Saturday, 4 January 2014

Cartoons of 1938, Part 4

Here’s our last roundup of cartoon news and reviews for 1938 from the pages of The Film Daily, a New York-based trade publication.

There isn’t an awful lot of news. Maybe the biggest story is the one that went on behind closed doors at MGM. I’d love to know what upper management thought of Fred Quimby, considering his cartoon studio was in such a shambles that he rehired the guys Metro fired a year earlier (which was the reason the studio was set up in the first place). Either Fred C. snowed the bosses into thinking he was doing a good job or they just didn’t care. The published story mentions Milt Gross. Mike Barrier’s book Hollywood Cartoons says Gross was gone by September, which was before the story was written. Whatever the case, “the westerners ganged up on Gross,” according to George Gordon, and Quimby didn’t like him, so he was gone about this time. Incidentally, one thing The Film Daily never did report was in the May 26th, 1938 edition of Daily Variety, that Quimby had, effective immediately, hired Burt Gillett as a director. Evidently that didn’t last long as Gillett, ended up at the Lantz studio later in the year (and perhaps it was karma considering the constant staff changes when Gillett was in charge at Van Beuren a few years earlier).

Disney news takes up the majority of the space, including the death of Fred Spencer. They’re still talking about Snow White. And for those of you who complain about “celebrity” voices being used today instead of voice actors, blame Uncle Walt. See the story below. There’s a mention of Ub Iwerks’ last project before going back to Disney for the studio run by Lawson Haris; I didn’t realise the cartoons were ever released in North America.

October 3, 1938
Further Fleischer-Union Pact Talks Due This Week
Meeting between Max Fleischer, Inc., and a committee representing the United American Artists and Professional Workers union on Friday to work out terms of a new contract was adjourned until this week. It is expected that negotiations will be completed this week.

October 7, 1938
Postpone Fleischer Meet
Meeting between Max Fleischer, Inc., and a committee representing the United American Artists and Professional Workers union scheduled for yesterday was postponed, it was learned last night. Sessions have been held in attempt to negotiate a new contract.

October 10, 1938
New Harman-Ising Pact With Metro Runs 7 Yrs.
As a result of a contract signed last week, Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising will provide the major portion of Metro's cartoon product for the new season, it was learned over the week-end.
Contract spans seven years and under it, Harman and Ising each will head a unit producing nine pictures annually, it was disclosed.
The producers are experimenting with a new cartoon character to be introduced in an early reel.
Fred Quimby continues as head of Metro department, and Milt Gross is continuing his work on the current product, it is understood.

October 12, 1938
Lantz Buys Kalmar-Ruby Song
Walter Lantz has purchased the popular song, "I'm Just a Jitterbug," from its publishers, Kalmar and Ruby. The song will furnish the theme for Lantz's forthcoming Jitterbug cartoon which will bear the same title as the song.

October 13, 1938
Fleischer N. Y. Office Closing Over Week-end
The New York office of Max Fleischer, Inc., will close over this week-end, with all effects and employes of the organization either in Florida or en route to the new studios in Miami by that time, it was learned yesterday. Last truckloads of equipment will go out on Friday and Saturday. To date no agreement has been reached regarding new contract covering the studio employes, but negotiations are still under way.

October 14, 1938
Fleischer Miami Studio to Operate as Open Shop
Max Fleischer's new Miami studio will be operated on an open shop basis, it was stated yesterday by Louis Nizer, attorney for Fleischer. Although a majority of the workers will be largely union people, Fleischer's contract with the artists' union does not call for a ploye has been guaranteed.
Fleischer will be permitted, it was said, to hire non-union workers at his own discretion. Transportation of the New York staff to Miami and a year's contract for each employee has been guaranteed.
A vote will be taken two weeks from today as to whether the workers will remain under the CIO banner or select the A F of L as their choice.
A committee representing the United American Artists and Professional Workers Union met with Fleischer representatives last night. Agreement on a new contract was reported near.

October 17, 1938
Fleischer, Artists Sign
One-year contract between Max Fleischer, Inc., and the United American Artists and Professional Workers Union was signed by a union committee and Fleischer representatives last Friday at 11 o'clock, after a night-long session. Open shop, wage scales and working conditions are provided for in the pact.

Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • PRE-RELEASE showing of Walt Disney's "Ferdinand the Bull" . . . and a group of special shorts . . . is carded for the Astor Theater . . . at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning . . . Invitation affair, of course.

