Saturday, 31 May 2014

Illusion of Life, 1918 Version

Walt Disney wanted cartoons to evolve where they would caricature human action. “The illusion of life,” as it was called in Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas’ book on Disney animation. Disney wasn’t the first studio with that goal in mind. Max Fleischer wanted to accomplish it, too, and felt he could do it by inventing the rotoscope.

It worked. But the rotoscope was only one of Fleischer’s tools. What made the Fleischer cartoons of the 1920s entertaining is their stories and clever gags. As the ‘30s wore on, the public wanted what Disney was putting on the screen, and that’s the direction the Fleischer studio went.

The public has always seemed to be interested in how animated cartoons are made. Here’s a story from the Syracuse Herald (and appeared in other papers) of February 12, 1918 on how the rotoscope works. The drawings accompanying the story are close but not identical to the ones Max Fleischer filed when applying for a patent.

How ANIMATED DRAWINGS Are NOW MADE to ACT Perfectly LIFELIKE
ANIMATED hand-executed pictures, or, as they are termed, moving picture cartoons, as now produced by the usual methods, while recognized as having their distinctive advantages and desirable features, usually are not lifelike. To overcome this fault, Max Fleischer of New York city has invented a device by which improved cartoon films may be produced, depicting the figures or other objects in a lifelike manner, characteristic of the regular animated photo pictures.
Mr. Fleischer describes his invention as follows:

"In producing cartoon films by my improved method, scenes are enacted by the aid of living actors depicting the subjects to be displayed by the cartoons, and, through the instrumentality of a moving picture camera, pictures of the enacted scenes are taken, and from these pictures, line pictures or cartoons of the characters or objects to be portrayed are made. The series of cartoons are then photographically reproduced on a film or equivalent medium, and the photographs of the cartoons thus obtained are projected on a screen and displayed in the usual manner by any approved moving picture machine.
"The invention will be particularly explained, in the specific description following.
"Reference is to be had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification in which similar reference characters indicate corresponding parts in all the views.
"In the center illustration is shown a perspective view representing conventionally the taking of moving pictures of actual scenes by the aid of an actor or actors, depleting the characters to be presented by the cartoon moving pictures.
"A face view of a photographic film portraying the scenes thus actually produced is shown in the drawing at the right.
"The drawing at the left shows a perspective view of the apparatus for projecting the photographic pictures thus produced and permitting the tracing of the characters thereof.
"In carrying out my invention, having decided upon the subjects of the cartoons to be projected by a moving picture machine, I cause a scene to be enacted presenting the characters to be portrayed. In Fig. 1, the numeral 10 indicates an actor in a life scene going through the performance of wigwag signalling. During the performance a moving picture camera 11 produces a series of pictures of the scene. Several pictures thus taken are produced on a film 12 (Fig. 2), as indicated at 13. The film will thus give a true portrayal of the characters to be presented by the cartoons.
"The pictures on the film 12 are now projected in single succession by a suitable apparatus, preferably arranged as in Fig. 3, which an inclined platform 14 is provided and supported by suitable legs 15. A frame 16 at the upper end of the platform 14 carries a screen 17 at the back, of which is placed suitable tracing paper 18, on which the artist traces the lines of each picture 13 or such elements thereof as is necessary for the cartoon. A projecting apparatus and appurtenances, designated generally by the numeral 20 and is the main of known form, is employed, including a suitable projecting apparatus 21 which is placed on the platform 14. The numerals 22 indicate the reel boxes while 23 indicates a known form of lamp house.
"It may be desirable to provide means whereby the artist may manually control the projecting machine tram his position at the back of the screen, and for that purpose I may employ suitable means, there being shown a pull-cord 24 having a handle 25 and passing over suitable guides 26, through the platform 14 to a connection with a spring-acted lever 27, carrying a pawl 25, engaging a ratchet wheel 29, controlling the mechanism of the machine 21."
The projected photographically produced series of pictures of the actual performance lead realism manually to produce cartoons having radically new characteristics, due, first, to the absolutely accurate relative positions of the moving object in the successive cartoons and relatively to the fixed photographed background, and, second, the method leads to the manually produced cartoons the realistic effects of the photograph by the artist arbitrarily selecting and tracing lines and features represented by the projected photographs.
"In the present methods of producing moving picture cartoons, the greatest skill of the artist is required to obtain an approach to accuracy realism in the relative positioning of the moving object in successive cartoons and in giving lifelike poses thereto.
"In tracing the cartoon the skilful artist, instead of following accurately the lines of the photograph, can exaggerate or modify particular elements or features of a grotesque character for instance, while preserving the truthfulness of the photographic portrayal in its essentials or dominating lines. In photographing black-face characters, for example, the actor is made up with special reference to facilitating the subsequent making of the line cartoons, a part of the makeup being, for example, distinct and prominent white rings about the eyes to bring out prominently in the photographs the lines to be traced. The method possesses advantages in depicting a wide range of grotesque characters or objects. Thus, for example, a dog, masked by the representation of a horse’s head, may be photographed in action, the final result being motion pen drawings of what appears to be a miniature horse going through a performance."

Friday, 30 May 2014

Dodsworth

Bob McKimson seems to have had hopes he could create another successful new cartoon character in a fat, lazy, con-artist cat named Dodsworth. He even went to the trouble of bringing in Sheldon Leonard to voice the character. But perhaps Dodsworth was too low key for any kind of stardom. He disappeared after two cartoons—“Kiddin’ the Kitten” and “A Peck o’ Trouble,” both copyrighted in 1951. The former has the Rosemary Clooney kids song “Peterkin Pillowby” as the opening theme.

Here are some of Dodsworth’s expressions from “Kiddin’ the Kitten.” He spends about half of the short with his eyes closed. He fumbles his hands and arms around when he’s startled and, below, you can see him cross-eyed when he’s surprised by his owner’s shouting at him.



The “calmed” version of Rod Scribner, Chuck McKimson and Phil De Lara are only ones who get an animation credit on this cartoon. Bea Benaderet and Mel Blanc provide the other voices.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Woody Surprise Take

Matador Woody Woodpecker gets wrapped up in his cape, and then spots Oxnard the Bull in “Hollywood Matador” (1942). These are consecutive drawings.



Woody’s hat turns in mid-air while he stares at the bull to let the take register.

Alex Lovy and George Dane get the animation credits.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Golden Age of Fax Radio

Before e-mail became practical, there was another way of sending letters and even pictures to your home. Someone used a fax machine. Some people still do.

Like most technology, faxing was around before most of us ever heard about it, kind of like there was television in the late 1920s but no one thinks of it as being that ancient. But fax technology was around about the same time and is kind of a cousin to broadcasting.

My curiosity was piqued reading some trade journals in the ‘30s and early ‘40s talking not only about the future of not only television, but faxing by broadcasters.

Here’s an interesting story from the New York Sun, January 13, 1934.

