Movie theatres were doing what they could in 1934 to battle the twin threats of the Depression and radio. There were Bank Nights and Dish Nights and other giveaways. Theatre owners even turned to animated cartoon. Cartoon-only cinemas sprung up, no doubt giving way to the idea of the Saturday matinee aimed at kids with cartoons, comedy shorts and serials.
Cartoon studios themselves had to offer more, too. And by 1934, that “more” was colour. In reading The Film Daily for the latter half of the year, one can’t help but notice the promotion of colour cartoon series, a good two years after Walt Disney released “Flowers and Trees” in three-strip Technicolor. The fact Disney’s colour was superior to the two-strip versions of other studios conveniently got left out of the trade news.
So, let’s run down the animated news snippets and cartoon reviews from the paper for the last half of ’34. If you’ve read Shamus Culhane’s autobiography, some of the pieces may seem familiar. Culhane (among others) talked about the revolving door of staff at Van Beuren once Burt Gillett arrived from Disney; a whole unit was obliterated. Culhane also revealed about an abortive attempt to set up an Anglo-American cartoon studio with Alexander Korda and that may be the one referred to in one of the stories. There’s lots of promotional news; someone at Film Daily was in love with Kay Kamen at Disney. And I like the squib about the debut of Giddy Goat. We all know the fine career he went onto. Unfortunately, the Leon Schlesinger softball scores are not available.
Oh, yes. Something about Disney wanting to make a feature film cartoon.
July 3, 1934
COLUMBIA OUTLINES 32 OF NEW LINEUP
In the way of shorts Columbia will offer the following:
"Color Rhapsodies," produced by Charles Mintz; a new animated cartoon in brilliant color which will introduce an amusing group of new characters to the screen.
"Krazy Kat Kartoons," produced by Charles Mintz.
"Scrappy," animated cartoons, produced by Charles Mintz.
July 11, 1934
Mickey Mouse Balloons
Kay Kamen, licensee agent for Walt Disney, has granted permission to the Oak Rubber Co. of Ravenna, O., to put out a series of Mickey Mouse balloons.
July 18, 1934
First of New ComiColors
"Headless Horseman," first of the new series of 13 ComiColor cartoons to be produced by Celebrity Productions, will be released Sept. 1. Subsequent releases will be made once every four weeks.
July 19, 1934
Will Create Dances for Cartoons
Wellington Mack, originator of many of the routines used by the Ringling-Barnum circus clowns, has been signed to devise pantomimic routines for Celebrity Pictures' new series of 13 ComiColor cartoons.
July 20, 1934
Feature and Five Cartoons
Fort Worth—Instead of the usual double-feature program, the Tivoli, second-run neighborhood house, this week offered "Wonder Bar" and five cartoons, "Three Little Pigs," "King Neptune," "Mickey's Nightmare," "Trader Mickey," and "Buddy of the Apes."
Ralph Wilk column
"The Orphans' Benefit," newest of the Mickey Mouse films, has gone into production at the Walt Disney studios. Donald Duck waddles over from the Silly Symphonies to participate in this Mickey Mouse production, thereby establishing a new "loan" arrangement at the Disney studios and a new interchange of stars.
July 26, 1934
Phil M. Daly column
Wellington Mack, one of the few men engaged in the limited profession of writing comedy pantomime for circus clowns, has been signed by P. A. Powers for the staff of ComiColor Cartoons.
Mickey Enters Brittanica
Next edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica will honor Mickey Mouse with an article written by Earl Theisen, honorary curator of Motion Pictures at the Los Angeles Museum. Meanwhile the Brittanica is releasing to its subscribers in September a supplement with an illustrated article entitled "The Story of the Animated Cartoon; from the Phenakistoscope to Mickey Mouse."
August 1, 1934
New Art Posters for ComiColor
To exploit and further emphasize the Powers ComiColor Cartoons as “special attractions”, Celebrity Productions will hereafter issue individual one-sheet posters on each subject. The new posters will be issued on all ComiColor Cartoons beginning with “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp”.
August 3, 1934
First ComiColor Series Finished
First series of Powers ComiColor Cartoons was finished this week with the completion of "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp." First issue of the 1934-35 series, "The Headless Horseman," is now in work for release Sept. 14.
August 7, 1934
Disney Sues Biscuit Companies
Chicago — A petition seeking to restrain three Chicago companies from using the faces and figures of comic characters he has created was filed in the Federal Court here this week by Walt Disney. The companies are the Sawyer Biscuit Co., Chicago Carton Co. and United Biscuit Co.
August 9, 1934
More Vitaphone Color Cartoons
First of the new season's Vitaphone cartoon comedies in color will be "Those Beautiful Dames," based on the Warner feature, "Dames," it is announced by Norman H. Moray, Vitaphone sales director, who reports a big increase in the "Merrie Melodies" in color.
August 10, 1934
Charles Alicoate column
By a strange coincidence, Burt Gillett, supervisor of cartoon production for the RKO Van Beuren, "Toddle Tales" and "Rainbow Parade," is again working in the same building and on the same floor where he broke into the animating cartoon business for the Hearst International Films over 16 years ago. The reason Burt remains late so many evenings each week is because the cartoon ghosts of "Jerry on the Job," "The Katzenjammer Kids," "Happy Hooligan," and "Tad's Indoor Sports" come creeping down from the rafters and re-enact their stories of old slapstick days.
