Sunday, 30 June 2013

Newcomer Jack Benny

Jack Benny wasn’t always Jack Benny. He was born Benny Kubelsky and it’s part of the Benny lore that he went through several names in vaudeville before changing his billing from Ben. K. Benny to Jack Benny. In his autobiographical notes contained in a book written by his daughter Joan, he doesn’t explain the reason for the final change, though it’s generally conceded it was because of legal rumblings from orchestra leader Ben Bernie; the two toured on the same circuit at the time. And there are several explanations about how the name “Jack Benny” was picked; Jack himself stated in the posthumous book it was comedian Benny Rubin’s idea after hearing Jack and his ex-Navy buddies call each other “Jack” at a restaurant in St. Louis.

The myriad of stories don’t pin down the date he switched to the name he would use for the rest of his life. Benny himself only outlined in his autobiographical notes that his act had changed by 1921 and he only used his violin to play himself off the stage at the end. But it was far from the character he developed over the years on his radio show. I’ve only been able to trace him as Ben K. Benny up to May 1920, when he was in Lincoln, Nebraska and Sioux City, Iowa in a show headlined playing the Orpheum circuit and headlined much of the time by the Four Marx Brothers.

The first mention I can find of the billing as “Jack Benny” was in the October 13, 1920 edition New York Clipper, a show business trade paper. He was playing the Western Vaudeville Managers Association circuit at the Windsor in Chicago and the Majestic in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; this circuit also had a theatre (the Crystal) in St. Joseph, Missouri. On January 4, 1921, he was appearing at the Keith in Philadelphia. Jack played in Jersey City and the Prospect Theatre in Brooklyn on the F.F. Proctor Time the week of January 10th, and the following week was on the first half of the bill at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City; the headliner was Eddie Foy and Family. He was reviewed under the “Newcomers” column in Variety of Friday, January 21, 1921 by none other than founder Sime Silverman. Evidently Silverman didn’t realise Benny had played the Orpheum circuit as it was hardly small time (the term “time,” as you can see, originated in vaudeville). Here’s what Silverman had to say:

JACK BENNY. Monologist.
14 Mins.; One.
5th Ave.
Jack Benny has a violin and talk. Mainly talk. He handles himself as though having played small time, though his talk material is new. When Benny said he had stopped smoking as smoking: is now too effeminate, he waited for the expected laugh which was not as hearty as he looked for, so he repeated the gag. Later when nearing the finish and the right exit, he pointed to his name on the card, while playing the violin, and saying, "Jack Benny. That's me. They couldn't get my right name on it."
His talk is along the lines of his girl, who lives in Philadelphia, with an idle brother and a father, who died, Benny said, the same evening he was to take his girl to the theatre. On account of the death of his girl's father, he added, they were late for the performance. The 5th Ave. audience thought that was funnier than the smoking gag, which about sums up the 5th Ave.
In outline of turn, Benny has been a student of Ben Bernie, it seems. He talks much like Bernie, but has none of Bernie's gags. His violin playing is negligible for results. He holds the instrument in the regular way, under the neck, whereas Bernie holds it carelessly, often against his body, which Green of Green and Myra, on the same bill, must have intently observed, as he played his violin along that style. It wasn't vaudevilly to have two violinists on the same bill and have both of them recall Bernie, although Bernie may not mind it. It certainly did not help Benny. But Benny seems able to helf [sic] himself. He has gags, presence and assurance. His only worry just now may be how he is going to follow Bernie if he can make the big time. The answer seems to be for Benny to throw away his violin while Bernie is using one, and try another method of working in his talk, if he doesn't care to become a monologist, outright.
The Delmar time can handle Benny, also the Orpheum Circuit, and the other bookings in between and below, but while Benny looks good enough to make all the time, he can't make the best as at present framed up. Sime.


“One” means he was a solo act, standing in front of the curtain.

Jack took out an ad in the New York Dramatic World of February 26, 1921, announcing he was represented by Thos. J. Pitzpatrick. His career was on its way again, travelling across the U.S. and western Canada. And I hear they loved him in St. Joe.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Who Was the Real Betty Boop?

Quick, name the voice of Betty Boop. Okay, now name all the voices of Betty Boop.

The first question’s probably a breeze to any fan of old cartoons; I suspect Mae Questel came to mind. The last one may be a little trickier. During the lawsuit filed against the Fleischer and Paramount studios by Helen “boop-oop-a-oop” Kane, Max Fleischer testified that he had used five actresses to play Betty on the screen. Questel was only one of them. The other four were Little Ann Little, Margie Hines, Bonnie Poe and Harriet Lee. The trial publicity prompted the first four to get together on stage in New York City (and, appropriately, at the Paramount Theatre) where they all appeared as Betty Boop in a show starting May 14, 1934.

Lee seems to have been an unusual choice. For one thing, she was a contralto. Lee appeared on radio in New York in the late ‘20s and early ‘30s and then disappeared. Jimmy Fidler tracked her down and revealed in a 1938 column she was in Hollywood employed as Dorothy Lamour’s voice coach. Poe headed west for a time, too. The New York Sun of July 22, 1933 stated she had been the on-screen voice of Betty “for the last four months” and had been appearing in the role on a radio show. By April 1934, she was a nightclub hostess in Los Angeles and suing George Raft for $25,000 for breach of promise on top of that. Poe seems to have faded into the filmland sunset soon after. Hines, as you may know, married and then divorced Jack Mercer, the eventual voice of Popeye.

But as far as Little Ann Little was concerned, she was Betty Boop. And God help you if you said the word “Questel” to her. Well, God wouldn’t help you because He was on Ann’s side, as you shall read.

The internet is chock-full of misinformation about her, thanks to someone’s incorrect guesswork and her own obit. No, she was not born in 1910. No, she was not born “Ann Rothschild.” Her claim she was a native New Yorker appears to have been stretching the truth, like a few other things in her interviews.

The one thing Ann Little never explained—nor did anyone else on the record—is why she was replaced with Questel as the voice of Betty Boop in the cartoons. Fleischer testified at the Kane trial (August 20, 1934) that Paramount hired the actresses, not he. Little treats it like it never happened. She gave a made-up excuse about why Betty stopped appearing in cartoons and leaves the impression she was there when it happened. She seems to have identified far too much with the character, telling the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1950 that she preferred to be called “Betty” instead of her real name, and the paper dutifully reports in other stories about “Betty Boop” and her students.

Florida death records show that Annabelle L. Rothschild was born March 1, 1902. They don’t reveal what her birth name was or where she was born. Evidently it was not in the United States. A naturalisation petition was granted to her on August 12, 1943. She married a tax assessor named Louis Herbert Werner. He was 22 years her senior; in fact, he married his first wife before Ann was even born. They tied the knot between 1940 and 1942; Werner’s World War Two draft card from 1942 lists a Brooklyn address that was crossed out and substituted with a Florida address in 1943. Ann apparently wintered in Florida for a time; an Evening Independent story from February 1937 reveals someone performing locally “who was billed as the ‘original voice of Betty Boop’.” Little isn’t mentioned but it’s a safe assumption it’s her.

The pair now in living with other snowbirds in St. Petersburg, Little found work as a make-up and hair instructor at a local charm school. Werner died on January 8, 1948 (his obit said he had arrived in the city in 1941) and the following month, the newspaper mentions Ann had changed jobs and was teaching dance at a studio. Between 1948 and 1950 (I can’t find the exact date now), the paper reveals she had opened her own studio and named it after Betty Boop. Little married Joseph M. Rothschild in July 1960; he died in July 1969 and she remained a widow until her death on October 22, 1981.

Here are several newspaper stories where Little talks about her life and her career in cartoons. This one appeared in the Evening Independent on October 2, 1948. There are odd claims galore in the story but the oddest is the assertion that Max Fleischer stopped making Betty Boop cartoons because he was sick. He never was sick. By extention, Little implies she was around until Betty’s dying days and that certainly wasn’t the case.

St. Petersburg Postscript To Hollywood Story
Betty Boop Studying For the Ministry
By C. WINN UPCHURCH

Max Fleischer and Paramount Studios had the cartoon heroine Betty Boop on the screen for eight years but this was never in the script. Betty Boop is studying to be a minister.
Honest-to-pat. The little lady is devoting her life to religion.
By Betty Boop we mean, of course, Ann Little Werner, who did the animations for that cute little movie cartoon trick with the squeaky voice and the Esquire figure.
Ann, who resides at 1850 Fifth avenue north and is an instructor at the Pauline Buhner school of dance, has already completed six month of Bible study. Her goal is to be an ordained minister and preach the Gospel from a pulpit
. “I used to bring joy to the outer man and now I want to be bring joy to the inner man,” she says.
Ann started in show business in 1925 as a member of the pony chorus with the Greenwich Village Follies in her native New York city. She was also an RKO discovery and at one time had her own program over the NBC network as Singer Little Ann Little. But it was as the voice of Betty Boop that Ann became a star.
“I heard that Paramount was holding tryouts for a tiny girl with a squeaky voice for the Betty Boop role and I tried for the job and got it,” Ann recounts.
“From 1932 until 1940 we made 18 cartoons a year. Sixteen thousand drawings were made to complete one seven-minute reel. After the film was completed it was my job to fill in the dialogue with songs and chatter on the sound track. In addition I made personal appearance tours as Betty. I used to get loads of fan mail, especially from children and men. The kiddies always believed that I actually went back into the ink well after the reel had been shown.”
Present day youngsters never had the pleasure of knowing Betty Boop on the screen but in her hey-day she was as popular, if not more so, than Mickey Mouse. She was forever in trouble but always managed to dive back into the inkwell before Koko the Clown or the giant could snatch her away.
As she ran fleeing from the huge hand of the giant her tiny scream had the audience in a tizzy until good triumphed over evil.
In the 30’s Helen Kane, the singer, sued Paramount for one-quarter million dollars claiming that the boob-boop-a-doop idea was hers. The case went to the New York supreme court and the judge ruled in favor of Fleischer. Kane appealed and again lost the case. Betty Boop would still be bringing joy to the hearts of movie-goers if Fleischer had not become ill and retired from movie-making. Betty Boop was always close to his heart and he would never sell the rights to any other studio, Anne says.
Ann moved to St. Petersburg five years ago with her late husband who was a retired employe of Consolidated Edison. He died six months ago. During the war Ann entertained the patients at government hospitals and did other volunteer war work.
She is very tiny, being only four feet-ten inches and weighs 100 pounds, only five pounds more than she did when she starred in the 30s as Betty Boop.
And she still retains that boob-boop-a-doop squeaky voice that makes you want to protect her from that brute, Koko the Clown.


