Monday, 31 March 2014

Dustcap Doormat

The hypocritical next door neighbour gets clobbered by John Doormat’s battle-axe wife in “Dustcap Doormat” (1958). And only one man could have possibly come up with the kind of drawings you see below—Jim Tyer.

Mrs. Doormat starts off with a roundhouse right. Her wind-milling arm multiplies.



Tyer does something really odd. There’s no impact drawing. Actually, the neighbour’s head drops to the floor before Mrs. Doormat’s arm gets near him. But the windmill motion makes it look like she hit him, especially when Tyer adds stars in the next drawing—and her arm still isn’t near him. These are consecutive drawings. Some are on twos, others are on threes.



Tyer’s work has been discussed in a number of venues on the internet, so I won’t go into it here. A short biographical note: Jim Tyer was born on February 7, 1904 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the seventh child of John F. and Mary Tyer; three of his brothers served in World War One. His father was a wire worker who died before Tyer turned six. The 1940 Census has him working in Detroit (Jam Handy studio) and his 1935 residence was listed as “Hollywood.” Tyer died March 23, 1976 in Fairfield, Connecticut.

P.S.: Thanks to Charles Brubaker for posting this Cinemascope version of the cartoon on-line from his collection.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Jack Benny on Stage, 1921

Jack Benny wasn’t always Jack Benny, the 39-year-old cheapskate who had Rochester drive him around in a Maxwell. That character was developed over the years on his half-hour network radio show.

Benny started out on radio in 1932 just like he had been in vaudeville in 1932—as a master of ceremonies. Basically, he was a host who was a stand-up comedian. He had spent his early vaudeville days working with partners in a musical-comedy act before becoming a single and eventually changing his name to Jack Benny around October 1920.

THIS POST has a Variety review of Benny’s act soon after it arrived in New York. Not long after, the New York Clipper, a trade paper, reviewed the act as it played at the Alhambra at 7th Avenue and 126th Street in Harlem. The picture to the right was taken a number of years before Benny played the house. The Clipper story is from February 2, 1921. I’ve snipped out those parts of the review which don’t relate to him. The bill was Margert Taylor (high-wire), Matty Lee Lippard and Dave Dillon (singer and piano), John W. Ransone Co. (play, “Ask Dad”), Benny, Karyl Norman (female impersonator), Long Tack Sam (magician and acrobat), Burns and Fabrito (“Shoes”) and the Gus Edwards Revue. Sadly, the acts besides Benny (and perhaps Edwards) are long forgotten.

Capacity business again on Monday night. This house can boast of an exceptionally good lay-out, in fact it's one of the most entertaining bills in town this week. Clayton and Edwards, programmed, are out of the show, Jack Benny replacing them. Benny appeared in number four spot on Monday night, a stranger to New York audiences, and tied the show up. Variety in the full meaning of the word is represented on this bill.
We don't remember having seen this Jack Benny in the East, and for that matter this Jack Benny evidently was strange to the audience. It is therefore that we give all the more credit to Jack Benny. Some might compare him with Ben Bernie, because he uses a violin and talks, but the use of the violin is as far as the comparison can go. Benny does an entirely different routine of talk, in an entirely different manner than Bernie. He holds his instrument differently and works differently. Benny is that type of male single that is needed in vaudeville. His talk is refreshing. It's original and it's very clever. He talks in the ordinary conversational tones, yet can be heard all over. He plays one or two bits on the violin, but Benny is not primarily a musician, which does not mean that his playing is bad. As an entertainer, Jack Benny can take his place with the best of them.

The Alhambra was a Keith house. Through the ‘20s, Jack appeared on the Keith Time (including the Palace in New York City) on the East Coast and the Orpheum circuit on the West Coast (Keith and Orpheum would add “Radio” to the front of their names to form some familiar initials), playing in all the major cities.

Interestingly, the review of the acts at another theatre on the same page in the Clipper ends with the words “Pictures closed.” Before long, motion pictures would take over the vaudeville houses. Vaudevillians moved into pictures or radio. Jack Benny did both. He thrived in radio and television, the reason we remember him today and not Harry Burns and Frank Fabrito.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Cartoons of 1941, Part 2

The Film Daily became The Disney Daily in its pages for a good chunk of the middle of 1941. The strike, the journey of “El Groupo” and the joy that greeted the release of “Dumbo” got plenty of ink. Scarcely an issue went by without the word “Disney” in it somewhere (the word “cartoon” was rarely in the same stories), even just to mention some showing had been extended somewhere. Disney features were reviewed not once but three times, including by the columnist who was obsessed with the affectation of constantly putting dots in mid-sentence. I’m, frankly, weary of the Disney-centricity so you won’t find every clipping below.

Interestingly, the trade paper didn’t editorialise about the strike; coverage stuck to a pretty dry “he said/they said” recitation.

There were a couple of other historic developments the Daily recorded in its pages for the second half of the year. One was the departure of Hugh Harman at the MGM cartoon studio which paved the way for Tex Avery’s arrival (not mentioned in the paper). With the rise of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera (and the eventual departure of Rudy Ising), the studio was all set for virtually the rest of its existence. The other was the hiring of Frank Tashlin at Columbia-Screen Gems. Attempts to pump some style—and starring characters—into its lacklustre cartoons followed with a lot of new names appearing on the credits.

Columbia released shorts made by Lawson Haris’ Cartoon Films but, as a review pointed out, the animated war material was dated by the time it hit screens. Universal was still playing up Andy Panda as its star character, even though the cartoons revolved around Andy’s father (much like attempts seem to have been made at Fleischer to have Poopdeck Pappy steal scenes from Popeye). And Warners announced Bugs Bunny would get a push as its cartoons continually got good reviews. The reviewers at The Film Daily don’t seem to have comprehended that Tom and Jerry and Barney Bear had names. And, for some reason, not a single cartoon was reviewed in July.

You’ll notice the review for the Woody Woodpecker cartoon “Pantry Panic” calls the short “What’s Cookin’?” Something about the Lantz studio not mentioned was in the pages of Variety on November 6th that Ben Hardaway, Chuck Couch and Ford Baines had been added to his writing staff. Baines never got a credit. He was soon at Columbia, where his name appears (as “Banes”) on “Old Blackout Joe.”

July 1, 1941
Leo Samuels in Charge Of Foreign Disney Deals
Before leaving New York for the Coast, Roy Disney, vice-president and general manager for Walt Disney Productions, announced that Leo Samuels will continue in charge of Disney foreign deals under the new set-up following the resignation of Hal Horne and Dick Condon.

July 2, 1941
Believe Settlement Near In Strike at Disney Studio
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Indications before last night's session between the Screen Cartoonist Guild and Walt Disney were that a settlement would be reached that would terminate its five weeks' strike or Disney cartoonist.
Designation of the Guild, wage scales to equal the best wages in other cartoon studios, a union shop with preferential hiring has already been agreed to by Disney. Remaining points of difference are principally retroactive pay and treatment of Guild members who did not join the walkout.
The proposed pact will be submitted to Disney unit members of the Guild for adoption or rejection.

July 3, 1941
Screen Cartoonist Guild Bars Dealing With Bioff
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Efforts to settle the Screen Cartoonist Guild-Walt Disney Studios dispute encountered a new barrier when, according to a Guild spokesman, the SCG refused to participate in negotiations meeting when it was learned that William Bioff was scheduled to sit in. Special membership meeting of the Guild, the spokesman said, voted unanimously to have nothing to do with Bioff.

New Efforts Being Made To End SCG, Disney Strike
Hollywood—Although negotiations to settle Screen Cartoonists Guild's Walt Disney strike were stymied when Guild representatives charged that Willie Bioff had been invited by the Disney organization to participate in negotiations, new efforts were being made last night to settle the walkout.
Disney issued following statement to strikers:
"I believe you are entitled to know why you are not working today. I offered your leaders the following terms: All employes to be reinstated to former positions; No discrimination; Recognition of your union; Closed shop; Fifty per cent retroactive pay for time on strike—something without precedent in the American labor movement; Increase in wages to make yours the highest salary scale in the cartoon industry; Two weeks' vacation with pay.
"I believe that you have been misled and misinformed about the real issue underlying the strike at the studio. I am positively convinced that Ccmmunistic agitation, leadership, and activities have brought about this strike, and have persuaded you to reject this fair and equitable settlement. I address you in this manner because I have no other means of reaching you."
Guild representatives said they are willing to accept 50 per cent of retroactive pay to May 28, 1941 if non-strikers were assessed 50 per cent of what they earned since May 1928.

Plan Elastic Program For 20th-Fox Shorts
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — A minimum of 52 short subjects and a flexible maximum geared to meet any extra demand will be the 20th-Fox short subject production policy for the new season, first selling season under terms of the consent decree, it was learned here yesterday....
Half of the minimum program will come from the studios of Paul Terry, cartoon producer who has been distributing through 20th-Fox for some time.

July 10, 1941
SCG Charges Disney With Refusing to Bargain
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—The Screen Cartoonists Guild yesterday filed a complaint with NLRB charging Walt Disney studios with refusing to bargain with majority of organization's graphic artists.
William Littlejohn, president of the Guild, declared that the return of workers in what he called a "Bioff-dominated union" does not change the situation. A Guild spokesman said that the eight unions which had agreed to return to work at the Disney plant represent only forty workers there.

Eight Unions Sign Basic Contract With Disney
Hollywood—Eight A F of L unions which have supported the SCG strike, now in its 43rd day, at the Walt Disney Studios have signed a basic agreement with Disney, it was announced yesterday. Details of the agreement were not made available.
Gunther Lessing, vice-president of the Disney organization, said: "We negotiated a standard basic motion picture A F of L contract which included the union shop and wage scales."
William Littlejohn, president of the Cartoonist Guild, asserted less than 100 persons can be affected by the contract, adding:
"Whatever agreement Disney has entered into with the other unions, they do not affect 472 members of the SCG nor 21 members of the Society of Motion Picture Film Editors."

