Monday, 30 June 2014

The Ducks Call Back

“A duck will always answer to a duck call,” says the narrator in Tex Avery’s “Field and Scream.” And they do. They go from regular-looking ducks to silly-looking ones in a matter of a couple of seconds.



Grant Simmons, Walt Clinton and Mike Lah are the credited animators. I have no idea who the narrator is.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Racing With Rochester

Eddie Anderson was more than an actor. He had a wide number of interests, only one of which was ever mentioned on the Jack Benny radio show. Anderson had a horse in the 1943 Kentucky Derby. The situation got so much publicity at the time, Bill Morrow and Ed Beloin felt compelled to plunk it in two of the scripts, managing to contrive a reason why an impoverished butler to a miser would have the money to own a thoroughbred.

Anderson’s numerous sports interests were outlined in ‘Wendell Smith’s Sports Beat’ column in the Pittsburgh Courier of April 21, 1951.

“Rochester” Has an Expensive Hobby . . .
One of the reasons Eddie (Rochester) Anderson is famous is because for the past fourteen years he has driving, via radio on Sunday nights, Jack Benny's broken-down Maxwell, a dilapidated, tempermental jalopy.
The fact Benny has refused to trade the hack in since he purchased it back in 1927 is evidence enough that Rochester is a leading candidate for a degree in master mechanics. He has kept the lizzy going down through the years and has driven his “boss” to fame and fortune.
Everybody knows about that and acknowledges the fact that without Rochester the famous comedian couldn't possibly have zoomed along the road of success as swiftly and smoothly as he has.
The Maxwell is so incompetent, in fact, that it has driven Rochester to distraction and, also, into the intricate field of automobile designing.
Last week, for instance, he exhibited his latest creation at a sports car show in Chicago. It was one of the most popular exhibits on display and Rochester was there in person to explain how and why he adopted such a unique hobby. He has always been a great sports enthusiast, but few people knew that his interests had invaded such an exacting field.
“I've always been mechanically-minded,” he explained to us, “and always been interested in custom built sports cars. Last summer I was in Europe with Jack Benny and saw so many of them, I decided I'd get one.
“But they couldn't deliver one to me for at least eight months, so I decided I'd design and build one myself.”
* * *
He Once Had a Horse In the Derby . . .
The fog-voiced radio star then turned and ran his hand over the sleek, cream-colored specially built car he was exhibiting. It is a luxury sports job with a Cadillac V-8 motor. Rochester designed the entire car and practically constructed it himself. The total expenditure amounted to more than $20,000.
“This car,” he said proudly, “is complete in every detail. It took eight months to finish it and now it’s ready to compete in any sports car race in the country. Its top speed will be about 150 miles per hour, which is fast enough for me.”
There were sixty-five custom and hot rod cars on exhibition for the auto fanatics who like models constructed on extreme lines.
Rochester's was the most popular of them all. Thousands of people stood around each day gasping at his “dream car.”
Rochester's interests are diversified, running from the automobile to the horse. The mention of the impending Kentucky Derby, for instance, made his familar eyes pop. A few years ago he has a horse that ran in the Derby by the name of “Burnt Cork.”
The nag's only distinction was that Rochester owned and nursed it. It lacked two tremendously important essentials, speed and the will to win.
Recalling “Burnt Cork's” efforts in the Derby, Rochester said: "I though the horse might get off and go places in the Derby, but that was just an idle dream. I don't even remember how he finished in the race because I couldn't wait around until he came in. When the first five horses finished, I looked around the track for “Burnt Cork” but he was so far behind I couldn't see him. I couldn't wait around all day, so I got up and went home. I understand, however, that he came in sometime before night fall. I guess he got hungry.”
“Burnt Cork” passed into the Great Beyond in 1944.
Rochester has four other horses in his stable now, the best of which is “Coloradito.”
“His name means ‘Little Red’,” Benny's favorite stooge said, “and he's a pretty good horse. He started nine times last year and finished in the money eight. He's too old for the Derby, but he's not too old to make a little money. He's seven years old.”
Rochester has always been an avid sports fan, and his favorite athlete is Billy Anderson, his 22-year-old son, who is now in uniform and stationed near the vault where they keep the gold at Fort Knox.
“He had a great future,” Rochester admitted modestly, “until Uncle Sam came along and grabbed him. He was a great halfback at Compton Junior College in California and held two junior college records in the high and low hurdles.
“If he could have continued, he probably would have been playing football and running on the track at either UCLA or Southern California. Maybe when he gets out of the Army he’ll still be young enough to resume his athletic career.”
* * *
His Fighter Looked Good . . . Outside the Ring
Rochester has never confined his sports interests to any single field. He is now interested in sports cars and horses. He was once a baseball fanatic and a manager of fighters.
“The fighters,” he said, “never went very far. They all looked good when I first signed them. They were tough and strong. They were rugged and sturdy. But that was outside the ring. When they got in the ring and faced an opponent, they were just the opposite. They were weak and feeble. After the bell rang I never watched the fight itself. I simply fixed my eyes on the canvas because that is where they usually ended up.”
His sports car hobby can be developed into a lucrative business. If he gets enough offers he plans to put the “Rochester Special” into full production and on the market. They will cost approximately $5,000.
“Right now, this is not a poor man's sport,” he said, “but the fad is becoming more popular all the time. When we can produce these cars on a mass production basis, they will go down in price and be available to almost everyone.”
He ran his hand over the car and smiled. “There's quite a difference between this and that Maxwell I have to haul Benny around in, isn't there?” he said. “But, if it weren't for that Maxwell, I wouldn't be the owner of a Rochester Special.”


