodies," and "Looney Tunes" released by Warners, and Leon Schlesinger is being terminated. Schlesinger not having taken up his option, according to advices received in New York by Mitchell Leichter, Harman-Ising representative. Leichter says he will shortly announce a new release.

May 9, 1933
PLANS NEW CARTOONS
UB Iwerks, who arrived from the coast yesterday, plans to produce an additional series of animated cartoons for the coming season. Iwerks is the creator of the "Flip the Frog" cartoons now being released by M-G-M.

May 16, 1933
UP AT Worcester, Mass. . . .they have just held their Prosperity Festival. . . .a regular Spring fete that lasts for two days in which all the merchants cooperate and put on special sales. . . .the city officials made Mickey Mouse the King of the Festival. . . .and the event developed into a Mickey Mouse holiday. . . .Mickey was featured everywhere. . . .hundreds of unemployed men earned salaries by selling balloons garbed in Mickey Mouse costumes. . . .the cops wore M. M. arm bands. . . .a street was named Mickey Mouse Mall for the occasion. . . .and here the official ceremonies took place, with the cartoon character featured. . . .United Artists took a special motion picture of the celebration which will be shown throughout the country.

May 23, 1933
Television Station is Sued On Film Copyright Violation
Bakersfield, Cal.—In the first case of its kind filed under the copyright laws, to establish the rights of distributors under their film copyrights so that television broadcasting stations wishing to use films will have to deal directly with the distributor for a license, suit has been filed in the U. S. District Court, Southern District of California, by Walt Disney and Columbia against Pioneer Mercantile Co., Inc., operating television stations W6XAH and W6XE here, and John Carnackis and Pete Simos, operating the Virginia theater, charging the exhibitors with sub-renting prints to the stations for television broadcasting. Suits against the same parties were filed recently by M-G-M and RKO for sub-renting films to another house here operated by Paul Davini.
The Copyright Protection Bureau obtained the evidence against the exhibitors after a close investigation caused by complaints from competing exhibitors whose protection was violated and from exchange managers in the Los Angeles area.

May 31, 1933
FEATURES INFLUENCED BY CARTOONS-HARMAN
Animated cartoons, by their increasing cleverness and popularity, are having a stimulating effect on features, influencing more imagination and novelty, said Hugh Harman of Harman-Ising Melodies, on his arrival in New York from the coast on Monday. "King Kong" is an example of the feature possibilities suggested by the cartoons, Harman declared. He added, however, that the cartoon producers had received complaints that too much scarey stuff was making the animated comedies bad for kids, and said more care was being exercised to avoid this. New advancements in cartoon comedies are under way that will increase the popularity of these shorts, Harman declared. The Harman-Ising studios make the "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" now released by Vitaphone. Harman came east by plane to join Mitchell Leichther, the company's representative, for the closing of a new deal.

June 3, 1933
HARMAN-ISING TO MAKE 18 ANIMATED MUSICALS
One series of 18 musical cartoons featuring Bosko and Honey, a combination of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies now being released by Vitaphone, is planned by Harman-Ising Productions, Ltd., for next season, according to Mitchell Leichter, representative of the company. Rudolf Ising, vice-president, has advised Leichter from the coast that all animators' contracts have been renewed for five years. Hugh Harman, who is in New York with Leichter will remain here until next week.

June 10, 1933
New Schlesinger Staff Starts on Vita. Cartoons
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Leon Schlesinger has completed his staff and started production of the "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" cartoons for Vitaphone's 1933-34 program. Thomas A. Palmer is production managers; J. Patton King, head animator; Norman Spencer, head of music department; Bernard Brown, sound department; Earl Hurd, chief of layouts. Forty animators are at work. Schlesinger has obtained copyright on the characters "Buddy," "Cookie," "Elmer," and "Happy," the dog, for "Looney Tunes." Mythical characters will be used in "Merrie Melodies."