Koko a “brute”? I must have missed that cartoon.

Ann’s first husband had belonged to the Unity Church.

Another newspaper caught up with her in 1971. The Associated Press picked up the story and it appeared in newspapers beginning June 22nd that year.

Cartoon voice now minister
By STEVE RUEDIGER

Tampa Tribune Staff Writer
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP)- Although Ann Rothschild quit being the voice of a famous animated cartoon character to go into the ministry more than 25 years ago, she's still perfect at doing the high, childish voice most people quickly recognize as "Betty Boop."
Mrs. Rothschild did the "Betty Boop" voice and made personal appearances as Betty Boop from 1933 to 1945. Before that, she was in vaudeville as "Miss Little Ann Little."
Now that 4-foor-1l-inch tall Mrs. Rothschild lives in a condominium development, and loves it, "because the people are my age, and they knew me and want me to sing at all the parties."
She said as "Betty Boop" she made about 18 cartoons a year and traveled throughout the country making personal appearances, in which she tap-danced, sang and did comedy sketches.
Mrs. Rothschild has a collection of publicity photographs from her "Betty Boop" days.
She admitted "Betty Boop" was the only cartoon voice she could do because, although she tried to change her voice, it was so distinctive, producers told her it would have been recognized.
Mrs. Rothschild left show business in 1946 to study for the ministry and later was ordained a Christian Unity minister.
She said she quit the entertainment field also because her husband retired and they moved to Florida.
But in 1948 her first husband died. She decided to set up the "Betty Boop School of Dancing" in St. Petersburg to teach dancing, singing and elocution.
Her most famous pupil was actress Carroll Baker, whom she taught for three years. Then, in 1951, she closed her school and came to Fort Myers to set up a Christian Unity Church.
She maintains show business and the ministry are the same thing. "In show business you try to lift people up so they can forget their problems, and it's the same in religion. You try to lift their minds off their problems and put it on God."


But Little seems to have a problem separating herself from a cartoon character. She complained in a story Fort Myers News Press about Mae Questel. She forgot—conveniently or otherwise—that she and Questel had appeared on stage together after the Kane trial was over (she had testified she was 24 which was a barefaced lie). In fact, she even seems to have deluded herself into believing the trial was about her, when it was about a cartoon character. All she had to do was easily explain to the reporter that Questel was one of the other people who voiced the character but she just can’t seem to bring herself to admit any one else was Betty Boop. And just because she sang boop-oop-a-doop on stage in the mid-‘20s doesn’t make her Betty Boop. A court of law twice told that to Helen Kane.

Maureen Bashaw was a long-time reporter and a champion for people with autism but she had problems spelling Max Fleischer’s name, unless the editor screwed it up. Her story was syndicated and this version appeared in print October 6, 1975.

Identity crisis for star
By MAUREEN BASHAW

Gannett News Service
FORT MYERS, Fla.—The boop-boop-a-doop gal is mad.
There she was, this 77-pound, 58-inch, orange-haired, blue-eyed ex-cartoon and vaudeville queen, sitting in her apartment here a few weeks ago crying and laughing with the soap opera games on television, when the telephone rang and a friend told her he’d heard a lady on the tube the night before claiming to be the “original Betty Boop”.
Small balls of fire started to burn in Ann Rothschild’s eyes and heart, and although she says she’s “absolutely retired from show business,” she decided to speak out.
“I’m upset. I’m tired of hearing about these ORIGINAL Betty Boops and people around here thinking I’m a fraud. I’m the original Betty Boop. I began doing the boop-boop-a-doop songs when I was on the road with the vaudeville shows (back in the 1920s.)
“Then when Max Fliescher of Paramount Studios (in New York) was looking for someone for his new Betty Boop cartoon character (in 1932), I went to the auditions and he chose me.
“There were hundreds of girls there and most of them could sing better than I could. But I don’t know. I suppose I had what he wanted. I was very tiny and very pretty, you know, and I had this high-pitched voice.
“Anyway, Mr. Fliescher always said I was the original Betty Boop. He even won a court case over me once.
“Of course, there were other boop-boop-a-doop girls (back in the late 1920s and early 1930s). Helen Kane (she died several years ago of cancer) was one of them.
When Mr. Fliescher told her she couldn’t use the name Betty Boop in her acts, she tried to sue him for a quarter of a million dollars but she lost the case.
“Yes, that was back in 1934. You can look up the case in the New York Supreme Court records.
“Yet, there are still people who think Helen Kane was the original Betty. Just a few weeks ago, on ‘Musical Chairs’ (a CBS program), someone asked a lady on the panel who the original Betty Boop was and the lady said ‘Helen Hayes,’ and she won the prize money.
“Then my friend called me ... (in late August) to tell me he’d heard this Mae Questell on television — she’s a little fat woman I met in Mr. Fliescher’s office a few times — saying she was the original Betty Boop on the Tom Snyder show (NBC).
“I’m upset. Some people around here are beginning to think I’m a fraud. They go around wisp, wisp, wisping about me. It bothers me.”
Mrs. Rothschild came to Fort Myers in 1951 from St. Petersburg, where she operated her own Betty Boop studio for five years.
She spent 20 years in show business and another 20 studying and preaching the teachings of the Unity faith.
Her show business career started in the early 1920s when she was "the baby" of the Greenwich Village Follies.
She later teamed up with another Follies performer and played in the vaudeville houses in and around New York City a number of years.
Then, of course, came the Betty Boop stint.
The name Betty Boop became a household word from 1933 to 1945 when Betty Boop cartoons and Betty Boop dolls were the rage. Mrs. Rothschild also starred in movies from Paramount during the 1930s.
But, in 1945, she gave it all up to run her studio in St. Petersburg. Among her students was Carroll Baker who has appeared in a number of Hollywood productions.
She then enrolled in the Unity Village school in Kansas City, Mo., and kept up correspondence courses. In 1951, she was sent to Fort Myers for on-the-job training. By 1954, she was an ordained minister and at one time hosted a weekly radio program on the Unity faith.


So which cartoons did Ann Little appear in? I’m not going to even try to guess. If you listen to the sound tracks you can tell Betty’s voice isn’t by the same person in all of them. It’s a shame the studio records were destroyed years ago (Richard Fleischer’s book outlines their shocking fate). Mae Questel was certainly at Fleischer’s by 1932 as that’s what one contemporary newspaper story I’ve found says. But, regardless, the cartoons were a lot of fun for a while. Flowers and chairs coming to life. Talking animals that pop up and disappear. Warped little gags out of nowhere. Some great songs by Sammy Lerner. All of it made the Fleischer cartoons, far and away, the best that came out of New York. And some say anywhere.

Friday, 28 June 2013

All Toes Accounted For

Billy Boy eats everything. Including the leather of the shoe of Farmer Wolf.



Fortunately, Billy didn’t chew off any of the foot. The wolf counts his toes. “2, 4, 6, 8, 10. They’re all there.” And he wiggles them for good measure.



Tex Avery’s crew in this 1954 release were Ray Patterson, Grant Simmons, Mike Lah, Bob Bentley and Walt Clinton, with layouts by Ed Benedict. Avery was gone from the studio for almost a year by the time this cartoon appeared in theatres. Patterson and Simmons opened Grantray-Lawrence that year. Clinton was one of their animators.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Snafu's Sally Lou

Only in animated cartoons could a putz like Private Snafu attract a woman like this.



There are bare breasts in women’s pictures in a background drawing in “Censored” (1944) but director Frank Tashlin doesn’t show any in the animation. No, they weren’t censored; “Censored” in this cartoon refers to mail from servicemen being sent home. Besides, Tashlin shows lots of leg, which I’m quite sure he was happy with.

Tashlin’s unit had Izzy Ellis and Cal Dalton at the time. Thad Komorowski reminds me Artie Davis was also in it and had arrived from Columbia before Tashlin.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Inanities of Old Radio

Some people love reality TV. Some people love daytime talk. Others wonder why anyone would waste their time with it.

Radio of the 1940s was no different. I find soap operas cheesy, many of the sitcoms eye-rollingly contrived and a few dramatic shows leaning on the crutch of ham-acting stereotypes. But put on Jack Benny or Jimmy Durante or a musical show with a great band, and I’ll tune in.

New York Herald-Tribune syndicate radio writer John Crosby wasn’t one to cut a lot of slack to radio. He praised the good and ridiculed the bad as he saw it. I’m going to pass on two of his columns written within two weeks of each other in 1948. The first is from November 3rd and spotlights a potpourri of radio tidbits he almost greets with incredulity. Interestingly, someone in 1948 thought of the idea of those annoying TV bugs that plaster every channel today. He rightfully is aghast. The second column is from October 25th where he facetiously bemoans the deterioration of the radio jingle. I must admit I only remember the Pepsi jingle co-written by announcer Alan Kent. How could anyone hate it? By the way, Jack Bleeck’s saloon was right next to the Herald-Tribune. Imagine putting a bar next to a newspaper office.

Radio In Review
By JOHN CROSBY

Small Trends
TODAY is our day for small trends, the smaller the better for little happenings in radio of minute consequence and virtually no significance.
A man gets tired of handing down sweeping judgments every day; every man should have a day of rest devoted exclusively to any minutiae he happens to have lying around. I have a whole bag-ful at my elbow. Here are just a few.
The announcer on “We, the People” last week summed up the apathy characteristic of this election with magnificent though unconscious irony in a routine announcement which went: “Next Tuesday, election night, ‘We, the People’ will not be heard.”
A FEW WEEKS AGO in the soap opera “When a Girl Marries”, the tangle of misunderstanding which characterizes that as well as all other soap operas suddenly cleared.
Nobody was at cross purposes with anyone else. No one was frustrated about anything. No one was struck with hysterical blindness or, more importantly, with even the fear of approaching blindness. For one day, every blessed soul on “When a Girl Marries” was blissfully happy. As if that wasn’t enough to shake my faith in the established order of things, there was the case on “Suspense” of Ray Milland playing the part of one of those tough, extraordinarily competent detectives who is tracking down a murderer.
HE THOUGHT he had his man, a very suspicious character, but the guy wouldn't answer questions.
In a moment of anger, the cop slugged the murder suspect, who instantly dropped dead.
The rest of the story was devoted to Milland’s efforts to beat a murder rap himself. I can’t think what drove the writer of that program to shatter an ancient tradition in such an uncouth manner, to make a cop behave in a way that no cop has ever behaved on the radio. Iconoclasm? Desperation? Or simply the belief that radio hasn’t long to live anyway and we might just as well start breaking up the joint right now?
ON “LADIES BE SEATED” the other day, a woman was presented with a question which would tax the intellect of a 3-week-old child. What state, asked Tom Moore, the emcee, is distinguished by orange groves, mineral deposits and gold?
“Illinois,” said the lady.
Mr. Moore sighed and threw in a few more clues. The state he had in mind, said Moore, was known for its cinema and sunshine; the capital was Sacramento and the theme song was, in garbled version, “Da da da da, here I come.”
In the end Moore had to tell her the right answer was California.
“I’m from Florida,” the lady informed him grimly, “and I don't want to publicize that state on the radio.”
ONE OF THE MORE horrifying new ideas, recently put forth by the magazine “Tele Tech”, is that of identifying both sponsor and station continuously throughout a television program with a little sign on the lower left hand corner of the television screen.
Like this:
Camels.
WNBT.
“As suggested for TV, the plan would answer repeated inquiries from video audiences: ‘What station is this’ and ‘Who is the sponsor.’” Anyone around here been asking those questions?