Schlesinger Suspends Avery
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Leon Schlesinger has suspended Fred Avery, one of his supervisors of "Merry Melodie" and "Looney Tunes" at his cartoon plant for four weeks due to the fact that Avery got temperamental and walked out in the middle of a picture because 40 feet of film was cut out of a "Bugs Bunny" picture Avery had recently completed. Avery is still under contract to Schlesinger and has been with the producer since 1935 and has two and a half years to go on his present contract.

Signal Corps Calls Film Men
Heavy Concentration at Fort Monmouth, N. J.
...In Captain Rigby's script division, are found Berk Anthony from Disney's...
Animation at Monmouth is loaded with Disney graduates. . . . Murray Fairbairn, Vic Michonski, Amby Poliwoda, Bob Perry, George Peed, Bob Majors, and Mel Grau. Schlesinger's WB outfit is represented by Dave Monahan, Lew Irwin, Harold Soldinger, and Herman Cohen. M-G-M gave Paul Fanning and Fleischer gave Alden Gets. And there are two men that worked at several of these studios, Jim Miele and Joseph Miller.

July 15, 1941
Disney Rejects Gov't's Strike Arbitration Offer
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Walt Disney studio has rejected the Government's proposal to arbitrate the strike of Screen Cartoonists Guild at the Disney plant.
Gunther Lessing, Disney vice-president and general counsel, charged NLRB with stalling and meddling and expressed the belief that Communistic influences were prevalent in the strike.
Guild strikers voted to accept telegraphed offer of J. R. Steelman director of conciliation for the Labor Department for arbitration of the dispute by the Government.

July 16, 1941
Counsel for SCG Charges "Intimidation" by Bioff
George Bodle, attorney for the Screen Cartoonists Guild, yesterday demanded the arrest of Willie Bioff for alleged intimidation of witnesses in a telegram to U. S. District Attorney Mathias F. Correa. While Correa withheld formal comment on the telegram, his office intimated that no steps would be taken unless proof was forthcoming that witnesses claimed to be molested were those involved in the extortion suit against Bioff and George E. Browne.
The U. S. District Attorney's office is inclined to believe that Bodle's charge was confined to persons involved solely in the union battle with the Walt Disney studio. Bodle's demand is based on instructions from Federal Judge John C. Knox that any attempt at intimidation would bring forth the immediate arrest of Bioff. Meanwhile, it was stated, Correa was investigating the charge with a promise to act if warranted.

Move for Joint Support Of SCG in Disney Strike
Delegates from professional unions and other organizations will meet at the invitation of the New York SPG at the Hotel Piccadilly today to formulate plans for joint active support of the Screen Cartoonists Guild of California in the latter's strike against Walt Disney.
Among those attending the meeting will be representatives from the Screen Readers Guild, New York Newspaper Guild, United Office and Professional Workers of America, League of Women Shoppers, United American Artists and the SPG.

July 17, 1941
Ralph Wilks column, Hollywood
GEORGE PAL, Steven Vanderveer and Sterling Pile are spending a few days at Caliente, Mexico. The trio, executives of the Pal Puppetoon Production Company, which supplies Paramount with puppet movies in Technicolor, are considering a series of Jim Dandy adventures in the countries of this hemisphere, starting with a bull fight film. "Gay Knighties" is now before the cameras.
JACK MILLER, recently added to the story department of George Pal Productions, is a pioneer in the field of animated cartoons, having worked in Kansas City, Mo., with Walt Disney as early as 1920. Since coming to Hollywood he has written 47 original screen stories for animated cartoons as well as collaborating with other writers on more than 140 animated cartoon pictures. He has completed work on "The Gay Knighties," Pal's fourth Puppetoon, in collaboration with Cecil Beard and they are now working on the fifth story.

July 22, 1941
Greater New York IUC Backs Cartoonist Guild
Greater New York Industrial Union Council has passed a resolution in support of the Screen Cartoonists Guild of California in its strike against Walt Disney. The council, which has more than 400,000 members, is co-operating with the New York Disney Strike Committee in the effort to bring about early settlement of the strike.
Copies of the resolution were sent to Disney, George J. Schaefer, president of RKO, and to the management of the New York Palace Theater, where "The Reluctant Dragon" is scheduled to open soon.
The resolution "urged" union members and friends of labor in this city to protest showing of Disney productions locally.

July 23, 1941
Ralph Wilk column, Hollywood
MORE than 7,000 puppets were used in the making of George Pal's animated Puppetoon, "Hoola Boola," for Paramount. Every position of the "Model Madcaps" necessitated a new puppet for filming, with Jim Dandy, miniature hero of the shorts, being carved about 2,000 times. Leading lady to Hollywood's wooden actor is Sarong-Sarong, whose best features are copied from the captivating traits of Dorothy Lamour.

Disney Guild Dispute Referred to Washington
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Gunther Lessing, counsel for Walt Disney Productions yesterday declared his organization has attempted to negotiate an agreement with Screen Cartoonists Guild, but inasmuch as the points of view of the company and the guild are ireconciliable, Disney has agreed to refer the entire matter to John R. Steelman, director of conciliation, Dept. of Labor in Washington. Lessing said it is his understanding that all parties interested have also consented and matter is now in hands of the Governmental agency.

Fantasia" to Open Today In Two London Theaters
Walt Disney's "Fantasia" opens today in London where it will play on a two-a-day basis at advanced admission prices in two theaters, the New Gallery and Marble Arch Pavillion.
A benefit performance is scheduled for today at the New Gallery where the "Fantasia" receipts will go to the British Red Cross.

Disney Festival In Frisco
San Francisco—Walt Disney Festival opens Friday at the Geary on a grind policy, with 50 cent top.

July 24, 1941
400 20th-Fox Men Now Wear Uniforms
Twentieth-Fox now has more than 400 employes here and abroad in uniform. Total includes 130 at U. S. training camps. Highest ratio of men in the service to total number of employes is claimed by Terry-Toons, which has seven serving Uncle Sam.

July 25, 1941
U. S. Assigns Mediator To Disney Studio Strike
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Commissioner James F. Dewey of the Department of Labor's conciliation service, crack Governmental trouble-shooter, will arrive here Monday to attempt to mediate the Walt Disney studio strike, it was announced here yesterday.
Dewey's trip Westward results from agreement by the Disney studio and the Screen Cartoonists Guild to arbitrate, it was stated. Agreement was said to have been reached at a meeting at which were represented the Disney studio, Los Angeles Central Labor Council, SCG and other Hollywood studio crafts.
The Labor Council has removed the Disney studio from its "We do not patronize" list.

Conciliation Service Hopeful Of Settling Disney Dispute
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—The U. S. Conciliation Service yesterday was moving toward settlement of the dispute between Walt Disney Productions and the Screen Cartoonists Guild. Federal officials are hopeful that points in differences may be worked out by negotiation, thereby removing necessity of appointing an arbitration board to force an agreement.

Picket Parade Marks Opening Of "Reluctant Dragon" Here
Disney's "The Reluctant Dragon" opened at the N. Y. Palace yesterday to the accompaniment of pickets assigned by the New York Disney Strike Committee, organized at the instigation of the SPG here. Final decision to picket the opening was made following a special SPG meeting Wednesday night, with reports there at variance as to the arbitration agreement status.

July 29, 1941
Disney Workers Back Pending Arbitration
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Four hundred Disney Studio workers have won a closed shop and union recognition and will return to work today, pending arbitration of wages and working conditions. Commissioner Dewey, representing the Government, Walt Disney and Screen Cartoonists Guild representatives will continue to meet on these points.
Picket lines will be withdrawn and the boycott on Disney pictures lifted.

July 30, 1941
Special Tradeshows For Warner Shorts
Chicago—Warners plan a series of approximately 12 special tradeshows of 1941-42 shorts, the subjects to be grouped into two-hour programs, in exchange cities during the year, the company's sales convention at the Blackstone Hotel was informed yesterday by Norman H. Moray, shorts sales chief....
Moray announced the company has set a program of 86 shorts...
26 MERRIE MELODIES CARTOONS in TECHNICOLOR: Produced by Leon Schlesinger, greater emphasis will be placed on the "Bugs Bunny" character.
16 LOONEY TUNE CARTOONS: Also produced by Leon Schlesinger, cartoons in black and white feature Porky Pig.

Schaefer May Attend RKO Rio Convention
A four-day convention of RKO's personnel in' Brazil is scheduled to open Aug. 22 in Rio de Janeiro. The South American premiere of Walt Disney's "Fantasia" will be held in Rio on Aug. 23 and may be attended by several home office executives.
It is reported that George J. Schaefer, RKO president, may attend the Brazilian sessions, as well as Disney and Jock Whitney. Phil Reisman, vice-president in charge of the foreign department, will be present.
A staff of technicians and designers also may make the trip for the purpose of studying Latin American costumes, customs and characteristics of the people in order to incorporate accuracy in future productions dealing with South America.

July 31, 1941
20th-Fox Campaigns Set For Shorts, Newsreels
Twentieth Century-Fox will launch two sales campaigns to run concurrently for a 52-week period on Aug. 9. Movietone and Terry-Toons together have contributed $3,000 to be divided into cash prizes for outstanding accumulated 52 weeks' short subjects delivery.
In addition, Movietone is offering an additional $1,000 to be split into cash prizes for outstanding accumulated 52-weeks' Movietone News delivery.
Movietone-Terry-Toons short subjects prize money will be distributed, in proportion to salary, among the managers, salesmen and bookers at the prize-winning exchanges in the United States or Canada.
The Movietone prize will be distributed, in proportion to salary, among manager and salesmen at the prize-winning exchanges in the United States or Canada.

