Saturday, 1 February 2014

Calling All Stars

Cartoons had evolved through the ‘30s and by the end of the decade, studios were trying to figure out where to go next. They needed a new gimmick to interest theatres that considered all shorts as an appetiser to what people really wanted—the feature picture. Colour fairy tales had pretty much run their course. Many of the old stars were old hat. Bosko was gone, Scrappy and Oswald were almost gone, Betty Boop was going, Porky Pig was making shorter appearances in his own cartoons and Mickey Mouse was giving way to Donald Duck at Disney. So the cartoon studios, much like feature film producers, tried to manufacture stars. And, like the feature producers, found it was almost impossible; the connection between audience and performer was almost mystical.

In the last half of 1939, Walter Lantz’ story department came up with new, would-be stars—Andy Panda, Lil Eightball and Peterkin. Leon Schlesinger had a “Bugs” Bunny with possibilities, though the possibilities weren’t realised until Tex Avery and his crew redesigned the rabbit’s personality and design. And the Disney cutsey-itis that resulted in Peterkin at Lantz manifested itself at Schlesinger in the form of the Kanyon Kiddies and Sniffles.

Oh, yes. About “Bugs” Bunny. It’s pretty evident in hunting around prior to 1940 that Bugs existed before Tex Avery came up with “A Wild Hare.” Studio copyright sheets (in the David Gerstein collection) refer to him. So does a review of “Hare-Um, Scare-Um” you see below. What seems to have happened was some of the directors weren’t happy with the “Hare-Um” version of Bugs, so they revised his voice, personality and design—but the name stuck. Avery did a rabbit cartoon and so did Chuck Jones. When “A Wild Hare” became a huge success, Jones’ cartoon (“Elmer’s Pet Rabbit”) was pushed ahead in production. But because Bugs hadn’t quite germinated when Jones started, there are noticeable differences between his rabbit and Avery’s. But we’re getting a year ahead of ourselves.

At Fleischer, the new Miami studio got word to come up with a new cartoon feature several months before “Gulliver’s Travels” was even released. And, again, Walter Lantz talked about a feature (Leon Schlesinger quietly discarded the idea) but, as we know, he never made one. Lantz’s finances got in the way.

So, let’s peer through the pages of The Film Daily, the New York-based trade paper, for the final half of 1939.

July 5, 1939
Czech Use of “Snow White” as Razzberry for Nazis May Bring Ban on Disney Film
View that Walt Disney may yet become an international political force is expressed by Wallace R. Dueul in a by-line story sent from Prague and copyrighted by the New York World-Telegram and Chicago Daily News. Dueul says "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" may achieve distinction of being banned by Germany in its Czech "protectorate" as dangerous to the security of the state. Czechs have been using the song "Heigh-Ho," from the film, as a political anthem to ridicule the Nazi masters. Sample incident cited: Recently in a Prague cafe the Czech version of the lyric, "Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, here come the seven dwarfs," was employed when seven German army officers entered for refreshments.

July 6, 1939
Lantz, "U"-Cartoon Guild Hearing on Coast Today
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—NLRB yesterday set the hearing between Walter Lantz Productions, Universal Pictures Co., et al, and Screen Cartoon Guild at 9:30 a.m. today in the U. S. court house and post office building in Los Angeles.

July 10, 1939
Fleischer Works Overtime on "Gulliver's Travels"
Miami—While the Fleischer Studio denies there is any race to place "Gulliver's Travels" in release before RKO Radio distributes Walt Disney's "Pinocchio" at the end of the year, the local cartoon plant is working overtime.

July 17, 1939
Ross and Dragonette Will Sing "Gulliver" Numbers
Miami, Fla.—Lanny Ross and Jessica Dragonette will supply the singing voices for the Prince and Princess in "Gulliver's Travels," being made in the Fleischer studios. Lilliputian Gabby, the town crier, who is expected to steal the picture, will be voiced by Calvin Howard, a Fleischer story writer. Lovey Warren, producer of floor shows at the Royal Palm Club, will be the speaking voice of the Princess. Sam Parker, Miami radio announcer, will be the voice of Gulliver himself.

July 19, 1939
Entertainment-Industrial National Carbon's New Idea
National Carbon Co., through its ad agency, J. M. Mathes, Inc., is embarking on a new type of sales promotion film program, incorporating entertainment footage with industrial reels to make the latter more psychologically acceptable, impressive and effective.
Of particular interest is the use of a now outmoded, but highly entertaining short "The Filling Station," produced by Walt Disney . . .
Also on the National Carbon program is another promotional cartoon, "Rip Van Winkle, Jr." All three pix will be shown tomorrow at 5 p.m. via screening in the little theater in the Chanin Building.

July 25, 1939
CF-Dunningcolor Deal
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Cartoon Films, Ltd., is talking a deal with Dunningcolor which, if consummated, may cover the entire output of the new Dunningcolor plant, scheduled to go into production in early August.

July 26, 1939
NLRB CERTIFIES FOUR BARGAINING AGENCIES
... (4) Certified the Federation of Screen Cartoonists and the Society of Motion Picture Film Editors for employees of Walt Disney Productions, Ltd. . . .
In the cartoonist order affecting Walt Disney employes the Board said the action was based upon a study of union membership cards and company payrolls. The comparison showed that the Society had been designated as bargaining representative by all 15 of the cartoon editors, assistant director and film librarians, NLRB said.
The cartoonist federation was certified on the basis of uncontroverted evidence that it represented 568 out of 602 employes engaged in production, exclusive of supervisory employes, the NLRB said.

July 26, 1939
500 for Fleischer
Miami, Fla.—Dade County spinach is doing something to Mr. Popeye, from present indications. The Fleischer Studios, where Popeye pops, has added 30 more artists, bringing the total up to 500 employees now on the payroll. In order to accommodate the latest group, a nearby store has been leased. Additionally the studios have overflowed into three adjacent bungalows. All studio emphasis at the present is being centered on "Gulliver's Travels," which is scheduled for a premiere on Christmas day.

July 27, 1939
GB Instructional Plans "Color Secrets of Life"
London (By Cable) — Gaumont British Instructional will make future reels in the "Secrets of Life" series in Dufaycolor; series is now in its 18th year, GB Instructional is planning a new series of color cartoons designed to illustrate the story of the British Empire; series will be for theatrical as well as entertainment use.

July 28, 1939
Coming and Going
WALTER BRADFIELD has gone to Miami to handle publicity there for Paramount and the Fleischer Studios. HAMP HOWARD returns to the New York office.
VICTOR YOUNG, signed to write the background music for "Gulliver's Travels," leaves for the Fleischer studios Miami, in early August.

