Thursday, 22 May 2014

Bartholomew Puppetoon

“The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” (1943) brought George Pal an Oscar nomination (it lost to MGM’s “Yankee Doodle Mouse”) and lots of praise. In 1946, the Film Daily was still touting it as the best of the Puppetoons. It still has a great deal of charm

The short was based on the 1938 short story by Dr. Seuss. The characters and sets don’t have a Seussian look but they’re nonetheless extremely attractive (in the book, Bartholomew kept removing the same style hat; in Pal’s version, each hat is different). Unfortunately, Pal and Seuss were the only people to get credit on the film so who was responsible for their design and for the layout of the picture isn’t known. But here are some of the sets, a few of which have some of the stop-motion characters blocking a full view.

Billy Bletcher is the king and the executioner and Robert C. Bruce is the narrator. As for Bartholomew, it might be Dix Davis, one of the top juvenile radio actors on the West Coast at the time.

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