August 1, 1941
Settlement Hearing In Disney Dispute
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Los Angeles—Both sides in Disney strike have agreed on a closed shop, 8-hour day, 40-hour week and normal working day to be from 8.30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Commissioner James F. Dewey of the Dep't of Labor is continuing mediation proceedings to clear up several remaining points.

"Broken Treaties" Ready
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Dunningcolor Corp. has completed three-color release prints of "Broken Treaties," first subject in a series of historical color shorts featuring Raymond Gram Swing, produced by Cartoon Films, Ltd. and released by Columbia.

13 More Film Experts Now In 20th Signal Service Co.
The Army's complement of film experts grew larger last week with the transfer of 13 more men into the 20th Signal Service Co. at Fort Monmouth, N. J. All members of the Twentieth are assigned to the Training Film Production Laboratory of the Signal Corps, having completed their basic military training.
Among the 13 are included four graduates from animated cartoons—Dave Monahan, writer and idea man from "Warners' Schlesinger outfit; "Chuck" McKimpson [sic], animator also from Schlesinger's; Rod Johnson from Disney, and Joseph White, animator of the Terry-Toon plant.

August 4, 1941
Wage Increases, Strike Compensation, Disney Pts.
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Principal points which remain for settlement by award of Federal arbitrators in the Disney strike matter are blanket increases for all cartoonists; compensation for time lost during the strike; restoration of pay cut for April and May; severance scale based on service; military service compensation; placing of cartoonists' union insignia on pictures.

August 5, 1941
Walt Disney to Produce For Canadian Government
Montreal—The Walt Disney studios will co-operate with the Canadian government in producing films to help support Canada's war effort, J. T. Thorson, chairman of the National Film Board, said yesterday. Robert Carr and U. B. Iwerks, studio representatives, arrived in Ottawa to discuss two projects on which the Disney studios expect to start work immediately. They will remain about a week for consultations with the National Film Board and other Government officials.
A series of films for the War Savings Committee featuring all Disney's most famous characters is first on the list. The second project is a military training film in cartoon technique to be made for the Minister of National Defense.

August 6, 1941
Order Disney to Reimburse Strikers for 100 Hours Work
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Commissioners James F. Dewey and Stanley V. White have ruled that Disney strikers be reimbursed 100 hours pay to apply on debts they incurred while on strike, no penalties to be imposed on non-strikers, all employes getting $50 a week to be guaranteed a 10 per cent raise, top notch animators to be paid $85 a week.
The commissioners refused to restore wage cuts of April and May. First period of new contract between Disney and Screen Cartoonists Guild is to run to October 1942. The company is to recognize the Guild as the exclusive bargaining agency for all its workers in animating department.

Biederman Here with Print
Dave Biederman, vice-president of Cartoon Films, Ltd., has arrived from the Coast with a print of the second Raymond Gram Swing short, produced by Lawson Haris for Columbia release.

August 8, 1941
Harman to Produce Cartoon Feature
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Hugh Harman has left M-G-M where he produced cartoon subjects with Rudolph Ising and has formed a new company, Harman Productions, Inc. A feature length cartoon in Technicolor is being prepared and Harman is reported to be negotiating with two companies for distribution. W. Earl Shafter will be general manager.

"Fantasia" to Remain at Broadway Theater Indefinitely; Seen by 700,000 Fans to Date
Announcement that Walt Disney's "Fantasia" was in its final weeks at the Broadway Theater have been withdrawn and the run has now been extended indefinitely. Picture is in its tenth month and still going strong. To date, approximately 700,000 persons have seen it at the Broadway.

Surprise! Disney Festival Wows!
San Francisco—When the Geary, legit. house, ran short of Summer bookings, the management decided to take a gamble and put in a Walt Disney festival. House officials were frankly pessimistic over the chances of drawing crowds to see "Snow White" and some old shorts at 50 cents. But the joke was onthem. Mothers packed the theater with their offsprings and the results were described as a "pleasant surprise."

August 11, 1941
Disney and 16 of Staff Leaving for So. Amer.
West Coast Bureau, THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney and 16 members of studio staff will leave on Pan-American Airways for a minimum two months' stay in S. America where they will put into work a series of short animated pictures incorporating South American literature, legend, humour, music and customs.
They plan to work in close cooperation with many South American artists and musicians in preparation of the series although much of work will be done in American republics and by South American talent.
The pictures are to be designed primarily for the North American market. There is a strong possibility that Disney may eventually establish a permanent South American unit of his studio although no definite plans have been reached.

"Fantasia" Premieres Set in Aus. and S. A.
Australian and South American premieres of Walt Disney's "Fantasia" will be held this month. Picture opens at the Embassy, Sydney, and the Savoy, Melbourne, next Friday. It starts at the Cine Pathe, Rio de Janeiro, on Aug. 23 and at the Cine Rosario, Sao Paulo, on Aug. 26.
Argentine premiere is set for Sept. 9 in Buenos Aires and in Mexico City on Sept. 15.

Hollywood of the Army
By Charles Alicoat
Fort Monmouth, N. J. THIS may be an army camp to some folks but it's just a breath of Hollywood to a visiting fireman in the film business. It's no wonder they call Fort Monmouth "Hollywood of the Army"; Uncle Sam very considerately has rounded up most of the draftees, enlisted men and reserve officers from Flickerland and deposited them gently in one spot where they can all talk the same language, whether it's printable or not.
Story Department...Personnel and their former occupations include Pvt. Berk Anthony, Disney... Lt. Ellis Smith of Carnegie Tech supervises the animation, titles and special effects department. Included in the personnel are Clifford Auguston, Terry-Toons; Herman R. Cohen, Schlesinger director of animation; Carmen J. Eletto, Terry-Toons inker; Murray M. Fairbairn, Disney; Corp. Paul T. Fanning, M-G-M animator; Alden Getz, Fleischer; Robert H. Givens, Disney; Corp. Melvin Grau, Disney; Lucifer Guarnier, Schlesinger; Lewis Irvin, Schlesinger.
Rodell C. Johnson, Disney; Arnold W. Kivela, Fleischer inker; Robert J. Majors, Disney; Charles E. McKinson [sic], Schlesinger; Victor J. Michonski, Disney; Joseph C. Miller, Fleischer and Schlesinger; Ambrozi Paliwoda, Disney; George C. Pedd [sic], Disney; Robert A. Perry, Disney; Joseph L. White, Terry-Toons; George Baker, Disney.

August 14, 1941
J. Stuart Blackton, Veteran Film Producer, is Dead
West Coast Bureau, THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — J. Stuart Blackton, 66, veteran motion picture producer and founder of the Old Vitagraph Co., pioneer film studio, died yesterday as the result of injuries sustained when he was struck by an automobile last Saturday near his home in West Los Angeles.
He had been unconscious since the accident in which his skull was fractured.

Ralph Wilk column, Hollywood
WALT DISNEY has assigned Alexander Steinert to conduct the orchestra recording and music for "Bambi," the Disney feature length picturization of the book due for release in late Fall. In addition to conducting the orchestra, he will collaborate with Edward Plumb and Frank Churchill, musical directors of the picture, in the preparation of orchestral arrangements.

August 18, 1941
Close Disney Studios For 2 Wks. Starting Today
West Coast Bureau, THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Vice-President Guenther Lessing announced temporary closing of Disney studio for two weeks starting today. He stated that because of loss of a large part of the company's world-wide market, the organization could not continue its operations unless a substantial reduction in its personnel was made and that necessity for such reduction is readily conceded by the Screen Cartoonists Guild.
Lessing said the company is ready to pay full compensation to any employe whom Federal arbitration commissioners feel under terms of the recent award has been wrongfully laid off.

Disney Artists Comb Harlem for Inspiration
Staff members of Walt Disney's studio in Hollywood combed Harlem hot spots during the week gathering final inspiration for a certain sequence which will appear in "Dumbo," Disney's next full-length feature cartoon. Main stop on the trip was at the Savoy Ballroom where members of the 400 club of Harlem conducted their regular rug-cutting contest.
Artists turned out many sketches and took several photos of various specialty dancers, which in turn will be studied on the Coast for potential animation. One sequence in "Dumbo" is devoted to boogie woogie.

August 22, 1941
Disney to Make Animated Training Films for Canada
West Coast Bureau, THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—The Canadian Government has commissioned Walt Disney Studios to produce animated films for training purposes. Work has started on five short films, half the films being devoted to a technical military subject, operation of a new anti-blitzkreig weapon.
Disney recently offered to make training films at cost for the United States Government, and he backed up his offer with a sample picture teaching aircraft riveting which uses a revolutionary technique.

RKO South American Sales Parley to Open Today in Rio
Rio de Janeiro (By Air Mail)— With Disney's "Fantasia" slated to open at the Cinema Pathe here and the Cinema Rosario in Sao Paulo tomorrow, two local newsreel houses are advertising an "All-Disney Week." booking in Disney shorts.
RKO sales convention opens here today, with Phil Reisman, company's foreign head, here for the sessions. Arriving with Reisman was Jock Whitney. They were preceded by Ben Y. Cammack. RKO's Argentina manager. Walt Disney and party are also here for the premiere and convention.