Walt Disney Now Has Four Plants in Full Operation
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney now has four plants in operation. These include the main studio on Hyperion, the Annex, the Seward Street plant, which was formerly Harman-Ising studio, and one building in Burbank which houses the construction crew, architects and engineers who will build the Burbank studio which will be two years in construction. When completed the Burbank plant will include between 20 and 27 buildings.

October 18, 1938
Claim "Snow White" Tune "Old Eli" Infringement
Suit against RKO-Radio Pictures, Inc., Walt Disney Productions, Ltd., Walt Disney Enterprises, Inc., and Irving Berlin, Inc., was filed Saturday in U. S. District Court by Thornton W. Wilder Co. Suit, charging infringement of a song copyright, seeks an injunction and accounting of profits and damages in the use of "Old Eli March" (Yale University) which the plaintiff alleges was infringed upon in "Some Day My Prince Will Come," a "Snow White" number. "Old Eli March" was written, the suit charges, by Wadsworth Doster while the film song was written by Larry Morley [sic] and Frank Churchill.

October 20, 1938
‘Peter Pan’ to Disney
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Walt Disney, according to an announcement here yesterday, has acquired the rights to "Peter Pan," which property he will make into a full-length feature cartoon in color. It is also persistently reported here that Disney is considering production of a screen fantasy based upon "Don Quixote."

"Voice" of "Snow White" Sues Disney for $200,000
Suit against Walt Disney Productions, Ltd., and RCA Manufacturing Co. for $200,000 was filed yesterday in the N. Y. Supreme Court by Adrian [sic] Caselotti. Miss Caselotti contends that she was the voice for Snow White in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and her contract called for her vocal services in the picture only and that it was to be reproduced in no other medium. She claims that several million records were made and sold from the original film sound track.
Harry Stockwell, who contends he played the "Prince" in the same film also filed suit for $100,000.

November 3, 1938
Fleischer Employes Drop CIO as Bargaining Agent
Employes of the Fleischer Studios voted at a meeting in the new Florida headquarters on Monday against their representation by the United American Artists, a CIO affiliate which had previously represented the workers during the past year. Rejection was by a 66 to 58 count. Louis Nizer, counsel for the Fleischer Studios, who announced the ballot result yesterday at his offices in the Paramount Building, declared that although this vote excluded the Union as the exclusive bargaining agent, Max Fleischer would continue the same hours and salary provisions as existed the preceding year.

November 8, 1938
40 "Snow White" Day-Date
Paris (By Cable)—Forty prints of Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" are being shown day-and-date in France and North Africa. "Snow White" is in its 23rd week in Sydney, Australia, and 26th week in Paris.

November 10, 1938
"Name" Voices
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Coincident with announcement that hereafter " 'name' voices" will be used as doubles in Disney cartoon, representatives of the producer stated that 11-year-old Dickie Jones's voice will be used for Pinocchio in forthcoming feature of that title, and that Walter Catlett and Cliff Edwards will do the voices respectively of the fox and the cricket.

$3,500,000 Halpern Action vs. Hearst et al., Ruled Out
West Coast Bureau, of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Federal Judge William P. James yesterday entered a judgement of dismissal against Adelaide Halpern who charged infringement of copyright against Hearst Publications, Inc., Pepsodent Company, Lord & Thomas, and Walt Disney. Complainant sued for $3,500,000. Alleged infringement matter consisted of a display advertisement used in newspapers which was captioned "Pepsodent's Moving Picture Machine," with two sets of color movies featuring Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."
The so-called moving picture machine consisted of a cardboard box serving as a display camera with a crank for turning inserted rolls of colored pictures. Complainant charged that she obtained copyright for a similar newspaper comic strip movie entitled "Tiny Tot Revue" in 1930.
Judge James ruled, however, that the idea was in the field of common knowledge.
Walt Disney stated, in an interview, that it is his intention to fight any and all suits of this nature, however small.

November 14, 1938
F. E. Spencer Killed
West Coast Bureau, of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—F. E. Spencer, 34, chief animator for Walt Disney's "Donald Duck" character, was killed and Lou Ostrow, production executive for M-G-M, was injured when the car in which they were riding smashed up. James Gaither, M-G-M sound technician, another passenger, also was injured.