Pictures by Radio Near
R. C. A. Asks Permission to Erect Stations to Try Out New System
.
By MARTIN CODEL.
WASHINGTON, D. C, Jan. 13.—Ready to prove its startling disclosure of exactly a year ago—namely, that its research engineers have devised a means of harnessing the ultra-short radio wave lengths to provide a "picture message" system for the United States—the Radio Corporation of America has just filed with the Federal Radio Commission an application for authority to erect a group of experimental stations as the first links in the proposed system.
A complete revolution in wire and radio telegraphy, and, if cheap enough, even the mails, is forecast as the next great development in radio, if the R. C. A. can substantiate its claims in actual operation. Only those who recalled the claims, first disclosed in January of 1933, saw the true significance attached to the company's request to the Commission last week. It filed in the usual routine and without any accompanying publicity, and it asked for the right to roam the wide band of wave lengths between 86,000 and 400,000 kilocycles (35 to 75 meters) for experimental operation of a facsimile radio transmission system using its newly developed "repeaters."
First Station In New York
The first stations would be in New York and Camden. N. J., where R. C. A. has its laboratories. Between them would be two "repeater" stations, one at New Brunswick and the other at Trenton, in New Jersey. Facsimile reproductions of letters, telegrams, pictures, newspaper pages and indeed all form of written and printed matter flashed between cities in a matter of mere seconds—this, in sum, is the promise of the revolutionary new ultra-short wave development which R. C. A. is apparently now ready to prove or disprove if the Radio Commission will grant the necessary authority.
It is manifest that such a system, if successful, may mean a new form of communications that may ultimately displace the code telegraphs and wreak many other changes in our economic and social life. The future day can be envisioned when a business man scribbles a note, or his secretary types a letter, inserts it in an automatic radio-facsimile transmitting machine and knows it will be delivered in a matter of seconds in distant city as an identical reproduction of the original. It may also be possible for a great newspaper to send facsimiles of its printed pages to other cities, there to be recast into type, reprinted and delivered simultaneously with its borne editions.
Looking Ahead.
Looking even further ahead—though such an accomplishment may take several generations to make practical—the reproduction of such facsimiles on cheap radio receiving and reproducing instruments in office and home is a logical and not improbable eventual development.
The chief obstacle to the use of the ultra-short waves has been that they act much like light beams and cannot penetrate beyond the horizon where the curvature of the earth stops them. Nor could they penetrate hills, buildings and other barriers. Accordingly, it has been necessary for the experimenters to conduct, their radiating tests from extremely high points in order to gain as far a horizon as possible.
It is not possible in all cities to secure vantage points as high as the Empire State Building, and the New York-to-Philadelphia links will probably use lower radiating location. The plan is to transmit from New York to New Brunswick, where R. C. A. already has a transatlantic code station; thence to Trenton and thence to Camden. The New Brunswick and Trenton stations will automatically repeat the signals from New York. It is calculated that not much more than sixty seconds will he required to send a facsimile of an ordinary-sized letter-head message from the transmitting point to the receiving city.
Other Developments on Way.
If the first link proves successful similar transmitting and repeating stations will be erected throughout the country, economic conditions warranting. A vast network of radio facsimile stations, flashing "picture messages" through the ether at incredible speeds, is foreseen ultimately. But even the R. C. A. is not placing all its eggs in one basket. It is not going forward with this highly expensive experiment with the sole end of "picture message" transmission. It is also known to be testing a new system of multiplex code transmission whereby one radio wave length can he used to send three code messages automatically and virtually simultaneously, each message at the rate of sixty-five words per minute. This is also a secret, development, and the key to its operation is a new machine designed to take advantage of the split-second lapses between the code impulses and use them to stagger other dots and dashes in between.


Newspaper radio columns followed developments about fax transmission with great interest. The papers, as much as radio stations, had a vested interest. C.E. Butterfield’s Associated Press radio column of February 27, 1938 revealed WTMJ in Milwaukee had begun experimental broadcasts in 1934—the station was owned by the Milwaukee Journal—and listed 12 stations that were doing, or were about to do, the same thing. Facsimile receivers were selling for between $120 and $260, attachments for radios cost less.

Butterfield followed up developments in a 1939 column:

Radio 'Round The Clock
Facsimile Transmission By Three-Station Network Being Started On Experimental Basis.

By C. E. BUTTERFIELD
Associated Press Radio Editor
(Time is Eastern Standard)
NEW YORK, March 15 — Facsimile transmission by a three-station network is being started on an experimental basis. The schedule opens Saturday night, or rather Sunday morning, to continue weekly.
Stations to carry this form of communication, a means of handling printed and other visual matter such as pictures, maps and etc. will be WOR, New York; WLW, Cincinnati, and WGN, Chicago, of the M.B.S. chain.
Each broadcast is to run an hour and each station will send on the chain for 20 minutes. Time on the air is 2:30 A. M. after the regular sound signoff. A test of the network setup was tried last Saturday night.
Facsimile requires special equipment, although it is possible to use a sound receiver provided a facsimile recorder replaces the loudspeaker. The number of sets within the area of the three stations is estimated at not more than a thousand.


Butterfield reported on April 10th that WHK, the Mutual station in Cleveland, had joined the fax network. Broadcasts were taking place from 2 to 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. The Brooklyn Eagle’s radio columnist, Jo Ranson, revealed on November 21st that 20th Century Fox was providing WOR with photos of stars and a gossip column for transmission.

WOR was still carrying out fax broadcasts in 1940. The newspaper PM published a faxed comic strip from WOR on June 20, 1940. Here is a photocopy of it, scanned for the internet, so it would have looked better in the paper.



WOR began regular radio programming overnights starting June 18, 1941, knocking the facsimile broadcasts off the air, though the Brooklyn Eagle of that date reported the experiments would resume in a few months once the FCC granted the company a shortwave license. After World War Two, there was renewed interest in facsimile radio. The A.P. reported on July 31, 1946 that stations in at least a dozen cities were going to experiment with and equipment had been ordered from the General Electric Company. G.E. explained to the paper how the system worked.
The copy to be transmitted is placed on a revolving drum. An electric eye scans each detail and translates each gradation of black into an electrical impulse. This in turn is converted into a sound signal and is put out over the air by an FM radio station. The radio signal is picked up by any standard FM radio receiver and relayed to a facsimile recorder connected to or built into the set.
A chemically treated roll of of white paper feeds through the recorder, the action of the electrical impulse on the paper turning it black. Thus, an exact reproduction is obtained.
This story appeared in PM on February 6, 1948. Fax had now been shunted to FM airwaves, no one really having quite established what to do with them.

Facsimile ‘Times’
The New York “Times,” as traditionally a morning institution as the milkman in our town, enters the afternoon paper field a week from next Monday via a four-page “facsimile” edition which will be prepared at the “Times” office and transmitted via WQXQ to receivers (or “recorders”) installed in the radio departments of a number of New York department stores.
The facsimile “Times” will have two pages of current news and pictures, a woman’s page and a feature page. It will start appearing over the department store recorders at 11:05 a.m. and its news and picture content will be brought up to date hourly in renewed transmissions ending with a final edition at 5:05 p.m. The recorders to be used in the demonstration will look like home console radio sets except that they will turn out newspaper text. All equipment used was designed by John V. L. Hogan, facsimile pioneer and founder of WQXR, which is now owned by the N. Y. Times, along with its FM affiliate, WQXQ, which will handle the facsimile transmission. The receivers are manufactured by General Electric.
The news and feature content of the facsimile Times will be produced by a staff headed by Robert Simpson in the Times offices on West 43d St. At the receiving end, displays will explain in non-technical language what facsimile is, how it works and what its possible future uses are. A four-page leaflet, titled “A Newspaper Delivered by Radio,” will be distributed so you can explain to your friends the scientific wonders of the N. Y. Times boiled down by radio to only four pages.


Hogan, incidentally, had provided WTMJ with its equipment in 1934.

The debut of the fax version of the Times on February 16, 1948 was a success. The AP reported six editions were sent out at five minutes after each hour between 11 A. M. and 4 P. M. over road station WQXR-FM. Each edition contained four pages, 11 1/2 inches long and eight inches wide. But the plan was apparently temporary The wire service said demonstrations would continue for only four weeks.

The Mexico (New York) Independent of April 1, 1948 talked of broadcasting faxes to thousands of northern New York farm homes via a six-station FM network connected to WGHF. The FCC decided in November that year to relax rules around schools operating FM stations, declaring they could fax educational materials to the homes of students. All very intellectual (the FCC didn’t mind looking intellectual on appropriate occasions). But facsimile radio’s days were pretty much done. Who was interested in radio any more? The tidal wave of television was washing across America from east to west. But fax technology, as we know, didn’t die. It was perfected through the 1960s and ‘70s until it became commercially feasible for businesses to tie up a phone line with a fax machine. And, of course, when home computing became practical, modems allowed someone to fax a document to someone (at blinding speeds of 2400 bits per second).

With increased computer memory and faster connections, as well as an expanded internet, the poor fax has been replaced by e-mail and other ways to transmit something from one computer to another. But history shows us it played a little part in the Golden Age of Radio.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Field and Scream Backgrounds

Johnny Johnsen handled the backgrounds in “Field and Scream” (released 1955) from designs by Ed Benedict. Here are some of them. The first one plugs “Herman’s Sporting Goods.” I don’t think animator Herman Cohen was near MGM at this point.