August 13, 1934
Cartoonland Revue Clicks
Oklahoma City — Grouping of a collection of animated shorts, billed as the "Cartoonland Revue," in conjunction with the Joe E. Brown feature, "The Circus Clown," broke a 15-week record at the Midwest theater, Warner house. The idea is being repeated at the Orpheum in Tulsa.
Ralph Wilk’s column
"Happy Harmonies" has been selected as the title for the series of Technicolor animated cartoons which Metro is scheduling for release during the coming season. Thirteen of the cartoon subjects are to be produced within a year by Harman-Ising, all in natural color with musical backgrounds. The first two, "The Discontented Canary" and "A Tale of the Vienna Woods," have been completed.
August 14, 1934
Charles Alicoate column
"A Pastrytown Wedding," first release of the 1934-35 series of all color Rainbow Parade animated cartoons produced by the Van Beuren Corporation for RKO Radio release has been completed at the Van Beuren Studio in New York. Burt Gillett, formerly with Walt Disney, is the supervisor of production on this series, as well as "Burt Gillett's Toddle Tales" also produced by Van Beuren for RKO Radio release.
August 16, 1934
HAYS SEAL IS ISSUED TO FIRST NON-MEMBER
First certificate of compliance with the industry's production standards issued by the Production Code Administration to a producer not a member of the Hays group has been given to "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp," a ComiColor animated cartoon produced by P. A. Powers. The certificate is No. 154. This action, it was stated, is in conformity with the association's purpose to afford all producers, whether or not they are members of the M. P. P. A. A., the opportunity to use the facilities which the association has developed to assure the highest standards of production.
August 17, 1934
Phil M. Daly column
FOR A timely ticket-selling campaign for any showman's house . . . this tieup Kay Kaymen has arranged with the J. C. Penney Company for the Walt Disney pix seems to ring the bell . . . 1,500 stores of the Penney chain will inaugurate a nationwide promotional campaign . . . starting now and lasting through September . . . known as "Mickey Mouse's Back-To-School Days" . . . Mickey will be the advertising and display motif to sell children's merchandise to the countless families with school kids . . . the theater can tie in with the local Penney store . . . and cash in with the store on the results . . . the plan also affords co-operative possibilities with the schools . . .
August 23, 1934
Charles Alicoate column
WITH renovation and redecoration of their new and larger quarters in New Rochelle completed last week, Paul Terry and Frank Moser this week have a considerably larger staff working under their direction on the making of Terry-Toons, the popular cartoon series which they produce for Educational. An increase of about 26 per cent has been made in the number of artists and animators. A large increase was made in the Terry-Toon staff last Fall, and several additions have been effected since then. With the addition just announced, the force is practically twice as big as it was a year ago. To accommodate the larger staff, the Moser-Terry organization has leased space in the Pershing Square Building at 271 North Avenue, New Rochelle. In these new quarters they have just completed Educational's first cartoon release of the new season, "Mice In Council."
Phil M. Daly column
• • • ONE MORE honor for Mickey Mouse . . . Kay Kaymen, handling the merchandising end of the Walt Disney product . . . has prepared an elaborate merchandising book of 80 odd pages . . . listing as many manufacturers who are licensed to use the Mickey Mouse trademark on their products . . . this is sent to retail establishments throughout the world . . . so they can be informed as to the various merchandise available that is identified with the Kid's Own Hero . . . Mickey . . . it marks the first time in the history of merchandising that such a volume has been prepared . . . the book carries beautiful photographic reproductions of all the varied articles.
August 27, 1934
Phil M. Daly column
• • • LATEST TRIBUTE for Mickey Mouse comes from Brazil . . . 45 Brazilian tourists are en route from Rio de Janeiro to Hollywood with a bronze statue they will present to Walt Disney . . .
August 31, 1934
Mickey Mouse Sells $20,000,000 Articles in Year
Disney Rodent Is Working For 142 Manufacturers Here and Abroad
Merchandise to the extent of more than $20,000,000 has been sold in the last year through the use of Mickey Mouse trademark, according to an article in the current issue of "Advertising and Selling." The figure is exclusive of the work  by the Walt Disney character in recent months for General Foods and National Dairy Products. At present Mickey is working for 142 manufacturers, including 75 in the U. S., 45 in England, 20 in Canada, 6 in France and 6 in Spain and Portugal. Items bearing his trademark range from trinkets costing a few cents to tricycles and other articles priced as high as $12.50. Two million Mickey Mouse watches alone have been sold by Ingersoll in the last 14 months.
September 4, 1934
Charles Alicoate column
One of the novelties now in production at the Van Beuren studio is called "The Sunshine Makers," a Rainbow Parade color cartoon directed by Burt Gillett. It is designed to show the triumph of Joy over Gloom.
September 14, 1934
Ralph Wilk column
The newest tenants of the Walt Disney studios—three live wallabies sent to the creator of Mickey Mouse by an Australian admirer—will soon be seen on the screen. They have been cast as the inspiration for three of the players in the forthcoming production, "Mickey's Surprise," for release through United Artists.