Van Beuren Dies Following Heart Attack; Was Pioneer
Amedee J. Van Beuren, pioneer producer and head of the Van Beuren Corp., died Saturday [Nov. 12] of a heart attack at his country home in Carmel, N. Y. He was 58 years old and had retired from active business early this year.
Van Beuren was best known for his shorts, although he produced such features as "Bring 'Em Back Alive," "Wild Cargo" and "Fang and Claw."

November 14, 1938
Chi. Disney Preview
Chicago—Walter Branson, RKO's midwestern district manager, this week will hold a preview of eight Walt Disney shorts, following the successful screenings of the Disney subjects in New York and Hollywood. Members of the Chicago press, magazine editors and trade paper representatives are to be invited.

November 14, 1938
"Snow White" as First-Run Christmas Week, RKO's Plan
RKO Radio has authorized first-run engagements of "Snow White" and the Seven Dwarfs" for Christmas Week, Jules Levy, general sales manager, said yesterday. Levy returned yesterday from New Chileans following visits to Charlotte and Atlanta where product deals were set with Publix-Kincey, Lucas and Jenkins-Publix and Wilby Publix. Canada will observe Jules Levy Appreciation Week, Nov. 26-Dec. 2, dates being set by L. M. Devaney, district manager.

November 16, 1938
RKO Talking Deal to Show
"Snow White" in Soviets Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" may be exhibited soon in Russia, Phil Reisman, RKO foreign chief said yesterday. Negotiations for that goal now are being carried on between Reginald Armour, European manager for RKO Radio Pictures, and the Russian government. Outside of Disney shorts, only a few U. S.-made features have been distributed in Russia under the present regime.

November 18, 1938
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • THANKSGIVING parade of Macy's department store will feature the Walt Disney latest creation, "Ferdinand the Bull" adapted from the Munro Leaf-Robert Lawson story . . . a gigantic balloon figure 45 feet long and 32 feet high . . . add to this build-up these items . . . 19 big mags like Life, Look, McCalls, Vogue carrying special articles and photos . . . 600 newspapers using comic strips in tune with playdates . . . 46 licensees on the market with merchandise displayed everywhere on counters and in shop windows . . . all with the "Ferdinand" motive . . . and without bull . . . add 3 million packages of Post Toasties with "Ferd" decor . . . a special pressbook on this super-short . . . and you exhibs. have some B.O. sales stimulus of the solid-sending calibre.

Claim Day-Date Record for Disney "Ferdinand"
Walt Disney's "Ferdinand the Bull" will play day-and-date Thanksgiving week in 175 situations. Short Subject Manager Harry Michalson of RKO Radio Pictures said yesterday this was a record number of day-and-date playdates for a short subject.

November 22, 1938
Disney In Counter Suit
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney Productions has entered a counter suit against Thornton Allen claiming- infringement of the song used in "Snow White," "Some Day My Prince Will Come Back." Disney claims that his firm copyrighted the song 21 months before Allen copyrighted "Old Ely," of which he is the publisher and not the composer.

November 28, 1938
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • THEY played a hunch over in the publicity dep't of RKO Radio the other day . . . it seems that during the fanfare on the premiere of Disney's "Ferdinand the Bull" at the Radio City Music Hall, some bright lad discovered that there was a horse named Ferdinand entered in the third race at the Bowie track in Maryland . . . practically the entire office acted on the hunch and got their dough on the line . . . Ferdinand ran strong for FIFTH place . . . and the bright lad who dug up the Ferdinand dope is being shunned as if he had the seven-year itch.

November 29, 1938
Disney's Father Improves
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Elias Disney, father of Walt Disney, was reported yesterday to be rapidly improving from gas fumes which killed his wife.

December 1, 1938
Disney Unable to Appear Before Profit-Sharing Com.
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington — The profit-sharing sub-committee of the Senate Finance committee announced last night that it had received a telegram from Walt Disney in Hollywood expressing his interest in the committee's work and his regret that he could not take advantage of the invitation to testify on his company's setup because of pressure of his firm's business.
The sub-committee expects to complete its hearings next week.

December 5, 1938
‘Snow White’ a ‘Must’
Lincoln, Neb.—"Must" picture for inclusion in the local "10 best" poll seems to be "Snow White." Every entry coming to the ballot boxes in the lobby of the Stuart, Capitol, Varsity, Orpheum, Lincoln and Kiva Theaters as well as the ones mailed to the Sunday Journal and Star lead off with the Disney cartoon classic. Branching from that point is wide. Prizes in the local poll, conducted in conjunction with THE FILM DAILY survey, include all-expense trip and a week in Hollywood for first, then a string of passes from annuals to trips making a total of 56 prizes.