August 1, 1939
Nazis Aping Disney
Berlin (By Cable)—Actuated apparently by the tremendous world-wide gross rolled up by Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the Nazi film industry will produce its first cartoon feature in color. Fairy tale plot has been written especially for the production.

August 9, 1939
New Lantz Character
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—A new cartoon character has just been born with the production of Walter Lantz' Technicolor short for Universal release, "Peterkin" a Pan character created by Will Pogany, the artist.

August 11, 1939
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • DONALD DUCK is slated for a big build-up at the World's Fair next Monday . . . when the children of the world will bestow on him the degree of D.I.F. . . . which means Doctor of International Friendship . . . Two kids from each nation will participate in the festivities which include a luncheon, parade and a special screening . . . of "Beach Picnic" . . . Donald's latest . . . "Toni" Spitzer of the RKO publicity department . . . is really going to town on the stunt . . . Incidentally . . . It looks as if Donald is pushing Mickey Mouse in the background. .... Of the 14 Disney shorts completed for the current season's program . . . 12 star Donald.

August 18, 1939
Fleischer Studios File for Dissolution in N.Y.
Albany—Fleischer Studios, Inc., has filed papers with the Secretary of State's offices here for dissolution of the New York corporation which has been supplanted by the new Florida company operating under the same name.
Papers were filed by N. William Welling, of New York City, counsel for Fleischer. Move is a perfunctory one, described as getting rid of a "legal relic" no longer needed.

Wedding Bells
Miami, Fla.—Dan Cupid continues to get in effective work at the Fleischer Studios where everything is speeding to complete "Gulliver's Travels" before Christmas. Four more couples are scheduled to say “I will” within the month. Blanche Harbort and George Gamanetti [sic]; Bettina Ryons of Los Angeles and James Culhane; Mary Marie Marion of New York and Anthony DiPaola; and Jane Mercer of Coconut Grove and Walter Cunningham.

August 23, 1939
Max Fleischer to Produce Another Feature Cartoon
Highly satisfied with the first color rushes on Paramount's "Gulliver's Travels," Max Fleischer yesterday laid plans for a second full length cartoon feature to be made as a successor to the screen version of the Jonathan Swift satire. Fleischer's corps of readers was directed to comb the field of fantasy for a suitable story. Some of the script writers were put at work making rough outlines of adaptations of stories listed by Fleischer.

August 25, 1939
Juvenile Books for "Oz," "Gulliver" and "Pinocchio"
Chicago—Several million juvenile and color books will be turned out by-Whitman Publishing Co, of Racine, Wis., and the Saalfield Publishing Co. of Akron, O., for tieups with the feature films, "Wizard of Oz." and "Gulliver's Travels."
Whitman Co. will have ready next week, according to J. A. Riley of Vhat company, "Wizard of Oz," picture, paint and story books. The company will, later in the Fall, publish, a similar line of books for Disney's "Pinocchio."
The Saalfield Company is printing "Gulliver" coloring and story books, also a picture puzzle box, as well as a Gulliver paper doll box, for exhibitor use.
Grosset & Dunlap and Rand, McNally & Co., will also turn out books for the forthcoming feature films.

August 31, 1939
McKinson [sic] Promoted
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Leon Schlesinger has promoted Robert McKinson to chief animator of his cartoons. McKinson, one of the top animators of the cartoon plant and on the Schlesinger pay-roll for the past nine years, will now supervise all animation work on "Merry Melodies" and "Looney Tunes."

September 5, 1939
Schlesinger Ships First
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Leon Schlesinger is shipping to New York the first "Merrie Melody" and "Looney Tune" of the 1939-40 program. The "Merrie Melody" is entitled "Sioux Me," and the "Looney Tune," "Porky's Hotel." Schlesinger has 18 pictures in some phase of production.

September 14, 1939
Coming and Going
BEN HERSH, vice-prexy of General Film Co., left yesterday by train for Hollywood to arrange for firm's cartoon, “Babar, the Elephant.”

September 15, 1939
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • EARLIER this week the big news was rain in Poland . . . but yes'day it was snow in England . . . Snow White . . . for overseas dispatches told of the British Tommies having ditched "Tipperary" . . . in favor of the Disney opus ditty, "Heigh-Ho" . . . paraphrasing the lyric by chanting . . . "Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it's off to war we go"

October 2, 1939
Charges Disney Infringed His Patent in "Snow White"
Patent infringement suit against Walt Disney Productions, Technicolor, Inc., RKO Radio Pictures and Technicolor Motion Picture Corp., was filed Saturday in the U. S. Federal Court by Vincent I. Whitman, in which the plaintiff asks for an injunction restraining exhibition of "Pinocchio" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," an[d] accounting and treble damages.
The patent Whitman claims was infringed is described as a technique of superimposed photography in putting action on a still background through composite work. Whitman, in his complaint, states that he notified Disney in 1937 that he was infringing on his patents.

October 3, 1939
Interstate Tests New Newsreel Setup
Dallas, Tex.—Interstate will experiment with a new newsreel theater idea here, starting Oct. 9. House to be used is the Melba which on Mondays and Tuesdays hereafter will show upwards of one hour of news clips from the five newsreels, in addition to shorts and cartoons. Program will be edited by an editorial board headed by Mrs. Besa Short, head of Interstate's shorts department, and including a newspaper editor, a university history professor and Manager Ainsley G. Wood of the Melba. Where deemed necessary, additional commentary for the news shots will be supplied locally.

October 17, 1939
Double Terry Birthday
Paul Terry, creator of Terrytoon comedies, yesterday celebrated his 25th anniversary as a cartoonist and 10th birthday of Terrytoons. Terry is producing 26 cartoons for 20th-Fox release this year, with 10 of them scheduled to be in Technicolor.

October 18, 1939
Award for Cartoon
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—"Old Glory," a Warner Bros.-Leon Schlesinger cartoon, was voted the outstanding one-reel cartoon of the year through an audience poll at the Hollywood Tele-View Newsreel Theater.

October 25, 1939
NLRB Orders Elections in 4 Cartoon Studios
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—NLRB yesterday announced secret elections to be held within 30 days among all production employes in four animated cartoon studios in Hollywood to determine whether or not they desire to be represented by Screen Cartoon Guild, unaffiliated, for purposes of collective bargaining. Companies involved are: Walter Lantz Productions, Loew's, Inc., Raymond Katz Studio and Leon Schlesinger Productions.
In announcing the election, the NLRB said in the proceedings before the Board there was no dispute between the companies and the labor organization as to the appropriateness in general of the respective units for purposes of collective bargaining. Dispute arose over certain classifications of employes on whether they should be included or excluded from the units.
At the Schlesinger studio, department heads were included. The company contended that 47 of its employes under individual contracts should be excluded but the Board held these employes are not by virtue of the contracts excluded from the units.
Producer-directors at Loew's were excluded but cameramen were included. Board ordered that cell washers of all studios involved should be included. Directors of all companies were included.
In all units the following were excluded pursuant to an agreement of the Guild and other interested unions: clerical and supervisory employes, laboratory technicians, cartoon editors and their assistants or film librarians.