Monday, 26 May 2014

San Francisco Flats

There’s more flat in “Flat Hatting” than just the title of the cartoon. The character designs and settings in much of the cartoon are flat, a style that would carry on when the studio which made the cartoon changed its name in 1946 to United Productions of America and eventually started making theatrical shorts.

The show-off pilot who’s flat-hatting in the short buzzes past people and buildings in San Francisco. Here’s some of the artwork.



The internet can’t make up its mind when this cartoon was made. It was copyrighted in 1946 by United Film Productions, a name that would be changed later in the year. Leonard Maltin identifies the designer as Robert Osborne of the New Yorker. The director was John Hubley, though the cartoon bears no credits as it was made for the U.S. Navy and not theatres.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

There's No New Haven For TV

Network television took the baton from network radio and, at the start, tried running the same way. A sponsor put a show on the air, handled day-to-day by its ad agency. The only difference was some shows were so expensive to broadcast, they appeared every other week or once a month, with the time slot taken the following week by another sponsor of another show with another star.

That changed, and only in a matter of a few years. People wanted their favourite stars on the screen every week, just like they heard them every week on the radio. So a toe dipped in the TV pool became a leg and eventually a whole body.

All this was disconcerting to some of the veterans of entertainment who found radio was dying and they either had to move into TV or retire their shows. Vaudevillians were used to the old stage tradition—take your act on the road and hone it before you brought it to the big time. Television wasn’t like that. Television was like radio. Writers got together and came up with a script which was then produced, rehearsed and aired—and then they started from square one again.

Here’s Jack Benny on the whole issue from an International News Service column of August 5, 1952. Jack’s toe was dipped in the CBS-TV pool in fall of 1950, when he appeared in the first of only four shows that season.

Jack Benny Gets Cozier With TV
By JACK O'BRIAN

INS Staff Writer
New York—The most popular man in radio, Jack Benny, has not even a fleeting notion of his own future in that venerable medium. Beyond next season, anyway.
Jack was having his final few days of vacation here in New York before driving back to Hollywood (in a new Cadillac convertible, not the Maxwell) after his newest British triumph.
Not that he is a fair weather friend of radio, which has been so good to him these 20 years. It's just that he's getting along toward 59, a slight complication for a fellow of 39, and he feels he just can't do everything.
PREFERS RADIO
He wants to stay in radio. But his sponsors want him in TV, and Jack is a nicely adjusted fellow in deed. Unlike certain recent nitwits who have made public proclamations of their disrespect for the folks paying the bills for their TV shows, Jack retains an honorable attitude toward the direction whence his cash flows.
Jack this season will do nine TV shows, three more than last year. It means one every four weeks, where last season it was one every six. It also means, he said, the end to his free time.
His radio shows fall comfortably into formula and by now are comparatively simple, if not quite easy, to play and perform.
In radio, Jack pointed out, the biggest part of the job is in the planning, the fashioning of fun on paper and through sound effects.
In television the planning's still a great part of it, but the work to be done after everything's been blueprinted and mimeographed is the crusher.
CAMERA ANGLES
"You have to stick around for camera angles, where to stand, for how long, which way to turn, which camera to face, all the same problems an actor encounters on a Broadway stage," Jack said. "Only there's no New Haven to try it out, no Boston to rewrite the first act, inject new business, to pick, change and discard.
"You set your sights four weeks ahead to a Sunday night at 7:30 and by gosh you better be there, and ready.
"With six weeks between shows, I was able to enjoy the couple of weeks resting up from TV. Now even that's gone.
"It takes just about four weeks of planning for a TV show, the way I like to work. I don't know how some of them do it every week. Maybe I could do it every two weeks, but even that's too tough. I can't see how possibly I could do more than one TV show a month and radio at the same time."
What about TV without radio?
"I don't like to think of it," said CBS radio's number one boy.


Well, Jack had to think about it. He had no choice. The public wanted TV, not radio. Sponsors wanted TV, not radio. So Jack Benny dove into the TV pool. Considering his regular show carried on until 1965, he was working on specials until his death, and people still watch reruns on their small screens (including computers hooked up to video web sites) his fears about television were all for nothing.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Cartoons of 1943, Part 2

Alas, the most interesting stories may be the ones that aren’t written.

It’s be interesting to learn how much the decision by Warner Bros. in 1943 to re-release Leon Schlesinger’s cartoons (and thereby the cut the number of new ones purchased) affected Leon’s bottom line and whether that played a role in his selling of the studio to Warners in 1944. We may never know.

There are a number of other things unseen in the pages of the trade publication The Film Daily in the second half of ’43. For example, Boxoffice magazine reported on December 25th that year that Dave Fleischer had set up a company to produce animated inserts to live-action movies. Was Fleischer out at Columbia at that point? Could be. The final pictures with Fleischer’s name on it were released the following year. It’s a shame the archives of The Hollywood Reporter and other trades aren’t searchable on-line to fill in some blanks. According to The Film Daily, life at the studios was full of war work and that was about it. One has to cringe seeing that Bugs Hardaway was going to write a story instructing Navy surgeons.

The first Walter Lantz cartoons directed by Shamus Culhane appeared on screens and, though not reported here, Dick Lundy was hired to direct training films for the studio (Variety, Nov. 4, 1943). The studio evidently reacted to the popularity of MGM’s nightclub singer/dancer Red Riding Hood by coming up with its own girl character to be featured in “The Greatest Man in Siam.” And, not reported again, the studio announced a comic character, Wally Walrus (Variety, Nov. 16, 1943) to play off Woody Woodpecker. Disney, as expected, went the other direction, featuring cute little Figaro the cat and cute little Cleo the goldfish in a short (along with Mammy Two-Shoes, who seems to have commuted back and forth from the MGM cartoon studio).

Inki and the Minah Bird made their debuts. Superman left animation and so did Super Mouse. Well, his name was changed to Mighty Mouse, though The Film Daily never explained why (several legends are circulating on that one).

There are a couple of notes about voice actors, the most interesting one was announcing the hiring of Dave Barry at Columbia. I don’t know what cartoon was his first, but you can hear his Mr. Ripple voice from radio incongruously placed in the starring character in “Topsy Turkey” (released 1948).

Incidentally, Ted Watts mused about each of the cartoons of 1943 at HIS blog. He also included clippings from Boxoffice, some of which report stories that were skipped by The Film Daily. It’s well worth a visit. Not all cartoons were reviewed by Daily; I was hoping to read something on “The Herring Murder Mystery.”

July 1, 1943
M of T Radio Fanfare For Disney's “Air Power”
United Artists' Walt Disney production, "Victory Through' Air Power," will get a fanfare on the March of Time radio program tonight over the entire NBC network. Disney will be piped in from Hollywood for a discussion on the film.

July 6, 1943
RKO, Disney Add Year To Releasing Pact
Walt Disney short subjects and features will continue to be distributed by RKO for another season under the terms of an agreement signed Friday between Ned E. Depinet, president of RKO Radio, and Roy Disney representing Walt Disney Productions, it was announced by N. Peter Rathvon, RKO president.
New pact covers distribution of Disney's seventh group of shorts an carries an option for the distribution of the eighth group. Addionally, there will be the Disney feature previously announced as "Surprise Package" and currently titled tentatively as "Let's Go Latin," which will introduce a revolutionary technical process invented by the Disney studio. This feature, as well as the 18 shorts, will be in Technicolor.
RKO has distributed the Disney product for seven seasons, the first contract having been signed in March, 1936.

July 13, 1943
Coming and Going
NORMAN FERGUSON, director of Walt Disney's South American unit, is in Mexico City on a talent hunt. He is accompanied by HOMER BRIGHTMAN and DAN KEEFE.

Disney Shipping Record
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—An all-time high of 34,899 feet of film was shipped by the Dsiney studio during June. Figure is only 2,312 feet less than the entire 1932 output for the plant.