September 17, 1934
New Coast Animated Studio
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Plans for opening an animated cartoon studio in Los Angeles, backed by New York and London capital, are reported near completion. Major American and British release is planned by the new enterprise.
September 21, 1934
Celebrity to Handle Features and Serials
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Harry A. Post, vice-president of Celebrity Productions, is here from New York for confer ences with studio executives on the Powers ComiColor Cartoons for 1934-35 and also to confer with independent producers on proposals already made for release of features and serials through Celebrity.
September 27, 1934
Phil M. Daly column
• • • TRUE ROMANCE . . . that tells the sprightly story of how a Great Picture Idea and a Great Merchandising Idea got together . . . for the mutual benefit of their creators . . . the Industry . . . the Public . . . and a slew of smart manufacturers who are Cleaning Up . . . we refer to the Walt Disney Enterprises . . and Kay Kamen . . . merchandising specialist . . . incidentally, this is Mickey Mouse's Official Birthday Story . . . his sixth birthday being Oct. 1. . . .
• • • A DECADE ago . . . Walt Disney was busy experimenting in a Kansas City garage . . . with the new technique of picture production called "animated cartoons" . . . at the same time a young man named Kamen was traveling from city to city . . . gaining the respect and confidence of business men everywhere as a merchandising counsellor . . .
• • • THEN IT came to pass that Disney moved to Hollywood, financed by his brother Roy . . . (Walt had tried unsuccessfully to peddle a half -interest in his cartoon idea for a song, with no takers) . . . meanwhile Mister Kamen had established his headquarters in Kansas City . . . soon the industry began to take notice of these Disney Cartoons . . . for the public was starting to go for 'em . . . while the merchandising world was starting to note the amazingly successful work of Kamen in developing children's business for department stores . . .
• • • HERE WAS a logical and natural community of interests . . . Disney had something definite to offer the merchandising world . . . Kamen had something tangible to offer the motion picture world . . . it was inevitable that they would get together and today leaders of American industry representing a capitalization of over a billion dollars . . . manufacture Mickey Mouse Merchandise articles sold in over 100,000 retail stores in the Youessay . . . Disney branch offices are established in almost every important city in the world . . . and it is all predicated on a marvelous "control" system of the merchandising activities . . . Mister Kamen's organization maintains the dignity and prestige of the Disney Cartoons in the Disney Merchandise . . . an Unbeatable Combination the greatest merchandising publicity plan ever born in the motion pix industry . . . that goes on for ever and ever . . . what a stunt!
"Scrappy" Tieup Arranged
Columbia has arranged a tie-up between the "Scrappy" animated cartoon Franchise Department and Guiterman Bros, of New York City, one of the largest manufacturers of children's neckwear in the country, whereby the latter will sponsor the Scrappy character on their complete line of boy's ties and mufflers.
September 28, 1934
Leon Schlesinger's "Looney Tunes" soft ball team is making an excellent record in the Hollywood league.
October 3, 1934
Making Industrial Film in Color
F. Lyle Goldman, director of Theatrical Division of Audio Productions, has left for Hollywood to superintend photographing of the three-color Technicolor cartoon comedy, "Once Upon a Time," for Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. The black and white version of the picture has been completed.
Charles Alicoate column
A beautiful Long Island estate has been rented by the Van Beuren Corp. for the shooting of actual photographic scenes that will later be combined with a cartoon sequence for "Underwater Follies," a Burt Gillett Toddle Tale scheduled for RKO Radio release.
To insure accuracy and add a touch of Oriental splendor, a special staff of Japanese artists has been engaged to work on "Japanese Lanterns," an original creation and newest Burt Gillett Rainbow Parade all color cartoon now in work at the Van Beuren Studio.
October 8, 1934
Cartoon House on Broadway
An exclusive cartoon policy will open Wednesday at the Bijou, former Broadway legit house. Cartoon Exhibitors, Inc., has leased the theater. Program will be continuous from 10 A. M. to midnight.
Start Christmas Cartoon
Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising are doing their Christmas cartooning early, with "A Toyland Broadcast," animated comedy in color, placed in work for M-G-M release.
October 9, 1934
Charles Alicoate column
"Cap'n Crackerbox" and "Lem Corntassel" are the two leading characters introduced to the screen in "Parrotville Fire Brigade," a Burt Gillett Rainbow Parade all-color cartoon now in the final stages of completion at the Van Beuren studio.
October 16, 1934
Van Beuren Cuts Schedule
A. H. Van Beuren has reduced his cartoon program for 1934-35 from 26 to 16 subjects. The "Toddle Tales" series, originally scheduled to consist of 13, has been cut to three, already made.
A complete 51-man cartoon unit which has left Van Beuren is understood planning to remain together and seek a new affiliation. The group consists of writers, directors, animators, cameramen, cutters and background artists.
October 18, 1934
Audio Making Industrial Cartoon
Audio Productions, Inc., has been commissioned by Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. of Louisville to produce a black and white animated cartoon in theatrical style featuring the penguin used by the firm as a trademark for its Kool cigarettes. F. Lyle Goldman and Bob Roberts will supervise the production.