October 27, 1939
Hear Disney's Whitman Suit Dismissal Motion Nov. 10
Application was filed yesterday in the Federal Court to be heard on Nov. 10 by Walt Disney Productions, Inc., Technicolor, Inc., Technicolor Motion Picture Corp., and RKO Radio Pictures, to dismiss the suit of Vincent I. Whitman which seeks damages and an injunction restraining exhibition of "Pinocchio" and "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs."
Whitman filed suit recently claiming that a patent which he obtained in 1935 on a method of producing moving figures against a stationary background had been infringed by the two pictures produced and distributed by the defendants.

October 31, 1939
Finney Weds Betty Bourke
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Edward F. Finney, the producer, and Betty Bourke, formerly an animator at the Leon Schlesinger Studios, were married Saturday, at the old Mission at Santa Barbara, with Father James officiating. Russ Bell was best man, and Marian Findlay, the bridesmaid. The newlyweds will make their home in Hollywood.

November 8, 1939
60 Separate Recordings For "Gulliver's Travels"
Sixty separate recordings by leading record companies have waxed music from Max Fleischer's Technicolor feature-length cartoon, "Gulliver's Travels." Lou Diamond, head of Famous Music Corp., believes the picture has been accorded the greatest number of recordings ever made on a single motion picture. Paramount will release the picture during the Christmas holidays.

November 13, 1939
Stunt Premieres Planned for Three Paramount Pix
Paramount has set stunt premieres for "Geronimo," "Gulliver's Travels" and "The Great Victor Herbert," it was announced at the week-end by Neil Agnew, vice-prexy in charge of sales. . . .
Fleischer cartoon feature bows in Dec. 17 in Miami and opens at the N. Y. Paramount Dec. 20.

November 16, 1939
Enter, "Sniffles"
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Leon Schlesinger is shipping to New York, "The Bookworm," one of the "Merrie Melody" series in Technicolor, starring "Sniffles," the mouse, a new cartoon character created by the producer.

November 17, 1939
"Gulliver's Travels" Will Run 77 Minutes
Miami — "Gulliver's Travels," Fleischer-produced feature cartoon in Technicolor for Paramount, will have a 77-minute running time. Feature, it is learned, is being brought in at a cost of $1,500,000.

November 20, 1939
Court Affirms Denial
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a denial of an application by Walt Disney Productions, Ltd., and RCA Manufacturing Co., Inc., to preclude Adriana Caselotti from presenting her proof on trial. Miss Caselotti has filed suit for $200,000 damages claiming unauthorized reproduction of her voice on records.

November 27, 1939
NLRB Postpones Animated Cartoon Workers' Election
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—NLRB yesterday issued an amendment to its election order of Oct. 23 providing for postponement of a secret ballot election among animated cartoon workers of Walter Lantz Productions, Loew's, Raymond Katz studio and Leon Schlesinger Productions. Election is now to be held on or before Jan. 16. Reason for the postponement was an affidavit filed by the Screen Cartoon Guild stating its affairs were presently inactive pending final issuance of a charter by the International Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America.
Lantz filed an objection, stating the election should be held as scheduled or not at all.

November 28, 1939
Sponsored Broadcast Will Plug "Gulliver" Premiere
Miami — Franco-American Spaghetti will sponsor a special broadcast in connection with the world premiere of Paramount's "Gulliver's Travels" over CBS, Dec. 18. Picture will open the same evening at the Sheridan theater, Miami Beach. Broadcast will be carried by 52 outlets with WQAM originating the program.
Lanny Ross and Jessica Dragonette are co-starred in the film which is Paramount's first feature-length cartoon. It is done in Technicolor.

STORKS!
William M. Weiss, secretary and treasurer of Terrytoons, became a father Saturday when a son was born to his wife Rita at the New Rochelle Hospital. Baby, which weighs six pounds 10 ounces, was their first child.

November 30, 1939
Print Supply Trails Demand for Cartoon Feature, Execs. State
Although Paramount is asking 50 per cent deals for "Gulliver's Travels," bids for the picture are reported to be beyond expectations. Pre-release bookings have been spotted into 56 key cities during Christmas week and will be available to other runs as fast as prints can be obtained.
The demand for the Fleischer feature-length cartoon has had few equals in the history of the company, executives declare. Because of the intricate color process, prints take longer to be turned out and the supply cannot keep up with the demand, it was said.
Leon Netter, vice-president of Paramount Theaters Service Corp., yesterday predicted a domestic gross of approximately $3,000,000 on "Gulliver" as a result of the extended preferred "A" playing time throughout the country. The wide interest in the picture plus the elaborate local and national campaigns that have been prepared are indications that it will be a top grosser among the holiday releases of all companies. Netter said.
The Paramount theater exec, believes the coming holiday season will be one of the greatest the industry has enjoyed because of the top ranking product available, pointing to "Gulliver," "Gone With the Wind," "Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Victor Herbert," "Blue Bird" and others as examples.
[delete list of names of Paramount promotional people]

Annual Cartoon Feature, 30 Shorts for Fleischer
Miami — Fleischer Studios here will follow "Gulliver's Travels," with a second cartoon feature, it is indicated by Max Fleischer's local announcement that the plant has adopted a schedule of one feature and 30 shorts annually. Nearly all of the 130 animators on the payroll have been placed under term contract, Fleischer states.

December 1, 1939
“Gulliver” in Spanish for Latin Am. Markets
Work on a Spanish version of "Gulliver's Travels" will be started immediately with Luigi Luraschi, Paramount's censorship editor, supervising. The Max Fleischer feature cartoon will be rescored and redubbed for the Latin American markets.
Meanwhile, choral effects on the English version were completed yesterday and the last of the picture's eight reels was turned over to the Technicolor laboratory.

December 6, 1939
100 "Gulliver" Licensees
More than 100 manufacturers are now licensed to create "Gulliver's Travels" merchandise tying in with Para.'s cartoon feature.