July 14, 1943
RKO 1943-44 Program to Stress Original Stories

...New Disney Camera Process
Schedules of independent producers whose product will be released by RKO includes Walt Disney's "Let's Go Latin," (tentative title), which will introduce a new camera process....
Of the 171 scheduled shorts, 142 are one-reelers and 29 two-reelers. Single reel series comprise RKO Pathe News, twice weekly; 18 Walt Disney Technicolor cartoons ...

July 15, 1943
"Air Power" Premiere At Globe on Saturday
Walt Disney's "Victory Through Air Power" will have its world premiere at the Globe Saturday,

July 19, 1943
Six Two-Reel Westerns On New Warner Program
Twenty-Six one-reel Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes, in Technicolor. Cartoons produced by Leon Schlesinger....
Thirteen one-reel Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies, A 'Hall of Fame' group representing the best output of Schlesinger's cartoon subjects.

July 20, 1943
UA-Disney Feature Sets Off Big Blast
"How Victory Through Air Power Is Possible"—"Seversky Says Raid Can Blast Foes Out of War" were the eight-column heads which streamed across full pages of yesterday's New York Journal American devoted completely to illustrations, captions, and accompanying text descriptive of the UA-Disney opus current at the local Globe Theater. This editorial "blast" in behalf of "Victory Through Air Power" set promotional precedent for a full-length animated attraction. Prominently included in the full-page layout was a photograph of Major de Seversky whose theories on the war's winning were discussed.

July 22, 1943
Metro Sets Up New Exhib. Aid Program
...The short subject program will consist of 16 one-reel cartoons...

Fourth Gold Star on Disney Service Flag
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—A fourth gold star was added to the Walt Disney studio service flag when word was received that Tech. Sergt. Burdette Sykora, 29, a former Disneyite and son of Mr. and Mrs. John Sykora of Windom, Minn., was killed in action in the North Pacific area on Memorial Day. He was believed to have been in the battle of Attu Island.

Italians Hold Perry Ex-Disney Arranger
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—First Lieut. Herbert Perry, a navigator in the U. S. Army Air Force, and a former Disney music arranger, parachuted from a disabled Flying Fortress but was captured by the Italians and removed to Venice during the invasion of Sicily on July 5. He is the husband of the former Nora Cocreham, secretary in the Disney Cutting Department.

July 27, 1943
STORY PURCHASES
DR. SEUSS' "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry St.," George Pal.

August 2, 1943
Phil M. Daly column
• • • POPEYE the Sailor Man is in the Army now .... Jack Mercer, who has been the screen voice -of the spinach-guzzling gob for the past 11 years, has been inducted and leaves for camp on Aug. 3, so clarions Sam Buchwald, gen. mgr. of Paramount Famous Studios .... Jack, story and gag man for the outfit, has a trick set of vocal pipes which permit him to talk way-down-in-the-cellar-like .... His voice is a versatile affair, furnishing speech and other sounds for Para. cartoon creations .... The voice of spindly-legged Olive Oyl [in Brooklyn the verse of Olive Earl), string-bean sweetheart of the movies' Popeye, is that of a bee-utiful young lady, who in real life is the wife of (you guessed it!)— Jack Mercer!

August 4, 1943
Phil M. Daly column
• Robert B. Martsch, former member of Walt Disney's org., has been added to staff of Paramount Famous Studios in New York, so clarions Sam (Gen. Mgr.) Buchwald.

August 6, 1943
Fourth for "Power"
Walt Disney's "Victory Through Air Power" begins the fourth week of its world premiere engagement at the Globe Theater, tomorrow.

August 11, 1943
Phil M. Daly column
On Current Operations:
• • • MIKE ROBACH calls to Phil M.'s attention a li'l item in last Saturday's New York Times, which, allowing for some rather mystifying inaccuracies, demonstrates a trend toward tabloid reporting on that esteemed newspaper .... We quote: "Max Fleischer of Miami, Fla., an erstwhile producer of the 'Terry Toon' movie cartoons and now with time on his hands, has patented a calculator obviously useful in horse races, though in the single sentence explaining the device in the Gazette, 375 words are used to tell how it operates. He received Patent No. 2,325,761" .... As far as Phil M.'s memory serves (which goes back to Max's days with Bray, and subsequently the "Out of the Inkwell" subjects) Mister Fleischer has never had anything to do with the fashioning or admininstration of "Terry Toons" .... Further, Br'r Max has powerful little "time on his hands" .... He has been working, and, we presume, still is, upon war effort pix .... That's pretty darn hard and exacting work, and not this corner's idea of leisure .... We wonder, not having read the patent-grant, if the calculator is the camera, or similar device, upon which Max was toiling to stop all arguments on photo-finishes at the so-called Sport of Kings.

August 13, 1943
20th-Fox Lineup Calls for 39, 10 in Technicolor

The 41 shorts will include ... 20 Terrytoons.



August 24, 1943
Pal Working Two Shifts
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—A rush of work has caused George Pal to put his Puppetoon Studio on two eight-hour shifts, with the studio now open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Sub Four Disney Shorts For Second Feature Pix
Replacement of the second feature with four Walt Disney Technicolor shorts has been so satisfactory at the Poli Theater, Bridgeport, Conn., that the Loew circuit is adopting the policy in a large number of other theaters. Loew's tested the idea in Bridgeport, labeling the shorts unit the "Walt Disney Laff Revue." Other circuits also have taken up the plan.
Patrons' comment cards at the Poli indicated an overwhelming majority in favor of the short subjects, only 48 persons favoring a second feature out of several thousand replies, according to the Bridgeport Post which reported the results.
Harry Michalson, RKO short subjects sales manager, said that since the Bridgeport test, the following Loew theaters have repeated it: Poli, Hartford; Palace, Meriden; Poli, New Haven; Poli, Waterbury; Poli, Worcester; Valentine Toledo; Loew's, Indianapolis; Loew's, Louisville; Midland, Kansas City;, State, Providence; Palace, Springfield, and Broadway, Norwich. Among the other circuits which have tested the revue idea is Feiber & Shea with the Colonial, Akron, and the State, Manchester, N. Y.

Coming and Going
LOUIS B. MAYER and WALT DISNEY leave the Coast today for Mexico City to be decorated by the Mexican president for promoting harmony between this country and Mexico.

August 27, 1943
Gov't Securities to Pay For Studio Wage Tilts?
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — That film unions and guilds ask for substantial pay tilts to be paid in Government securities payable after the war was the recommendation made to the Conference of Studio unions by William Pomerance of the Screen Cartoonists Guild.
He contended that such a move would overcome the objection by the Government to pay increase on grounds that it would upset stabilization of wages and that such increases would help block inflation and would aid the Bond-Selling drives.

August 31, 1943
Phil M. Daly column
• Into Mexico's educational system are being incorporated the cartoons of Walt Disney .... The latter was received on thhe week-end by President Avila Camacho to whom he declared that he will bring members of his staff from Hollywood to make pictures in collaboration with Mexican artists .... With Walt were Louis B. Mayer, Hedy Lamarr, John Loder and Walter Pidgeon.

September 17, 1943
And Is It Red!
A print of Walt Disney's satirical short subject "Der Fuehrer's Face" is now en route to Russia.