December 9, 1938
News Flashes Off Coast Wires
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
. . .Hitting a new production high, Leon Schlesinger is completing six cartoons in a month.

December 13, 1938
News Flashes Off Coast Wires
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
. . . Production is at peak at Walter Lantz's cartoon plant; four are in work, three more start in 30 days.

December 13, 1938
Off Coast Wires
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Paul de St. Colombe, French author, has completed a French translation for Disney's "Ferdinand the Bull" and will act as narrator.

December 16, 1938
Sees $88,000,000 "Snow White" Gross
Anticipated world gross on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is estimated at $8,000,000 on the first run-off, it was said by Hal Horne, Eastern representative for Walt Disney, who returned on the Queen Mary last night from a European tour in the interest of the Disney subjects. Home said the picture would gross $2,000,000 in England, $500,000 in France and $1,000,000 in other European countries.

Disney, Corrigan Named
Ten leading 1938 news personalities, picked by Walter Winchell, Lowell Thomas and Edwin C. Hill for NBC, include Walt Disney, because of "Snow White," and Douglas Corrigan, because of his flight to Ireland.

December 19, 1938
Animated Cartoons' Series Taken for GN Distribution
Educational has closed a five-year deal with David Biedermann for the release of a cartoon series featuring a monkey and his chimp nephews. The characters appear frequently in Collier's Magazine.
Series will be produced in California by Animated Cartoons, Inc., for Educational and released by Grand National. Eight cartoons will be released this season and 12 during each season thereafter, according to E. W. Hammons, president of Grand National and Educational.
Three of the series have been completed under the direction of UB Iwerks and the first subject will be ready for distribution shortly after Jan. 1.

December 20, 1938
Metro's Shorts Lineup to Be Ready by May 15
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — More than half of M-G-M's short subject program for the 1938-39 season has been completed and the entire lineup will be available for release by May 15, according to Jack Chertok, in charge of short subject production. The unit is running 3½ months ahead of schedule, it was said. ... Schedule for immediately after Jan. 1 calls for... the group of Harman-Ising cartoons.

December 21, 1938
Holding Disney Short
"Mother Goose in Hollywood," Disney short on the Music Hall program, is being held over although the feature changes tomorrow. It is said to be the first time that a short subject has been held over without the feature attraction.

December 22, 1938
"Aladdin" Cartoon Original Given to Refugee Art Fund
An original drawing from the Paramount Technicolor cartoon, "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp" now in production, will be donated to the Motion Picture Art Fund for German Refugees, according to word received from the Max Fleischer Studio in Miami. Hundreds of paintings, cartoons and other works of art have poured in as contributions from outstanding contemporary American artists in the $50,000 drive for refugee relief.

December 23, 1938
Miami’s Slant
Miami, Fla. — In connection with American Art Week, the staff of Fleischer studios was introduced from the stage of the Olympia Theater. T.A. Moore, head sound technician with Fleischer, was master of ceremonies and introduced department heads of the cartoon studios. There was also a practical demonstration on how cartoons are made. It was said that this presentation and reception which followed was Miami's first move to glorify her motion picture cartoon artists just like Hollywood honors screen stars.

December 28, 1938
Screen All-Metro Program For England's King, Queen
London (By Cable)—An all M-G-M program was screened yesterday at Sandringham for the King and Queen of England as the first film entertainment of their Christmas holiday. The feature picture was "Sweethearts," and the short subjects included "Sydney—Pride of Australia," a FitzPatrick Travel-Talk; "Miracle of Salt Lake," a Miniature, and "The Captain's Christmas," a Captain and the Kids cartoon.

News Flashes Off Coast Wires
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
... Leon Schlesinger was host to 200 employes at the Wilshire Bowl.


October 3, 1938
"Buzzy Boop and the Concert" (Betty Boop Cartoon)
Paramount 7 mins. Routine Treatment
A travesty on the highbrow concerts, with little Buzzy attending one with Betty, and gumming things up as she starts to do the opera singer's stuff in swing. This starts the audience into a lively jam session and all hands have a good time instead of sitting through the fashionable concert. Just routine treatment. Produced by Max Fleischer.