December 11, 1939
"Pinocchio" to be Sold at 50% on Single Bills Only
Depinet Says Disney Feature Must Be Given Longer Playing Time
Selling terms for Walt Disney's "Pinocchio" call for 50 per cent of the gross, in addition to three other basic principles governing the release of the feature-length cartoon, it was annouced Friday by Ned Depinet, RKO vice-president.
"Pinocchio" will play on percentage terms only, on a single feature program and must be given longer playing time, Depinet said in revealing the sales plan.
In explaining the last requisite, Depinet said that an analysis of the records of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" showed that in more than 75 per cent of the theaters where it played, it was not shown long enough to reap the full benefits of its popularity.
Depinet said original plans called for the roadshowing of the Disney feature, but instead it would be made available at an early date so that advantage can be taken of the gigantic campaign being put behind it. He said he had seen part of the picture during a recent Hollywood visit and that in his opinion, it surpassed "Snow White" many times over.

Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • WHATEVER you can say about it ... dear ole 1939 A.D. has been the most animating in pix history ... and if there's any doubt in your mind ... we refer you to the Messrs. Disney, Fleischer, Schlesinger, et al . . .
• • • THERE'S been more drawing in the above gents' studios ... during the past twelve-months ... than you're likely to find in all the realm ... of contemporary poker ... For example, in the instance of Max Fleischer ... 'tis authoritatively said ... that 700 artists were on the "boards" ... to turn out the some 500,000 celluloids and backgrounds ... which go to make up the 115,200 composite scenes ... for "Gulliver's Travels" ... and that approximately 16 tons of drawing paper were used ... plus 12 tons of paint ... which sounds like enough. . .
• • • NOT only from the statistical side ... but from that of entertainment ... "Gulliver" is a big production ... and is certain to make a gargantuan pile of dough for the producers, distribs. And exhibs ... It cost a pile, too ... a mere million or more ... Isn't the pix biz wonderful! ... We never hear of big pix statistics in this department ... but that we find a strange, quixotic smile breaking out ... at the realization that when all the mountainous work is done at a studio ... the essence of all the labor and expenditure ... is packed and marketed ... in a few simple metal containers ... It's much like reducing tons and tons of ore ... to gain a gram of precious metal . . .
• • • WE think Max Fleischer will smile quixotically, too ... when he attends the world premiere of "Gulliver" ... at W. R. (Paramount Partner) Lynch's nifty Sheridan Theater in Miami Beach ... a week from today ... not only because the picture is marvelous ... but because modern commerce is marvelous ... To wit: ... Mister Fleischer and his staff ... toiled for many months making "Gulliver" ... right in Miami ... The pix debuts at Miami Beach ... But the print will have to be delivered all the way 'cross continent ... from Technicolor's Hollywood labs ... So "Gulliver" will have done some really extensive traveling ... from his genesis at the hands of Mister Fleischer ... until Max sees his "offspring" again ... on Bill Lynch's nearby screen!. . .
• • • LEON SCHLESINGER has just put his new "Canton Kiddies" cartoons ... first of which will be "The Mighty Hunters" ... before the Technicolor cameras for Warner release ... James Swinnerton, originator of the "Kiddies," created the screen characters ... collaborated on the story and painted all the backgrounds ... entirely IN OIL ... for the first time in an animated cartoon ... Schlesinger asserts the oil paintings will give the animated film the same advantage that an oil painting has over water color ... solidity, depth and color effect ... Score another advance for 1939 as an animated year.

December 13, 1939
Para. to Have 120 Prints Of "Gulliver" for Xmas
Paramount will have 120 prints of "Gulliver's Travels" available for Christmas bookings instead of 41 as originally agreed to by the Technicolor laboratories. Neil Agnew, general sales manager, said that Technicolor would deliver 20 prints daily to meet the holiday bookings in key cities.
President Barney Balaban of Paramount predicted that previous estimates of domestic and foreign grosses on the Fleischer feature cartoon were "much too low."

"Pinocchio" Broadcast Set for Christmas Day
Lux Radio Theater will broadcast Walt Disney's "Pinocchio" over the Columbia network on Christmas day. Program will feature the original voices of the picture under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille.

December 15, 1939
Miami Bids Para.'s Execs. to "Gulliver" Festivities
Miami — Premiere of "Gulliver's Travels" here Monday will climax a three-day celebration in honor of the Miami-made feature cartoon, produced here by Max Fleischer for Paramount release. Governor Fred P. Cone, Senators, Congressmen, civic leaders, stage and radio personalities will participate in the festivities.
Leadoff event takes place tomorrow with a contest to select the Princess of Lilliput and her six ladies in waiting. Contest will be confined to blondes between the ages of 5 and 8. The print for the Monday opening will be delivered by an eight-foot giant to the Sheridan Theater in Miami Beach.
A luncheon in honor of Paramount and Fleischer studio officials will be held Monday by the City of Miami and Chamber of Commerce, with Mayor E. G. Sewell presiding.
Acceptances to the luncheon were being awaited from Barney Balaban, Stanton Griffis, Y. Frank Freeman, Neil Agnew, William LeBaron, Leon Netter, Leonard Goldenson, Oscar Morgan, Lou Diamond, as well as visiting celebrities including Walter Winchell, Ted Husing, Ben Bernie and others.

December 18, 1939
Fast Action, Comedy Feature "Gulliver"
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—"Gulliver's Travels," the screen's second feature-length cartoon made in Technicolor, is a highly commendable offering and should please children from 6 to 60—and over. The Fleischers—Producer Max and Director Dave—and their small army of screen writers and animators showed great ingenuity in bringing Jonathan Swift's immortal tale to screen. There is never a dull moment in the feature's 77 minutes, with fast action and comedy making it very enjoyable. The good natured giant, Gulliver, Lilliputians' one-man broadcasting system. Gabby, the town crier, and Prince David and Princess Glory, romantic lovers of Lilliput, are among intriguing characters. Edmond Seward furnished the story and adaptation, and Rainger and Robin supplied seven pleasing songs, with its "A Hap-Hap-Happy Day" contributed by Sam Timberg, Al Neiburg and Winston Sharpies. —WILK

Miami Wants More Cartoon Producers
Miami—This city is using the "Gulliver" premiere as the opening gun of a campaign to bring other cartoon studios to Miami. President Hall of the Chamber of Commerce has advised New York's Mayor LaGuardia that Miami is going to compete with New York in luring motion picture production.

Miami Goes "Gulliver" in Big Way for Opening
Miami—The Sheridan and Colony Theaters here are completely sold out for the world premiere of the Fleischer-Paramount feature cartoon, "Gulliver's Travels." Tonight's event winds up a three-day celebration in observance of the Miami-made picture, and celebrities from many walks of life are gathered here for the occasion.
Starting off with a youngster beauty contest on Saturday, the festivities continue today with a civic luncheon at which Mayor E. G. Sewell is to preside. Lanny Ross and Jessica Dragonette will make personal appearances at the performances tonight, with Ted Husing acting as master of ceremonies.
Attending the premiere from Paramount's home office are Stanton Griffis, Neil F. Agnew, Robert Gillham, Lou Diamond, Al Wilkie, Oscar Morgan and M. F. Gowthorpe.
Miami's winter season will be formally opened at a "Gulliver's Travels Ball" at the Roney Plaza Hotel immediately after the show tonight. Ben Bernie will M.C. the party.