September 28, 1943
Phil M. Daly column
Candles and Cake:
• • • TO one of filmdom's ace international stars a glamorous birthday party was tendered last night in the Museum of Modern Art .... It was the 15th natal day of Mickey Mouse, and Walt Disney and RKO Radio collaborated in celebrating the event .... There was a birthday cake.—and no cheese cake, either—, of dazzling dimensions and tantalizing taste, symbolic of Mickey's great fame and appeal .... Thereon flamed a dozen-and-a-quarter festive candles, themselves visible signs of the diversified "flickers" in which the mighty mouse has strutted his histrionics .... And a block of eight of these flickers, selected to demonstrate as well as to commemorate Mickey's evolutionary march up the ladder of renown as a screen personality, was shown to the several hundred guests.
• • • FIRST of the block was "Steamboat Willie," wherein Mickey, under the Columbia banner, made his debut .... The world premiere was in the local Colony Theater, on Sept. 27, 1928 .... A couple of years earlier, B. S. Moss had built the stand as an indie house, and, when Walt Disney created Mickey on his genius-infested drawing board and transferred the rodent into celluloid, the Colony was under Universal operation .... At least this was the situation at the time "Steamboat Willie" broke release-ice .... Actually, Walt began making "Mickey Mouse" cartoons in sound during May of 1928 .... There were destined to be marketed, following conclusion of the Columbia days, by United Artists and then by RKO Radio .... By an odd circumstance, an RKO Radio-ite now serving on the publicity staff of S. Barret McCormick and who aided in the promotion of Mickey's birthday party last night, Arthur Brillant, was the Colony's managing director for "U." and, gnawed by the mouse's magnetic humor and potentialities, brought Mickey formally to the screen ..... Few entertainment world luminaries can boast of a Broadway bow as initial fling in show biz .... But that's what Mickey did, and literally "right off the reel" ..... In the wake of "Steamboat Willie" yester night were projected for his invited celebrity friends, and press and radio solons, "Mickey's Choo-Choo," Columbia, '29 (this should not confuse Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler); "Mickey's Grand Opera," UA '36; "Brave Little Tailor," RKO-Radio, '38; "Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip," RKO-Radio, '40; "Symphony Hour" and "Mickey's Birthday Party," RKO-Radio, '42; plus the brand-new unreleased "Figaro and Cleo," soon to grace film outlets of the free world.

September 30, 1943
Lantz to Make Navy Training Film Series
Walter Lantz, Universal cartoon producer, has closed a deal with the J. S. Navy whereby Lantz will produce a series of training films. Lantz, who has been in New York for several days, leaves for Washington today to confer with Naval officials before returning to the Coast.

October 15, 1943
Lantz to Produce Cartoon Series for Use By Navy
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Walter Lantz will produce a series of cartoons for use by the Navy, including a three-reel subject, "Practical Surgery." Ben Hardaway has been assigned to write the script which will instruct doctors in accordance with Navy requirements.
Due to his increased program, Lantz has engaged 10 additional artists and animators for his staff, and has placed his studio on a 48-hour working week, thus increasing his operating plan from 40 hours per week.

October 19, 1943
Phil M. Daly column, New York
Scanning the Film Scene:
• • • FROM the Coast cartoon foundry of Walter Lanz [sic] wafts word that he's adding something new to tab reels,—glamour .... Walter, after studying the mart on own behalf and his Universal distrib solons. feels that cartoons have been too limited in subject matter, and has decided to broaden scope of his material .... Inaugurating this policy will be "The Greatest Man in Siam," wherein glamour will appear in the Petty manner .... Incidentally, Br'r Lantz is producing eight cartoons for the Navy, at rate of one a month.

October 25, 1943
To Re-issue "Snow White" Under RKO-Disney Deal
Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" will be re-issued this season by RKO Radio under the terms of a new five-year deal which has been completed between the distributor and the producer. Distribution of the Technicolor production will be on a world-wide basis, with release in the conquered territories to be made as rapidly as conditions permit. An entire new line of posters and advertising accessories will be prepared.
No definite release date has been set, but it is likely that the picture may be re-issued during the Christmas holidays. First released in the Fall of 1937, "Snow White" was offered in 10 languages and was one of the top grossers of all time.

Did You Say Disney? . . . Or Is It Dizzy?
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Having reached a zenith of hilarity, in the opinion of sports fans, via his "How To Play Baseball," Walt Disney has ordered full speed ahead on "How To Play Football,"—and it'll star not one Goofy but two teams of them,—22 in all! Release date will be around New Year's, probably in time for the bowl games.

October 28, 1943
17th "Canteen" Week Sets Canadian Mark
Montreal—"Stage Door Canteen," whose 16th final week at the Orpheum, was announced last week will be held a 17th week commencing today thereby almost doubling the longest previous Montreal run and the Dominion record for length of run in a cinema made 23 years ago in Toronto by "Mickey." Set to follow is Walt Disney's "Victory Through Air Power."

Phil M. Daly column, New York
Some Cuff Notes:
• • • A LOT of water has gone over the dam since the day, early in 1938- that George Pal came to the U. S., transplanted hither by Dave Bader .... The latter phoned-up the trade press lads and asked 'em to meet the newly-arrived cartoon producer and to witness on the screen up at Lloyd's a couple of commercial reels which George had made in England, using characters carved from wood instead of the two-dimensional creations which come from drawing boards .... It was obvious to the trade scriveners that George had something unique and promising in the technique .... He gave the boys some samples as souvenirs, thanked them for coming to the screening, and departed subsequently for Hollywood, accompanied by his preceptor, Br'r Bader .... There he hooked-up with Paramount, where he is to this day .... Thus ended a long trek whose point of origin was Budapest, and led successively to Berlin, Paris, Eindhoven (Holland), and London .... For five years he lived in Eindhoven and carried away with him a deep affection for the Dutch people ..... In Hollywood his first Puppetoon was "Western Daze," a satire on our sagebrush sagas ..... When the Nazis swarmed into Holland and clamped the yoke of slavery on that land, young Mr. Pal got damn mad and with the thoroughly sympathetic co-op of Paramount made a short titled "Tulips Shall Grow," which depicted the unflagging spirit of the people of Holland .... It might have been called "You Can't Beat the Dutch" .... Well, last night at the Los Angeles Area War Chest Headquarters, before an audience of civic, social and business leaders. Dr. Adrian Hartog, Consul for the Netherlands, presented a parchment scroll to George Pal in recognition of his contributions to the Dutch war effort.

November 5, 1943
More Theaters Playing Walter Lantz Subjects
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Theaters playing Walter Lantz Cartunes, released by Universal, have increased from 7,500 to 8,200 during the past year, according to a checkup just completed by the producer.
First-run playing time has risen about 50 per cent during the period, Lantz states.

In New Posts
GRIM NATWICK, animator, Walter Lantz.
DON WILLIAMS, animator, Walter Lantz.

November 10, 1943
Donald Won't Duck Captive U. S. Lads
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney's latest international good deed is his design of insignia for American captives in a Nazi prison camp, "Stalag Luft III." It was done at the instigation of Capt. Robert H. Bishop, one of the captives, whose home town is Knoxville. Walt's design shows Donald Duck behind bars, beneath which is the legend, "I Wanted Wings." Disney to date has designed some 600 emblems for the armed forces.

Phil M. Daly column, New York
• Henry R. Arias, veteran pic gent, has acquired from P. A. Powers and Celebrity Productions the exclusive world distribution rights for the 35 mm. cartoon reissues,—38 "Flip the Frog," 12 "Willie Whoppers" (black and white cartoons), and 25 Comicolors.

November 23, 1943
14 New Films Start On Coast
At Republic: “Trocadero.” musical, with Rosemary Lane and Bob Rochester and his orchestra, Eddie LeBaron, Gus Arnheim and Matty Malneck and their Orchestras, columnist Erskine Johnson playing himself, Cliff Nazarro, in a comedy part, and cartoonist Dave Fleischer will have a trick role in the film.

December 1, 1943
HOLLYWOOD DIGEST
SIGNED
DAVE BARRY, voice impressionist, Columbia cartoon studio.

Pal's Puppetoon Studio Now in Full Production
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—George Pal's Puppetoon Studio is now in full production with all stages occupied with Paramount Puppetoons and training films which Pal is producing for the Army and Navy.
Re-recording is new being done on "Package for Jasper" winch is the next Puppetoon scheduled for Paramount release. “Say Ah, Jasper,” is now in the cutting room. "Mulberry Street" is now shooting and the musical score is being composed for "Jasper Goes Hunting," with shooting scheduled to get under way today.
Pal's second training film for the Army titled "The Tank Platoon Fundamentals of Attack" is now shooting and is scheduled for completion about the first of the year. His next training film for the United States Navy on P-T Boats is now in preparation and will start shooting in a few weeks.