August 29, 1941
SCG Threatens to Picket Disney's So. Amer. Tour
West Coast Bureau, THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — President William Littlejohn of Screen Cartoonists Guild yesterday sent the following telegram to Assistant Secretary of State Sumner Welles and Francis Alstock of Council for National Defense:
"After strike lasting 62 days the Screen Cartoonists' Guild and the Disney organization accepted arbitration of their difference by the concilliation service of the Department of Labor. On Aug. 20 decision was handed down. Company to date refuses to abide by any part of the Government award. The award called for a wage increase, 1,000 hours back pay, vacation with pay, severance pay. The latter is due men who have been called up for Army service. Besides refusing to comply with the Government's award, the company is in violation of two Federal statutes—Wages and Hours and NLRB. The company owes each of its employes approximately four weeks' pay. Further, the company owes many employes salary adjustment wages. In all, the company owes employes on seven counts or approximately three months' salary each.
"Labor organizations in South America are being contacted and arrangements made to picket Disney's tour and his pictures. It is not our desire to embarrass the administration program in South America, but we must insist the company comply with all terms of the Government's award and make immediate adjustment of monies due employes.
"The State Department should also insist that Disney comply with the Government award and American standards of fair treatment of labor including all Federal statutes before permitting Disney to represent the United States as a good-will ambassador in South America."

September 5, 1941
More Disney Insignias For U. S. Armed Forces
Walt Disney has designed two more insignias for the armed forces, this time for the Bureau of Aeronautics in Washington and the 33rd pursuit group at Mitchell Field, New York.

September 9, 1941
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• With shipping from Hollywood last week of the Merrie Melody Cartoon, "All This and Rabbit Stew," starring Bugs Bunny. . . .and the Looney Tune Cartoon, "Notes to You," starring Porky Pig (and not M. "R". K.). . . .Leon Schlesinger marks his 12th year with Warner Bros. . . .These subjects are the first two on the new season's program.

September 11, 1941
Plan for Re-hiring 500 Disney Workers is Set
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—Formula for the rehiring of an estimated 500 persons at the Walt Disney Studio was worked out between the Screen Cartoonists Guild and the Disney Studio with James F. Dewey, Federal mediator, according to announcement made by the Labor Department's conciliation service.
Members of the Disney force return to work on Monday. Dispute arose to which members would be re-employed after the recent strike. Agreement is said to provide for a proportionate re-hiring of strikers and non-strikers with consideration given to seniority and to special skills.
About 1,000 workers were on payroll before strike but it was claimed there would not be sufficient work for entire force.

September 17, 1941
Walt Disney Received By Argentine President
Buenos Aires (By Cable) — Walt Disney was received here yesterday by President Ortiz of Argentina who emerged from seclusion of almost a year's duration occasioned by illness personally to welcome the film executive.
Ortiz congratulated Disney on the effect the latter's work had in fostering Argentine good-will for the U. S., and remarked that it is time his country ceased looking too much to Europe, and sought real inter-American collaboration with the United States.

September 19, 1941
Wedding Bells
West Coast Bureau, THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Hugh Harman and Jeanne Fuller were married at Las Vegas Monday. Miss Fuller, a magazine writer, also was a film writer in Harman's department at M-G-M when he produced the Ising-Harman cartoons.

Brazilian Characters For Disney Cartoons
Rio de Janeiro (By Air Mail)—Future Disney releases are likely to include characters based on the Mico, Papagaio and the Tatu de Bianas, Brazilian birds and animals. While in Brazil for the "Fantasia" opening, Disney made an extensive study of local legends, lives and customs and took back an abundance of material for the possible creation of new characters. He also secured the rights to some Brazilian music and left with a collection of sheet music, and recordings.

Schwalb Heads Screen Gems
West Coast Bureau, THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Columbia announces the appointment of Ben Schwalb as general manager of Screen Gems, the Hollywood cartoon unit of the company. Schwalb previously produced shorts for Columbia in New York. He succeeds George Winkler, resigned. Frank Tashlin is production manager of the organization.

September 24, 1941
Fines for War Talk Aid British Relief
Miami, Fla.—Artists at the Fleischer Studios in Miami are fined 25 cents for talking war on the job. The money is turned over to the British War Relief.

"Dumbo" Tradeshow Sept. 30
RKO will trade screen Walt Disney's "Dumbo" in 32 exchange cities on Sept. 30. All showings will be held at 2:30 P. M. except in New York where the showings will be started at 11:30 A.M. "Dumbo" will be released nationally on Oct. 31.

October 3, 1941
Disney Shorts on So. America
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney has informed the RKO studios that on his current South American trip he has gathered material for a dozen shorts on Latin—America. He expects to produce them upon his return.

October 8, 1941
“Dumbo" Will Premiere at Broadway on Oct. 23
Walt Disney's "Dumbo" will premiere Oct. 23, at the Broadway Theater, where his "Fantasia" is now in its eleventh month, it was jointly announced yesterday by Ned E. Depinet, and Roy Disney.
Following the premiere, a society benefit affair, "Dumbo" will be presented on a continuous run policy.
"Fantasia" is scheduled for early general national release.



October 13, 1941
"Dumbo" Premiere a Benefit
Premiere of "Dumbo" Oct. 23, at the Broadway Theater will be under the sponsorship of the Vocational Service for Juniors, it is announced by RKO Radio and Walt Disney Productions. Following the formal opening, "Dumbo" will be presented on a popular continuous-run policy.

Ascap Disapproves Free Radio Use of 'Dumbo' Score
The board of directors of Ascap has voted against approving the action of John G. Paine, general manager, in releasing the musical score of Walt Disney's "Dumbo" for free use by unlicensed broadcasters. The board's basis for this action was that the general manager had acted outside the scope of his authority in granting such free use.
The board felt that the granting of a free license for the use of music for commercial purposes would be contrary to the interests of its membership.
Other film companies are watching the "Dumbo" outcome closely, it was indicated, in order to decide on their own future policy in promoting film musical scores.

October 14, 1941
Holy Christopher!
The Disney office swears to the truth of this amazing coincidence. Matinee of "Fantasia" yesterday, at the Broadway Theater, Columbus Day, was $1492.

October 15, 1941
Walt Disney to Arrive In New York Next Week
Walt Disney and his crew of 11 staff artists are due in New York next week from a two-months tour of South America. Party arrived in Panama City yesterday to attend the premiere of "Fantasia." Disney will be in New York to attend the premiere of "Dumbo" at the Broadway Theater on Oct. 23.

October 16, 1941
Release "Fantasia" Jan. 1
Walt Disney's "Fantasia" will be placed in general release by RKO on Jan. 1, 1942.

October 17, 1941
Ah, Loyalty Pays!
Walt Disney's office staff folks in New York are more than super-enthusiastic about their boss's latest production, "Dumbo," wherein a baby circus elephant triumphantly flies at the finale. They're psychic. Yesterday, upon hearing that a nag named "Circus Wings" was running at the Rockingham Park track, the Disneyites put some dough right on the gee-gee's nose. In he came, —and so did a neat profit to the wagerers.

October 21, 1941
Disney Brings Material For 12 Shorts from S. A.
Material for approximately 12 short subjects was obtained by Walt Disney and his staff during their two-month survey of South America and its culture. Disney said yesterday South America talent, including artists, musicians and "voices'" probably would be brought to the U. S. for work on the contemplated shorts. He added that he might produce a few shorts in Spanish.
Disney and his staff studied folk lore of Brazil and Argentina for possible material. He said they were particularly interested in native music and dances, especially the Samba, a rhythmic dance which is catching on in the U. S. A feature with a South American background also is being considered.
Plan whereby Disney and Samuel Goldwyn would combine their efforts on a picture dealing with the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen will be abandoned, Disney said, as such a picture would require a world market not available today.
A cocktail party in honor of Disney was given last night at the Waldorf-Astoria. He plans to return to the Coast this week.

October 22, 1941
Voice of “Snow White” Suit Ordered to Trial
Appellate Division of the N. Y. Supreme Court yesterday reversed a dismissal of a $200,000 damage suit brought by Adriana Caselotti against Walt Disney Productions, Ltd., and RCA Manufacturing Co. and ordered a trial of the action.
Plaintiff had claimed the defendants unauthorizedly used her voice from the sound track of the film of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" to make records. Miss Caselotti sang the role of "Snow White" in the animated feature.

October 24, 1941
Pal Signs Jack Miller
Hollywood—George Pal has signed Jack Miller and Cecil Beard to write the screenplay for "The Rain Beau", forthcoming Technicolor Puppetoon for Paramount.

Colossal Is the Word For Disney's "Dumbo"
At its world premiere in the Broadway Theater last night, Disney's newest contribution to the world's happiness, "Dumbo," proved itself a gilt-edge hit with tremendous box-office power. A glittering audience, weighty with celebrity names, attended and cheered to the echo the wizardry of the producer. Consensus of those who filed from the theater wreathed in smiles is that this story of the baby elephant with the grotesquely large ears represents, in many respects, the entertainment masterpiece of Disney.—MORRIS

October 28, 1941
“Dumbo” Crashes Through
First week-end business of Walt Disney’s "Dumbo" at the Broadway Theater broke all existing records at the house, RKO reported yesterday. Nine shows were presented Saturday, attendance going over the 10,000 mark.

October 31, 1941
Schlesinger Buys "Horton"
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—For the first time Leon Schlesinger, through the Hayward-Devorich office, has purchased an outside property as a basis of a forthcoming Merrie Melody cartoon. It is the juvenile best-seller, "Horton Hatches The Egg."

Offer "Superman" Trailer As Outright Exhib. Buy
One of the few trailers ever made for a short subject has been prepared by Paramount for "Superman," its series of 12 Technicolor cartoons, produced by Fleischer Studios. Trailer, a combination of Technicolor and peach blow film, is available to theaters for outright purchase.
Second trailer for the series, features the Superman of America Club.

November 5, 1941
SCG Board Votes to Join Conf. of Studio Unions
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Screen Cartoonists Guild's executive board has voted to affiliate with newly formed Conference of Studio Unions. Moving Picture Painters' Local 644 has already endorsed the new conference and has voted for affiliation. Other American Federations of Labor studio locals are also expected to affiliate with the conference.