30 Artists Launch New Animation Studios Here
East Coast Animation Studios, Inc., has been formed by 30 artists formerly connected with the Fleischer and Terry studios, with offices at 1600 Broadway in the old Fleischer plant, it was learned Friday. Group is seeking commercial work and is negotiating for a loan to produce an animated feature. Byron Rabbit is president of the organization.

Phil M. Daly’s column, New York City
LITTLE, but Oh, My!, Dic Loscalzo . . . veteran art director who has nobly served several of the larger pix companies in the past ... has obviously got something in his two new cartoon characters ... “Chimpsey” and “Sweetey” ... who are currently sporting under the banner of Chimpsey Enterprises ... whose general offices are in Brooklyn ... Several licensing agreements have already been closed ... twixt Dic’s outfit and general merchandising, toy and novelty companies ... by terms of which the monk characters ... will go to, and amuse, the public ... It is also planned ... for Dic’s characters to take to the screen.

December 19, 1939
"Gulliver's Travels" Cartoon Takes Miami by Storm
Miami—Paramount unveiled Max Fleischer's version of "Gulliver's Travels" to the cash customers here last night—and they loved it. In a double-barreled world premiere that sold out both the Sheridan and Colony Theaters, the Jonathan Swift classic became the second full-length feature cartoon to reach the screen. The picture started out to be Paramount's. It wound up becoming Miami's. The city built a three-day celebration around the affair that has set the town agog.
Following the premiere itself, the crowd at the Sheridan went home, but the Colony was filled with the Miami Beach smart set and they went to the Roney Plaza Hotel for a brilliant "Gulliver's Travels Ball" of which the PTA milk fund was the beneficiary.
At noon yesterday, key executives of Paramount and Fleischer Studios were guests of honor at a civic luncheon at which Mayor E. G. Sewell and John C. Hall, president of the Chamber of Commerce, made a frank bid for further motion picture production in competition with Mayor LaGuardia of New York. More than 200 civic leaders and officials gave Fleischer an ovation and applauded the pledges of Hall and Sewell that motion pictures will receive full co-operation from the Florida resort.
Among Paramount notables at the luncheon were Stanton Griffis, Neil Agnew, Oscar Morgan, Lou Diamond, R. M. Gillham, and S. A. Lynch.
The celebration of the premiere got under way Saturday when 35,000 people jammed the business district to witness the arrival of "Gulliver," an eight-foot giant, who appeared at several Miami stores and then helped judge Miami's first beauty contest. Sigrid Johnson was chosen as princess of Lilliput and Donna Maxer, Elsie Echardt, Anita McClaney, Elsie Parks, Audrey Mark, and Eloise Combs were chosen as ladies in waiting. All the girls are blondes and between ages of five and eight.

December 26, 1939
Party Time
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Leon Schlesinger tossed his annual holiday Christmas luncheon for the 200 employes of his cartoon plant at the Wilshire Bowl Saturday. Ben Lasky's 10-piece orchestra provided the music.

December 27, 1939
Lantz to Produce Cartoon Feature as Indie Venture
Believing that there is a field for more animated cartoon features, Walter Lantz is preparing to make a feature-length cartoon in Technicolor. Lantz, who produces cartoon shorts for Universal, arrived in New York yesterday for conferences in connection with his proposed feature which he plans to product independently.
"Jack, the Giant Killer," "Pandora's Box" and "The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" are being considered for the first subject.
Lantz is the creator of the "Oswald the Rabbit" series and the recently-launched "Andy Panda" group, which also is to become a newspaper comic strip.

Leon Schlesinger Bringing First Canyon Kiddie Cartoon
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Leon Schlesinger and Mrs. Schlesinger leave for New York this week, the cartoon producer's annual business trip. Schlesinger will take along a special print of his first Canyon Kiddie, Technicolor cartoon, "Mighty Hunters" for the Warner home office to see. This is the first of the one-reel subjects that will introduce the new technique in animation, the backgrounds having been done in oils by Jimmy Swinnerton, artist and cartoonist. Swinnerton also created the screen characters and collaborated on the story. The Schlesingers will be gone a month.

December 28, 1939
Lantz May Close Cartoon Feature Deal Next Week
First feature length cartoon to be made by Walter Lantz appears to be a toss-up between "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp" and "Jack the Giant Killer." Lantz said yesterday that the preference points to "Aladdin." Distribution details may be revealed early next week.



REVIEWS

July 6, 1939
"A-Hunting We Will Go" (Walter Lantz Cartune)
Universal 1 1-3 mins. [sic] Diverting Reel
Shortly after climbing into bed in his diminutive cabin, Little Eight Ball, Walter Lantz' new and appealing cartoon character who is a little Negro boy, receives a visit from a baby ghost to whom he avers that he is not the least bit frightened. Whereupon the baby ghost transports him to a haunted mill where the adult ghosts, informed that Little Eight Ball is impervious to fright in the best fashion of modern children who don't believe in ghosts, put their visitor through a test, at the end of which Little Eight Ball is certainly scared, but steadfastly will not admit it. The Lantz character bids fair to become a future institution in pix houses. This short is diverting and well fashioned.

"Bird on Nellie's Hat" (Walter Lantz Cartune)
Universal 7 mins. Silly But Satisfactory
The old-time meller is taken for a sleighride in script of this one, which recounts the drama, and amusingly, of the village blacksmith, Dan, and his girl friend, Beautiful Nellie. While the beau is having his vicissitudes selling proper shoes to a coy young mare customer, the Desperate Villain of the opus is riding along the nearby highway in his automobile. Along comes Nellie, bound for the smithy to deliver her beloved Dan's lunch. She grabs a hitchhike from the villain, whose advances she rebuffs. Latter ties her to a railroad track, but at the finale she is rescued when the bird on her hat brings Dan to the rescue, hard riding atop the coy mare whom he has urged to carry him to the scene of the near tragedy. It's all silly, but good humor. Fans will like it.