Radio In Review
By JOHN CROSBY
The Compulsive Drinker
A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in Bleeck’s saloon the other night, drinking more than was good for them and singing old folk songs and some of the more recent ones. About midnight, the quartet, a seedy but determined bunch of singers, began, as is their custom at that hour, that old English chantey which Roes:
“It's delicious yum yum yum.
“It's delightful. Order some.
“Now demand it. What's the name?
“Piel’s light beer of Broadway fame.”
After they finished, Fogarty, the red-headed bass of this outfit, said mournfully: “They don't write songs like in the good old days.” It's a complaint familiar to most of the drinkers there, especially after midnight.
“Now,” he continued pugnaciously, “you take a grand old number like ‘Pepsi-Cola Hits the Spot.’ Nobody is writing songs like that any more.” He began singing a snatch:
“Nickel, nickel, nickel, nickel.”
“They took that out,” Roberts, the tenor, reminded him. “It isn’t a nickel any more. It’s six cents.”
“Inflation,” said Fogarty sadly, “It’s even ruining the old songs. And the new songs you can’t sing at all. Now you take a song like this song I heard yesterday.” He sang in his watery bass:
“When the values go up, up, up
“And the prices come down, down, down.
“Robert Hall this season
“Will tell you the reason.
“Low overhead. Low overhead.”
He broke off in disgust. “What sort of song is that, I ask you? ‘Low overhead. Low overhead.’ Sir William Gilbert would turn over in his grave. Man can’t open his mouth on these new lyrics.”
Roberts, a dreamy and timid little drunk, spoke up. “There’s another one going the rounds that’s even harder.” He sang it.
“Don’t be afraid to look at your hands
“When you get through scouring pots and pans.
“Use Ajax, new miracle cleanser
“With exclusive foaming action.”
Every one agreed that last line foamed in the wrong places. I watched Roberts closely after that one because he is a strange little guy, what the psychiatrists call a compulsive drinker. In fact, he suffers from a lot of funny compulsions, a pushover for an advertising man. Sure enough, he started looking at his hands guiltily. He probably never scoured a pot or pan in his life but the thought had been put in his mind that he was afraid to look at his hands. I bet anything he scurried around to the grocery store the next day and bought some of that miracle cleanser.
Every one of those songs that demanded you do something, Roberts went and did it, simply because he didn’t believe in taking any chances. “Don’t be half safe. Don’t be half safe. Don’t be half safe,” was his philosophy, sung to the tune of “The Volga Boatman.”
I feel sorry for this little guy because I think singing commercials have wrecked his life. I remember the night we were all sitting around the back room at Bleeck’s, singing. Roberts had this girl with him and Roberts, for no special reason, began singing—all by himself for no one else knew the words—that splendid old ballad
“You can say yes to romance.
“Be dainty and don’t take a chance.
“Soft as a lover’s caress
“Vote for happiness.”
Well, sir, this girl followed instructions to the letter; the following week she said yes to romance, married poor Roberts and has made his life miserable ever since. There’s only one of these songs that ever did Roberts any good. That's the one that goes:
“Today is Tuesday. Today is Tuesday.
“Time for Adams, candy coated gum.”
Up until the time that one got on the air, Roberts used to wander around all day Tuesday thinking in his confused way that it was Thursday, Now he's hep to the day of the week but come to think of it. I don’t know what good that does him either.
Just then the subject of these speculations spoke up: “I got to get home. Just one more, fellows.”
And he began and we all joined in on that rollicking little number:
“Kasco! Kasco! Dogs all love it so.
“What a meaty treat is Kasco.
“K-A-S-C-O.
“Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?
“He’s heading for the kitchen and his
“K-A-S-C-O.”

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Jungle of Nairobi

Say something nice about a Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry cartoon? Well, how about this background which opens the 1962 cartoon “Sorry Safari”? Great design and colour. This is from frame-grabs pasted together from a DVD pan so the colours don’t quite match.



It’s on the screen for 41 seconds before an airplane lands. Unfortunately, the background artist remains anonymous.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Don't Lose Your Head

Why Oswald the Rabbit has a mechanical horse isn’t really quite clear in “Ozzie of the Mounted” (1928)—they seem to litter various late ‘20s cartoon series—but an errant spring from inside the animal cuts his head off.



Oswald dances around before the head comes down from the sky. The force of it sinks it into his body.



The head pops back up out of the body and bounces up and down on the top of the body because Oswald presses it into place on his head.



Maybe the most interesting thing about the scene is Oswald struggles to push the spring back into the horse. The spring keeps wanting to bounce up and there are little movements up and down. You feel the pressure Oswald is using. Pretty elaborate for a silent cartoon.

This is a Walt Disney Oswald so Walt is the only one credited, even though he didn’t draw anything. Devon Baxter credits this scene to Ham Hamilton.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Fred vs Jack

Jack Benny had so many running gags and occasional characters he was able to mix and match them all with ease and make his show found fresh but familiar at the same time. Of course, it helped that his radio show was on the air from 1932 to 1955; it gave him time to add things gradually and then evolve them.

One of them was the feud with Fred Allen which supposedly culminated in an on-air fight on the Benny show on March 14, 1937. But both Allen and Benny knew there was life left in it and the feud carried on until Benny left radio in 1955 (Allen died the following March).

It began with a crack by Allen on his broadcast of December 30, 1936 when ten-year-old violinist Stuart Canin gave an impressive performance of Schubert’s “The Bee” (he was paid $55). You can hear the full East Coast broadcast below. Canin appears at the 49:35 mark and Allen only makes one Benny joke at the end of the violin solo. The conversation between Allen and Canin below wasn’t on this broadcast. I presume it is from February 3, 1937, the date of the Allen show before the Sunday Benny broadcast where he promised to play “The Bee” (Canin got another $55 from Allen, then $100 for appearing on Benny’s show on March 7th).









Radio Mirror had a lengthy article on the feud in its July 1938 edition, generously quoting from radio scripts. You can see not all of it is sterling comedy. The March 7 climax broadcast is actually quite painful at times, with both comedians hurling insults that are more childish than witty and not really in character for either of them. When the “official” part of the feud died, Allen and Benny’s writers had the luxury of bringing it back when they had good, solid zingers that warranted it. That’s the “feud” dialogue radio listeners likely remember, including the brilliant “King For a Day” sketch that ran overtime on Allen’s show to close the 1945-46 season.

With that overlong introduction, here’s the unbylined piece from Radio Mirror, with NBC photos by William Haussler that accompanied the article.