October 20, 1934
New Series for Celebrity
Celebrity Pictures will have at least one series of 12 novelty shorts in addition to the 12 cartoons ComiColor now being produced, it was said yesterday by Charles Giegerich, general manager. "Headless Horseman," first of the new ComiColor cartoons, has been completed, while two others "The Valiant Tailor" and "Don Quixote" are in work.
October 22, 1934
All-Color Policy Adopted For Van Beuren Cartoons
Adoption of an all-color policy for the two series of Van Beuren animated cartoons was announced Saturday by Amedee J. Van Beuren, president of the company. "Toddle Tales," which heretofore have been made in black and white, will take their place with the "Rainbow Parade" series as a color cartoon. All animation will continue to be under the supervision of Burt Gillett, who during the past week has rearranged production schedules and reorganized the studio personnel.
October 24, 1934
Disney Written Up by "Fortune"
An article on Walt Disney, entitled "The Big Bad Wolf and Why It May Never Huff or Puff Again at Walt Disney's Door," will appear in the November issue of "Fortune."
November 3, 1934
Disney Over Goldwyn
In reviewing the Radio City Music Hall program yesterday, the "Mirror" gave leading space with a three-column heading to Walt Disney's new Silly Symphony, "Goddess of Spring," while the feature of the bill, Samuel Goldwyn's "We Live Again," starring Anna Sten, was run underneath with a single column head.
November 9, 1934
Walt Disney Making Animated Feature
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney is reported planning to produce a feature-length animated cartoon. Title of the production is said to be "Snow White and the Fairies". It is not known whether the feature will be released by United Artists, which handles Disney's Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony cartoons.
November 15, 1934
Cartoon Characters In Big Tie-Up
COLUMBIA Pictures Franchise Department closed negotiations for a nationwide tie-up with the Hercules Leather Goods Co., largest manufacturers of children's leather brief cases and school bags in the country. The firm has been granted the sole right to manufacture and distribute on their merchandise likenesses of both "Scrappy" and "Margy," the famous cartoon characters, produced by Charles Mintz and distributed by Columbia Pictures. As Columbia Pictures is now furnishing to over 5,000 public schools in the United States and Canada weekly cartooning lessons based on "Scrappy" cartoons, the introduction of "Scrappy" school bags, should find a ready market among the millions of school children throughout the country.
November 21, 1934
Ralph Wilk column
"The Band Concert," first of the Mickey Mouse cartoons in color, produced by Walt Disney for United Artists release, will introduce a new character, Giddy Goat.
November 28, 1934
Phil M. Daly column
• • • IF YOUR city is conducting a Safety Week drive . . . or when it does . . . be sure and book "Once Upon A Time" . . . a three-color Technicolor cartoon . . . produced by Audio Productions for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company . . . it is in no sense an advertising film . . . and it is furnished absolutely free to motion picture theaters . . . in an effort to promote careful driving on the part of motorists. . . .
• • • HERE IS a little cartoon film running less than 10 minutes that gets across its message of Safety without preaching . . . in line with the current trend in cartoons . . . a fairyland setting is used . . . such well known characters as Cinderella, the Mad Hatter and Simple Simon appear . . . the villains are Carelessness and Selfishness . . . who cause all kinds of traffic troubles and accidents to the good folks of Fairyland . . . in this way the message of Safety is whammed over with plenty of laughs, clever cartoonatics and fanciful whimsy . . . Louis Jambar, famous mural painter, did the backgrounds for the picture . . . they are gorgeous . . . musicians from the Philharmonic Society of New York played an original score written by Edwin Ludig . . . it's some Classy Cartoon . . . our own police commissioner Lewis J. Valentine . . . is using it in connection with his current safety campaign . . .
Charles Alicoate column
"Don Quixote", Miguel Cervantes' fantastic story, which has furnished the inspiration for countless dramatic sketches and comic illustrations, in addition to having been produced as a stage play in every country and in every language, including Chinese, has now been produced as one of the first subjects in the Powers ComiColor Cartoon series.
November 28, 1934
"Popeye" Preferred by Kids
"Popeye the Sailor" has been voted the most popular cartoon character by a group of boys and girls from Brooklyn schools who are part of the Young Reviewers Club of the National Board of Review. In a discussion of cartoon comedies, newsreels and other shorts, "Silly Symphonies" came out as the favorite of the girls, while the children were almost unanimous on the newsreel as being both interesting and instructive to them and the most important item on the program.
December 4, 1934
Tieups With "Scrappy" Cartoon
An agreement has been consumated between Ben Smiley, Inc., manufacturers of kiddie's togs, and Columbia Pictures, whereby the former has been given sole right to sponsor "Scrappy" and "Margy on their complete line of children's garments.
Edward Nolan Marries
Edward Nolan, member of the Max Fleischer cartooning staff, and Mary Patrick were married Saturday [Dec. 1] in Greenwich, Conn.
December 5, 1934
Disney Files Infringement Suits
Walt Disney Productions and Walt Disney Enterprises yesterday filed an injunction and accounting suit in the U. S. Federal Court, New York, against J. Chein & Co. Inc., toy manufacturers. Infringment on his Mickey Mouse copyrights is charged by the plaintiff.