25 More Pic, Radio Men
Fort Monmouth, N. J.—With the release of 25 more, the discharging of men over 28 years old is the Traing Film Lab. here will be concluded this week.
...Herman Cohen returns to his job at Schlesinger's and Berk Anthony will be back at Disney's.... and Ambie Poliwoda has returned to Disney's.

November 7, 1941
New Pal Puppetoon Will See Thanksgiving Booking
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — "Rhythm in the Ranks," George Pal's fifth American produced Puppetoon, has been completed at Pal's Hollywood studio. The picture, photographed in Technicolor, stars Little Jan, modelled after Bob Hope.
The finished prints are being dashed to New York for Thanksgiving week bookings in the key cities. William Eddison's music is featured. The Puppetoon is based on an original story by Jack Miller and Cecil Beard.

"V.C." Used to Stand for Victoria Cross, But—Now "V" Is for "Vision," and "C" Is for Carrot
At 6 p.m. last night over RCA wireless, the British Press Service wire-photoed three new characters based on the vegetable carrot created by Walt Disney in Hollywood for the British Ministry of Food. Latter requested the characters by Disney as a part of a vitamin campaign urging civilians and members of the RAF to eat carrots to improve night vision, having learned that consumption of that vegetable is beneficial to the sight both of civilians during blackouts and flyers at night. The Disney characters are Dr. Carrot, Clara Carrot, and Carrotty George. All bear the magical Disney touch.

November 12, 1941
Phil M. Daly column, New York
In the three weeks Disney's "Dumbo" has been at the Broadway Theater, more'n 150,000 folks have seen it at the house .... Wow!

November 19, 1941
Disney to Make Spanish Versions In B. A. Studio
Buenos Aires (By Air Mail)—Spanish versions of Walt Disney's “Dumbo” and “Bambi” will be prepared in the ALEX laboratories here.

November 25, 1941
Fleischer and Secretary Hurt in Triple Crash
Lordsburg, N. M.—Injured in a three-car auto crash here, Dave Fleischer, cartoon director, and three others, including his secretary, Mae Schwartz, are under medical treatment. Fleischer, who suffered two fractured ribs, will fly East when his hurts permit.

Layoff at Disney Studios on Nov. 26
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Production shifts will result in a general layoff at the Walt Disney studio, on a temporary basis, effective, Nov. 26. About 530 employes will be retained, with most of those laid off scheduled to return as production on new features reaches a point where their services are needed.
Re-shuffling of release dates will result in "Peter Pan" following "Bambi" which will not be released until early Spring.

November 28, 1941
Ralph Wilks column, Hollywood
LITTLE JAN, most recent puppet creation of Producer George Pal, who is currently making his screen debut in Paramount's Technicolor production "Rhythm in the Ranks," is the first Hollywood mascot to be associated with the State Guard. The seven inch mannikin, stringless doll modeled after Bob Hope, was presented to Capt. Nicholas Jory of Company C, Second Regiment of the California State Guard.

Goldwyn Sees 1942 A Most Active Year
...Previously announced plans to make a picture on the career of Hans Christian Andersen in collaboration with Walt Disney have not been discarded, [Sam] Goldwyn said, despite reports to the contrary. This is expected to be placed in work in July, with 70 per cent of the characters to be live talent and 30 per cent cartoon characters. Gary Cooper may be cast in this picture.

December 2, 1941
"Dumbo" Opens at L. A. Carthay Circle Dec. 9
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney's feature cartoon, "Dumbo," will have its Los Angeles premiere at the Carthay Circle on Dec. 9.

December 3, 1941
Disney Delivers Film to Canada
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—First of Walt Disney's Canadian defense cartoons, "The Thrifty Pig," has been delivered to the Canadian Government. It deals with war savings. Disney will deliver three more.

Release 'Fantasia" in Jan. On Continuous Run Policy
Walt Disney's "Fantasia," which RKO is readying for general release late in January, is to be presented over the country on a continuous run policy at popular admissions, it was announced yesterday by Roy Disney, executive vice-president of Walt Disney Productions.
For general release, "Fantasia" will comprise the same music and stories which it had for roadshow engagements but for general distribution the program has been tightened up to run about 85 minutes.

"Dumbo" in 250 Keys
Walt Disney's "Dumbo" will play in approximately 250 key theaters during the Christmas holiday period. Bookings to date include the entire metropolitan circuit of RKO embracing about 50 houses.

December 4, 1941
Pal Reel for Christmas
Paramount has chosen George Pal's "Rhythm in the Ranks," a Madcap Models Puppetoon in Technicolor, as its special holiday release and will show the short in 300 first-run situations during Christmas and New Year's weeks, Oscar A. Morgan, general sales manager of shorts and news, announced yesterday.

December 8, 1941
Hugh Harman to Produce Feature Cartoon in Color
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Hugh Harman Productions will make "King Arthur's Knights" a feature-length color musical cartoon.
Release negotiations are now under way.

War Spurs Exhib. Demand For Col. Patriotic Shorts
America's war declaration has resulted in an immediate increase in the booking of patriotic shorts according to M. J. Weisfeldt, Columbia's short subject sales manager. Weisfeldt said Columbia exchanges reported a strong demand for its International Forum films and the Raymond Gram Swing cartoon reels, among others.

December 10, 1941
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• • • ON PARADE: Some 100 insignias designed by Walt Disney for the armed forces of the U. S. are on display in the Navy Y.M.C.A. on Brooklyn's famed (and now tamed) Sands St. ... Everything from Donald Duck to Dumbo is included in the drawings which identify battleships, destroyers, submarines, minesweepers, and planes ... Center of interest in the display is the array of Navy designs many of which are being presented for the first time, having just been completed by Walt in Hollywood ... Standout is the flying horse emblem for the air unit of the recently-launched U.S.S. North Carolina ... H.M.S. Illustrious also has a Disney-drawn emblem .... The exhibit will continue in the central lobby of the "Y" until the holidays.

December 24, 1941
Disney to Make 20 Shorts For Showing to Our Sailors
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Twenty single-reel films, under a cost-only contract signed with Walt Disney Productions will be produced for the United States Navy at Disney's Studio.
These will be shown repeatedly to Navy personnel at all ship and shore stations, augmenting established method of learning plans and ship outlines by study of silhouette shorts.
These films will incorporate live or actual photography.

December 26, 1941
Ralph Wilk column, Hollywood
A PRINT of a special 200-foot cartoon, which was produced by Leon Schlesinger and which will be used by the Government in its Defense Savings bonds campaign, has been airmailed to Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau, Jr. It is in Technicolor and has "Bugs Bunny," star of "Merrie Melodies," singing "Any Bonds Today?"

December 31, 1941
War Won't Curtail Schlesinger's Production
Leon Schlesinger, Warner Bros. cartoon producer, stated yesterday upon his arrival from the Coast that the war would have no appreciable affect on short subject production. Schlesinger said he would produce the same number of cartoons next year as his current schedule which consisted of 26 Looney Tunes and 16 Merrie Melodies in Technicolor. Schlesinger plans to remain here for a few weeks.

REVIEWS

August 1, 1941
"Superman"
Paramount-Fleischer 11 mins. Cartoon Newcomer in Super-Duper
Latest entry in the animated cartoon field is the well-known comic strip character, Superman. He makes his bow under auspicious circumstances. All he does is save a city from destruction by a mad scientist. Possibilities for the new series catching on are very good. Superman here as in the strip certainly taxes the imagination, but that should make for more fun. It is a Fleischer Technicolor cartoon.

August 5, 1941
"The Cuckoo I. Q."
Columbia 7½ mins. Funny Satire on Quiz Programs
An entertaining burlesque on radio quiz programs is this Color Rhapsody Technicolor subject. Professor fires questions at our hero who answers them all wrong. For each mistake, he gets banged around by some weird mechanical contraption. Of course, the professor is far from a mental marvel.

"The Alley Cat"
Metro 10 mins. Funny Cartoon
A number of laughs are contained in the Technicolor cartoon. Hugh Harman produced. It depicts an alley cat that goes in for a brief fling of a high life in the apartment of a very beautiful, and very snooty young female cat. The alley cat's brief interlude in the apartment leaves the place a shambles.

"Dumb Like a Fox"
Columbia 7 mins. Amusing Fable Cartoon
Gay, animated tale of the puppy fox hound who decides to go out and do his own fox hunting against the better wishes of Papa Hound. Pup runs into a sly, old fox who misleads him about the true identity of a fox. Pup later returns with a skunk on a leash under impression he has a fox to sorrowfully learn what his nose should have told him better.

August 6, 1941
"Early To Bed" (Walt Disney Cartoon)
RKO Radio 8 mins. Earns Average Rating
Much of the charm of Disney subjects springs from the portraying by his screen characters of the little nuances which humans experience in their daily lives. In the present cartoon, Donald Duck tucks himself into a folding bed for a well-earned sleep. Various factors keep him from his slumber. Among these is the loud-ticking alarm clock. Another is the bed itself. As long as the happenings remain satirical of human sleepers, the footage is funny. But here and there it dips into the incredible, thereby losing punch. However, the followers of this antic-ful duck will be pleased at most, if not all, of the things he does. There have been better "Donalds,"—for this is largely run-of-the-mine.

August 8, 1941
"Andy Panda's Pop"
Universal 7 mins. Comic Cartoon
This Walter Lantz cartoon deals with the trials and tribulations of Andy Panda's pop. Andy's pop decides to fix his own roof because he thinks he can do it better than a carpenter. But he runs into a mess of trouble and after many mishaps gives up. Rates as moderately amusing program material.