Cartoon 'Mellerdrammer'
Frank Moser and Paul Terry, co-producers of Educational's Paul Terry-Toons, plan to introduce several new ideas in the coming season's series of 26. Augmenting the regular cartoon successes which Terry and Moser, in conjunction with Philip Scheib, in charge of music, have turned out in their three years' association with Educational, this triumvirate launched the "comic opera" cartoon, and are now preparing to introduce the cartoon "mellerdrammer." The latter will be one-reel burlesque episodes of the famous 10-20-30 thrillers. The chief characters in this group are drawn figures of humans.

MICKEY CARICATURES STARS
Latest of the Mickey Mouse cartoons, a print of which has just been received at the United Artists home offices, is "Mickey's Gala Premiere," in which the leading film stars are caricatured. Among the names represented are Greta Garbo, Wallace Beery, Marie Dressier, Will Rogers, John Barrymore, Groucho Marx and various others.

100,000,000 Daily See Mickey Mouse
MICKEY MOUSE, favorite film star of presidents, royalty and the common people the world over, has reached that station in life where it is estimated the number of people that come in contact with him in various ways daily is placed at 100,000,000. Mickey is not only seen in 15,000 theaters throughout the world, but his commercial activities in every civilized country of the globe have made his name a byword to untold millions.
It was not so long ago that Mickey was on display in a Philadelphia art gallery, and now Mickey and Minnie, along with drawings from the "Silly Symphonies," Walt Disney's companion pictures to the Mickey Mouse cartoons, are on exhibition at the Kennedy Galleries, Fifth Avenue, New York.
The biggest stores in the United States are falling into line with Mickey Mouse tie-ups, and recently the funny little rodent from Hollywood was the guest of honor at the Prosperity Festival in Worcester, an event that set all New England buzzing and put Mickey Mouse on the first pages of several newspapers for days. A street was named Mickey Mouse Mall, and the event was such a big success in every respect that the "Boston Herald" commented on it editorially.
Magazines, newspapers and other publications have no hesitancy in devoting column after column of space to Mickey Mouse. The possibilities for box-office tie-ups are unlimited with such universal recognition, and no movie star in the world offers such a paradise of opportunity for cashing in on a name known wherever movies are known.
Mickey has appeared by royal command before the King and Queen of England, the King and Queen of Sweden, the Emperor of Japan and the Viceroy of India, and as further proof of the esteem in which he is held by royalty, Queen Mary of England, had him put back on the program of a big charity affair when, he was cut out by an underling because of a lack of time for the features of the program.
Such magazines as "Time" and "McCall's" are giving Mickey and his creator, Walt Disney, plenty of space and pictures, and running each month in the Red Book is a two-page spread of Mickey and Minnie drawings by Disney, with comment by Hal Horne. Such recognition must be deserved, and it all comes back at the box-office. In the schools and colleges, Mickey is easily the leader in the favorite film star polls, Princeton recently entering the fold by electing Mickey to that position by an overwhelming vote.
Mickey has also branched out as a producer in his own right, presenting the "Silly Symphonies."

June 13, 1933
Along the Rialto with Phil M. Daly
IN THE Short Subjects field, why has the cartoon made more consistent progress than the short comedy? . . . we asked the question of Paul Terry, creator of Terry Toons . . . his answer was concise and conclusive "Because the cartoon creators are specialists who have never attempted anything else. They have consistently stuck to their field through the years—living and thinking nothing but cartoons. Whereas the short comedy creators—both directors and actors —have been grabbed off for feature productions as soon as they uncovered anything."
IT MIGHT surprise you to learn as it did us that two years is required to develop a really first-class animator . . . up at the Terry Toon workshop there are artists on the staff who have been associated with Paul Terry ever since he started in the cartoon field . . . and that's taking in a lotta years a good cartoon series is the result of team work on the part of a staff that has worked together for years . . . it cannot be achieved any other way . . . for the finished cartoon is the result of highly specialized work of craftsmen whose artistic efforts dovetail into the finished product.
SO THE latest novelty from the Terry Toon workshop represents an Idea painstakingly built up by Paul Terry, Frank Moser and Philip Scheib . . . they sought for a new fillip to add to the zest of the usual cartoon and found it in "The Banker's Daughter" . . . done in the technique of the serial meller . . . the cartoon characters are humans direct
from the ole ten-twenty-thirt' school of stage acting . . . a sob meller with hero, heroine and villain in a typical Corse Payton drammer . . . done to an original operatic score . . . with the characters singing and chanting their lines . . . of course it is done in the burlesque tempo . . . and the sum total is one of the funniest cartoons we have ever lamped . . . there will be four more to come . . . Novel and Darned Clever, say we.