December 6, 1934
Safety Film for Mass.
"Once Upon a Time," the Technicolor cartoon fairy tale produced by Audio Cinema for the teaching of street safety, will be shown in practically all Massachusetts theaters through the sponsorship of the Mass. Dept. of Public Safety and other state groups. Though the short is contributed by Metropolitan Life Insurance and distributed to theaters free, it is entirely devoid of advertising.
December 13, 1934
Columbia Cartoon Tie-up
A tie-up has been arranged between Columbia and Charles Chipman's Sons, manufacturers and distributors of hosiery in the country, giving the firm sole rights to use the cartoon character kids, "Scrappy" and "Margy", with their dog "Yippy", on their complete line of children's hosiery.
July 9, 1934
"Going to Heaven on a Mule" (Merrie Melodie)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Amusing Animated
Based on the "Going to Heaven on a Mule" number in "Wonder Bar," this animated cartoon produced by Leon Schlesinger fills its purpose very nicely. A lazy colored boy, after taking a swig out of a jug, falls into a nightmare in which the comical Negro Heaven action takes place, winding up with a crash that awakens him.
"She Reminds Me of You" (Screen Song)
with The Eton Boys
Paramount 7 mins. Good
As a prelude to the singing accompanied by the dancing ball, this subject contains a very amusing animated travesty on Radio City and the super-modern theater in which seats come up the aisle to get the patrons, symphony orchestra in several tiers high, and the audience is dumped out in a single stroke after the show. Then comes the vocalizing of the title song, with the Eton Boys featured.
"William Tell" (Oswald The Rabbit)
Universal 6 mins. Funny
This is an amusing interpretation of the William Tell legend. Tell is chased out of the house by his irate frau for practising with his bow and arrow in the house. He and his son are walking along when the irate governor spies him and orders him to shoot an apple off his son's head or die. Bees sting Tell and he lets the arrow fly without looking. It cuts the apple and hits Tell's wife. She comes out and puts the governor to flight, thinking he had hit her.
"The Wax Works" (Oswald The Rabbit)
Universal 9 mins. Amusing
Oswald, proprietor of a wax works, takes in a foundling left on his doorstep. The infant witnesses the figures coming to life and having a high old time. Wandering into the chamber of horrors, the child runs into Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, the Mummy, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame and is in dire trouble when Oswald arrives. Subject winds up with the infant dropping tallow from a candle on Oswald's nose which suggests that it may have been a dream, after all.
July 12, 1934
"The Flying Mouse" (Silly Symphony)
United Artists 7 mins. Swell
Running close to the best of Disney's Silly Symphonies, this newest animated cartoon in Technicolor is a thoroughly enjoyable affair, neatly conceived and well executed. The little mouse, after befriending a butterfly who turns out to be a fairy, is given one wish. He desires to have wings so he can fly like the birds. Reluctantly the fairy grants his desire, and the mouse soon finds that the wings have converted him into an ugly object that is kidded by other winged birds and feared by his own kind. So, seeing he has learned his lesson, the fairy transforms the mouse back to his former status and all is happy.
July 21, 1934
"Betty Boop's Life Guard"
Paramount 7 mins. Lively
A Max Fleischer cartoon with Betty Boop and her life guard beau in a romantic drama as the latter rescues Betty from drowning at the beach. Betty faints as he swims ashore with her and dreams that she is a mermaid. Her adventures underseas form the major part of a very clever cartoon that is artistically and technically well handled.
July 25, 1934
Betty Boop in "Poor Cinderella"
Paramount 7 mins. Swell Cartoon in Color
Produced in Cinecolor, the new animated series gets a swell sendoff in an adaptation of the popular fairy tale. Brightly conceived for both comedy and romantic effect, it shows the abused Cinderella being sent to the prince's ball in a chariot by her fairy godmother, promptly winning the royal suitor, leaving one of her slippers behind as she rushes out just before the stroke of midnight, and finally being found again by the prince as the only girl with a foot small enough to fit into the slipper. They'll go for this one in a big way.
August 1, 1934
"Fiddlin' Fun" (Aesop Fable)
RKO Radio 7 mins. Fair Animated
In this Van Beuren animated cartoon Cubby the Bear is entered in a Roman chariot race, with a fair maiden's hand as the prize, and Nero and his fiddle as the chief spectator. Cubby has only one horse and a makeshift buggy, against the regular chariots and teams of the other contestants, but despite dirty work by his rival he finally comes through winner, making the last stretch on horseback while the nag propels itself on the wheels of his busted chariot.
August 2, 1934
Popeye the Sailor in "Shiver Me Timbers"
Paramount 7 mins. Good Cartoon
Another very amusing adventure of Popeye the Sailor. With Olive Oyl and Wimpy trailing along, Popeye defies warning and goes exploring in a ghost ship. As soon as they are inside, the hulk takes off from shore, and there follows a series of spooky incidents, winding up with Popeye's usual trick of taking a big chew of spinach and then cleaning up the works.