THE MIGHTY BENNY-ALLEN FEUD
THE famous radio feud between Fred (Hatfield) Allen and Jack (McCoy) Benny that has been rocking America's airminded listeners with laughter for more than a year, has now passed into history. But anything as funny as that feud shouldn't be allowed to do anything of the kind—which is why we've re-created it in print. Here's the whole furious fight, from beginning to end, ready for the first time for you to read.
How did it start? Well, it actually began when a gent named Schubert wrote a harmless composition called "The Bee". For years Jack Benny had been hankering to play "The Bee" on his program as a violin solo, and for years he had been discouraged, sometimes by sheer force. But one night he came out flatfooted with the announcement that, come what might, he would play "The Bee" by request—his own. Presumably Fred Allen listened in that night, because the following Wednesday we find him firing the opening shot in the feud:
Fred: Ladies and gentlemen, Sunday last an itinerant vendor of desserts who has a sideline called by some, a radio program, announced to an apprehensive world that he would murder a Bee. This dire news has seeped into every nook and cranny of the country, and I understand citizens are fleeing these shores by the thousands rather than submit to such torture. The effect this solo will have on contemporary American life is reflected in these telegrams I have received. Fritz Kreisler wires:—
IF JACK BENNY PLAYS THE BEE NEXT SUNDAY IT WILL SET THE VIOLIN BACK TWO HUNDRED YEARS
Mr. Lemuel Randypone, southern planter, wires:
IF BENNY PLAYS VIOLIN NEXT SUNDAY THE COTTON CROP IS SAVED STOP THE SOUTH WILL BE ALL EARS AND THE EARS WILL BE STUFFED WITH COTTON
These are but a few of the opinions voiced during the week. We look forward to next Sunday with apprehension. Tonight, in order to stunt Mr. Benny's growth, we have brought to the microphone Master Stewart Canin, violinist extraordinary.
How old are you tonight, Stewart?
Stewart: Ten years old, Mr. Allen.
Fred: Do you know Jack Benny?
Stewart: No.
Fred: Did you ever hear him play the violin?
Stewart: Yes, sir.
Fred: How did his playing sound to you?
Stewart: Terrible.
Fred: Well, Mr. Benny is in a spot, Stewart. He is supposed to play "The Bee" next Sunday and I thought if we wanted to be fair about the whole thing you and I could explain to Mr. Benny how to manage it. You know ... we can tell him how to hold the violin and everything. I know he is listening in to see how a good comedian operates, and we can tell him how to hold the violin. Now, you show me and I'll tell Mr. Benny. (Stewart obliges). Are you listening, Jack? The violin is held in the left hand, the little finger resting lightly on the first string. The round end of the violin sets back into the neck, a little over to your left, with just a dash of adam's apple peeking around the corner. The bow, or crop, as you cowboys call it, Mr. Buck Benny, is held in the right hand. Now, to play the violin, what do you do, Stewart? (Stewart scrapes out a few notes). I see, you scratch the bow across the strings. Fine. And now that Mr. Benny knows how to hold the violin, little ten-year-old Stewart Canin will show little thirty-five-year-old Mr. Benny how to play "The Bee". Go ahead, Stewart.
(Little Stewart plays "The Bee" beautifully, as Jack never, of course, will ever be able to.)
Fred: Thank you, Stewart. That was "The Bee," Mr. Benny, played by a ten-year-old boy. Aren't you too ashamed of yourself now to go through with your threat? Why, Mr. Benny, at ten you couldn't even play on the linoleum. Next Sunday, ladies and gentlemen, the world will realize that Aesop spoke two thousand years too soon when he said, "Nero fiddled and Rome burned." For if Jack Benny insists on fiddling, America will burn. I rest my case.
(It is not Stewart's beautiful rendition but a common cold that keeps Jack from playing "The Bee" on the following Sunday as threatened. Jack explains he doesn't want to give the cold to his violin. But he doesn't fail to blast away at poor Fred Allen. "What," he wants to know, "does a reformed juggler know about music?" Fred gathers himself into a ball of fury and has back at Jack.)
FRED: Recently a gentleman . . . and the word gentleman is used loosely here . . . cad might better be the word . . . has seen fit to remove some pointed shafts from his verbal quiver and ping them at me from the West coast. I won't stoop to mention his name but he is a picture star. His initials are J. B. . . . and I don't mean John Benny. Last Sunday J. B., referring to my profile, said that there was a limit to what the makeup man could do for me when I come to Hollywood to make a picture this summer. All right, I'll admit I am no middle Ritz brother. I know the stork flew backwards so he wouldn't have to confront me in case the bundle flew open, but if Mr. J. B. wants to get personal, all right. I quote from a Hollywood gossip column . . . "What radio and movie star was seen trying to get into a grapefruit skin so that he could go to a masquerade as a little squirt?"
Harry Von Zell (Interrupting) : The character J. B. is entirely fictional, folks, and any incident that might be construed as having reference to any living person . . . or Jack Benny ... is entirely coincidental . . . signed . . . the management.
Fred: I only said that when J. B. was ten years old he couldn't play "The Bee" on his violin.
(Next week the startling news comes through that Jack had had to postpone playing "The Bee" because some well-wisher of the radio millions has stolen Jack's violin. Meanwhile, to fill in, Jack has hurled several classic insults at Fred, among which he has accused Fred of being such a sissy he has to take ether while having a manicure. Fred can't wait to get back at him.)
Fred: Portland, did you hear the Benny program last Sunday?
Portland: I'll say, it was a wow, wasn't it?
Fred: Oh, it was pretty lively for a guy who's got anemia.
Portland: Jack isn't anemic.
Fred: Listen, I followed him around at the dog show last year and when he passed by the bloodhounds they didn't even open their eyes. He was born anemic. I heard he was so white when he was born people thought he was delivering the stork.
Portland: Just the same, this is the cheesiest feud I have ever seen. You two have been fighting four weeks and still no bloodshed!
Fred: How can there be bloodshed when a guy ain't got no blood?
Portland: Oh, Jack Benny's twice as healthy as you are.
Fred: He could be three times as healthy as I am and still be half dead.
Portland: You'd better be careful. Jack is liable to get mad.
Fred: Get mad? Why, I'll pull those three hairs he's got down over that peachstone fob he has hanging out of his vest and play "The Bee" on them. I'll hit him so hard when he comes out he'll think he's in prison. He'll be looking through his ribs.
Portland: Oh, yes. But what will Jack be doing?
Fred: Snoring, probably.
Portland: You mean he's drowsy?
Fred: Drowsy rhymes with a word I'd like to use if radio was broadminded.
Portland: Gee! I hope you blows!
Fred: Blows? Benny's so shortwinded he can't gasp out a match. He has to drool on it.
Portland: Just the same, I think you ought to drop this feud, Mr. Allen.
Fred: Not until he plays "The Bee." No sir!
Portland: But Jack can't play it if his violin is stolen, can he?
Fred: He can get the violin back, can't he? But did you hear him offer a reward for it? No! He's so tight he wears garters on his spats so he won't have to buy socks. I'll get his violin back.
Portland: How?
Fred: I am offering a fifty-dollar reward and no questions asked to the party finding the stolen violin and returning it to Jack Benny. Portland: Wait a minute, Fred, here's a telegram for you. I'll open it. "WILL OFFER SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLAR REWARD TO PARTY WHO FINDS MY VIOLIN AND KEEPS HIS MOUTH SHUT." SIGNED JACK BENNY.
Fred: Ladies and Gentlemen, I am offering one hundred dollars to the finder of Jack Benny's violin. Where are you going, Portland?
Portland: I am going out to look for it, Fred.
(Unfortunately for the world Jack Benny's violin turns up. It has been hidden in the whiskers of his sponsor. Fred is licked and the evening of March third finds him pretty downcast. Despite everything Fred has been able to do, Jack plays "The Bee," not exactly a honey of a rendition.) Fred: Harry, did you hear Mr. Benny play "The Bee" last Sunday?
Von Zell: Fred, did I! Listen, I was just able to get out of bed this morning.
Fred: Do you know, that solo did more for the aspirin industry than the last Flu epidemic. I have never heard such wailing and squalling since the time two ghosts got their toes caught in my ouija board. Of all the foul collections of discord foisted on a radio loving public under the guise of music, that herd of cat calls took the cake.
Von Zell: Listen, Fred, don't get excited.
Fred: I haven't recovered yet. Benny doesn't play by ear or he certainly would have run away from himself the other night. Harry, last Sunday when Mr. Benny gave his palsied rendition of "The Bee" on his wail box he cried to the world in a sort of luke warm hysteria. If the radio audience liked that, I'm going to quit. But before I quit I'm going to do something desperate.
(The whole world trembled at these terrible words. What would happen? So far the feudists have been fighting at a 3,000 mile range—from opposite sides of the continent—but now Jack Benny comes East. Would the feud burst into open warfare with all its attendant horrors? Would the body of Jack Benny be found in some swamp horribly mutilated? Sunday rolled around and as usual the Jello program went on the air—in an atmosphere of suspense. Everybody was nervous and Jack had warned them that the name of Allen was to be changed to Boo Allen. Two-thirds of the program has gone by, Jack has rashly started to sing a chorus of "You're driving me Nuts" when there is an ominous knock on the door. The music comes to a crashing stop—Jack's song freezes in his throat:)
Mary Livingstone: Come in. (The door opens and it's Fred Allen without a machine gun.)
Fred: Hey, what's going on here? Whoever's blowing that fog horn has got to cut it out.
All: Why, it's Fred Allen.
Jack: Well, as I live and regret there are no locks on studio doors, if it isn't Boo Allen. Now listen Allen, what's the idea of breaking in here in the middle of my singing?
Fred: Singing? Well, I didn't mind when you scraped that bow over my suit case and called it "The Bee," but when you set that croup to music and call it singing . . . Benny, you've gone too far.
Jack: Now, look here, Allen, I don't care what you say about my violin playing on your own program but when you come up here, be careful. After all, I've got listeners.
Fred: Keep your family out of this.
Jack: Well, my family likes my singing and my violin playing too.
Fred: Your violin playing? Why, I just heard that a horse committed suicide when he found your violin bow was made from his tail.
Jack: Hm. Well, listen to me, you Wednesday night hawk, another crack like that and Town Hall will be looking for a new janitor. How did you get in here without a pass?
Fred: I made one at the doorman and you're next.
Jack: Oh I am, eh?
Fred: Listen, cowboy, why didn't you stay out in Hollywood where you don't belong?
Jack: Because I heard you were coming out there to make a picture, that's why.
Fred: Well, I saw your last picture and maybe you didn't start bank night but you certainly kept it going.
Jack: Oh yeah? Well, three states are waiting for your picture to be released. They are going to use it instead of capital punishment. Wow! Where are you going to live in Hollywood, Mr. Allen? At the ostrich farm?
Fred: I may.
Mary: (Starts to laugh loudly)
Jack: What are you laughing at Mary?
Mary: He'll show those birds how to lay eggs.
Jack: Mary, that was marvelous. I am going to kiss you for that.
Mary: Then I take it back.
Jack: Oh you do!
Fred: She'd rather kiss an ostrich and so would I.
Jack: Well, Allen, that's going a little too far. When you make that kind of remark it means fight where I came from.
Fred: You mean your blood would boil if you had any?
Jack: Yes, and I've got just enough to resent that. If you'll step out in the hallway I am ready to settle this affair, man to man. Fred: All right, I'll knock you flatter than the part of this program I wasn't on.
Mary: Hold on there, Allen, who touches a hair on Jack's gray head has to find it first.
Jack: Never mind that. Come on, Allen, let us away. (Muttering.) Hm, I'm sorry now I sold my rowing machine. (The two stamp out. There is a tense moment of suspense.)
(Then we hear heavy footsteps approaching, very heavy footsteps. The door opens and Jack and Fred enter laughing to beat the band.)
Jack: Ha, Ha, Ha! Gosh, Freddie, those were the days, weren't they?
Fred: Yes, sir! Remember that time in Toledo when you walked in the magician's dressing room and stole his pigeons?
Jack: Do I? They tasted pretty good, didn't they, Freddie?
Fred: You said it, Jack.
Jack: We didn't make much money in those days, Freddie, but we did get a lot of laughs.
Fred: We certainly did until we walked on the stage. (They both laugh again.)
Mary: Jack, what happened to the fight?
Jack: What fight? Say, Freddie, remember that time in South Bend, Indiana?
Phil Harris: No kidding, fellows, what happened to that fight?
Jack: Why, Phil, we were never serious about that.
Mary: Then how'd you get that black eye?
Jack: Oh this? Well, I was just writing a letter.
Fred: And I dotted his eye.
Jack: Now wait a minute, Freddie. I slapped you more than you did me. Look at your wrists. They're all red.
Fred: Well, I made you say Uncle when I pulled your hair.
Jack: Uncle isn't the word, but let it go.
Mary: Well, I'll be darned! After what you guys said about each other!
Fred: Listen, Jack's the whitest guy I know.
Don Wilson: But you said he was anemic.
Fred: Listen! Don't let anyone tell you Jackie Benny's anemic. He stays white on purpose just so everybody else will look healthy. Don't you, Jackie boy?
Jack: I sure do, Freddie.
Phil: But you said he had so little hair he sprinkled popcorn on his shoulders for false dandruff. You even said he was stingy.
Fred: Jackie Benny stingy? Why his heart is so big you can put a stethoscope on him any place and get action.
Don: Say, Fred, here's a package you dropped on your way out to the hall.
Fred: Oh yes, that's a box of candy I was going to give Jack.
Mary: Candy! Can I have a piece?
Fred: Sure, but take the square ones, Mary, they're not poison.
Jack: Hm, I see. By the way, Freddie, when you get home if that box of flowers I sent you is still ticking, just put it in water.
Fred: I will. Thank's for the tip.
Mary: Gee, this candy is swell. What's it filled with, Fred?
Fred: Ipana.
Jack: Oh well, she was going to brush her teeth anyway.
Fred: For that I am going to brush mine with Jello.
Jack: Why don't you have them put Ipana out in six delicious flavors?
Fred: That's a great idea, but I got to go now.
Jack: O.K. Freddie, thanks for your kind visit and apology.
Fred: What apology?
Jack: Never mind, let's not start that again.
Fred: By the way, Mr. Harris . . .
Phil: Yes, Fred?
Fred: You lay off my pal Jack.
Benny: That's all. Goodbye everybody.
Jack: So long Freddie. (Fred goes.) Play, Harris. And watch your step. You heard what Freddie said!
Phil: Why, you sawed off little punk! I'll take you and tear you limb from limb.
Jack: Oh Freddie—Freddie—Freddie—Freddie!
(Music averts hostilities at this point.)
Jack: This is the last number of this program in the new Jello series. We will be with you again next Sunday night.
Mary: Say, Jack, are you really glad you made up with Fred Allen?
Jack: Certainly I am because now I won't have to listen to his program to hear what he is saying about me. Good night, folks!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Tales of Terry, Ted and Leon, 1932