August 14, 1941
"Midnight Snack" (M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 9 Mins. Amusing Subject
Recently, Metro issued a tab reel with the same cat and mouse characters appearing in this one, and this one is every bit as amusing as its predecessor. This time, the little mouse is raiding an icebox when up bobs his nemesis the hungry, sharp-toothed feline. There are some good gags handled with skillful animation, as the mouse attempts to carry away an imposing hunk of Swiss cheese. The cat, sure of his quarry, badgers his intended victim. But the latter turns the tables at the finale,—both literally and figuratively—, leaving the kitchen a wreck and the would-be conqueror conquered.

August 18, 1941
“Truant Officer Donald”
RKO 8 mins. One of the Funniest
A real howl which makes for sock program material. Cartoon features Donald Duck as a truant officer whose main problem is getting his three nephews to school. In a number of very funny situations, the trio successfully elude Donald Duck until he finally catches up to them. When Donald finally leads them to school, he discovers the school has been closed for the Summer.

"It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day"
Paramount 7 mins. Some Amusing Moments
Cartoon features the Max Fleischer character, Gabby. This time Gabby gets in the hair of the town mayor when he invites himself along on the mayor's fishing trip. He attempts to show the mayor how to do everything, naturally with disastrous results. End has Gabby up a tree with the owls.

"Orphan's Benefit"
RKO 9 mins. Exhibs. Will Benefit
Laughs aplenty in this very entertaining Technicolor cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Cartoon has Mickey Mouse acting as emcee for a theatrical show presented for orphans. Most of the Disney characters are trotted out but Donald Duck becomes the target for the orphans' heckling and comes off second best in a series of hilarious episodes.

"Pest Pilot"
Paramount 7 mins. Only Fair
A Popeye cartoon that dives as far as the laughs are concerned. In this, Popeye's seagoing father is anxious to fly a plane. After being turned down by Popeye, he hops into a plane and goes on a wild flight. He cracks up and that is about all. It is mostly for the kids.

August 18, 1941
"Playing the Pied Piper"
Columbia 7 mins. Fairly Amusing
This cartoon is about a cat who wanted to be a Pied Piper. He goes up into the attic and meets a friendly, little mouse who, realizing the cat was foolish, proceeds to poke fun at him.

September 2, 1941
"The Screwdriver"
Universal 7 mins. Only Fair
Walter Lantz cartoon deals with a kind-hearted policeman who attempts to be courteous to all screwball drivers and ends up in a padded cell. One particular rooster with a jaloppy imitates a careless driver in such a manner that it causes the downfall of the policeman. Little humor can be found in the situation.

"Inki and the Lion"
Warner Bros. 7 mins. Gay Cartoon
These Merrie Melodies cartoons just keep on rolling along with happy abandon and swell animation. Nothing much to the tale, but many a laugh, which has a little native boy hunting a lion. Inki faces many perilous situations but a cute cartoon character, the Mina Bird, saves him. It is good program material.

"We, The Animals, Squeak"
Warner Bros. 7 mins. Snappy Takeoff
A Looney Tune cartoon which has more than its share of gags and laughs. Deals with introduction of Kansas City Kitty, a cat known for her mouse-catching ability. How Kitty almost lost her title is the situation responsible for the chuckles.

"Snow Time for Comedy"
Warner Bros. 7 mins. Sprightly Cartoon
Another in the Merrie Melodies series which should please but is not as amusing as the others. Two pups lead a wild chase for an elusive bone over snowy hills and frozen lakes. After a while situations assume repetitious quality.

September 12, 1941
"All This and Rabbit Stew" (Merrie Melody)
Vitaphone 7 mins. A Bugs Bunny Howl
Having eluded Hiawatha and other Leon Schlesinger characters, Bugs Bunny this time is pursued by Sambo in a riotous short that will make anybody laugh, and laugh hard. Trying to describe the action would be like trying to explain a maise but the Technicolor cartoon is about as mirth provoking as anything has any right to be.

September 18, 1941
"The Ice Carnival"
20th-Fox 7 mins. Entertaining
Cartoon is the familiar one about the race between the hare and the tortoise. Egged on by his children, the tortoise races the hare. The latter, cocky and confident, runs rings around his opponent. Little tortoise then plunges under the ice and with the aid of a magnet and big fish helps propel his father over the finishing line first.

"The Gay Knighties" (Madcap Model)
Paramount 9 mins. Technically Good
Artistically and technically this subject is fine but it suffers from lack of the action which is a feature of the better cartoons. As always Producer George Pal's backgrounds and models are striking and the Technicolor is first-rate. Story involves Jim Dandy's adventures with an orgre in the days of Knighthood, how he charms the big one with his music and marries the princess.

"Broken Treaties"
Columbia 8 mins. Dated Material
The well-known commentator, Raymond Gram Swing, makes his screen bow in this subject but the material is so old that its value, except as a historical review, is doubtful. Via animated drawings the subject explains the early days of the war from Hitler's acquisition of Czechoslovakia through the conquest of Poland and its division with Russia. Material appears too new to pass as history and to dated to be current comment.

"The Henpecked Duck" (Looney Tune)
Vitaphone 7 mins. Funny Cartoon
Against a barnyard divorce court background, the comical adventures of Daffy Duck are told. Seems that the duck-pecked Daffy was entrusted to sit on an egg while Mrs. Duck went visiting. He tries out him amateur magic, makes the egg disappear but can't make it reappear until his final effort in court.

September 19, 1941
"The One Man Navy"
20th-Fox 7 mins. Amusing Reel
Gandy the Goose is the feature of this Technicolor cartoon. Disappointed because he is turned down by the Army, Gandy originates some of his own marine equipment such as having the hens lay eggs loaded with TNT. He sinks a submarine and is honored by the Navy.

September 25, 1941
"The Old Oaken Bucket"
20th-Fox 7 mins. Ordinary Cartoon
This animated tale of the romance of a frog and its lady fair is a routine rehash of many of its predecessors. Cartoon is done in Technicolor and describes how the frog calls on his girl friend in the well and takes her to the amusement park.



October 1, 1941
"Dumbo"
RKO Radio-Disney 64 Mins.
TOP-RUNG FULL LENGTH CARTOON FEATURE WITH GREAT HUMOR, HUMAN INTEREST AND PATHOS. IT'S DISNEY AT HIS BEST.
With the story of a little elephant whose ears are incredibly big, Walt Disney rings the entertainment bell thunderously, giving to exhibitors and the public a feature film which in many respects equals his immortal "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," and on some counts surpasses it.
In "Dumbo," the amazing Disney and his aides have fashioned a screen property of irresistible charm for young and old alike from a story-adaptation which overflows with humor, heart-throbs, and original music compositions, at least four of which seem destined for the "hit" class,—"Look Out for Mr. Stork," "Song of the Roustabouts," "Baby Mine," and "When I See An Elephant Fly." The other melodies, "Pink Elephants," "Casey, Jr.," "It's Circus Day Again," "Spread Your Wings" and "The Clown Song" are lilting runners-up, filling their functions admirably during the action.
"Drumbo" [sic] carries the following among other advantages, in this reviewr's opinion, over "Snow White": (1) quality and variety of animation, gained from greater production experience and the fact that, in technique, there is a happy merging of straight cartoon delineation with the more thrilling aspects of that employed in "Fantasia"; (2) humor of a more modern sort, geared better to present day concepts and less primary than has been the custom at the Disney studios heretofore; (3) improved Technicolor which in this instance strikes the onlooker as representing close to the absolute potential; (4) use of extraordinary sound effects achieved via Sonovox.
Another strong asset is that "Dumbo" is shorter by some 21 minutes that "Snow White" and consequently has greater pace, compactness, and ability to exact audience attention. At the finale, one has had a feast of fun, yet with the desire to feast further. The story itself is delightful, and all along the line is found a wealth of those gloriously tickling touches of grand showmanship, humanness, artistry and ingeniousness for which Disney is renowned.
At the outset, all the animals in the itinerant circus, it appears, are expecting offsprings. Mr. Stork's winged couriers course through the night to blessed events. Only Mrs. Jumbo is neglected. But not for long. The bundle, being naturally heavy, necessitates its being rested occasionally on a cloud by its feathered bearer. The youngster is an infant elephant whose ears are grotesquely huge, making him the scandal of the other elephants and the oddity of the circus.
So great, however, is Mrs. Jumbo's love for the new arrival that when a boy annoys "Dumbo," his infuriated mother literally breaks up the show. They imprison her as a mad animal. It is here that Disney introduces Timothy Q. Mouse (whose role is much the same as that of the amusing and lovable Jiminy Cricket in "Pinocchio") who befriends "Dumbo." The latter finally gets the assignment of standing triumphantly atop a pyramid of elephants in the big top, but fails miserably and becomes the fall-guy of the clowns who plan to make his participation in their house-on-fire routine a supersensation by making the little fellow jump from a tremendous height.
But, after a night of accidental inebriation, "Dumbo" and Timothy find themselves among a flock of crows. The black birds inspire "Dumbo" to fly and he becomes the sensation of the show world.
The film is tagged for sensational sue cess in film theaters everywhere. If any thing will bring folks back in quantity,—a little elephant will lead 'em.
CREDITS: Supervising Director, Ben Sharpensteen; Screen Story, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer; Story Direction, Otto Englander, Sequence Directors, Norman Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson, Bill Roberts, Jack Kinney, Sam Armstrong; Animation Directors, Vladimir Tytla, Fred Moore, Ward Kimball, John Lounsbery, Art Babbitt; Woolie Reitherman; Story Development, Bill Peed, Aurelius Battaglia, Joe Rinaldi, George Stallings, Webb Smith; Character Designs, John F. Miller, Martin Provensen, John Walbridge, James Bodrero, Maurice Nobel, Elmer Plummer; Music, Oliver Wallace, Frank Churchill; Lyn'cs, Ned Washington; Orchestration, Edward Plumb; Art Direction, Herb Ryman, Kendall O'Connor, Terrell Stapp, Don Da Gradi, Al Zinnen, Ernest Nordli, Dick Kelsey; Charles Payzant; Backgrounds, Claude Coats, Al Dempster, John Hench, Gerald Nevius, Ray Lochrem, Joe Stahley; Animation, Hugh Fraser, Howard Swift, Harvey Toombs, Don Towsley, Milt Neil, Les Clark, Hicks Lokey, Claude Smith, Bernie Wolf, Ray Patterson, Jack Campbell, Grant Simmons, Walt Kelly, Josh Meador, Don Patterson, Bill Shull, Cy Young, Art Palmer.
DIRECTION, Tops. PHOTOGRAPHY, Superb.