"The Early Bird" (Scrappy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. In the Routine Class
Scrappy is reading to a bird the story about the early bird catching the worm. When a worm appears, the bird tries to make good, with very disastrous results to the bird as the worm has a lot of fun dodging him. The bird returns to Scrappy still reading his book, and gives the boy a dirty look. Nothing to rave about. Produced by Charles Mintz.

October 5, 1938
"The Animal Cracker Circus" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 7 mins. Fairly Entertaining
A little boy refuses to eat his spinach, till his mother promises that the animal crackers will put on a circus show for him. This they proceed to do, with the ringmaster putting the various animal crackers through their paces just like the real thing in the circus. Put it down as fair. Produced by Charles Mintz.

"Mutiny Ain’t Nice" (Popeye Cartoon)
Paramount 7 mins. Essentially Routine
Trouble aboard ship as Olive stows herself away on the ocean voyage, and the superstitious sailors start to mutiny. Popeye has his hands full till finally he succeeds in getting rid of the female and all is again calm and peace among the crew. Essentially routine cartoon. Produced by Max Fleischer.

October 6, 1938
"Ferdinand the Bull" (Technicolor)
Disney-RKO 8 mins. Rates with the Best
"The Story of Ferdinand," the Munro Leaf-Robert Lawson bestseller, which already has thousands of readers, will add to its fans by the release of the Disney cartoon version. The story and the illustrations are followed faithfully, only real difference being color and animation. Ferdinand is the unusual bull who hates fighting and is by nature pacifistic. He spent his childhood just sitting under the cork tree and smelling the flowers, while the other little bulls went about butting their heads and acting fierce. Their sole ambition was to be chosen for the bullfights in Madrid. When five men came to choose the fiercest bull, they did their best to show their strength. Ferdinand wasn't interested. He started to sit among the flowers, but unfortunately a bumble bee had got there first, resented the intrusion, and speared Ferdinand in the rear parts. Ferdinand's antics won him the name of "El Toro Feroccio," or words to that effect. He was taken to the bullfights where everyone trembled at his name. When it came time to fight, a bouquet was thrown at him, and he just sat down and smelled the flowers. Fade-out shows Ferdinand back under his favorite cork tree . . . just smelling . . . and smelling. The cartoon is such a faithful reproduction of the book that that in itself is praise enough. It will be relished by children as well as the grown-ups who appreciate the satire.

"Mother Goose Goes Hollywood" (Technicolor)
Disney-RKO 7 1/2 mins. Amusing Satire
In this Silly Symphony, Walt Disney steps into a slightly different realm, satirizing the movie folk. We recognize the well-known Mother Goose characters, but they are no longer themselves. They are Katharine Hepburn, Hugh Herbert, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, and dozens of others stepping out of the pages of the Mother Goose book. They are easily recognizable, though the foreword insists that "any resemblance to characters living or dead is purely coincidental!" Bo-peep Katharine Hepburn runs through the pages like a musical theme with the plaint about "she can't find her sheep ... really she can't." It is packed with laughs and clever musical effects, and the only possible complaint is that it is all too "short."

October 12, 1938
"The Ugly Duckling" (Technicolor)
Disney-RKO 9 mins. Here's a Peach
The Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale translated to cartoon language emerges a delight to the ear and the eye. A mother duck is hatching out a brood of ducklings while the father, in modern style, paces the lake shore. Something goes wrong, Among the hatch is a white one with a voice totally unlike the others. The whole family immediately disowns him. Life is thenceforth just one hard knock after another for him . . . . even a decoy turns her back on him. Finally, when things look blackest, he comes on a white swan and her brood. He discovers he is a cygnet, is readily adopted and loved by the mother swan. He gives the high-hat sign to the duck family as he swims happily by. Though the story concerns only the feathered folk, this Disney short is fused with real feeling and pathos.

“Pixie Land”
Universal 7 mins. Fairly Amusing
Imagination, and the appeal thereto, are the crux of this short which opens in a woodland setting with the Pixies, who take care of flowers, as the players. Among those diminutive folk is an inventor, Slap-Happy, who has concocted a secret formula fluid to make big things small and vice-versa. He tries his discovery on a flea which is populating a dog. The insect grows to tremendous proportions and scares the inhabitants of Pixie Land, including the queen. The latter, following the application of the liquid a second time, resulting in the flea's shrinkage to his normal size, punishes the inventor. Subject is fairly amusing.