Cartoons in the form of an operetta may not sound like much to us, but in 1932 it was apparently a big deal. Sound cartoons were only a few years old and, already, they needed something other than the gimmick of coordinated music and sound effects to move forward. So the Paul Terry studio came up with the operetta format. Critics at The Film Daily cheered.

The Terry studio itself was new, in a way. Terry left the Fables Studio in 1929. The following year, his cartoons (with Frank Moser) were copyrighted by Audio-Cinema, then by Terry-Moser-Coffman in 1931. Joseph Coffman disappeared from the picture and, as The Film Daily revealed, Terry and Moser set up their own firm to make Terry-Toons (It should have been telling to Moser they weren’t called Terry-Moser-Toons. Moser was shoved out in 1936).

That’s one of the revelations you’ll find leafing through the trade paper’s issues in the first six months of ’32.

The lay of the cartoon land was such: MGM was releasing cartoons by Ub Iwerks (via Pat Powers), Warners was releasing cartoons from Harman-Ising (via Leon Schlesinger), Paramount was releasing cartoons by the Fleischers, Universal was releasing cartoons from Walter Lantz, RKO was releasing Van Beuren cartoons, 20th Century Fox was releasing Terry-Toons (via Educational) and Disney was in the process of moving from Columbia to United Artists; Columbia was still releasing cartoons from the Mintz studio.

But, as you can see, Ted Eshbaugh opened a studio in Los Angeles (the address given was apparently residential) and grabbed Carl Stalling from Iwerks to compose his scores; whether Stalling simultaneously worked for Iwerks, I don’t know. You can read about Eshbaugh’s colour work on this Modern Mechanix reprint site and Paul Etcheverry has more about his cartoons here. Cal Dalton and Frank Tipper were among his animators, at least before he headed back to New York.

Even more interestingly, a studio called Fairmount Pictures released a colour cartoon. I haven’t been able to find out a thing about the studio or the cartoon that was shown; it wasn’t copyrighted. There was a Fairmount Pictures at 858 Seward in Los Angeles in 1926 but I have no idea whether it was the same company.

There’s an intriguing item about Warners expanding its cartoon department. Of course, the studio didn’t have one. It had Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising making cartoons for them and it seems odd that the pair would be hiring a new musical director and top animators. It was a little over a year later that Leon Schlesinger did just that, getting rid of Hugh and Rudy in the process. Was the item a plant by Schlesinger before contract renewal time with Harman and Ising? Perhaps it’s unfair to speculate.

Schlesinger was expanding in 1932. The Film Daily announced in a front page story on May 8th that he was going to produce a series of Westerns starring John Wayne (eight were in the initial deal). Schlesinger’s foray into live action is a mystery to me; I’ve never read why he got in and then got out almost as quickly. I’ve included a non-cartoon item about another Schlesinger venture because of the significance it later had on the cartoon studio.

The publication had a special shorts issue on March 27th which included some cartoon feature stories. And there’s a bit of an untold story about Farmer Al Falfa. He had appeared in silent films made by Paul Terry and the staff at the Fables Studio, which morphed into Van Beuren. Van Beuren wanted to resume making cartoons with him but (as Film Daily doesn’t explain), Terry claimed ownership of the character. And that’s why you’ll see Terry advertising him in coming cartoons in later news items.

I’ve posted the newspaper’s cartoon reviews following the news and Phil Daly’s editorial items. Fans will notice the names of some of the cartoons are incorrect. You can read the highlights from the second half of 1932 HERE.



January 5, 1932
Leon Schlesinger Heads New Recording Service
West Coast Bureau, THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Leon Schlesinger, president and general manager of Pacific Title & Art Studios, has formed Pacific Sound Track Service Co. in association with Bernard Brown, formerly of the Warner technical department, and Norman Spencer, for 15 years engaged in composing music and lately in scoring of pictures. Schlesinger will be general manager of the new company, with Brown as head of the technical department and Spencer heading the musical end. The organization is now in full operation.

January 10, 1932
John W. Green, Paramount staff composer, will appear with Ethel Merman in a rendition of many of his hit tunes which constitute the musical setting for a new 'Bouncing Ball" song cartoon.

January 21, 1932
New Incorporations
NEW YORK CHARTERS

Moser & Terry, motion pictures; Breed, Abbott & Morgan, 16 Broad St., New York. 200 shares common.

January 25, 1932
Warner Bros. Enlarging Cartoon Comedy Division
Warner Bros. are planning to enlarge their animated cartoon department with the addition of several of the leading animators, now employed by another cartoon company and with a musical director who is one of the pioneers in the field, The Film Daily learns.

January 26, 1932
500th Aesop Fable
Completion of "Fly Frolic." Aesop's Fable sound cartoon made by Van Beuren for RKO release, marks the 500th Fable cartoon subject produced in this series, and is considered by Van Beuren as the record for number of pictures in any single reel series, excluding newsreels. In the silent days the Fables were made at the rate of 52 a year, but now the number is 26 annually. Van Beuren also is making the new Tom and Jerry cartoons for RKO.

January 31, 1932
• • • IF YOU are laboring under the delusion that there are no New Slants in shorts . . . then we politely ask you to step this way . . . as we lead you into the workshop of Paul Terry and Frank Moser . . . specialists in Cartoonatics and take a flash at their latest Terry-Toon "Peg Leg Pete" . . . as far removed from the routine animated as the mugg in a swivel chair in Nooyawk trying to run theaters in the alfalfa belt . . . and that's Some Remove.
• • • HERE IS a tabloid opera done in the cartoon manner . . . a gorgeous burlesque on the prima donnas, male and female . . . done with a Gilbert & Sullivan flavour . . . here are the pirate crew and their cut-throat chief with his peg-leg . . . and all the assistant pirates have peg-legs, too! . . . you've got to see it to appreciate just how FUNNY that can be . . . and there is the heroine in the clutches of Pirate Pete . . . and the hero coming to the rescue . . . now what makes this DIFFERENT is the clever original operatic score . . . the heroine Sings her despair, terror and supplication . . . the pirate Sings his villainy, sneers and blood-thirstiness . . . the hero Sings his exaggerated heroics in a High Tenor . . . all done to Philip A. Scheib's original musical score that would be a credit to any big musical comedy . . . it's all Clever Absurdity done with class that puts it in the realm of High Comedy . . . and in a Cartoon!

February 3, 1932
BRENDEL AT ROXY
El Brendel will appear in person at the Roxy for a week starting this Friday. The stage production next week will be based on the Mickey Mouse cartoon characters with the Arnaut Brothers playing the parts of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

February 7, 1932
Roxy
In addition to El Brendel in person, this week's show at the Roxy is a special treat for the kids. The presentation includes four scenes based on "Mickey's Orphans," the Mickey Mouse cartoon that was held over for three weeks at this house. The characters of Mickey and Minnie as portrayed by the Arnaut Brothers, popular pantomimists. Patricia Bowman, Fred Waring's Orchestra in a novelty entitled "Dancing Melodies," and the Roxyettes also are part of the proceedings. In the Mickey scenes, the Roxyettes and ballet group are made up to represent kittens, musical notes and animated furnishings in Minnie's boudoir.

February 16, 1932
Mickey Mouse gets an average of six thousand fan letters a day, sez the Walt Disney organization.

February 19, 1932
50 Fleischer Cartoons On 1932-33 Para.
List Production of 50 cartoon shorts for Paramount release in 1932-33 is planned by Max Fleischer, his program representing the same number of subjects as provided for the current season. He will make 25 Betty Boops and 25 Song Cartoons, using prominent personalities in the latter. All will be single reel subjects.

February 21, 1922
Terrytoons has a new home now, located at 203 West 146th Street, in the heart of Harlem.

February 23, 1932
Irving Jacobs Planning Mickey Mouse Theaters
Irving Jacobs, independent theater operator, is negotiating for a Broadway house as the first of a circuit to be devoted solely to presentation of a program of Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony movie cartoons. Jacobs has arranged with Walt Disney, creator of the cartoons, for the advertising use of the characters in a series of presentations.

February 26, 1932
LEON SCHLESINGER, producer of the Warners series of screen cartoons, arrived in New York yesterday from Hollywood to confer on next year's product.

March 6, 1932
Schlesinger Repeating Two Series of Cartoons
Leon Schlesinger, producer of "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies," will again make 13 of each of these animated cartoons for Warner Bros, next season.

Sweet Tie-up
Columbia Pictures has arranged a national tie-up with the Repetti Candy Co. for the distribution of a one-cent boxed-candy-stick, called Scrappy. The candy box carries the name and picture of "Scrappy" as well as the tag, Columbia Pictures Star.