June 17, 1933
Cartoon Comedy Series Planned by Harry Kahne
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Harry Kahne, former vaudeville headliner, will produce a series of cartoons with Frank Webb the animator. The subjects will feature Webb's new comedy character, Goofy Gus.

"Pop-Eye" Cartoons for Para.
Twelve animated cartoons based on the comic strip, "Pop-Eye, the Sailor," have been added to Paramount's short subject schedule, it was announced yesterday by Lou Diamond, head of the shorts department. Max Fleischer will make them, along with 12 "Betty Boops" and 12 "Screen Songs."

June 22, 1933
AND NOW Max Fleischer is all excited . . . he claims to have received a report from John F. Curby, Paramount branch manager of Charlotte, N. C. . . . stating that Max's "Popeye" cartoon received applause lasting THREE minutes.

7 Name Players Added To "Hollywood Party"
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — M-G-M has added Marie Dressier, Jimmy Durante, Lee Tracy, Nils Asther, Charles Butterworth, Jean Hersholt and Jack Pearl to "The Hollywood Party," which already included Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow and Lupe Velez. A Disney "Silly Symphony" also will be incorporated in the revue, which Edmund Goulding will direct.

June 24, 1933
Ub Iwerks to Produce 2 New Cartoon Series
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Animated Picture Corp., of which Ub Iwerks is president, plans two new series of cartoons, one of which will be in color. The organization is now producing "Flip the Frog," released by M-G-M. Iwerks' staff has been doubled, now numbering 75, and quarters have been enlarged in the Rees Building in Beverly Hills. It will have its own recording equipment and will install Powers Cinephone. Lucien Denni, who was general music director for the late A. L. Erlanger, is in charge of the music department, while J. B. Hardaway is head of the story department. Grim Natwick is in charge of layouts.

FOX-TERRYTOON DEAL
Fox will hereafter distribute Terrytoon cartoons in foreign countries outside of the U. S. and Canada, it is announced by Clayton P. Sheehan, Fox foreign manager.

June 26, 1933
46 Features and 105 Shorts On M-G-M's 1933-34 Lineup
. . .Also on the program will be 12 one-reel FitzPatrick Traveltalks, 13 Willie Whopper cartoon comedies.



CARTOON REVIEWS

January 12, 1933
Betty Boop in "Is My Palm Read"
Paramount 7 mins.
Good
Another enjoyable number in this popular Max Fleischer series. Betty Boop goes to a fortune teller, who happens to be none other than Bimbo in disguise. He conjures up before her a trip filled with dreadful dangers, with himself as the hero who comes to the rescue. Lively and amusing.

"Robin Hood"
Educational 7 Mins
Clever Cartoon
A Paul Terry-Toon done in operatic style, with an original musical score by Philip A. Scheib that is splendid. The gay adventures of Robin Hood are related, as he roams through the English forest with his robber band. When the heroine is captured and held in the castle by the villain, Robin Hood attacks with his men and rescues her in gallant style. This burlesque opera is cleverly executed in all departments.

January 17, 1933
"Bosko's Woodland Daze" (Looney Tune)
Vitaphone 6 mins.
Okay
A satisfactory animated cartoon. Bosko and his dog go for a jaunt out in the woods, where they play hide-and-go-seek among the trees, which do a lot of comical things.

