Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Helpful Help

One of the fun things in silent cartoons is when characters, Felix the Cat especially, took question or exclamation marks, or words, and turned them into something else that furthered the plot.

Here’s a great example from the Oswald cartoon “Oh, Teacher” (1927). Oswald’s girl-friend has landed in the lake. She yells “HELP” and her words form the word. The word travels in the air to Oswald, the “p” kicks him in the butt, the “h” points to where his girl is, then Oswald pulls down all the letters and rides the word like a horse. Pretty clever, even today.

As usual, Walt Disney was the only one to receive screen credit and he didn’t draw a thing. However, Mark Kausler reports that Friz Freleng worked on this scene. Thanks to Devon Baxter for the note.


  1. Ah, and you also shall notice that aside from Mickey Mouse shorts from 1928-1929 (which gave Ub Iwerks at least some credit.) and the features, Walt Disney didn't even bother to credit any people on the shorts untill he was forced to at the end of 1944, and speaking of Disney, ever got that weird antsy feeling that the Disney name altogether will eventually disappear from the Hollywood scene in general, because after all, the Walt in Disney died 47 years ago and consider the XD junk and whatnot the studio began producing since the whole Raw Toonage, Bonkers, Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show trifectra.

    The actual Disney sprit in general and following Walt's Legacy and mantra has since been dumped, the art in the Disney Television shows like Emperor's New School and American Dragon: Jake Long and Dave the Barbarian is VERY un-Disneylike and not really Walt Disney style at all, instead they are no different than the junk created by today's hacks like Seth MacFarlane, Butch Hartman, Man of Action, Peter Hannan, Paul Tibbit etc etc etc........

    And even the Disney Renassance stuff and the latest hand-drawn Disney features are also pretty anti-disney as well (but that is well played overshadowed the way they break into song at least), what i've gotten and realized with John K.'s findings, many of them stylistically reek of being big-budget versions of Saturday Morning cartoons from Ruby Spears and even 1970s Hanna Barbera, but that seems to be a moot point since the studio actually really DID enter the Saturday Morning Television field as the two mentioned companies, but then also consider that back in day when the real man himself was there the entire strength used to be themselves they only relied, but in the modern era the studio opened up shops across the seas, there was a Disney Television Austrailia, a Disney Television France AND a Disney Television Japan, exactly like with Hanna Barbera opening sweatshops in Austrailia (1971) and Tapei, Taiwain (1978).........

    I've actually instead (of Disney) gotta be sorry for the CARTOONISTS that were NOT credited at all, guys like Ham Hamilton, Les Clark, Burt Gillett, Dick Lundy (AND HOW! he was both never credited and he was fired for no reason, Walt was a jerk, so feel sorry for Lundy and not Disney) and Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising.


  2. Point taken about the screen credit thing (but really now, this is old news , beating a dead horse ... what serious cartoon fan doesn't understand this ? and of course ordinary folks who watch cartoons to be entertained just don't care , not back in the 30's and 40's and not now . Most ordinary movie goers never read screen credits. ) BUT when you throw around words like "never" you need to back that up . Dick Lundy does have screen credit on Snow White (http://www.caps.media/193/7-snow-white/full/snow-white-disneyscreencaps.com-8.jpg) . Yes, the way that Walt apparently fired Dick Lundy was cold and seemingly without any good reason . But it's not factual to say that he was "never" given screen credit at Disney. Same goes for Les Clark. He has screen credit on numerous features from Snow White through One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

  3. Regardless of all that, Disney's name is the only one on this cartoon, unless you count "A Winkler Production." Same with "Ocean Hop", "Rival Romeos" and "Bright Lights," to name a few other silents. I suspect the opening title cards on versions in circulation today are recreated but I don't doubt they're accurate as to what was on the originals.