March 8, 1932
Ted Eshbaugh Producing Cartoon Series in Color
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood— "The Goofy Goat," first of a series of 12 all-color sound cartoons, has made its debut. Ted Eshbaugh, young Hollywood artist and animator, is producing the series under a secret color mixing process which he developed. Carl Stallings is supervising the musical arrangements. New studios are being prepared for Eshbaugh, who has temporary headquarters at 1818-Argyle.

March 11, 1932
FORMING MICKEY CLUBS
Cleveland — Fourteen Warner houses in northern Ohio will establish Mickey Mouse Clubs, according to H. W. "Hank" Peters, representative of Walt Disney, who has been conferring with Nat Wolf, zone manager of Warner theaters. Lew Thompson, well known in the film industry, will get the clubs started.

March 15, 1932
New Universal Cartoon
In addition to continuing the "Oswald" animated cartoons, Universal will put out another series next season under the title of "Pete the Pup."

March 18, 1932
31 Cartoon Shorts on U. A. List
There will be 18 Mickey Mouse and 13 Silly Symphony animated shorts in the lineup to be distributed by United Artists starting June 1. A conference was held at the U. A. offices yesterday under the direction of Hal Home to map out special exploitation for the Walt Disney shorts.

March 22, 1932
S.M.P.E. TO HEAR ABOUT TRICK PICTURES, CARTOONS
Monthly meeting of the New York Section of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers will be held in the Westinghouse Lighting Institute, Grand Central Palace, March 23, at 8:15 P.M. Harry Bailey, of Fables Pictures, Inc., will present a paper, with illustrations, on "Animated Cartoons in the Making." Edward White will present a paper on "Trick Photography."

March 27, 1932
Many Vitaphone Tieups
Numerous exploitation possibilities exist in connection with Vitaphone shorts, and the company has made it a point to cooperate with exhibitors desiring to take advantage of these opportunities. . . .
Syndication of a comic strip based on "Looney Tunes" has been arranged through a Los Angeles newspaper syndicate. In addition there will be "Bosko" and "Honey" dolls, paint books and novelties. "Bosko" clubs also have been launched.

Issue Hand Coloring Book On "Flip the Frog" Series
Characters in the "Flip the Frog" series of animated cartoons produced by Celebrity Productions for M-G-M have now been recreated in coloring book form for children. This book which measures 10¾ x 15½ inches consists of 16 pages, many of which are in full color giving the child splendid guide for coloring the additional pictures which it contains. The publisher is the Saalfield Manufacturing Co., Akron, O. Copies are now on sale in 5 and 10 cent stores and department stores throughout the country at 10 cents each.
Exhibitors wishing to use to book as a give-away-premium are privileged to order quantities directly from the manufacturer at wholesale prices, $9 a gross or 75 cents a dozen.



AESOP FABLE ACCESSORIES NOW RECEIVING WIDE SALE
Accounts handling the sale of "Aesop's Fables" doll and toy accessories now total over 900, including the largest department and chain store outlets in the country.
Originally starting with a line of dolls patterned after the cartoon characters appearing in the films, this accessory tie-up now includes children's handkerchief books in which the characters are printed in color on the handkerchiefs and outlines of the characters are printed in black and white on another page of the book for the children to fill in the colors. There is also a novelty line for the home including hot pot holders for the kitchen, printed material for children's dresses, belts, caps, etc.

Power of Suggestion
John Foster, head of the RKO Van Beuren cartooning staff, wondered what had struck several members of his animating staff recently when an epidemic of absent-mindedness seemed to settle on the department. When it was time to start work it was found that pencils had not been sharpened, nor any of the hundred and one preparations made in order that getting down to the business of making animated cartoons could begin. The cause at first could not be learned, but finally it came to light that the artists were working on the new Tom and Jerry picture tentatively titled "Plumb Dumb," in which these two characters take the part of plumbers, and so absorbed had the artists become in their atmosphere that the absent-minded plumber gag failed to be a joke in the eyes of Foster whose business it is to see that pictures are turned out on schedule. The boys were asked to please put their atmosphere in their drawings, but not to actually live the parts.

April 3, 1932
Farmer Al Returns
Van Beuren Corp. will soon bring Farmer Al Falfa back to the limelight in the Aesop's Fables cartoon series. Farmer Al Falfa led the Fables cast of characters for more than eight years and returns to the screen after an absence of almost two years. A story is now being prepared to include this human character in the Fables animal setting which will be ready for release within a month. Farmer Al will appear prominently in future releases of this series.

April 17, 1932
Frank Marsales, musical director of the Harman-Ising Studios, which produces "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies," in association with Leon Schlesinger, is a wrestling enthusiast. He is hoping the proposed "Strangler" Lewis-Jimmy Londos match will be staged in Los Angeles.

April 19, 1932
FLEISCHER TO ATTEND
Max Fleischer, producer of animated cartoons for Paramount release, has been invited to attend the company's annual sales convention in Los Angeles. He leaves with the New York delegation on May 1.

April 21, 1932
Amkino Will Release Newsreel and Shorts
Amkino will release a Russian newsreel and a series of 26 shorts including cartoons, scenics, songs and novelties, Roman Rebush, in charge of distribution, stated yesterday. Weekly newsreel releases begin May 15 and cover Russian subjects. The shorts will be in one and two reels.

April 24, 1932
RENEW WITH POWERS
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—U. B. Iwerks and Walt Disney will continue to use Powers Cinephone recording for the coming season. Iwerks produces "Flip the Frog" and Disney's "Mickey Mouse" and "Silly Symphonies."

April 25, 1932
DISNEY MOVES OFFICE
Walt Disney is moving his New York office from 1540 Broadway to 729 Seventh Ave. today.

April 26, 1932
Harman-Ising Studios, which produces "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies," in association with Leon Schlesinger, have renewed the contracts of Robert Edmunds, head of the story department, and Isadore Freleng, chief of the art department.

May 3, 1932
Harman-Ising Expand
To meet production needs, Harman-Ising Productions have found it necessary to enlarge their quarters and have just leased the entire second floor of their present location at 5653 Hollywood Blvd. Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising are the creators of "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies," which they are producing in association with Leon Schlesinger.

May 5, 1932
SUIT OVER "BETTY BOOP"
Claiming that the Betty Boop cartoon character used by Max Fleischer is an imitation of her, Helen Kane has filed suit for $250,000 in Supreme Court against Fleischer and Paramount.

June 7, 1932
Fleischer to Demonstrate Principles of Projection
First public demonstration of a portable device showing the principles of motion picture projection, particularly as it applies to cartoons, is planned by Max Fleischer at Gimbel's, Philadelphia, June 25. The machine, invented by the producer of cartoon shorts for Paramount, will be shown in New York in July. Fleischer will broadcast in connection with the Philadelphia demonstration.

June 8, 1932
Radio Names to Feature Fleischer Song Cartoons
Radio names will predominate in the list of stars to be used in Max Fleischer's 18 Screen Songs short subjects for Paramount release next season. Talent will include: Arthur Jarrett, Alice Joy, Rudy Vallee, William Tracy, Ethel Merman, Lillian Roth, Mills Brothers, Irene Bordoni, Miri and the Royal Samoans, Gus Edwards, Boswell Sisters, Louis Armstrong and Jimmy Melton. Fleischer is also making 18 Betty Boops for Paramount.

June 11, 1932
Betty Boop in Song
The song entitled "Betty Boop," written in honor of Max Fleischer's pert cartoon star, and published by the Famous Music Corp. several weeks ago, is becoming quite popular on the air. Rudy Vallee has presented the number In several of his radio programs and requests for permission to broadcast it have been received from Ben Bernie and his orchestra, Connie Boswell, the Thirty Minute Men, Freddie Rich's Orchestra, and Arthur Jarrett. The song is expected to increase the popularity of Betty Boop, who recently was elevated to stardom as the result of public demand, and who will appear in eighteen one-reel productions this season.

June 20, 1932
Robert Edmunds, for several years scenario editor of the Harman-Ising studios, which, in association with Leon Schlesinger, produces "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies," has resigned and is sailing for his home in England, where he will continue in the animated cartoon field. He is regarded as one of the most capable men in the field.

June 24, 1932
WHY DOES the animated cartoon hold its popularity throughout the years while every other type of picture rises and falls in cycles? . . . this question has been mulling through our bean for a long time . . . we figured that Max Fleischer, pioneer cartoon creator and developer, could tell us . . . his answer was "If you'll stroll through the cartoon plant with me, and absorb what you see, then you'll have the answer" . . . and here is just a glimpse of what we saw
• • • AN ENTIRE floor of a big office building devoted to cartoon creation . . . 18 Betty Boops and 18 Screen Songs a year this tight program keeping a staff of 50 to 100 people busy throughout the year . . . over 30 special mechanical appliances . . . most of them invented by Mister Fleischer himself for his animated process is radically different from any other being a mechanical engineer as well as a fine creative artist . . . darned unusual combination, that . . . he has 20 individual patents of his own on various cartoon systems and devices
• • • IT TAKES nine weeks to pack a completed cartoon up in the can from the time the scenario department starts with an idea . . . this department consists of highly specialized gag men who work entirely different from gag men on a Hollywood lot . . . who plan a gag to start and break in two to three minutes with regular actors . . . in cartoons a gag must start, develop and break in an average of 5 seconds . . . they must plan an average of 30 gags for each cartoon . . . figuring an audience response to about 10 . . . then they have a sure-fire animated
• • • ONLY SEVEN minutes screen time to play with yet every cartoon requires the detailed system of a regular studio production . . . music, dialogue, costumes, story treatment, direction . . . with a very tough problem of Visualization . . . for they cannot tell till they see the finished product on the screen . . . just how the production has gone over . . . the studio director sees the actors before him the action . . . the atmosphere gets the personal reaction . . . all this is denied the cartoon creator . . . he relies on Visualization and some special sixth sense that tells him whether he's on the right track or not
• • • TAKE THE remarkable case of Betty Boop . . . Cartoon Gal who rose from a lowly extra to a dazzling star . . . the audience reactions showed the unknown extra in insignificant bits had caught on . . . so they started grooming . . . her Mister Fleischer gave her a doll-like face with those baby eyes BUT also a mature figure with oo-la-la curves and a boudoir languor in her walk if you get what we mean . . . and Betty became an overnight hit . . . something Brand New in cartoon characterization . . . they talk of Betty around the Fleischer stude as if she were Greta Garbo . . . and she is to them . . . with a million dollars wrapped up in her com-hither eyes and sexy seductiveness . . . so that's why animateds hold their perennial appeal . . . they're short scientifically and cunningly created with humor, humanness, sure-fire gags clever art work . . . psychological appeal . . . directness . . . punch . . . action . . . they furnish a diversity of Entertainment in the shortest space of time.