December 2, 1943
Walt Disney to Enter Industrial Film Field
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Walt Disney has started a preliminary survey to determine the place of animated industrial motion pictures in the post-war world, it is revealed in the announcement of the formation of an industrial film division in the Disney organization, coincident with word that Disney has been in Toledo on the survey.
Toledo conferences, with officials of Owens-Illinois Glass Co., are to establish a basis for the contemplated series of worker indoctrination, training and entertainment subjects. Announcements started speculation as to the extent of the Disney post-war industrial plans. His studio and staff have been greatly extended in the past years as the organization concentrated on training subjects for both the U. S. and Canadian Governments. It is believed that, at the end of the war, the company will be in a position to maintain its theatrical program and, drawing on its Government experience, will be able to supply top flight subjects for the industrial field.

December 7, 1943
Disney Sees Radar As Television Boon
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Radar may furnish the solution of some of the problems which have kept television from keeping step with radio as an entertainment medium, in the opinion of Walt Disney.
The cartoon producer, discussing today's trends, urged a union of educators and producers in the making of educational films, and said that such a union was imperative if educational films' real worth is to be established.
In gazing into the crystal ball, Disney sees no specific technical development in the pictures ahead, although there will be gradual improvements.
"Third dimension will be too expensive a proposition, particularly in view of the fact that with present equipment we can obtain all the illusion of third dimension on the screen.
"In color we can look forward to great strides. The day will come when all pictures will be made in color. This will come about when a single film is developed that will record natural color, and steps are now being taken in this direction.
"Television has been held back only by the war, but behind the curtain of current events developments in this field are taking place which are certain to bring motion pictures, up-to-the-minute events, stage shows and sports colossals right into the home."

December 16, 1943
75% Color, 50% Cartoons In WB Shorts Release to May
Warners will release 32 short subjects from January to mid-May, half of the number being cartoon comedies and about 75 per cent of the total in Technicolor, it is announced by Norman H. Moray, short subject sales manager. Three two-reel Westerns also are on the schedule, one for January, another for March and the third in April.



REVIEWS

July 1, 1943
"Who Killed Who" (M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 8 Mins. Mildly Entertaining
Every now and then the cartoon fashioners are tempted into making a travesty of the blood-and-thunder crime theme. Herewith is the latest. For the most part it is amusing, and should be satisfactorily received by the fans. Essentially its appeal springs from rapid action and tricky animation. Such as the latter is, it delineates the efforts of an exaggerated detective to find out who killed the aged occupant of a mansion. Ghosts and all manner of eerie ectoplasmic forms bob out of closets, cellar, et al, to furnish suspense and humor. Mark it down as mildly entertaining

"The Lonesome Mouse"
M-G-M 8 mins. Fair
A Technicolor cartoon with a limited number of laughs. It is likely to appeal primarily to the kids. The characters are a mouse and a cat. The mouse rejoices when the cat is put out of the house. Loneliness puts a quick end to his rejoicing. Most of the footage has to do with his efforts to get the cat back into the house. Once the cat is back both start fighting all over again.

July 8, 1943
"Victory Through Air Power"
UA-Disney 65 Mins.
DISNEY DOES SUPERB JOB WITH FILM VERSION OF SEVERSKY BOOK; TIMELY PIC DESERVES WIDE AUDIENCE.
Walt Disney has applied every resource of his art to make the screen treatment of Major Alexander P. de Seversky's book, "Victory Through Air Power," an achievement fully worthy of his name. All the devices of the animator's craft have been employed with powerful effect to bring home the message contained in the Seversky tome—namely, that only the right use of aerial might will gain us the decisive triumph in our struggle against the Axis.
Despite the fine job Disney has done in transferring Seversky's ideas to celluloid one cannot get away from the question of whether the film represents entertainment in the sense that picture fans have come to accept it. Humor is at a minimum and is confined to that portion of the film dealing with the history of aviation. "Victory Through Air Power" is Disney in a more serious mood—which is understandable considering the vital significance of the subject. The timeliness of the film and the publicity that has accrued to the Seversky book provide exploitable points in selling the picture to the public.
"Victory Through Air Power" is a picture that calls for the abandonment of old-time notions of entertainment in its evaluation. It must be weighed by maturer standards for the sake of its message—in this instance a message of supreme importance —a message that touches the welfare of every individual arrayed against the Axis powers. Every person seriously interested in victory against the Axis owes it to himself to see the film. This is a point the exhibitor can stress with profit to himself in selling the picture to his patrons.
Despite its seriousness the film manages to be absorbing at all times. It puts over its message with remarkable clarity and commendable simplicity. Diagrams have never been used with more striking effect, nor with greater cleverness. Disney uses them dramatically to illustrate Seversky's concepts of air force as a weapon of victory.
After the film has sketched the development of the airplane the screen is given over to Seversky himself. The heir to General Billy Mitchell's theories on the value of air power expounds his ideas with an incisiveness and an authority that make it easy to see why through the air lies the United Nations' path to victory. Seversky shows in detail how long-range bombing by land-based aviation will blast the Axis out of the war. He presents his case impressively and eloquently, driving home his argument with devastating logic. Seversky explains at length why trying to lick the Axis by any other means than air power properly applied will be a long and arduous task calling for a heavy cost in lives and gold. He points out the need for a united American air force under separate command.
The film, in which Technicolor has been used to fine advantage, represents a grand job of animation.
Hats are off to all who had a finger in the making of the picture.
CREDITS: Producer, Walt Disney, Production Manager, Dan Keefe; Scenes with Major Seversky directed by H. C. Potter; Animation Supervisor, David Hand; Story Direction, Perce Pearce; Story Adaptation, T. Hee, Erdman Penner, William Cottrell, Jim Bodrero, George Stallings, Jose Rodriquez; Sequence Directors, Clyde Geronomi, Jack Kinney, James Algar; Cameraman, Ray Hennehan; Art Director, Richard Irvine; Sound Recorders, C. O. Sly field, Lodge Cunningham; Film Editor, Jack Dennis; Interior Decoration, William Kiernan; Narrator, Art Baker; Musical Score, Edward Plumb, Paul J. Smith, Oliver Wallace.
DIRECTION, Fine. PHOTOGRAPHY, Fine.

July 21, 1943
"The Fly In The Ointment" (Phantasy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 Mins. Inconsequential
Mildly diverting fare, recounting the tiff between a tough-guy fly, who finds himself caught in a fierce spider's web, and the occupant thereof. Something of an O. Henry twist is injected at the finale when the fly is all set to devour the spider. Set it down as a run-of-the-mine cartoon without much specific interest. Occasionally the dialogue and some of the animation are above the dull level.

July 22, 1943
"The Uninvited Pest" (M-G-M Cartoon)
M-G-M 8 mins. Amusing Stuff
Because it depicts how one's sleep can be disturbed by minor annoyances which assume major importance, this reel will amuse all adults, and its simple, direct, and humorous story will likewise please the younger generation. Mr. Bear is settling down for a good snooze when a little squirrel enters his cabin to raid a bowl of nuts therein. Vast confusion follows, with the bear getting the worst of it, and finally turning over the edible booty to the invader.

"Porky Pig's Feat" (Looney Tune)
Warner 7 Mins. Funny
Leon Schlesinger has united Porky Pig and Daffy Duck in a Technicolor cartoon that is productive of a fair number of laughs. The action revolves around the efforts of the two characters to slip out of a hotel where they owe a fat bill. They try devious means of escape with humorous results. Speed has been stressed in the animation.

"Secret Agent" (Superman)
Paramount 9 mins. Like All the Others
This is Superman's fadeout. It cannot be trutfully said that our mighty man winds up his screen life in a blaze of glory. The last of the series of Technicolor cartoons is just as fantastic as its predecessors, with the appeal strictly to the kids. This time Superman smashes a gang of saboteurs after a femme agent who has gotten the dope on the lice and is about to spill it to the authorities. It is denied that Superman has left the screen to go into the Army, where the likes of him would indeed be welcome.