"Shanty Where Santa Claus Lives" (Merrie Melodie)
Vitaphone 7 mins.
Good Animated
Good for the holidays or anytime. A forlorn orphan, sitting in his barren cabin, is aroused by the noise of sleigh-bells bringing old Santa Claus himself. The whiskered gent takes the lad off in his sleigh to his workshop filled with all kinds of toys, which do a lot of life-like stunts and gladden the little fellow.

January 28, 1933
"Bosko the Drawback"
Vitaphone 7 mins.
Action Cartoon
A Looney Tune, with Bosco the hero starring in the football game, scoring a couple of sensational touchdowns. He encounters tough opposition with the entire rival team trying to put him out of commission. But by employing some ingenious tricks he manages to outwit them. Plenty of action and excitement that will please the kids.

February 1, 1933
"Love's Labor Won" (Aesop's Fable)

RKO 7 mins.
Just Fair
Not much to laugh at in this cartoon. The animation is good and several quartette numbers are well handled, but it lacks gags and situations that will bring the laughs. The cartoon centers around Cubby Bear and his girl friend who meet with the usual troubles when they try to be alone.

February 10, 1933
Mickey Mouse in “The Mad Doctor”
United Artists 7 mins.
Fast and Funny
One of the liveliest animated cartoons to come along, and plenty comical. Shows Mickey's dog being kidnaped by a fiendish doctor who plans to cut him up for experimentation. Mickey follows them, breaks into the guarded castle which is filled with skeletons, and, after a lot of spooky business, falls into the hands of the mad doc himself. As all hope seems lost, Mickey lets out a series of yells—and he wakes up to find it was all a dream.

Mickey Mouse in "Building a Building"
United Artists 7 mins.
Very Good
Mickey operates a steam shovel on a construction job. He makes the shovel do some amusing stunts. At lunch time, the villain swipes Mickey's herring sandwich, whereupon Minnie, who runs a box-lunch wagon, comes along and treats Mickey to some eats. Then the villain kidnaps Minnie, leading to a merry chase up and around the steel framework, with the bad man finally being squelched, and Mickey joining Minnie as partner in the lunch-box business.

February 24, 1933
Mickey Mouse in "Mickey's Pal Pluto"
United Artists 7 mins.
Swell
Mickey's dog, Pluto, rescues a bag of kittens which were dropped in the river to drown. The little ones become the pets of the household, with Mickey and Minnie paying all attention to them, so the little bad devil eggs Pluto on to get after the cats, but the dog's better self eventually gets the upper hand and he saves the kittens a second time by pulling them out of the well, only to fall in himself and have Mickey come to his rescue and give him his reward.

"Pickanniny Blues" (Aesop's Fables)
RKO 7 mins.
One of the Best
This animated cartoon ranks iniong the best turned out by the Van Beuren shops. A pickanniny, being towed down the Mississippi by his mule, falls a-dreaming that he is over in Egypt, where all sorts of dead and still objects, from the sphinx and the mummies in tombs to the carved figures of, dancing girls on temple walls, come to life and do some cutting up. The use of some color—clever hand work by Brock—adds greatly to the effectiveness of the subject.

March 1, 1933
"One Step Ahead of My Shadow" (Merrie Melodie)
Vitaphone 7 mins.
Good Cartoon
A Chinese locale is the background for this animated subject from the Harman-Ising workshops. It provides the usual cartoon comedy antics, culminating in a very amusing bit wherein a fierce dragon, who is pursuing the little hero and heroine and spitting forth fire at them, meets his doom when a stack of fireworks are tossed down his throat and they proceed to explode.

March 4, 1933
"A Yarn of Wool" (Aesop Fable)
RKO 7 mins.
Good Animated
An enjoyable cartoon. A flock of sheep are being led to pasture, and among them is a black one which is causing trouble. So the shepherd chases it away from the fold. Later, when some sheep thieves succeed in stealing the flock, the black outcast is instrumental in catching the culprits.