Cartoon Comedy Ideas Still In Abundance
By PAUL TERRY

Co-Producer with Frank Moser of "Paul Terry-Toons"
BECAUSE of the countless number of ideas that suggest themselves during the course of a year to a producer of animated cartoons, no producer can make hard-set rules on the nature of his product, without running into the danger of missing some real bets.
During the current season, we hit upon the idea of giving an operatic flavor to three of our cartoons-“Jingle Bells," "Peg Leg Pete" The Mad and King." These struck such a responsive chord with the public that we will undoubtedly include about six made along these lines in our new season's line-up—that is, provided they continue to get the same splendid reception. Farmer Alfalfa, as the only human character in the cartoons, has proved popular; therefore, several of our new subjects will include this eccentric character.
With 26 new Terry-Toons to be released during the coming season, and the tremendous scope with which we have to work, it is certainly possible to inject sufficient variety to keep the series constantly fresh.
With the abundance of material to work with, there should never be any chance for any one angle to be overdone. Therefore, we are starting the new season with open minds. The audience reaction of each release will be carefully watched in order that each new subject will reflect the public's taste.

June 30, 1932
MICKEY MOUSE TOYS FOR S. A.
South American exhibitors showing Mickey Mouse cartoons distributed by United Artists will have the benefits of tieups similar to those in the U. S., as a result of arrangements whereby 25 manufacturers of Mickey toys in this country will extend their territory to include the southern continent, it is announced by Arthur W. Kelly of U. A.


January 3, 1932
"Red Headed Baby"
(Merrie Melody)
Vitaphone 5605 7 mins.
Fine Song Cartoon
This belongs to the better than average class of musical cartoon shorts. It has a holiday atmosphere, with a big room full of toys taking on animation and disporting themselves to the tune of the popular song, "Red Headed Baby." Main plot concerns a doll, the "red head," who is kidnapped by a big spider and finally rescued by her soldier sweetheart. Action and musical harmony are of excellent quality.

"Noah's Outing"
Educational 7 mins.
Fine
A Paul Terry-Toon cartoon, with Noah having his troubles getting the gang of animals together for the journey in the Ark as the big rainstorm starts before the flood. The animal antics are gagged up with a lot of clever cartoon work, and altogether this is one of the best so far of this series.

January 10, 1932
"The Last Dance"
(Aesop's Fable Cartoon)
RKO Pathe 6 mins.
Slow
There is not much entertainment in this one. Devoid of logical continuity and with very few gags, it falls flat when it comes to laughs. The animals are cleverly drawn and synchronization is up to the average. It's about Waffles, the cat, who has to wait a long, long time for his sweetie to show up at a date. Waffles is consoled by a street clock that accompanies the cat as he paces up and down, anticipating his sweetie's arrival. Other animals are brought in, but fail to add laughs. Fables would do well to get some "cute" talkers for their animals.

"The Clown"
Universal 7 mins.
Okay
An Oswald cartoon, with the hero doing his stuff in the circus as a clown. He plays the part of rescuer to his sweetie, the bareback rider, with the circus owner acting as the villain. The cartoon is pepped up with a lot of exciting thrills that will please the kids.

"Minnie the Moocher" with Cab Calloway
Paramount 8 mins.
Swell
This Max Fleischer musical cartoon is one of the best turned out so far with the cute pen-and-ink star, Betty Boop, who seems to be getting more sexy and alluring each time, and her boy friend. Bimbo. The musical portion is supplied by Cab Calloway and his orchestra, and what these boys can't do to the "Minnie the Moocher" number isn't worth mentioning. Cab and his boys are shown only for a brief moment at the opening. Then a cartoon character, a big walrus with serpentine hips, performs the gyrations to the tune of the "Minnie" song. The effect is little short of a knockout, especially to those who are familiar with Cab's stuff on the radio or stage or night club. Betty Boop's part in the action concerns her running away from home because of her bad parents. With Bimbo she goes into a cave, where spooky figures and eerie noises give them such a scare that they beat it back home.

"On the Beach"
Columbia 6 mins.
Swell
Another pip cartoon number from the Walt Disney shops. In both idea and execution, it is far above average and should have little trouble throwing almost any audience into gales of laughter. The lively action revolves around a beach picnic, where Mickey and Minnie Mouse play host to some of their animal friends. A big black octopus comes up out of the ocean and proceeds to menace them, but they fight him back in way that provides plenty of comedy kicks for the audience.

"Any Rags"
(Fleischer Cartoon)
Paramount 6 mins
Fine Animated
Betty Boop, her friend Bimbo and Koko again provide a pleasant round of cartoon merriment in this Max Fleischer subject. Bimbo plays the role of an old clothes dealer going around with his cart picking up rags. With his cries of "Any rags" he attracts the attention of Betty Boop, who joins him in his travels around the streets. The rags come to life and cut some capers, with the cart finally running away and crashing, and presto being transformed into a cottage to house the couple. For musical accompaniment there is the popular number, "Ninety-nine Out of a Hundred."

January 24, 1932
"Peg Leg Pete"
(Terry-Toon)
Educational 7 mins.
Great
This is something new in animated cartoons. Paul Terry and Frank Moser have made a miniature opera, on the style of a Gilbert and Sullivan show with a clever musical score by P. A. Scheib. The action takes place aboard a pirate ship. A sweet little mouse is stolen by Peg Leg and taken aboard the craft. The hero mouse finally rescues his sweetheart but not before he battles with Pete and all the other terrible looking pirates. Gags are fine and the entire picture is done in opera style. It's a dandy.

"Sweet Jennie Lee"
(Screen Song)
Paramount 6 mins.
Okay
Popular melody, southern plantation capers and animated cartoon work are effectively combined in this entertaining short. The tuneful "Sweet Jennie Lee" is the theme song of the skit, with the usual bouncing ball antics following the first rendition. At the introduction a group of Negro cotton pickers are shown at work, and then doing their song and dance stuff under the moon. A very acceptable subject of its kind.

January 31, 1932
"Peg Leg Pete"
Educational 7 mins.
Pip Cartoon
A Paul Terry-Toon cartoon that strikes a New Note at last in the animated field. It is a complete tabloid operetta done in the Gilbert and Sullivan manner with a note of real burlesque that is refreshing and very funny. The heroine is captured by Peg Leg Pete, captain of the pirate ship. All the other pirates have peg-legs. too. The lyrics tell the plot in regular opera style. The musical score was written specially for this offering by Philip A. Scheib, and it is of a quality that would do credit to a regular musical comedy. This one is miles ahead of the average routine cartoon that follows the worn-out animal antics. It has class, originality, and a high grade of comedy.

"My Baby Just Cares for Me"
(Screen Song)
Paramount 6 mins.
Okay
Although the introductory cartoon animation is just so-so, the dancing ball sequence and subsequent action make this Max Fleischer song short a fairly entertaining bit. It starts out with one of the characters sprucing up and feeding his horse, then riding it to a merry-go-round, where the animal takes its place among the carousel figures, and the singing begins. A young girl does a song and dance opening for the singing ball action, with other voices joining in the chorus, and then there is some more merry-go-round stuff.

February 7, 1932
"A Romeo Monk"
RKO 6 mins.
Good Aesop Fable
In a jungle setting, the monk principal in this animated cartoon gets all spruced out and goes on the make. But he is rebuffed in his very first attempt to make a conquest, so he turns a box and a frying pan into a radio and tunes in on a series of melodious and amusing musical numbers performed by jungle animal groups. This draws a slick hippo damsel to his side, and after some tussling with her the monk winds up with the bimbo his own size.

"Crazy Town"
(Betty Boop Cartoon)
Paramount 6 mins.
Swell
Max Fleischer's pulchritudinous Betty Boop and her boy friend Bimbo hand out another round of enjoyable cartoon antics in this nonsensical number. It concerns a town in which everything is done backward or upside down. When folks get on a train, their destination comes to them, instead of the train moving. Fish fly in the air, zoo animals have their voices twisted, and other incidents are similarly topsy-turvy. Popular musical numbers are interspersed with the action, which contains plenty of novelty.

February 14, 1932
Tom and Jerry in "Rabid Hunting" [sic]
Average Cartoon
RKO 6 mins
In this Van Beuren animated cartoon comedy the principal characters, Tom and Jerry, go hunting for rabbits. After chasing a little animal through a long series of nonsensical antics, they bring it to earth, only to have the rascal take off his rabbit skin and reveal himself as a skunk, which quickly puts the hunters to rout. Rates as average number of its kind.

"Pagan Moon"
Vitaphone 7 mins.
Poor
A "Merrie Melodies" cartoon, that rates poor, with some animated technique that seems outdated. The hero cartoon character woos his sweetie with jazz melodies on his violin, and lands up at the bottom of the ocean where he chases his lost instrument. Here he encounters adventures with the giant fishes and an octopus. Old stuff that has been done many times before.

February 21, 1932
The Round the Towners Quartette in "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie"
Paramount 7 mins.
Swell Song Cartoon
Another of the delightful Max Fleischer screen song creations. The quartette appears first in tuxedos, then go into old-time costumes to coincide with the date of the theme song, winding up with a flashback to the present day. In between these scenes the cartoon comedy takes place, with Betty Boop and her boy friend Bimbo going out to the skating pond for a few highjinks. Cleverly conceived bits, along with the tuneful song stuff, make it a thoroughly enjoyable reel.

February 28, 1932
"Fire, Fire"
M-G-M 6 mins.
Neat Cartoon
A Flip the Frog cartoon. Consisting of fun at the local fire department in a small town. Flip and his gang turn out for a fire alarm, and go through a lot of funny antics trying to put out the blaze in a house. Flip endeavors to rescue the heroine on the top floor, and encounters a lot of difficulties that work up considerable merriment.

March 6, 1932
"Freddy the Freshman"
(Merrie Melody Animated Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins.
One of the fastest and funniest musical cartoons turned out so far by the Leon Schlesinger shop. With the current popular song number, "Freddie the Freshman," for the vocal background, the action takes place in a collegiate atmosphere with some dormitory pranks followed by a travestied football game between two aggregations of animated characters, knocking out laughs galore.