"The Truck That Flew" (Madcap Models)
Paramount 8 mins. Good
George Pal's new offering is a very amusing little item artistically created. It's a fantasy based on story by Dudley Morris. It tells of a little chap whose thoughts turn to a flying truck at bedtime. Presto, he dreams of being wafted skyward, with his bed transformed into a big truck. The lad's dream journey is marked by excitement and human incidents. The short, which is in fine Technicolor, makes a classy booking.

"The Hungry Goat" (Popeye)
Paramount 7 mins. Mild
In his newest animated cartoon appearance Popeye tangles with a billy goat with a voracious appetite. The goat comes aboard Popeye's ship and proceeds to eat everything of metal in sight, including the battle wagon itself. Popeye and the admiral, whose ship it is, have a hopeless time besting the goat, which winds up having the last laugh on them. The number of laughs is limited.

August 4, 1943
"Yankee Doodle Daffy" (Looney Tune)
Warner 7 mins. Good
Again Leon Schlesinger has teamed Porky Pig and Daffy Duck with humorous results. The first enacts a theatrical agent to whom the latter tries to sell his little nephew as a stage attraction. Daffy's endeavors to gain an audition for the kid are quite funny. Porky Pig is finally forced to give in and listen to the kid, who proves a total flop. The animation is excellent in this cartoon, which is in Technicolor.

"A Hunting We Won't Go"
Columbia 7 Mins. Good
A situation ripe for humor arises when the crow goes on a fox hunt while the fox goes on a crow hunt. Hell breaks loose when the two meet and disclose each other's identity. When the Fox has the crow where he wants him he can't go through with the job of shooting him. At last, however, the Fox let's go at the crow. There are quite a few laughs in the Technicolor footage. This is a Dave Fleischer production.

August 5, 1943
"Victory Vehicles" (Walt Disney)
RKO 8 Mins. Very Funny
Possible means of meeting the gas and rubber shortage are shown in this Walt Disney Technicolor cartoon. Various ideas are demonstrated by the Goof with fine humorous results. Finally the Goof demonstrates an idea of his own—the pogo stick. The fellow does wonders with the device. This is a very amusing item.

August 20, 1943
"Dizzy Newsreel"
Columbia 7 1/2 Mins. Passable
This cartoon is a burlesque on some of the favorite subjects of the newsreels. All the characters are animals. The short moves snappily and has quite a few laughs. Dave Fleischer produced the item, which has snatches of humor that will appeal to grown-ups.

September 1, 1943
"Super Mouse Rides Again" (Terrytoon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Fair
Again Supermouse comes to the rescue of a colony of mice being being devilled by cats. The mice live in mortal terror until our rodent hero projects himself upon the scene and routs the villains. The kids will find the cartoon entertaining, although it is no better than fair. The short is in Technicolor.

September 3, 1943
"Jasper Goes Fishing" (Madcap Models)
Paramount 8 1/2 mins Excellent
George Pal has worked his magic again. For his latest creation he has reunited Jasper, the Scarecrow and the latter's blackbird with hilarious results. Jasper undergoes some hair-raising experiences with a school of irate fish when he plays hookey from Sunday school to go fishing with the Scarecrow and the blackbird. A world of imagination has gone into the short, which is in superb Technicolor.

September 7, 1943
"Ration Bored"
Universal 7 Mins. Fair
This Technicolor cartoon has Woody Woodpecker as its chief character. This time Woody is concerned with getting gas to run his jalopy. In siphoning gas from other cars he makes the mistake of tangling with a police car. Woody and the cop chase each other all over the place. The film has a bang-up finish. The kids will get a few laughs out of this one.

"Down With Cats" (Terrytoon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Good
Here's another of the Technicolor cartoons featuring Supermouse. This one seems to be the best of the series so far. It has some clever touches and many laugh-getting situations. Again Supermouse saves a bunch of mice from the depredations of their cat enemies. The cats attempt to trap the mice while the latter are skating on a pond. Put this down as an A-1 booking for the kids.

September 8, 1943
"Somewhere in Egypt" (Terrytoon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Quite Funny
The further adventures of Sergeant Cat and Private Gandy Goose. This time the two find themselves in the desert in Egypt. Gandy's playing of a plaintive oriental tune sends the sarge into a dream in which he meets some feline stunners. The cartoon, which is in Technicolor, is good for innumerable laughs.

"One Ham's Family"
M-G-M 8 mins. Quite Funny
Plenty of laughs here. The action takes place on Christmas Eve and the principal characters are a kid pig and the big bad wolf. The wolf tries every trick, including disguising himself as Santa Clause [sic], to lure the piggy into his clutches, but the porker gets the better of the villain at every turn. At the windup of this Technicolor cartoon the wolf is a mess.

September 15, 1943
"Pass the Biscuits, Mirandy"
Universal 7 Mins. So-So
The verdict here is fair. This cartoon in Technicolor deals with a feud between two hillbilly factions fought with biscuits baked by Mirandy. The biscuits are so hard they're as good as bullets. The feudists get into the army and fight the Axis with biscuits made by Mirandy.

September 27, 1943
"Boogie Woogie Man"
Universal 7 mins. Okay for Jive Lovers
Boogie-woogie gets a good going-over in this Technicolor cartoon. The action revolves around a convention of ghosts that is thrown into high by the jive antics of a delegation from Harlem. The subject has been well executed. The young folk should find this a booking to their taste.

September 27, 1943
"Cartoons Ain't Human"
(Popeye)
Paramount 7 mins. Mild
Popeye turns animated cartoonist in his latest adventure. He makes himself the hero of his creation, rescuing Olive from the villain, who has the gal tied to the railroad tracks at the end. The laughs are few. Even the kids will have a tough time being entertained by this one.

"Room and Bored"
Columbia 7 1/2 mins. Okay
This Technicolor short offers another battle between the Crow and the Fox. The fuss starts when the former, a jive nut, rents an apartment from the latter and proceeds to make a nuisance of himself. The Crow's behavior finally forces the Fox to order him out, but the villain manages to stay on by trickery. The Dave Fleischer cartoon has a number ,of rather funny moments.

October 1, 1943
"Falling Hare" (Merry Melody Cartoon)
Warners 7 mins. Lots of Laughs
Literally and figuratively, Bugs Bunny, already a prime favorite among current cartoon characters, gets off to a flying start in the distribution season just started. The buck-toothed, long-eared clown meets up with a gremlin, and both find themselves aloft in an airplane, with Bugs, or what's left of him, being darn glad to get back to earth. There are plenty of laughs throughout. The tough Bunny, if this initial '43-'44 offering of his producer, Leon Schlesinger, is any criteron, is in for a further rise in popularity among fans who like humor. Of course, the reel is in Technicolor. It was supervised by Robert Clampett and animated by Roderick Scribner. Warren Foster wrote the story, and Carl W. Stalling handled the musical direction.

October 8, 1943
"Figaro and Cleo" (Walt Disney)
RKO 8 Mins. Topnotch
With the help of fine Technicolor, Walt Disney has created a cartoon that is as appealing as it is amusing. The chief characters are a kitten named Figaro and a gold fish called Cleo. The kitten perpetually keeps trying to get at the fish but suffers a change of heart at the end. It takes plenty of upbraiding by a colored maid to teach Figaro love for Cleo. The cartoon has been fashioned with a delicate touch that adds immensely to its fascination.

"War Dogs"
M-G-M 7 Mins. Funny
There are loads of laughs in this Technicolor cartoon about an army hound who has a genius for doing everything wrong. The dog gets himself in and out of difficulties with the greatest of ease and with results that make the short a first-rate bookings of its kind. A lot of cleverness has gone into the film's making.

"The Stork's Holiday"
M-G-M 8 Mins. Not Bad
How the stork reacts to the war has been treated with a good dose of humor in this Technicolor cartoon. The stork, afraid of negotiating the skyways in wartime, rebels against further activity until the ghosts of its ancestors arise to plague him and remind him of his duty. Thereupon the old bird encases himself in armor and resumes his job of delivering the young. He has an encounter with enemy planes but comes through triumphantly. The kids will find plenty to laugh at.