July 12, 1939
"Wotta Nitemare"
(Popeye the Sailor Cartoon) Paramount 7 mins. Feast for Popeye Fans
Any and all who have experienced the terrifying sensations of a nightmare,—and who hasn't?—will get plenty of amusement out of the human touches incorporated in the current reel depicting sleeping debacle of Popeye. Our hero is snoozing away in his seagoing bed when he dreams that his arch-enemy, Bluto, is taking his beloved Olive Oyl on a picnic. Popeye's intercessions on behalf of his sweetheart are in vain, and in the fight with Bluto the most telling blows of the gallant Popeye are ineffectual, since Bluto is only a figment of the snoring Sailor's troubled sleep. Upon awakening, Popeye is so overwrought at the imagined beating he has received at his rival's hands that he rushes into the street and beats the amazed Bluto to proverbial pulp. It's swell for Popeye fans.

July 13, 1939
"The Bear That Couldn't Sleep" (Rudolph Ising Cartoon)
M-G-M 9 mins. Class
Mr. Bruin gees in to his cabin for his Winter sleep. Then the interruptions start, with the roof leaking on his bed, the windows blowing open, the fire crackling and popping. Then some cigars get down his pajamas, and the bed starts to sizzle. Bruin lights out into the snow to cool off, and the door of his hut slams shut. By the time he manages to get back inside and straighten things out, Spring has arrived, and he has to desert his bed again. Done in Technicolor.

"Lucky Pigs" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 7 mins. Lively Cartoon
Good satire on the income tax, with Mama and Papa Pig winning the big sweeps prize. They start to spend, starting with a gorgeous mansion and all that goes with it. But when the tax man starts to collect, they are right back in the pig pen with the little piggies, where they all started. Produced by Charles Mintz. In Technicolor.

"The Scared Crows" (Betty Boop Cartoon)
Paramount 7 mins. Amusing to Audiences
Betty, with her trusty pup, Pudgy, as company, is working on the farm when a band of unruly crows decide to have a feast for themselves, and accordingly pilfer the seeds with which have just been sown. To prevent disaster, Betty gets a scarecrow in S.O.S. fashion, frightening the raiding crows. Latter, however, repair to her house where they do a good job of raiding the pantry shelves, aside from making life miserable for Pudgy with their highjinks and sharp beaks. However, the scarecrow is enlisted for service again and the crows are driven off. Dave Fleischer directed this amusing Max Fleischer Cartoon, which audiences will like.

"Life Begins for Andy Panda"
(Walter Lantz) Universal 8 mins. Andy Panda, a cub, makes an auspicious debut in the cartoon world. The subject opens with fellow denizens of the forest offering various names for the newly born off-spring of Papa and Mama Panda, but the parents decide on the name of Andy. Papa Panda warns Andy rot to wander from the forest, but Andy insists he wants to get in a newsreel. He steals away from the forest and is chased by pigmy hunters. Papa and Mama try to rescue Andy, but it is a little skunk who frightens away the hunters and it is really Andy who saves his parents.

July 14, 1939
"Ghosts Is the Bunk" (Popeye)
Paramount 7 mins. Spooky
Bluto has some fun with Popeye and Olive, decoying them to a deserted spooky hotel, and then playing the part of the ghost to scare the wits out of them. But the two victims discover who the ghost really is. They turn the tables neatly, and have Bluto so scared that he is glad to escape from the "haunted" premises. A Max Fleischer cartoon.

July 19, 1939
"Goldilocks and the Three Bears" (M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 11 mins. Clever
A neat nursery story with a woman's voice reciting for the kiddies the story of Goldilocks, the little girl who wanders into the home of the Three Bears, daddy, mother and the baby bear. But they are out taking a walk in the woods, and Goldilocks eats their porridge in the three bowls, and then goes to sleep in one of the beds. When the bears return they see evidence of a desperate marauder in the house, and with much excitement hunt for the criminal. Goldilocks awakens and escapes, and all is peace once more, although the bears' home is pretty well wrecked. Nice color phantasy.

"The Barnyard Brat" (Color Classic)
Paramount 7 mins. Animal Fun
Teaching the kiddies to be kind to animals is the thought. Spunky, the mischievous donkey, keeps all the barnyard animals in a stew with his pranks. The animals appeal to Hunky, the brat's mother, but she can do little with the incorrigible. So the barnyard troupe decides to act, and gives the pest a thorough going-over with the help of the old well into which he is dunked. Directed by Dave Fleischer.

"Rhythm on the Reservation" (Betty Boop)
Paramount 7 mins. Indian Rhythm
Betty Boop stops at an Indian reservation to buy souvenirs, and winds up teaching them to play her jazz instruments which are in the car. They do pretty well with the swing music, and when Betty starts away she is loaded down with gifts, including an Indian brave who has fallen for her. But his squaw takes care of him, so that Betty is not embarrassed by turning down a native redman. A Max Fleischer cartoon.

July 25, 1939
"Yip-Yip-Yippy" (Betty Boop)
Paramount 7 mins. Novelty
The birth of a new cartoon character is seen, with Max Fleischer introducing Vanilla, a gay little horse. Then the story gets going with a thrill meller as a soda clerk is deputized by the sheriff just as the bad man hits the town. His trusty horse is Vanilla, whose comedy antics aid greatly in making the clerk a hero.

July 31, 1939
"Wise Quack[s]"
Vitaphone 7 Mins. Swell Humor
Mark this one down as a swell addition to the program. It is filled with humor, appealing cartoon delineation, human interest, plus sufficient imagination and silliness to ingratiate it to young and old. Yarn tells of the impending fatherhood of Daffy Duck, to whose spouse is born a bevy of ducklings. When the new additions to Daffy's family have shed their shells, along comes a big bad hawk and kidnaps the smallest and most helpless of the brood. Porky Pig, a close friend of the proud but worried Daffy, assists in rescuing the absent duckling who is dropped to the ground by the hawk from a dizzy altitude. Climax of the film is appropriately ridiculous. Patrons will get a full-edged howl out of the birth scene.

"Hollywood Sweepstakes" (A Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 10 mins. Amusing Cartoon
Lightning, a crack horse training for the Hollywood sweepstakes at Santa Anteater Park, falls in a pool of water and catches a bad cold. His stablemate, an undersized pony, steals his blanket the day of the race and enters under the name of Lightning. A heavy rain turns the track into a sea of mud and the spurious Lightning wins the race by some fancy antics.

August 3, 1939
"Hare-um Scare-um" (Merrie Melody Catroon)
Vitaphone 7 Mins. Merrily Madcap
Everybody concerned with the making of this short, — Prouder Leon Schlesinger, Supervisors Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton, Animator Gil Turner, Author Melvin Millar and Musical Director Carl W. Stalling,—must have had a lot of fun, for there is a total absence of any serious note. More than that, the seven minutes which transpire from the time that patrons learn, at the outset, that because of the rise in meat prices, old John Sourpuss is moved to take his gun and search game in the woods, until the finale, all action is about as madcap as rampant imagination can conceive. The hunter runs amuck of a screwy rabbit who cavorts under the name of "Bugs" Bunny. At windup, John Sourpuss goes crazy because of the trouble the bunny causes.