“Ghost Town Frolics”
Universal 7 mins. Chief Appeal to Youngsters
A run-of-the-crop cartoon telling of the adventures of three monkeys, two of whom are of the masculine gender and one of the eternal feminine. Together they arrive by auto in a village which is haunted, and settle down for the night at a spook-laden house. Happenings within this eerie edifice come thick and fast, and two male monks being subjected to all sorts of indignities by the ghosts. As a climax, the trio escapes, but not until the young gallants have driven off in the car and then returned for the forgotten girl monk who was left behind in the house. Kids will probably enjoy this one most. As adult fare it lacks more than ordinary interest and punch.

"The Practical Pig" (Technicolor)
Disney-RKO 8 1/2 mins. Delightful Nonsense
In this color Disney short, we again meet the famous little rascals, the Three Little Pigs, and again the Big Bad Wolf is the villain. The two mischief-loving pigs start out for a swim against the explicit warning of their industrious brother big. Latter stays home busy working on his invention, a lie-detector. The wolf makes his appearance as a mermaid whose seductive singing lures the pigs into her net. The musical effects here heighten the comedy to howling proportions. The pigs are taken to the wolf's house where his children are about to eat them in a pork pie while their father goes off for the third pig. The shrewd practical pig catches him in the lie-detector where he is punished until the truth comes out. In the meantime, application of pepper to the pie causes the little pigs to sneeze and escape. But they get their punishment for disobedience when the lie-detector catches them. While lacking a hit tune, this edition of the Three Pigs is a delightful bit of nonsense.

“Cat and Bells” (Oswald Rabbit Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. May Please Cartoon Fans
Although this one is billed as an Oswald Rabbit short, the long-eared sponsor is conspicuous by his absence, the action revolving around a family of mice and their vicissitudes with the cat who shares the basement. Tabby is a sleepy soul but none the less feared by the rodents who plot to put a bell on their oppressor's neck so they can safely forage for food. The littlest mouse is chosen to tie the bell on the drowsy cat. The attempt is unsuccessful, although surcharged with humor and suspense. After a merry chase, cat after the offending mouse, the latter returns home completely exhausted. Quite entertaining, it is likely to please cartoon fans.

"Porky's Naughty Nephew" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Good Gags Here
Trying to do a good deed, Porky takes his little nephew to the []ing at the beach. Little Pinky annoys Porky with his tricks, so he enters the swimming race to get away from the pest. But Pinky follows in the race, and makes up for his mischief by pulling a stunt that forces Porky to win the race when he was away behind. Good gags. Produced by Leon Schlesinger.

"Goofy and Wilbur" (Technicolor)
Disney-RKO 8 mins. Swell New Character
Wilbur, the grasshopper, is a new character among Disney creations, and will immediately have millions of cheering fans. For he's a spunky little show-off who wins when all odds are against him. The affection between him and his master, Goofy, is something beautiful to behold. Wilbur acts as living bait with which Goofy catches fish. Wilbur's method is the simple expedient of luring the fish by leaps and jumps into Goofy's waiting net. All goes well until Wilbur, over-confident, is swallowed by a fish. The chase is on. Goofy never rests until he has Wilbur safe again in the palm of his hand. The characterization of Wilbur is so real, that one seems to have known him a long time. All Disney followers will welcome him. The short is in color.

"Donald's Lucky Day" (Technicolor)
Disney-RKO 8 mins. Tip-Top Fun and Tunes
Donald Duck experiences his usual misfortunes, and his chief good luck is that he doesn't get blown to pieces. He is a messenger boy on Friday, the 13th and, carrying a package containing a time-bomb, he meets with a black cat. His antics in endeavoring not to let the cat cross his path, and in not losing the package make up the bulk of the action. A very funny sequence takes place when the cat is on one end of a teetering board and Donald tries to keep the balance from the other end. In the end the cat saves both their lives by unwittingly throwing the bomb into the lake. Notable in this short was the musical accompaniment which heightened the action two-fold.

October 17, 1938
"The Newcomer" (Terry-Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Amusing Cartoon
This one will be right down the children's alley. Introducing a baby panda, the current zoological stellar attraction, Paul Terry has worked up an amusing and pleasing character The baby panda is seen in the zoo where it is getting all the attention. This rouses the jealousy of the other animals, particularly the lion. The lion breaks out of his cage and chases the panda around the zoo until it is rescued by a kangaroo. Produced by Paul Terry.