November 12, 1943
"Hiss and Make Up" (Merrie Melodies)
Warner 7 mins. Okay
This Leon Schlesinger cartoon in Technicolor is about a cat and a dog that are at each other's throat every time their mistress, an old maid, turns her back. A pet canary has an important place in the plot. Some of the situations in this one are very funny.

"The Old Army Game" (Walt Disney)
RKO 10 mins. Swell
Donald Duck has a run-in with his sergeant, a hard-as-nails fellow, in his latest army experience. Donald's flouting of army regulations leads to some extremely hilarious moments. Clever incidents develop as he and the sarge have it out. At the wind-up the sarge is pursuing our feathered hero with a bayonet. Of course, the cartoon is in Technicolor.

"Inki and the Minah Bird"
(Merrie Melodies)
Warner 7 mins. Excellent
Leon Schlesinger has done a swell job with the story of a lion's encounter with a little jungle native (Inki) and a minah bird, a mysterious sort who remains silent through-out. Inki runs into the lion while out hunting. He is almost done for when the bird comes to the rescue. The Technicolor is superb.

"A Feud There Was" (Merrie Melodies)
Warner 7 mins. All Right
A hill-billy feud is the subject of this extremely funny cartoon in Technicolor. A peace-preaching character named Elmer keeps butting in. He makes himself so obnoxious that the two factions unite to drive him off. In a surprise ending the meek fellow is transformed into a fighting fool. He beats up the feudists and brings about peace.

"Nursery Crimes"
Columbia 7 mins. Okay
By giving what he refers to the "inside story" on the Mother Goose rhymes, the narrator offers modern version of some of the childhood favorites. The treatment is consistently amusing. There is much satirical material in the Technicolor cartoon, which is a Dave Fleischer offering.

"Meatless Tuesday"
Universal 9 mins. Funny
The Walter Lantz cartoon in Technicolor is an amusing bit. The star is Andy Panda. The fellow, hungry for chicken, spends his time trying to capture a rooster for dinner. The action is hectic, winding up with the rooster triumphant. The kids in particular will get a kick out of the cartoon.

November 17, 1943
"Corny Concerto" (Merrie Melodies)
Warner 7 mins. Corking
This teaming of those hilarious Leon Schlesinger characters, Bugs Bunny and Porky, in this Technicolor cartoon means a high old time for those who like animated entertainment. The two do their stuff to the accompaniment of those enchanting tunes, "Tales from the Vienna Woods" and "The Blue Danube." Here is an ace booking that will especially please music lovers.

November 19, 1943
"Fin ‘n’ Catty" (Merrie Melodies)
Warner 7 mins. Amusing
Done in Technicolor by Leon Schlesinger, this animated cartoon deals with a cat that schemes to get its paws on a goldfish. The cat tries every trick to gain its end but without success. The fish triumphs by capitalizing on the discovery that cats dislike water. The end finds the cat thoroughly immersed. The laughs are numerous.

November 24, 1943
"The Lion and the Mouse" (Terrytoon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Okay
The fable of the lion and the mouse has been treated amusingly in this animated cartoon in Technicolor. The lion finds his generosity in sparing the mouse's life well repaid when he falls into a trap. The rodent, transforming himself into Super-mouse, rout the hounds menacing the lion and gains the king of beast's release. The kids especially will find something to laugh about in this short.

"Daffy the Commando" (Looney Tunes)
Warner 7 mins. Daffy and Funny
Daffy Duck tangles with a German called Von Vulture in his latest adventure. The fellow launches a one-man blitz against the officer and his aide that is flood for a load of laughs. Daffy winds up on top after an exciting set-to with the villains. He then sets out to give Hitler a dose of trouble. The Technicolor treatment is extra good in this cartoon which is an ace filler. Leon Schlesinger produced capitally.

"The Cocky Bantam"
Columbia 6 1/2 mins. Funny
Here is a Dave Fleischer animated cartoon in Technicolor that is good for a few laughs. The short has the added advantage of dealing with a timely subject that conveys a moral. A starving falcon buys a chicken on the black market and immediately gets into a mess of trouble. The chicken is revealed as an FBI agent. At the end it's the clink for the falcon and the Jap who sold him the chicken.

"Aladdin's Lamp" (Terrytoon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Good
Sergeant Cat and Private Gandy Goose are the characters. Gandy falls asleep and dreams that he and the sergeant are in China where they meet Aladdin. Wondrous things happen to our heroes, thanks to the magic wrought by Aladdin's lamp. The two make the most of their dream. The animated cartoon has plenty of laughs. This one is in Technicolor.

"Yokel Duck Makes Good" (Terrytoon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Highly Amusing
The central character is a yokel duck selling brushes. His efforts to interest a family of ducks and a couple of swans in his wares are cruelly rebuffed. He is a pitiful figure until a sinister bird of prey appears on the scene and attempts to seize a duckling. The yokel rises to the occasion, puts the invader to flight and is honored as a hero by those who spurned him. The Technicolor cartoon is good fun.

"The Hopeful Donkey" (Terrytoon)
20th-Fox 7 mins. Fair
The footage deals with a donkey who flees fiom his master to save himself from being disposed of because of old age. The animal decides to go to town in hope of becoming a great musician. On his way he picks up a dog, a cat and a rooster who are in the same fix as himself. The four make heroes of themselves by putting a villain to flight. The appeal here is more to children than to grown-ups. The cartoon is in Technicolor.

December 9, 1943
"What's Buzzin', Buzzard?"
M-G-M 8 mins. Gruesome Twosome
Although quite humorous, the sight of two buzzards with cannibalistic intentions toward each other scarcely makes for pleasant contemplation. The buzzards are depicted as a couple of extremely brutal fellows. The fact that they're dying of starvation may be offered in mitigation of their actions. The two go after each other until a rabbit pops on the scene. The cartoon is in Technicolor and has been well done.

December 16, 1943
"Her Honor the Mare"
Paramount 7 mins. Better Than Usual
At last Popeye has succumbed to the lure of color. And what an improvement! This cartoon is far and away the best of the series to be turned out in a long, long time. This time Popeye is involved with a broken-down mare which his nephews bring home. He tries every trick to get rid of the mare but changes his mind when the stork calls on the animal. Technicolor should give new life to the series.

"Goodnight Rusty" (Madcap Models)
Paramount 7 1/2 mins. Good
Rusty, the boy character in "The Truck That Flew," does an encore in the latest of the George Pal series of Technicolor shorts. This, too, is a fantasy, and a fascinating one. This time Rusty has all sorts of strange experiences as result of his insistence on smoking a cigar. Pal has obtained some most unusual effects in this film, in which color has been used to striking advantage.

"Imagination" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 8 mins. All Right for Kids
The kids, especially those of feminine gender, will take readily to [] entertainment in this Dave Fleischer cartoon in Technicolor. The footage is a bit of fantasy about a tattered doll. The child who owns the doll lets her imagination wander in finding an explanation for the doll's condition. The short is bolstered by some delightful music by Paul Worth.

"No Mutton Fer Nuttin'" (Noveltoons)
Paramount 7 mins. Amusing
Initial subject in Paramount's new Noveltoons series, this Technicolor cartoon from Famous Studios is in the current style of other animated reels. Featuring a tough black sheep who outwits the wolf looking for a lamb chop dinner, subject is a fast, funny wise crack-filled program filler.

December 20, 1943
"Baby Puss"
M-G-M 8 mins. Kiddie Delight
Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse cavort again in a Technicolor cartoon to the delight of the kids. This time Tom makes a laughing stock of himself when he acts like a baby at his young mistress' request that he behave himself. His efforts to defend himself get him in trouble with his mistress. The youngsters will get plenty of laughs out of this one.

December 28, 1943
“Home Defense” (Walt Disney)
RKO 8 mins. Swell
The wrong way to be an airplane spotter is demonstrated amusingly by Donald Duck in this Walt Disney cartoon in Technicolor. Using home-made apparatus, Donald gets himself involved in one embarrassing situation after another in his attempt to do his patriotic duty. His nephews complicate matters by playing tricks on him. The short is filled with laugh-provoking incidents.