August 15, 1939
"The Two- Headed Giant" (Terry Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Swell Short
Our old friend, Mr. Paul Terry's notable two-headed giant is brought back again in this cartoon. Our friend Jack The Giant Killer comes riding into a scene of destruction as the mighty giant crushes houses and assaults the castle where Jack's princess is trying to escape the marauder. Jack unleashes a mighty attack with his bow and arrow, staff and whatever other weapon happens to be handy and he saves the day. Kids and grownups too will like this short. It is in Technicolor.

August 28, 1939
"The Golden West" (Terry Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Fair Cartoon
Cartoon shows a lady, known as the Belle of the Golden West, arriving at a cowtown dance hall and theater for an appearance. The local bad man is apprised of her proximity by his polecat spy and trouble starts. He kidnaps her, and it is not until our hero has chased him for miles and miles and finally defeated him in a wild and woolly hand to hand encounter that our little Nell is safe once more.

September 11, 1939
"The Bookworm" (M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 9 mins. Fine Fantasy
A melodrama enacted in the library, with the various fictional characters coming to life. "Macbeth" starts it when the three witches brewing a devil's potion require a worm. The "Raven" is assigned to get the worm. He goes in search of a bookworn [sic], and the chase is on. The chase calls into activity such characters as Paul Revere, King Arthur, the modern Gang Busters, who finally save the poor bookworm from going into the witches' brew.

September 18, 1939
"The Charm Bracelet" (Phantasy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Nice Whimsy
Starting a new cartoon series, introducing Margie, who receives a charm bracelet from Scrappy. When she falls asleep, the various bracelet items come to life. They hold a picnic and have a grand time, and as Margie awakes, they become inanimate objects on the bracelet once more. Story by Harry Love.

September 19, 1939
"Snuffy's Party"
Universal 7 mins. Okay For Kids
Snuffy Skunk, the smelliest man in town, gives a party for his friends, They arrive in gas masks and promptly lock Snuffy out of his own house and get the party going. It starts to rain and Snuffy sees the dam break. He warns his friends and then builds an emergency dam in front of the house that saves the day. The guests are so relieved they allow Snuffy to come in to his own party. Produced by Walter Lantz.

"Jitterbug Knights" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 7 mins. Clever Scrappy Reel
Scrappy presents this offering, with a worried king waiting to hear about the birth of an heir. The king invited the Three White Fairies to bring gifts to the infant prince, but all he wants is the ability to be a first-class jitterbug. This wish the fairies grant, and soon all the attendants in the palace are staging a Jitterbug Jamboree. Directed by Sid Marcus.

"Silly Superstition"
Universal 7 1/2 mins. So-So Cartoon
Little eight ball is warned by his black mammy that Friday the 13th is a bad day for things to happen and he had better be careful. He disregards the warning and goes out with his dog. A number of things happen to them, but they finally get home safely after being chased by a lion. A so-so reel.

"It's the Natural Thing To Do."
Paramount 7 mins. Amusing Cartoon
Presenting the irrepressible Popeye, Olive and Bluto. Popeye attempts to erase his baser nature and become a sophisticated gentlman with the assistance of Bluto, who does likewise, at the behest of Olive. However, their inner natures rebel and it isn't long before they are back to their old tricks of beating each other up with abandon.

October 12, 1939
"Sheep In the Meadow" (Terry Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. The Wolf Is Foiled
A rustic little melodrama is unveiled in this new Terry Toon, with the wolf getting his just deserts. The sheep are out in the meadow, guarded by the watchman. He falls asleep and the wolf sneaks up and steals his horn. They are lured to the wolf's hiding place, but escape. However, the wolf captures Mary's pet lamb and is on the verge of popping the innocent victim into the proverbial stew pot when the hero effects a daring rescue. The kids will like this one immensely.

"The Little Lost Sheep"
Columbia 7 mins. Fair Cartoon
Little Bo Peep discovers that one of her sheep is missing when she counts noses in school. The errant sheep in wandering through the woods is tricked by the wolf into going to his favorite picnic grounds. However, Miss Bo Peep enlists the services of the redoubtable detective, Krazy Kat, and the day is saved when Krazy and his hounds track the wolf down and capture him.

"The Fresh Vegetable Mystery"
Paramount 7 mins. Amusing Cartoon
Crime invades the vegetable market in this new Max Fleischer color cartoon. Mrs. Carrot suddenly wakes up to discover her children have been kidnapped. The Irish potato police are put on the trail of the culprits, but the various suspects they round up fail to be the right criminals. The cops eventually track down the criminals, who turn out to be a gang of mice in disguise. Thrown into the mouse trap, the carrot-nappers are soon fighting among themselves and confess everything.

"The Orphan Duck" (Terry Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Amusing Cartoon
Young and old alike will enjoy this short. Done in Technicolor, it is one of the best Paul Terry has turned out. The kids will be highly amused at the antics of the animals in the film and the grown-ups will be as amused with some sly and subtle passages. An orphan duck, black as the ace of spades, conceals himself in a chicken shell. When sir rooster, the lord and master of the barnyard, discovers the black duck among the brood of chicks one of his wives has produced there is considerable consternation and he boots the duck out. However, after the young duck rescues a chick from drowning all is forgiven.

October 13, 1939 (Color Rhapsody)
"Crop Chasers"
Technicolor 7 1/2 Mins. Enjoyable Offering
Filmed in Technicolor under the direction of Ub Iwerks, with music by Eddie Kilfeather and musical direction by Joe De Nat, footage deals with a flock of militant, hungry and well-organized crows who devour a farmer's crops so brazenly that the poor man readily gives two itinerant scarecrows employment. The new employes are no help, but when a young crow falls down a well, the scarecrows rescue him. As a reward and peace offering the flock of feathered raiders bring back the farmer's crops and respect the scarecrows. Cartoon fans will enjoy the offering.

October 19, 1939
"Jeepers Creepers" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Warners 7 mins. For Cartoon Fans
Porky, Leon Schlesinger's appealing little cartoon character, is a conscientious cop, who is sent by the directing voice, which comes over his patrol car radio, to a house in a lonely section. Within, he finds himself beset by a spook who scares and annoys Porky with every handy device. Although this type of material has been done so often in animated subjects, “Jeepers Creepers” carries enough humor to make it worth while for cartoon devotees, and particularly the younger generation of pix-goers. Reel has a surprise ending in which Porky turns the tables on the spook.