August 6, 1934
"Chris Columbo, Jr." (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 9 mins. A Dandy
This is all about young Chris, who, being convinced that the world is round, tries to put over his idea with the King of Portugal, the King of England and the King of Spain. They all turn him down. Finally the Queen of Spain hands him her jewels and he sets sail. The ships reach America and are met by the Indians. The musical background and lyrics are up to the minute and contain many very humorous moments. Drawings are very funny.
August 18, 1934
"Buddy of the Apes" (Looney Tune)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Good Animated
Jungle pictures are given a kidding in this Leon Schlesinger production, which has been generally well handled in idea and execution. Burlesquing of recent wild animal films results in a good batch of laughs.
"Grandfather's Clock" (Burt Gillett's Toddle Tale)
RKO Radio 10 mins. Good Cartoon
A combination of actual photography and cartoon, this subject shows two attractive tots playing on the floor with a clock. One is about to hit the clock with a hammer when the Grandfather Clock in the corner tells them not to harm the clock and he will tell them a story. Cartoon then begins and a clock village is shown and some of the activities there. The cartoon part is very ingenious and amusing. Subject winds up nicely.
August 22, 1934
"The Girl At the Ironing Board (Merrie Melody Cartoon)
A clever burlesque on the musical number of the same name in Warner's "Dames." The characters are the clothes of three laundry customers—the Hero, the Heroine and the Villain. After closing hours they stage their romance and carry on with the other laundry article participating as the audience in the little play. Carried out in the drammeller style, with the villain beating beaten up at the climax by the hero. Good novelty cartoon, with musical score by Bernard B. Brown. Produced by Leon Schlesinger.
August 23, 1934
"Buddy Circus" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 min. Lively
The cartoon character Buddy is running a circus, and on the day of the opening performance finds his hands full when a little baby in the audience gets mixed up in the circus acts. The events are mostly concerned with the aerial acts, and the circus atmosphere is very realistically portrayed, with a fund of comedy incident. Musical score by Norman Spencer. Produced by Leon Schlesinger.
Popeye the Sailor in "Axe Me Another"
Paramount 7 mins. Pip Cartoon Comedy
Full of action and especially humorous in conception, this animated cartoon will ring the bell anywhere. Popeye matches his strength with a champion lumberjack, at felling trees, throwing logs, and of course the usual quota of fist-fighting.
September 1, 1934
"Peculiar Penguins" (Silly Symphony)
United Artists 8 mins. Clever
A delightful cartoon adventure of a penguin in the frozen North who saves his lady love from a monster fish that turns its attentions on the hero and pursues him to a terrific suspense and thrilling climax. An original song has been written to fit the action, sung by male voices. Done in beautiful color. Well up to the standard of the Walt Disney studio. A very cleverly executed subject that is also a novelty with the penguin characters.
September 14, 1934
“The Dizzy Dwarf” (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal Just Fair
This one is strictly juvenile entertainment and holds little for adults. It's about a queen who complains to the king that she is in tatters and needs new gowns. Oswald's sister claims she can spin straw into gold. A dwarf appears and makes it possible for her to produce the gold with the provision that she guess his name within a certain time. Oswald overhears the conversation, discovers the dwarf's name and returns in time to save his sister and the gold.
"Ye Happy Pilgrims" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 8 mins. Okay
Oswald, playing the part of John Alden, lands with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. There they are besieged by Indians selling hot dogs, and lemonade and hawking for taxis. Alden and Miles Standish, a huge dog, are in love with Priscilla. John wins, but their wedding feast is upset by Standish and a horde of Indians on the warpath." There are a few good laughs.
"Why Mules Leave Home" (Terry-Toon)
Educational 7 mins. Lively
A Paul Terry-Toon reciting the adventures of the old farmer where the mule stages a strike of all the farm hands, and the animals walk out without notice. A tribe of hostile Indians swoop down on the unprotected farmhouse. When the strikers hear of it, they return to rescue their old pal. Good animal action and it moves fast. Scored by Philip A. Scheib.
September 24, 1934
Popeye the Sailor in "Strong to the Finich"
Paramount 7 min. Pip Cartoon
Old Popeye gets better and better, and in this concoction he is a knockout. Olive Oyl runs a health farm for kids, but has trouble getting them to eat spinach. Popeye comes along and, by showing the kids how the stuff promotes strength, gets them to go for it eagerly. Plenty of originality and action in development of the idea.
September 26, 1934
"Buddy's Bearcats" (Looney Tune)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Good Animated
Having a good sprinkling of humor, this cartoon comedy produced by Leon Schlesinger should fill its purpose well enough. Title is indicative of its contents, and from the animation standpoint it has been efficiently handled.
October 2, 1934
"The Black Sheep" (Terry-Toon)
Educational 6 mins. Good Cartoon
This is the fable of the black sheep whom the three little white sheep refused to play with. When he hollered "Wolf!" they ran away until, having been fooled several times, they stayed on and one of them was seized. The black sheep effects a rescue and thus regains a white coat. Subject is splendidly animated and vocal score is amusing.