"The Glass Slipper" (Tery Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Good Number
Cinderella goes streamline in this new Technicolor version of the well known fairy story. Characterizations of Mae West and Harpo Marx help to liven up the proceedings for the little waif. The picture is amusing and the color is good, making it good entertainment for grownups as well as children. Produced by Paul Terry.

"Little Pancho Villa" Vitaphone 7 mins. Lively Cartoon
Sprightly adventures of Little Pancho, who has a great desire to be a bull fighter. He sneaks away from his mother, and enters an amateur contest. Here in an encounter with a ferocious bull he learns that it is not all glory in the ring. He finally succeeds in vanquishing the bull, and returns home a wiser little man. Produced by Leon Schlesinger.

October 20, 1938
"The Farmyard Symphony" (Technicolor)
Disney-RKO 8 mins. Colorful and Humorous
"The Farmyard Symphony" is opera brought down to the Barnyard. The action depicts a day in the lives of the farm, the chickens, sheep, goats, ducks, pigs, cows, etc. The rooster is king. He starts the day by waking them all with his crowing. Then each group of animals seeks breakfast after its own taste. Music takes the place of dialogue and the whole short ends dramatically with a full-chorused rendition of an aria from "Romeo and Juliet." Color and humor predominate throughout. It is opera as the farm animals would present it.

October 27, 1938
"The Great Big Cat and the Little Mousie" (A Walter Lantz Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. Brief But Amusing
The moral attached to this tab film is obviously that if one eats moderately he will be more spry than the gourmand. A little mouse is out to forage, and runs amuck of a big cat who is rendered relatively immobile via too much food. The former brazenly worries the fierce, over-fed cat via amusing antics and then retreats repeatedly to his back-of-the-baseboard lair. But one day the rodent is double-crossed by finding the cat playing possum and likewise finding a dish of milk spiked with liquor. Of this tasty dish the mousie partakes and is caught by the cat, but goes free after giving tabby the promise that he will be around to get caught the following day, when the feline's appetite is sharper. But the next day finds the mouse with a good excuse, namely, that he was too intoxicated to be responsible for the promise. Kids and grown-ups alike will find the yarn amusing.

"Sally Swing" (Betty Boop)
Paramount 7 mins. Swing Fun
The discovery of a femme swing sensation by Betty Boop is the subject. Betty finds a little scrubwoman who has the makings of a real swing leader, and after intensive training and beautifying puts her at the head of a band performing at a college dance. In spite of a crusty old professor in charge, the Swing gets under the students skin, and everybody loosens up, including the professor. A Max Fleischer cartoon.

November 11, 1938
"Sailor Mouse" (Walter Lantz)
Universal 7 mins. Cute Cartoon
Adventures of a little mouse who runs away from home to go to sea. Aboard ship, a rat starts to educate him, telling the mouse he must steal some cheese from the captain's table. The mouse does so, but the captain's parrot detects the theft, and raises a hue and cry that brings the whole crew down on him Eventually the little mouse escapes from the ship, and is glad to get back to his quiet home again.

November 14, 1938
"The Rabbit Hunt" (Walter Lantz Cartoon)
Universal 7 mins. Fair
The hunter starts out with his dog to bag a rabbit. But the bunny is smarter than the dog, and has a lot of fun fooling him. Finally the dog gets caught in a trap, and the rabbit helps release him. Later when the hunter catches up with the rabbit and is about to shoot, the dog repays the saving of his life by interfering effectively.

"The Playful Polar Bears" (Color Classic C8-2)
Paramount 7 mins. Good Sentiment
This cartoon will get the kids, for it shows a mother polar bear's tender care of one of its youngsters who wanders away and gets in the line of fire of a bunch of hunters who arrive on the Arctic shores with their schooner. Ma rescues the baby who has been stunned by a bullet, and the entire bear colony are holding a mourning ceremony preparatory to burial. But the tears of the mother bring the babe to consciousness again, and then the bears turn the mourning into a festival of rejoicing.

"Goonland" (Popeye)
Paramount 7 mins. Wild Adventure
Popeye goes to a desert island in search of his old man whom he has not seen in forty years. Poopdeck is the name of the old boy, who is a dead ringer for Popeye, only with white whiskers. He smokes a pipe, too. The island is run by a strange race of savages, called Goons, that look like the Zombies. Popeye is made a prisoner, and they are getting ready to drop a great rock on him from the cliff above, when dad comes to the rescue as he breaks out of his prison with the help of his son's can of spinach. They flee the island together.