October 1, 1941
"Old MacDonald Duck"
RKO 8 mins. Surefire Reel
High and witty standards of the Walt Disney animated cartoons are maintained in the latest adventures of Donald Duck. Donald tangles with a fly while milking a cow in the barnyard. For awhile he disperses the fly with a squirt of milk carefully aimed. But the fly has his revenge and Donald loses out. It is all handled in a cheerful manner.

October 13, 1941
"Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Co. B"
Universal 7 1/2 mins. Lively Cartoon
This Walter Lantz Technicolor cartoon features that tuneful song popularized by the Andrews Sisters. Animation is built around the song and provides a number of amusing moments.

October 24, 1941
"Lend a Paw"
RKO 8 Mins. A Howl
Mickey Mouse, Pluto and a kitten share the honors in this very funny short from Walt Disney. When Pluto rescues the kitten from an ice floe and takes it home to Mickey. Pluto immediately is smitten with jealousy. A battle rages between the dog's good self and bad self over the destruction of the new arrival, the good self winning out in the end. Plenty of laughs in this one.

"Donald's Camera"
RKO 8 mins. One of the Best
Packed with laughs, this Disney Donald Duck short hits the mark for hilarious entertainment. Deciding to shoot animals with a camera instead of a gun, Donald goes into the woods and gets into a great deal of trouble with a chipmunk and woodpecker as well as with other inhabitants of the forest. Enraged over his treatment by the little fellows, Donald rushes back to a sporting goods store and buys a gun and goes after revenge.

October 31, 1941
"The Bug Parade"
Warner Bros. 7 mins. Witty Cartoon
An enjoyable and witty animated discourse on some of the popular and more well-known insects. This nature study is cleverly conceived. It is one of the happier Technicolor efforts of Leon Schlesinger staff. Gags will register well for laughs. It is a good programmer.

"Robinson Crusoe, Jr."
Warner Bros. 7 mins. Moderately Amusing
As the title suggests, Porky Pig is cast away on a desert island with only his friend Friday to help. Cartoon is a series of gags which re[]ter in varying degrees of hurry. Porky Pig's advantures are climaxed when a group of savages chase him.

"Man's Best Friend"
Universal 7 mins. Average Cartoon
This Walter Lantz cartoon in Technicolor is about Snoozer, a faithful hunting dog. Pooch after a hard day's work attempts, to get some sleep which is interrupted by a number of annoying things. Dog is so sleepy that the next day he falls asleep under a tree and the rabbits have a field day.

"What's Cookin?"
Universal 7 mins. Lively Cartoon
Walter Lantz introduces an intriguing new cartoon character, Woody Woodpecker. Woody remains behind when all the birds head South for the winter. He believes he has enough food until the blizzard blows it away. After being buffeted by Old Man Winter, a large cat appears on the scene and they go after each other until a mouse appears on the scene. They finish him and eye each other again. It's in Technicolor.

November 13, 1941
"Flying Bear" (An M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 9 mins. Fairly Amusing
Aside from the effectiveness achieved as a result of being made in color, and the adroitness of the animating, "Flying Bear" is not an unusual short, merely recounting the adventures of a bear in a comedy airplane flight. Among his experiences are an aerial tilt with a pelican, and a wild and icy ride into the stratosphere which ends up with the bear in the hospital, along with his humanized original plane. An interesting touch is given to the footage by its action taking place at an Army flying field, in travesty, of course.

November 28, 1941
"The Art of Skiing"
RKO 8 mins. Goofy Is Great
In the best style of the Disney animators and idea men, Goofy is cast in the role whereby he demonstrates the various phases of skiing. Situations are hilariously funny and sure-fire crowd-pleasers. Goofy experiences all sorts of difficulties and in the last jump he loses his skis in flight. Goofy has been spotted too infrequently in the Disney one-reelers and this department is in favor of seeing Goofy more often. Reel is in swell Technicolor.

"The Mighty Navy"
Paramount 7 mins. Average Cartoon
Popeye joins the Navy and accomplishes a number of unusual feats. He shows his officer what an old time gob can do. Ideas just leap harum-scarum in the realm of implausibility. A certain amount of inventiveness is always necessary in cartoon subjects but the type of situations developed for Popeye do not fall in this class. The climax, which has Popeye ramming into a battleship as a human torpedo, is a good example of stretching a point.

December 2, 1941
"$21 A Day Once a Month"
Universal 7 mins. Fairly Amusing
A Walter Lantz cartoon in Technical built around the current song favorite. Animated action takes place in toy shop with all the toys coming to life in an Army camp. After a number of acrobatic variations to the music, the cartoon ends with a rush to the pay counter when Andy Panda blows his bugle.

"The Fox and the Grapes"
Columbia 8 mins. Amusing
One of Aesop's Fables furnishes the framework for this color cartoon. With some ingenuity and humor, it presents the plight of the fox who is misled by the crow. The bait is the grapes which the fox tears down from the branch after many difficult efforts, only to discover the grapes are sour.

December 5, 1941
"Mr. Bug Goes to Town"
Paramount 78 Mins.
FEATURE CARTOON IN TECHNICOLOR RATES AS DELIGHTFUL HOLIDAY PACKAGE.
Max Fleischer's studio has created a delightful fable about the struggle of a little community of insects. Skilled animation and a fine musical score tend to make this Technicolor cartoon feature a sock favorite for the juvenile trade and a delightful novelty for adults.
Hero of the comic fantasy is a pleasant little fellow known as Hoppity. He is a good natured chap and like his name, Hoppity is concerned about the welfare of his neighbors and although his attempts for their welfare go awry, Hoppity succeeds in the end.
C. Bagley Beetle is the scoundrel and his character is a clever bit of make-believe. Like all scoundrels, Beetle has designs on Honey, Hoppity's sweetheart, who refuses to marry him. Beetle's henchmen, Swat and Smack, are liable to be the most popular Fleischer creations. They are a comic pair. Swat and Smack have no scruples and are always at Beetle's beck and call.
An adjacent garden appears to be the only safe spot for the community because the humans are always intruding. The couple living there are waiting for a check from a music firm so they can repair the garden. Beetle and his aides steal the check. The house is foreclosed and a skyscraper is erected in its place. Hoppity discovers Beetle's secret and helps the couple get the check. Hoppity then leads his friends to the penthouse garden of the young couple for a happy finish.
Cartoon highlights are the trek of Hoppity and his friends to the top of the building, the tidal wave caused by the sprinkler system, Hoppity and Bumble's experiences during their visit to the garden, the preparations for Honey's wedding to Beetle which is broken off in time and the scene where Hoppity catches hold of a live wire.
There are four songs worthy of note. Easily outstanding is "We're the Couple in the Castle" by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser. "Katy Did, Katy Didn't" and "I'll Dance at Your Wedding" are two other tuneful composition by the composers. "Boy Oh Boy" is another good number by Herman Timberg and Frank Loesser.
CREDITS: Producer, Max Fleischer; Director, David Fleischer; Cameraman, George Schnettler; Sound Effects, Maurice Manne; Musical Director, Leigh Harline.
DIRECTION, Grade A. PHOTOGRAPHY, Excellent.

"Rhythm in the Ranks" (Madcap Models Puppetoon)
Paramount 10 mins. Corking
Paramount has a hunch it possesses in this newest puppetoon contribution of George Pal a potential Academy Award winner in the special shorts division. The hunch would appear to be well founded. For "Rhythm in the Ranks," starring Jan, the little wooden soldier, is packed with whimsical fun and aglow with some of Dr. Herbert T. Kalmus' finest Technicolor. Cute story concerns a box of toy soldiers that come to life and engage in battle against the screwball army. There are chuckles galore, and a couple of hearty guffaws to boot, in the adventures and misadventures of little Jan who uses super-camouflage paint to rout the foe and win a victory. One of the funniest scenes to come along in many a day is that in which a frisking canine disappears as the paint gets in its work. There's romance, too, in the reel, with Jan's heroine a tiny skating beauty. They'll love the skating sequence, whether its on Broadway or Main Street. Rate it a corking reel.

December 19, 1941
"The Mechanical Monsters" (Superman)
Paramount 10 mins. Top-Flight Cartoon
Fleischer Studios, Director Dave Fleischer, and Paramount offer herewith the second of the Superman shorts in Technicolor. The reel is well delineated, highly imaginative, and crammed with all those exciting elements which have made the character, Superman, a by-word among the current generation of Americans, and a "buy" word among all exhibitors seriously interested in adding something new and colorful to their screens, as well as profitable to their box-offices. This adventure recounts the visitation on the "House of Jewels" of a phalanx of weird mechanical monsters, controlled by their arch-villain inventor by means of radio waves. Clark Kent, suspecting that Lois has been abducted by a mechanical monster, changes into the form and raiments of his other self, Superman, and pursues the robot scourge to the inventor's lair. There he annihilates the array of robots and rescues Lois, incidentally reclaiming the lost jewels, and, of course, destroying the inventor. Short is highly exploitable' and every bit as engaging and novel as its predecessor.