October 5, 1934
"Tale of the Vienna Woods" (Happy Harmonies)
M-G-M 8 mins. Good Color Cartoon
Cartoon action has been nicely tailored to the orchestral composition, "Tale of the Vienna Woods," and with the added advantage of color it makes an enjoyable subject of its kind. The antics in the short are provided mainly by a little fawn cavorting in the forest with a satyr brought to life from a fountain statue.
October 10, 1934
"Pastrytown Wedding" (Rainbow Parade Cartoon)
RKO 7 mins. Swell Animated in Color
Cleverly conceived and efficiently executed, this Burt Gillett animated cartoon in color is among the best shorts of its kind turned out anywhere to date, and should click big with any audience. It's a fanciful story about a wedding staged in a pastry realm, and the development of the idea combines swell gags with a romantic touch, plus a pleasing musical background. It's tasty dessert for young or old.
"Katnips of 1940" (Krazy Kat)
Columbia 7 mins.Snappy
This Charles Mintz cartoon attempts to show advance styles in musical comedies and girlie shows in 1940. Kat picks himself a new leading lady after his prima donna pulls a flop in rehearsal. They go into their act the opening night and wow the audience in a series of spectacular dance numbers. Has plenty of colorful action.
October 11, 1934
"Trapeze Artist" (Krazy Kat Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Fast Cartoon
A Charles Mintz cartoon, with Krazy Kat going through the routine of the "Man on the Flying Trapeze." But Kat is the lover who lost his sweetie to the trapeze artist. However, he recovers her in a grand stand finish.
October 15, 1934
"Betty Boop's Prize Show" (Betty Boop Cartoon)
Paramount 7 mins. Lively Animated
Old-time melodrama is taken for a ride in this Betty Boop cartoon, and the results are hilarious enough to provide seven minutes of very diverting animated comedy entertainment that will meet the satisfaction of any audience. Scene is the town opera house, where the heavy drammer is staged with Betty as the heroine, a terrible bad man as the villain, and a handsome officer of the law as the hero who effects Betty's rescue amid the plaudits of the packed house. Plenty good comedy touches in the scenario, and the animation is handled in a fast-moving tempo. There is a musical accompaniment, too, with the popular song, "You're in My Power," suitably interpolated as the main theme.
October 20, 1934
"Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp"
Celebrity Prod. 7 mins. Very Good
A free adaptation of the fable of Aladdin's Lamp makes fine cartoon material, and Ub Iwerks, the cartoonist, has given it a gay and fantastic treatment with plenty of comedy highlights. The young lad Aladdin is seen slaving for his employer cleaning up the old lamps he gathers in his junk business, till he starts polishing the Magic Lamp. Then the Geni of the Lamp appears and grants his every wish as he rubs the lamp, till the young hero is all fixed up with the king's daughter as a prospective bride, riches and everything. The color work is vivid and appealing.
October 26, 1934
"Concert Kid" (Scrappy Cartoon)
The cartoon strip character Scrappy puts his kid brother on the stage for his violin act with disastrous consequences. The kid chews some gum, and gets himself all tangled with the gum and his violin. Very cleverly handled technically, and the reel carries plenty of laughs.
"Krazy's Waterloo" (Krazy Kat Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Lively
The lively adventures of Krazy Kat doing a Napoleon act. The incidents duplicate some of the historical highlights of the little corporal's career. The hero recruits his army of about four soldiers and starts on the long cold trip to Russia, only to be defeated and finally wind up on the island of Elba. The cartoon action is lively and very well handled.
October 29, 1934
"Little Dutch Mill"
Paramount 7 mins. Good Color Cartoon
A neatly conceived and executed animated cartoon comedy in color. The little story in it concerns an unkempt old miser who kidnaps a group of kids and is about to harm them in his mill. The populace goes to the rescue and as punishment the people give the miser a good scrubbing, a shave and dress him up like a young dandy. The change makes him feels so good that he gives his hoarded money away. The "Little Dutch Mill" melody supplies a fitting musical background.
Popeye the Sailor in "The Two Alarm Fire"
Paramount 7 mins. Fine Animated
Popeye is in his usual form in this cartoon concoction wherein he and a rival one-man fire department are called to the rescue of Olive Oyl who is marooned atop a burning building. There are the usual funny antics, cleverly conceived and executed, winding up with Popeye taking a swig of his trusty spinach and blowing the fire out.
"The Great Experiment" (Scrappy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Fair Animated
The antics in this cartoon comedy have to do with laboratory experiments being practiced on Scrappy by an ugly scientist. With the use of his serums, the doc changes the little fellow into a fish, then back to his natural shape, then into an old man and finally back to normal. Some action results from Scrappy's efforts to get away from the dog, with the usual chase stuff. Animation is quite lively.
October 31, 1934
"The Goddess of Spring" (Silly Symphony)
United Artists 10 mins. Very Good
Colorful, dramatic, novel and full of fertile inventiveness, this latest Disney opus is an excellent animated cartoon. Fable shows the earth and its creatures joyously alive as Persephone, goddess of spring, is crowned. Into this happy pastoral bursts Pluto, King of Hades, rising from the nether regions to the accompaniment of a volcanic eruption of the earth. He abducts Persephone and returns to Hades where he stages a celebration for her. But Persephone pines away, so to make both her and himself happy, Pluto permits her to return to the earth for six months each year.