November 25, 1938
"Baby Kittens" (Walter Lantz Cartune)
Universal 7 mins. Cute Cartoon
Cute subject, with three little kittens living in a basket with their ma. They are still too young to have their eyes open. So they wonder off and into the kennel of the Big Dog. The kittens think he is their mother, and first thing you know the canine starts to like the idea of being an adopted mother. But the mother cat misunderstands, and brings an army of alley cats to attack the good Samaritan, and chase him up a tree as they take possession of his nice warm kennel.

December 1, 1938
"Disobedient Mouse" (Walter Lantz Cartune)
Universal 8 mins. Gangster Motive
The gangster theme is used, with Baby-Face Mouse disobeying its mother and landing in the territory of Rat Enemy No. 1. The gangster starts to turn the little mouse into a member of the gang, till the recruit gets so tough he knocks the other cold and becomes a hero and wins the police reward. Back home though, he gets spanked for crossing the railroad tracks into bad territory.

"You're an Education" (Merrie Melody)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Just Fair
The action in this cartoon takes place on various travel folders. The villain steals a diamond, and he is chased through a number of famous cities by assorted police departments. In Technicolor, pix was produced by Leon Schlesinger.

"The Daffy Doc" (Looney Tune)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Funny Short
Porky Pig finds himself the unwilling patient of the ambitious doctor Daffy Duck. Porky leads Daffy a merry chase through the hospital in order to avoid being carved up, with a hilarious sequence winding up the short. Leon Schlesinger produced.

"The Night Watchman" (Merrie Melody)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Amusing Cartoon
Tommy Cat, night watchman of the kitchen, becomes ill and delegates his youthful son to stand his tour of duty during the night. Tommy, Jr., arrives in the kitchen to find that a very tough gang of rats has taken the place over. He is kicked around plenty until he drums up enough courage to battle the rats and throw them out. Leon Schlesinger produced. Pix is in Technicolor.

December 7, 1938
"Little Blue Blackbird"
Universal 7 1/2 mins. Amusing
There are several laughs in this Walter Lantz cartoon which tells the story of the mother blackbird who hatches out two normal offspring and one featherless nitwit. The dumb one refuses to learn to fly and otherwise learn about life. But when he (or she) battles a wicked hawk and saves his (or her) brothers (or sisters) from being gobbled up, all is forgiven.

"A Date to Skate" (Popeye)
Paramount 7 mins. Excitement Plus
Exciting fun when Popeye undertakes to teach Olive Oyl to roller skate. In the rink, she loses control of her feet, and skates right through the place, into the street, and down through the town, disrupting traffic. Popeye is after her, after taking his dose of spinach to give him strength to catch up to the flying Olive. A very funny cartoon.

December 16, 1938
"Porky the Gob" ("Looney Tune" cartoon)
Warners 7 mins. Amusing Stuff
To the adult addicts of animated fare, and the younger generation of pix patrons, this tab reel will prove amusing enough as it depicts Porky aboard a battleship plying the briny deep. In the radio room crackles the message that a big reward has been posted by officialdom for the capture of a pirate submarine coursing the area. Porky, although anxious to set out via airplane from the dreadnaught when the sub is discovered, it left behind to bemoan on deck his misfortune. But fate plays into his hands when the sub attacks. 'Tis then that young Porky trains on the enemy a barrage of shot and shell, sinking the hapless craft, and subsequently becomes a highly-rewarded hero. Porky's speech impediment, and the Old Sea Dog Captain's antics are the amusing highlights.

December 23, 1938
"Count Me Out" (Merrie Melody Cartoon)
Warners 7 mins. Agreeably Silly
That comical character, Elmer, cavorts in this Technicolor cartoon reel in the role of a country swain who wants to be a man. This ambition in Elmer's case is synonymous with being a prize fighter. Opportunity knocks via a correspondence school giving a course in the manly art of self-defense,—so he enrolls. A mechanical instructor consists of a phonograph plus a battery of dummy arms which swing lefts, rights and uppercuts from all angles. Going into training in his gym, Elmer receives a haymaker from the mechanical device, and is knocked cold. As the "birdies" sing, he dreams he is in a championship fight, during which he takes a terrific beating. Regaining consciousness, he decides to give up boxing, and is further sold on the idea when the mechanical opponent sends him down again to the canvas. It's silly but entertaining.

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