March 13, 1932
"When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbing Along"
(Screen Song)
Paramount 7 mins.
Swell
A front line subject of its kind. It's one of the Max Fleischer screen song series, with the usual cartoon antics built around the popular old-time song. The dancing ball business is very clever and the number as a whole is a lively affair that will find gleeful acceptance anywhere.

"Ten Dollars or Ten Days"
"Ye Olde Songs"
Educational 6 mins.
Good Cartoon
A Paul Terry-Toon featuring a variety of old songs, with the cartoon hero introducing them in his stage act. Then the motif of the songs is worked out in animated action. The original musical score of Philip A. Scheib as usual lifts this above the average run of cartoon subjects.

March 20, 1932
"Beau and Arrows"
(Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins.
Just Fair
Oswald appears as a fearless wild west rider leading a caravan across the desert. Indians surround the pioneers and steal Oswald's sweetheart. Then starts a back-and-forth bombardment which is fast but not particularly funny or clever. Drawings are well handled, but new gags are lacking. Synchronization is okay.

March 27, 1932
"Crosby, Columbo and Vallee"
Vitaphone 7 mins.
Lively Cartoon
A Merrie Melodie cartoon, with the animated figures as tiny Indians. The hero chief woos the girl with a radio, from which come the crooning of the three air palpitators, Crosby, Columbo and Vallee. Makes a tuneful number, with the usual animated antics.

"Radio Girl"
Educational 7 mins.
Lively
A pleasing Paul Terry-Toon with Philip A. Scheib's special musical scoring keeping it pepped up. The cartoon hero is in love with a radio voice, and in a spectacular fire, performs a novel rescue over the air waves. Nice cartoon work, and a lively number.

"Fly Frolic"
(Aesop's Fable)
RKO 7 mins.
Not Much
This is a sort of a Jekyll and Hyde theme reversed. A horrible spider, who has captured a sweet little lady fly, takes her to his underground laboratory and there mixes and drinks a concocton that changes him into a debonnaire gentleman. An army of man-flys breaks into the spider's den and savps the frightened girl fly. The snider and his growls and foamings may scare the kids rather than amuse them.

April 3, 1932
Tom and Jerry in "Joint Wipers"
RKO 7 mins.
Good Cartoon
As a pair of plumbers, Tom and Jerry, the Van Beuren animated cartoon characters, answer a call from a top floor apartment where a pipe is leaking. They monkey around until the place becomes flooded, and the water gradually washes down the entire building, leaving only the pipe-work and bath tubs standing, like a tree with a lot of funny branches. Finally Tom and Jerry tumble down to the ground themselves with the tubs.

April 10, 1932
"What A Life"
(Flip the Frog Cartoon)
M-G-M 7 mins.
Clicks
A Flip the Frog cartoon, with the two buddies doing a sidewalk musical act, but getting in bad with the cop, who chases them into his wife's apartment. Later he discovers them there, with disastrous consequences to the two heroes. Clever animated work, and a real story sequence for a change—in cartoons. Should please the grown-ups as well as the kiddies.

April 17, 1932
"Magic Art"
Radio 7 mins.
Good Cartoon
An Aesop cartoon fable, with the funny cat having some wild experiences with his friend, who is a magician in art. He creates all kinds of animals from drawings, which lead the hero into a variety of funny and novel adventures. The cartoon work is very good, and the animated moves fast.

"Bosco's Party"
(Looney Tune)
Vitaphone 7 mins.
Good
An entertaining animated cartoon. Bosco brings a flock of his animal friends to Honey's house, where they throw her a surprise birthday party, raising a lot of lively rumpus.

"What a Knight"
(Krazy Kat Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins.
Okay
A satisfactory animated. Krazy goes to the dentist for a tooth extraction. The doc gives him gas, and Krazy goes into a dream while the tooth-yanker works on him. Krazy is in the middle of a necking party with a swell bimbo just as the dentist brings him to, so the smart kat reaches for the gas and puts himself back into the trance.

April 24, 1932
"Let's Eat"
(Oswald Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins.
Okay
A lively cartoon, with Oswald and his dog marooned in a mountain cabin, and nothing to eat. Their adventures with a fishing trip through the ice form the comic animation, winding up with a polar bear after their fish catch, and nothing to eat after all their efforts. Up to the usual entertainment value of this series.

"Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning"
(Screen Song)
Paramount 6 mins.
Good
Les Reis and Artie Dunn, the radio pair, are featured in this Max Fleischer screen song with animated cartoon interpolations and the usual dancing ball routine. It is up to standard, with good vocal work and amusing ingenuity in the art work. Reis and Dunn are dressed in uniform, while the cartoon sequences deal with army camp life.

May 1, 1932
"The Bird Store"
Columbia 7 mins.
Unusual
A Silly Symphony cartoon, with all the action taking place in a bird store. The various species of birds are shown in their cages, engaging in a vocal harmony, each bird singing with lifelike fidelity to the original. The theme is that of a little bird getting loose, a cat after it, and the dismay and terror of his parents registered vocally and in animated action, along with that of all the other birds. It's a swell combination of musical accompaniment with unusual story interest for a cartoon.

"The Mad Dog"
Columbia 7 mins.
Clicks
A Mickey Mouse cartoon, which is one of the fastest-action animateds ever produced. Mickey tries to wash his dog, but the animal gets frantic with the fleas, and goes tearing through the town. The dog-catcher has him cornered, and is about ready to shoot, when Mickey saves his pal and gets back to home and safety. Just as exciting as a wooly western meller—and funnier, of course.

"Barnyard Olympics"
Columbia 7 mins.
Okay
A very ingenious Mickey Mouse cartoon, with the barnyard animals all competing in athletic games. The gags are as clever as they are comical, finishing with an obstacle race. Mickey comes in under the tape the winner by a slight margin after the villain has pulled a line of tricks to try and defeat him. As usual, this Walt Disney animated stands out for its thoroughness in working up the novelty gags, and the funny cartoon antics of the various animal performers.

May 8, 1932
“Jingles"
Dist. not set 7 mins.
Fine Color Novelty
This animated cartoon in color, produced by Fairmount Pictures and being shown currently on the bill at the Little Carnegie Playhouse, is a distinctive and highly enjoyable novelty. To the accompaniment of Mendelssohn's "Spring Song," there are shown a variety of oddly shaped bugs, butterflies, frogs and other strange creations of nature doing their spring awakening act. Besides being comical in conception, the effectiveness of the bright colors and the excellent musical synchronization make the short a wholly entertaining affair and something very different. It's a genuine novelty for any bill.

"The Betty Boop Limited"
(Talkartoon)
Paramount 7 mins.
Nifty Animated
Betty Boop, the shapely little animated cartoon creation from the Max Fleischer shops, appears this time as the leader of a troupe of animal entertainers who are bound for the South. Opening to the tune of "When That Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam'," the action first offers some monkeyshines in connection with getting the train on its way. Then during the ride Betty puts the performers through a rehearsal, with Bettv herself singing a boop-a-doop number. Bimbo doing some juggling and others offering musical and novelty bits. All very snappy, melodious and genuinely entertaining, with the clever cartoon work jacking up the comedy in good style. An excellent subject of its kind.

"Romance"
Educational 7 mins.
Okay
The gangster films are kidded in this Paul Terry-Toon, with the hero trying to save his animated heroine from the wiles of the gangster chief and his hoodlum pang. It moves fast and funnily through a series of sensational gangster incidents with fine scoring by Philip A. Scheib adding an appropriate musical accompaniment.

May 15, 1932
"Admission Free"
(Talkartoon)
Paramount 7 mins.
Good Animated
Betty Boop and her boy friends have a penny arcade as the scene of their antics this time. Betty is the cashier who changes the customer's big coins into small ones, while Bimbo and the others are the patrons who come in and do funny things with the stereopticon, slot machines, punching bags, shooting gallery, etc. After a brief stay in the arcade, where the opportunities were far from fully realized. Bimbo takes a run out into the country where he continues his tomfoolery with squirrels and others. Betty Boop's usual baby-voiced vocalizing is part of the entertainments.

"Tuba Tooters"
(Tom and Jerry Cartoon)
RKO 7 mins.
Swell Animated
This clever animated cartoon is built around the catchy march song "Schultz Is Back Again." Schultz, a fat, red-faced German character, is met at the pier by several of his brass-band cronies. He arrives carrying a huge tuba which he plays throughout the running of the picture. Everyone in town seems to celebrate the tuba player's return, and among the crowd are Tom and Jerry, who lead the parade. The reel is filled with laughable gags, all drawn and sounded in perfect synchrony with the music. The reel starts with a swing and never lets up for a second. John Foster and George Stallings, the animators, and Gene Rodemich, the musical director, have turned out a release that compares favorably with the best.

"Spring Antics"
(Aesop's Fable)
RKO 8 mins.
Good Cartoon
This is a story of an optimistic duck which, as soon as the snow stops falling, calls the animals out to celebrate the advent of spring. There is much joy and dancing but after awhile the skies grow dull and snow returns. The final fadeout finds all the disillusioned animals chasing the optimistic duck. Animation is excellent and the svnchronization is about the best Fables has turned out. Many new gags.

June 11, 1932
"Moonlight for Two" (Merrie Melodic Cartoon)
With romance in the winter air the w. k. cartoon pair caper over the countryside, doing plenty of insane things which produce laughs Eventually they wind up at a barn dance, attended by a motley crowd of animals. The gal's irate papa arrives with a shotgun and sets up her sweetie but a red-hot stove burns him up. It's entertainment.

June 18, 1932
"The Mad King" Educational 7 mins. Very Good
A Paul Terry-Toon which is a swell kidding of the opera technique. The Mad King is the tyrant cat, who has the mouse heroine locked in the dungeon of his castle. The mouse mob, who are the common people, get together to overthrow the tyrant and his armored knights, storm the castle and hero mouse rescues the gal with glory. Original musical score and libretto give this cartoon a lot of dignity and class. Scored and conducted by Philip A. Scheib.

Ethel Merman in "You Try Somebody Else" (Screen Song)
Paramount 9 mins. Good
A Max Fleischer bouncing ball singing short. Ethel Merman, hot crooner who has already scored in shorts as well as on the radio and stage, supplies the chief vocal motivation for the theme song, which is surrounded with the usual cartoon trimmings.

June 25, 1932
"Cocky Cockroach"
Educational 7 mins. Lively
A lively animated Terry-Toon recounting the adventures of hero cockroach saving his darling from the spider villain. The cartoon is done in the heroic manner of grand opera and also melodrama, and is very amusing. The musical scoring by Philip Scheib is original for this opus, and helps to put it over with class.