"Buddy The Woodsman" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Fair
This one shows Buddy as a real he-man woodsman. Felling of trees and trimming of the wood are handled with many gags that should entertain the kids. The men are called to dinner, and, while the repast is on, a bear comes down the chimney and upsets the meal. Much doing while they chase the animal, which finally encounters Buddy and winds up by making a hasty retreat to the woods.
November 3, 1934
"A Toyland Broadcast" (Happy Harmonies Cartoon)
M-G-M 7 mins.A Pip
Here is a swell holiday special for the kids that is good for any holiday, and all the days in between for that matter. Done in color, it presents all the toys in a store going on a big broadcast, and doing their stuff with plenty of class and comedy. Several good impersonations are done, such as Bing Crosby and Paul Whiteman. One of the cleverest bits ever done in a cartoon is the Apache dance done by two French dolls. This one will delight the youngsters and their elders almost as much.
November 7, 1934
"A Little Bird Told Me" (Toodle Tale)
RKO-Van Beuren 9 mins. A Crackerjack
This is a swell short and should prove "aces" wherever played. It is an actual-scene-cartoon combination and shows little Bixie Sawyer, who has been stealing jam from the refrigerator. Bixie's sister, who is a few years older, sees the tell-tale smear of jam on his face. Bixie doesn't realize how his sister found out about his jamboree, so she says "A little bird told me". The film then flashes to a cartoon of a bird on a branch outside the window. The bird shows how all little birds know what's going on. The cartoon them jumps to the office of the "Bugle", high atop a tree. The city editor gets the "flash" of Bixie and the jam. Walter Finchell and a cameraman are dispatched to get the scoop. The gags that follow are right up to the minute. Musical score, animation and story are first class.
November 16, 1934
"The Girl at the Ironing Board"
Amusing Cartoon Vitaphone 7 mins.
With "The Girl at the Ironing Board" as the song theme, this animated subject works up a fair amount of comicalities in a laundry where male pajamas and feminine undergarments engage in various amusing antics.
November 19, 1934
Betty Boop in "Keep in Style"
Paramount 7 mins Good Animated Cartoon
Starting with a household exposition, this Screen Song then goes into a style show, with Betty Boop giving a demonstration of converting her ensemble into various different and attractive costumes. This part will prove especially interesting to the women, while the subject as a whole is enjoyable for audiences generally.
November 30, 1934
"Pop Goes My Heart" (Merrie Melody Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Clever
A clever cartoon in color producted by Leon Schlesinger, with music by Norman Spencer. The little creatures of the woods are having a merry time dancing and capering around, till a bad bear busts in and spoils all their fun. Then by a clever trick they get rid of the pest, and resume their fun.
"Shake Your Powder Puff" (Merrie Melodie)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Okay Animated Cartoon
An animated comedy of average entertainment values. Produced by Leon Schlesinger, it fills the bill where a subject of this kind is desired.
December 8, 1934
"Spring in the Park" (Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 8 mins. Gay Diversion
Oswald here is a cop making merry with a nursemaid in the park when a towering sergeant comes along, chases Oswald and begins making a play for the nursemaid himself. Oswald slips on the baby's bib and tocker and begins to boot and bite the sergeant who recognizes him, gives chase and has a dozen misadventures. Vocal score is well sung and amusing. Incidents are amusing and ingenious.
December 20, 1934
"Jack Frost" (ComiColor Cartoon)
Celebrity Prods. 8 mins. Swell
Kiddies and grownups will like this tale of the little bear who, after being tucked in bed, slips out of the window of his tree-trunk home and gets lost and somewhat battered wandering through the snow. Old Man Winter finally picks up the little bear and transports him back to his warm home. Subject is amusingly developed.
"Holiday Land" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 9 mins. Pleasing Cartoon
Produced in color, this is a generally enjoyable cartoon fantasy in which Scrappy has quite an elaborate dream about being in Holiday Land among the toys. There is a fitting musical accompaniment.
"Don Quixote" (ComiColor Cartoon)
Celebrity Prods. 8 mins. First-rate
Produced in Cinecolor by Ub Iwerks, this is a very entertaining cartoon subject packing a lot of novelty and comedy in its brief span. Don is first depicted in a looney asylum reading a tale of when knights were bold and fought for ladies in distress. Fleeing the bughouse with the keeper in pursuit, Quixote lands in a junk wagon loaded with armor and drawn by a sorry nag. Thus equipped Don starts out on his adventures which include a tilt with a windmill and an encounter with a steam shovel which to him becomes a dragon breathing fire. The short is smartly conceived, brilliantly executed and has an amusing windup.
December 27, 1934
RKO-Van Beuren 7 mins. Clever Cartoon
Very clever cartoon in colors that is specially adapted to the Holiday Season. It tells the fable of the little Sunshine Gnomes in their bright red costumes who engage in battle the Blue Devils of Melancholy. The weapons consist of bottled sunshine which the Gnomes manufacture, and spray over their enemies, finally transforming them into Bluebirds of Happiness, as it were. The kids will enjoy this clever cartoon fable, and the grownups will appreciate the significance in back of a clever idea.