March 15, 1933
Betty Boop in "Snow White"
Paramount 7 mins.
Fine Animated
With a fairy tale theme, this cartoon comedy is especially enjoyable for the kids. Pretty Little Snow White is treated mean by her ugly stepmother, the queen, whose mirror tells her she is beautiful. But when the mirror gets a look at Snow White, it acclaims her the prettiest, thus invoking the queen's wrath against Snow White. The whole gang sticks up for the little heroine, however, and it winds up with the old woman being transformed into a monstrous skeleton. Good musical accompaniment, including Cab Calloway strains, add to the enjoyment.

March 21, 1933
"Birds in the Spring" (Silly Symphony)
United Artists 7 mins.
Ace Color Cartoon
One of the niftiest little numbers of its kind to come along. Workmanship is the height of color cartoon art, and the idea in back of the action is both clever and highly amusing. It shows birds nesting in the spring, with the mother eventually hatching a trio of youngsters, who are then taught to sing, fly, etc. For kids or grownups, it's a pip.

"Wooden Shoes" (Krazy Kat Cartoon)
Columbia 6 mins.
Okay
Holland is the scene of this cartoon comedy, with Krazy Kat playing the role of the hero who stops up a hole in the dike and stays there until help comes and the village is saved from drowning. A satisfactory subject of its kind.

"The Tale of a Shirt" (Terry-Toon)
Educational 6 mins.
Okay
A lot of animated comicalities based upon laundry activities in Chinatown. The collecting of linen, washing, ironing, etc., are depicted in fantastic fashion, with shirts, socks and panties doing stunts as they hang on the line.

March 24, 1933
"Bosko In Person"
Vitaphone 7 mins.
Clever Cartoon
A clever Looney Tunes cartoon, with Bosko and his sweetie, Honey, doing a personal stage appearance. They do a series of impersonations of stage and screen celebs that are knockouts. Those of Chevalier and Jimmy Durante will click in a big way anywhere. Here is a new slant on the animateds that is bound to meet with popular approval.

"Dinah" with Mills Brothers
Paramount 7 mins.
Good Cartoon Novelty
In this Fleischer bouncing-ball singing cartoon the Mills Brothers of the radio serve very nicely as the headline attraction. Their appearances are interpolated among sequences of cartoon work, with the "Dinah" song as the musical background, and a nautical touch for the action. Makes a satisfying short of its kind.

April 8, 1933
"Runaway Blackie" (Cubby the Bear Cartoon)
Radio 7 mins.
Fair
The cartoon story of a little black lamb who ran away from home and experienced some very surprising adventures, finally winding up on a chain gang. He escapes and is being chased by bloodhounds, only to waken and find that it was all a nightmare. Just a fair cartoon.

"Puzzled Pals" (Tom and Jerry Cartoon)
Radio 7 mins.
Lively
A Tom and Jerry cartoon. The two pals are trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle, but an infant whom they have adopted continually interferes with their pastime. With the help of a vacuum cleaner the kid breaks up the game, and almost tear the house apart. Some novel gags, and a lively cartoon that will please.

April 11, 1934
"Aloha Oe" (Max Fleischer Screen Song)
Paramount 7 mins.
Enjoyable Novelty
With the Royal Samoans furnishing soft instrumental music, together with a tropical dance by a feminine number of the troupe, and Fleischer's art staff supplying comic interludes, this subject serves its purpose nicely. For introduction there are a lot of amusing antics by jungle animals to celebrate the marriage of a couple of monkey pals. Then comes the Samoans, the singing to the accompaniment of the dancing ball, and the cartoon finish.

"The Last Mail" (Aesop Fable)
RKO 6 mins.
Fair
Cubby the Bear, as a mailman driving his sled up in the frozen north, is waylaid by a fierce wolf, who steals Cubby's mailbag and his girl companion with a boop-a-doop voice. But the eagle, emblematic of Uncle Sam's domain, comes to his rescue, carries him to the wolf's lair, where Cubby effects the rescue of mail and female.