"Dreams On Ice" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 7 Mins. Amusing Reel
This amusing tab reel recounts the prank of a little boy and his dog who, with winter on their respective minds, flood their bedroom, open the window, and then hope for the water to freeze into a nice skating pond. The culprits go to sleep and dream of the joy that will be theirs when Jack Frost provides the rink. Their reveries are filled with the pageant of toy animals and dolls skating. In the morning they have a rude awakening, when the youngster's mother discovers the flooded room. But they have had the fun of their dreams and get away with a light reprimand. The film is in Technicolor and will please kids and grown-ups alike.

October 20, 1939
"Naughty Neighbors" (Looney Tune Cartoon)
Warners 7 mins. Below Par Cartoon
The adventures of Porky Pig continue in this one, with a feud between Porky and his relatives and Petunia Pig's family. The feuding factions sign a peace pact and Porky and Petunia make woo woo in the mountain twilight. However, the feud flares up again until Porky ends it with a peace grenade. Slightly below par, on the whole.

"Fresh Fish" (Merrie Melody)
Warners 7 mins. Amusing Cartoon
Done in Technicolor, and cleverly animated, this cartoon should get a lot of laughs. We see a professor of icthyology going down in his diving bell in search of the ferocious monster, the whim wham whistling shark. The characterizations of the fish and crastaceans he encounters in his search are extremely amusing. Finally, he locates the elusive shark and nets it, but when they get the diving bell back on the ship it is discovered that the shark has made a meal of the professor.

October 25, 1939
"Detouring America" (Merrie Melody in Technicolor)
Warners 7 Mins. Travel Satire
Humor in this one is derived from poking clean but effective satire at touring and travel. Audience is taken to many sections of the U. S. where habits and customs of the day are disclosed in nonsensical fashion. Jack Miller wrote the story, which is in reality a compendium of "gags." Leon Schlesinger produced, Fred Avery supervised.

November 1, 1939
"One Mother's Family" (An M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 9 mins. Loads of Laughs
Filmed in Technicolor, under the production-eye of Rudolf Ising, here is a most amusing and well delineated cartoon for all ages of picture-goers. It recounts the trials and tribulations which Mother Hen is forced to undergo while promenading with her brood of chicks. One of the latter is a problem child whose lack of co-ordination and self-reliance present a constant care. The worry of Ma Hen is thoroughly understandable when Runtie gets literally into a rut while crossing a highway and narrowly escapes destruction. But the greatest threat to her brood's safety is from the air, where courses the dreaded hawk who finally swoops down, but is thwarted by the vigilance of Ma Hen. There are loads of laughs throughout.

November 29, 1939
"Sleeping Princess" (Walter Lantz Cartune)
Universal 10 mins. Entertaining Cartoon
The story of the sleeping princess is entertainingly presented in this cartoon. The little princess is born in the palace, but through an accident the fairy Destiny fails to get her invitation and is furious at the insult. She lures the princess into hurting herself and puts her to sleep. Some years later the invitation sent Destiny is found under a rug in the fairies' palace and she immediately rectifies her action by sending a prince to awaken the sleeping princess.

"Pied Piper Porky" (Looney Tune)
Warners 7 mins. Amusing Cartoon
Our erstwhile friend Porky Pig, essays the role of the pied piper with amusing results in this cartoon. Porky, having rid the town of rats, is receiving an ovation when he is embarrassed by the appearance of a rat that did not heed his piping. The rat is a wily customer, and Porky finally sics a cat on him but the rat comes through with flying colors and gives Porky and his feline accomplice a drubbing.

"Never Sock A Baby" (Popeye the Sailor)
Paramount 6 mins. Amusing Cartoon
The irrepressible Popeye has bad dreams in this short. He dreams that after punishing Sweet Pea he leaves home. The child's adventures are hair-raising and nerve-tingling, with Popeye experiencing plenty of trouble before he comes to and discovers that everything is all right. His trusty can of spinach does the trick, as usual.

"Fagin's Freshman" (Merrie Melody Cartoon)
Warners 7 mins. Entertaining Short
Blackie, the bad boy of the kittens in the family, won't sing nursery songs with his brothers and sisters and is sent to bed. He falls asleep and dreams he joins a school where the boys are taught to rob and steal. The police locate the school and throw a cordon around it. A battle between the police and the school's pupils results. Blackie wakes up and is glad to join the family singfest after his hairbreadth escape.

December 5, 1939
"Peace on Earth"
M-G-M 8 mins. Timely, Enlightening
In "Peace on Earth," M-G-M has turned out a cartoon whose theme is off the beaten path of previous Yuletide subjects and, while very amusing, it also gives the audience something to think about. It could be termed the first animated cartoon with a definite moral. It envisages a time when all men are killed off by wars and the world is left to the animals. Puzzled by the expression "good will towards men," two baby squirrels ask their grandpop what men were like and what happened to them. Grandpop tells them about the continual warfare which kept up until every man was killed. Then the animals went to work and built up a new and peaceful world with the implements of war left behind by man. Short is timely, amusing and enlightening. It is in Technicolor.

"One Mouse in a Million" (Terry-Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Good for Laughs
A cat has driven the community of mice into a panic and a meeting is called to see what can be done about it. It is agreed that the best thing to do is to bell the cat so the mice will know where he is at all times. But who will bell the cat? the town crier asks. A young mouse, suing for the "hand" of the belle, offers his services in a spirit of bravado. Successful, he returns to receive the acclaim of the mice and the favor of his "girl friend."

"A Wicky Wacky Romance" (Terry-Toon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Colorful Cartoon
Cartoon deals with the heroic efforts of a muscular young mouse to rescue his favorite hula dancer from the attentions of a ruffian band of buccaneering cats. Our young hero and his lady friend are disporting themselves in the ocean with the assistance of a friendly swordfish when the pirates sight the enchanted isle. They capture our hero's girl friend and he has difficulty getting her back to land safely and scuttling the ship of the villainous pirate crew. Produced by Paul Terry.

December 28, 1939
"Scrambled Eggs"
Universal 7½ mins. (Terry-Toon) Clever Cartoon
Peterkin, a worthy addition to the fantasy figures of cartoonland, is an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable young jackanapes in this reel. An elf with a mischevious mind, he conceives the idea of seeing just what would happen if he changed the eggs around a little bit in the maternity tree nests. You can imagine the surprise of the mothers and the indignation of the father birds when the eggs hatch and each family gets children that do not belong to them. All the birds leave and Peterkin tries to feed the young birds. However, it is too much of a task and he finally calls the birds back and tacitly admits his guilt, washing diapers far into the night as penance.

2 comments:

  1. What is the source of the reviews?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Judging on the 'Hare-Um Scare-Um' review of John Sourpuss going crazy, it appears to be that the original ending must have existed in theatres in its original release!

    ReplyDelete