December 24, 1941
"Nix On Hypnotricks" (Popeye)
Paramount 7 mins. Unusually Funny
Short but sweet from the standpoint of laughs, this newest adventure of the spinach-guzzling Popeye ranks among the best of the Fleischer series. The sentimental sailor is reading Romeo and Juliet to the waiting-to-be-petted Olive Oyl. She answers the ringing telephone, the call coming from an East Indian hypnotist who, seeking a human subject on whom to practice his scientific stuff, has picked her name at random from the phone book. His Svengali "passes" are even effective over the wire, and she heads at once for the mystic's apartment. In her trance, she has hair-raising escapes from death, as does the frantically following Popeye. Latter at length, after swallowing a goodly swatch of spinach, mops up the mystic, and is in turn mopped up by the indignant Olive whom he has handled roughly to end her trance.

December 26, 1941
"Chef Donald"
RKO 7½ mins. Can't Be Beat
Walt Disney and his staff of skilled assistants have turned out another hilarious reel which should provide a swell laugh interlude for the program. Donald tunes in on a radio program broadcasting the recipe for making waffles. Everything goes wrong as the batter becomes tough and rubbery. Donald takes a beating as the bowl keeps knocking him over during all sorts of situations. Reel ends up with Donald going off to batter the cooking expert. Reel is in Technicolor.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Through the Eyes of a Parrot

Here’s a look at Don Williams’ multiple eyes in “Dough Ray Meow,” from the Art Davis unit at Warners.



Emery Hawkins, Basil Davidovich and Bill Melendez were also credited with animation in this one. Unfortunately, studios weren’t raking in money from cartoons in the late ‘40s and the Davis unit was a casualty. When the unit died, so did Williams’ career at Warners. He resurfaced on a freelance basis at Hanna-Barbera in 1959 before moving on to DePatie-Freleng a few years later.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

21 Dollar Backgrounds

1940s Walter Lantz cartoons have the reputation of having pans over long, punny background drawings (a) to save money on animating a scene and (b) because writer Bugs Hardaway loved puns, generally eye-rollers.

Lantz’s main background artist during the decade was Fred Brunish, though he also employed Terry Lind (ex-Fleischer) and Phil De Guard (soon-to-be Warners). I don’t know if Brunish’s work is what you see in the war musical “21 Dollars a Day” but these three backgrounds open the cartoon. Camera work takes up the first 18 seconds of this Swing Symphony. The camera pans to the right of the final background to reveal the pun.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

From the People Who Brought You Woodlo

Bob and Ray were perfect for radio but it was mandatory for anyone who was a radio success story in the early ‘50s to move into television. They did. And then they moved back into radio and pretty much stayed there.

Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding were a unique hybrid. They were, basically, a disc jockey duo that didn’t play discs. They played spoofs of radio instead. They took the ridiculous parts of the medium—banal-dialogued soap operas, slogan-dripping commercials making outrageous claims, recipe-laden housewife programmes, man-on-the-street interviews with redundant answers—and expanded them to their even more ridiculous conclusions. Unlike the satirically-minded Fred Allen, Henry Morgan or even Stan Freberg, they didn’t rely on stooges—except on TV—or have their cadence dictated by laughs of a studio audience. They did it all themselves, and extemporaneously for much of their early career. Listening them play off each other and dropping non sequiturs along the way is astounding and confounding. How they did it, I don’t know. Perhaps they didn’t either.

I didn’t realise the blog had been absent of Bob and Ray clippings. This being Bob Elliott’s 91st birthday, it’s a good time to post a couple. They’re from the period the two were put on television by NBC while still performing completely different shows on radio. It must have been a grind.

They were originally assisted on TV by a young actress named Audrey Meadows who later got hired to work for Jackie Gleason and, well, you know the rest. There’s something about television that doesn’t quite work for them as well as radio. It could be the primitiveness of the medium at the time. It could have been a format where they didn’t really host their own show; Bob Denton introduced their sketches. Or it could have been they’re funnier when the audience can use its imagination to picture what’s going on. Regardless, here’s an Associated Press story from January 13, 1952.

Foolish Fun Brings TV Fame For Zany Pair, Bob and Ray
By CYNTHIA LOWRY

Associated Press Staff Writer
New York — The Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D. C. recently was deluged with postcards and letters each requesting "Bob and Ray's Home Dismantling Kit and Manual."
It reached such a point that the management was forced to send out quantities of form letters stating in part that "the announcement . . . was in error."
This team of uninhibited satirists now is visible and audible on four separate radio and television shows. They bark joyfully at almost any phase of life which seems unwarrantedly serious, but their specialty is nipping gently at the pomposities of radio and television. The boys cover considerable territory in their antics and remind many old-timers of the fresh, breezy and genuinely funny hi-jinks of the late Colonel Stoopnagle and Budd.
Bob and Ray make a point of interviewing persons with unusual occupations (Ray usually plays the guy with the unusual job). Just the other day, he did a moving bit demonstrating on television the technique of inserting tissue paper in wedding announcements.
• • •
ELLIOTT and Goulding are a pair of native New Englanders, who occupationally suffered through long hours of radio's journeyman fare, particularly the daytime menu. Radio announcers by trade, they met for the first time in 1946 when they were discharged from their GI war chores and picked up jobs at the same Boston station.
Bob, now 28 and handsome in a pixie way, was doing a morning disc jockey show, long on recorded music and mimeographed commercials. Ray, 29, mustached and a frustrated heavy, came into the show every hour on the hour to read news bulletins.
Ray took to hanging around the studio and engaging in extemporaneous and—it turned out—funny dialogue, imitations and kidding with Bob. Boston and environs took the boys to its stern New England heart, and next thing they were a team with their own half-hour show every afternoon. Then came New York and an NBC contract.
They developed their repertoire during the next few years. Now each has about seven different voices, including shrill, feminine falsettos, which permit them to play multi-character dramas.
• • •
ELLIOTT and Goulding also delight in commercials, ringing in all the familiar voice switches and appeals to the pocketbook. For some months they've been plugging a product called "Woodlo." This, they assert, is the "new miracle wonder product all America is talking about," which saves half the usual cost and, finally, "is immunized."
What it is and what it does they never have divulged.
Merrily they take apart the popular women's programs with a Ray-played character named Mary McGoon. On television, she is a headless character in front of a work table who nightly demonstrates new and horrible recipes, easily prepared.
Occasionally Mary will undertake a gruesome demonstration of flower arranging or show how to whip up a little house dress.
Away from microphones and television cameras, Bob and Ray are a couple of unassuming, serious young men working earnestly to keep up with the demands of a frightening schedule of broadcasting, a total of 15 1/2 hours a week.
Like so many other comedians, they are almost inarticulate about themselves, their aims and methods. Both have a shy, elusive way of speaking, rarely ending sentences they start.


This National Enterprise Association story is from November 21, 1952.

NBCs Bob and Ray Are Gentle Spoofers
BY RICHARD KLEINER

NEW York (NEA)— Trying to interview Bob and Ray during rehearsal is something like trying to interview two cows at milking time. They have too much else to do.
It's understandable. At one and the same time, Bob and Ray practice their lines, discuss camera angles, plan film backgrounds cut the script, make alleged jokes and otherwise keep busy. Through it all, they manage to maintain their usual air of well-regulated boredom. Bob Elliot, the short, wavy-haired one, and Ray Goulding, the tall, non-wavy-haired one, are the NBC comedians who have built the gentle spoof into a way of life. Their style is such that they might be called Henry Morgan with two pair of pants.
Rehearsing, they relax in folding chairs. The directors, script girl's, technical people and assorted hangers on march back and forth excitedly, but not Bob and Ray. They read their lines with all the spirit of an elderly snail. They debate about the script with all the fervor of a retired turtle.
"Well," Ray will say in a burst of emotion, "I'm not red-hot about the line. You can kill it if you want to."
• • •
ABOUT the only time they show any real enthusiasm is when they kid Audrey Meadows.
She's a tall redhead who appears on the program for the sole purpose, apparently, of wearing funny hats. She shows up for rehearsal in a dazzling leopard skin coat.
"Somebody give you seat covers?" Bob and Ray gently spoof.
"No I have a half interest in a zoo," she gently spoofs back.
At intervals, the interview proceeds. The following definite facts are learned; (a) Bob and Ray like what they're doing; (b) Bob and Ray prefer radio to television but "we have to face facts"; and (c) Audrey Meadows has a leopard skin coat.
More in store: Good things on the way to TV screens include a video version of CBS' famous radio series, You Were There. It's due in February . . . . Also coming is Life With Father and Mother, based on the Clarence Day stories that made wonderful books and plays. Dennis King and Martha Scott will be starred.


Bob and Ray appeared in a variety of formats for years on the radio. The 15-minute shows out of New York had a different feel than the “Matinee with Bob and Ray” half-hours they did for local radio in Boston in the mid to late ‘40s. It’s hard to say if one was better than the other. The half-hour shows drag at times, but Elliott got a chance to toss in his funny Arthur Godfrey impression and other staff members would drop in to kind of fill time until the next sketch. One of them was announcer Norm Prescott, who later achieved fame as one of the wheels behind the Filmation cartoon studio. The quarter-hour shows are slicker and go by almost too quickly. They feature perfected versions of the characters and situations developed on their original show in Boston. One broadcast has Elliott doing a Fred Allen voice for no particular reason for a few lines which must have delighted Allen fans.

After their TV shows went off the air—they were replaced on “Club Matinee” by Mindy Carson—they moved back into radio, with occasional forays onto the screen. They were regulars on NBC’s “Monitor” in the ‘50s. They appeared on WOR, of Mutual fame, in the ‘70s. And their humour found a welcome place for a number of years on National Public Radio. The old shows they spoofed, like “One Man’s Family” and “Ladies Be Seated,” are long gone. But so long as there are things in the world which don’t quite make sense that words can make even more nonsensical, people should enjoy the old work of Bob and Ray.