April 17, 1933
Mickey Mouse in "Ye Olden Days"
United Artists 7 mins.
Among Best Yet
As good as they have been right along, these Walt Disney animated cartoons keep getting better. The present one, in which Mickey as a roving troubadour rescues Princess Minnie from an unhappy marriage and gets her for himself, reflects the infinite attention to detail that is characteristic of the Disney workshops. Basic idea, animation and sound synchronization including semi-vocalized dialogue, all are in a class by themselves. This lively number will fit any bill.

"Young and Healthy" (Merrie Melodie)
Vitaphone 9 mins.
Fair Cartoon
Built around the current song hit, "I'm Young and Healthy," the antics concern the efforts of the old queen with young ideas to get her fat king to go to a court ball. He rebels, goes out to play with some children and the windup shows the kids running through the palace, generally wrecking the place. Not much to it.

April 22, 1933
"Father Noah's Ark" (Silly Symphony)
United Artists 7 mins.
A Dandy
This animated cartoon in Technicolor just about tops almost anything of its kind. Only those who understand the mechanics of making these animated shorts can appreciate the amount of minute effort that went into it. To start with, the subject has a good basic idea, built around the Noah's Ark story, and the way it is worked out makes for grand entertainment. The color adds greatly to the effectiveness, and there is some vocalizing by the patriarchal Noah that helps to punctuate the action. Both grownups and kids will find it a treat. A Radio City Music Hall audience applauded it.

April 24, 1933
"The Peanut Vendor" (Screen Song) with Armida
Paramount 8 mins.
Enjoyable
As the featured part of this Max Fleischer screen song, Armida injects her vivacity in singing and dancing specialties, with a change of costume for each. Aside from this, the subject has the usual comedy cartoon antics, with the humorous doings taking place in a zoo, and the singing to the accompaniment of the dancing ball. All in all, it's a pleasing little number of its kind.

May 5, 1933
"Broadway Malady" (Krazy Kat Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins.
Swell Animated
This Charles B. Mintz cartoon comedy is a pip of its kind. It's a travesty dealing with the rush hour in the subway. Every time Krazy tries to get in a car he is stampeded and trampled upon by the frenzied mob. Shoehorns, crowbars and other implements are employed to pack the trains like sardines. Anybody who has ever been in the subway will get a great kick out of it, and others will too.

May 18, 1933
Mickey Mouse in "The Mail Pilot"
United Artists 7 mins.
Dandy
Mickey Mouse is in his usual fine form in this parody on the airmail flyers. After a takeoff that is one of the most comical bits seen in a cartoon comedy for some time, Mickey flies through rain and snow, is attacked by a menacing air bandit, whom he outwits and brings in as prisoner, with a windup of Mickey in Minnie's arms.

May 19, 1933
Stoopnagle and Budd in "Sky Symphony"
Vitaphone 18 mins.
Enjoyable Novelty
In addition to Stoopnagle and Budd, who start things off in a goofy broadcast of an eclipse from an observatory, the cast of this musical novelty includes Lanny Ross, the Loomis Twins, the Abbott Girls and other stage and radio personalities. Interspersed with these scenes are cartoon sequences in which the sun and moon up above engage in argument about what the folk down below like best. Idyllic love in a canoe, girls singing and disporting on the beach, and other flash bits make up the contents, which are generally entertaining.

May 20, 1933
Pooch the Pup in "The Lumber Camp"
Universal 7 mins.
Fair Cartoon
A passable animated subject, in which Pooch the Pup becomes involved in various happenings at a lumber camp where trees take on the semblance of humans and cavort around, while a slave-driving lumber boss whips his crew into action cutting down the forest. Winds up with the melodrama touch of the heroine being tied to a railroad track and saved by the plucky Pooch.

May 25, 1933
"Black and White"
Amkino 15 mins.
Soviet Cartoon
This musical cartoon, based on a poem by Vladimir Maiakovski, depicts the oppression of Negroes by white men, and thereby smacks of social propaganda. Scene is laid in Cuba, where the white man makes the black slave for him on plantations. When a colored bootblack, who is shown as a dreamy and puzzled fellow, asks a question of the plantation owner, who is characterized as a ferocious villain, the white man strikes the Negro down. Whether the cartoon, made in Russia by Mejhrabpomfilm, is intended to incite feeling against white men and sympathy for Negroes is an open question.

"Romeo and Juliet" (Terry-Toon)
Educational 6 mins.
Good Animated
Using the Romeo and Juliet theme for plot, and with a rather impressive background of operatic music, this is a better than average animated cartoon. In addition to the romantic business between the lovers whose parents are opposed, there is a load of military action and other merry doings that will amuse any audience.

May 29, 1933
"Three Little Pigs"
United Artists 7 mins.
Fine Cartoon
Another of Walt Disney's show-stopping "Silly Symphonies" in Technicolor. This one, concerns the old nursery story of the three little pigs who build their houses of straw, wood and brick, and the wolf who blows down all but the brick house. Great for kids and grown up kids as well.

"Bosko in Person" (Looney Tune)
Vitaphone 7 mins.
Swell Animated
This is one of the best turned out by the Harman-Ising studio. Bosko puts on a "personal appearance" act with a girl partner. Routine includes imitations of Maurice Chevalier, Jimmy Durante and other celebs by Bosko, while his partner mimics Greta Garbo and others. Action is lively, the musical numbers are tuneful, and the job as a whole makes snappy entertainment of its kind.

June 3, 1933
"Reaching for the Moon" (Screen Song) with Arthur Tracy
Paramount 7 mins.
Very Good
An excellent number in Max Fleischer's screen song series. After a cartoon opening which pictures an astronomer engaged in some comical antics with the planets and their curious inhabitants, there is an interlude in which Arthur Tracy, the Street Singer, vocalizes the Irving Berlin song, "Reaching for the Moon," with dancing ball accompaniment. Then a peppy combination finale that winds up the short in merry fashion.

June 10, 1933
"The Banker's Daughter" (Paul Terry Toon)
Educational 8 mins.
Swell Cartoon Idea
Here is a brand new idea in cartoons in this Paul Terry Toon, done in the technique of the serial meller, with human characters in the cartoon roles instead of the usual animal subjects. It takes the old sob meller of the villain who kidnaps the banker's daughter. The western hero comes to the rescue on his trusty nag and saves the heroine just as she is about to be cut to pieces in the saw mill. Philip A. Scheib has written an original operatic score, and has the different characters singing their lines. The opera idea combined with the burlesque meller makes this a real laugh number that will appeal to grownups with its cleverness and be received with delight by the kids. It is the first of a series of four. If the new technique catches on, it is liable to create a new slant in the animated field.

Pooch the Pup in "Nature's Workshop"
Universal 6 mins.
Good Animated
Pooch the Pup, tramping through the woods, is amused by various insects at work and play. He rescues one from a spider's trap and helps others here and there. Later, when Pooch falls into monster clutches himself, the woodland denizens come to his rescue.

"I Like Mountain Music" (Merrie Melodie)
Vitaphone 7 mins.
Clever Cartoon
A very clever and original cartoon conceit, artistically produced with plenty of the comedy angle. The scene is a city newsstand as it closes for the night. The characters from the illustrations in the different popular magazines step out from the pages and come to life, melding into the film comedy-drama, which is a clever burlesque on the western and gangster pictures. The gangster characters attempt to rob the cash register and the cowboy heroes come to the rescue. Some fine hill billy mountain music puts it over with harmony.

"Bulloney" (Flip the Frog Cartoon)
M-G-M 8 mins.
Fair
Flip the Frog goes through his antics in a bull fight ring in this one. Nothing new or unusual develops and the whole thing falls pretty flat.

2 comments:

  1. You've outdone yourself with this one. Incredible article!

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  2. "The late Edwin Thanhouser"? Wonder how Edwin, who lived until 1956, felt about that? It's possible Terry actually saw Charles J. Hite, who was the head of Thanhouser from April 1912 until his untimely death in August 1914.

    Michael

    ReplyDelete