Mike Kazaleh was nice enough to dig up pictures of Rochester’s car. Yes, it doesn’t quite look like the Maxwell.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Drooping Cigars and a Throwaway Dime

“Subtle humorist” is not how many would view Paul Terry. What’s subtle about Mighty Mouse? Or Heckle and Jeckle? But when someone is 82 years old, you cut them a bit of slack. Thus the Yonkers Herald Statesman bestowed that moniker on Terry in a profile published March 19, 1969.

Terry survived being cut adrift by Amadee Van Beuren at the advent of sound cartoons in 1929. He formed his own studio and survived into the era of network television via coaxial cable in the early 1950s. Along the way, he produced cartoons that paled in comparison to what was being put on screens by every other studio, even as his staff duplicated some of their ideas. Yet Terry had no pretentions and that somehow was reflected in his films, to their benefit. And some of today’s fans, perhaps tired of the bashing that Terrytoons have received in some quarters, point out the merits of the work of the individuals who worked on them, such as Jim Tyer, Carlo Vinci and Art Bartsch.

So let’s turn our attention to the aforementioned newspaper feature story. A comment about the Terry studio “infrequently working around the clock” doesn’t make sense in context of the point the author is making. And there’s a glaring composition error that, somehow, seems appropriate to a story on Terry.

Paul Terry, At 82, Still Calls The Toon
By CARMEL MARCHIONNI

The antics of “Little Herman” which originated in animated cartoon more than a half century ago, were the brainchild of a subtle humorist from Westchester County.
A struggling pioneer in his field in 1915, Paul Terry is the originator of the rib–tickling Terrytoons. He sold his first cartoon for $1.35 a foot . . . today it is not unusual to get anywhere between $100 and $165 a foot.
At 82, Mr. Terry attributes his success to simplicity in everything he undertakes. He has been living at the Westchester Country Club in Harrison since 1942. His daughter, Pat Leighton, lives in Yonkers.
Considering photography as an experimental media, he started his career as a cameraman handling a flash powder type instrument which more often than not would explode in someone’s face.
He worked on and off for the San Francisco Examiner until he became interested in pursuing his family art background only to choose cartooning as his particular delight.
The most vivid recollection of his early days was the taking of a picture of a murderer in an Oakland, Calif., courtroom and being threatened with jail by the presiding judge.
In another incident, a black-faced woman chased him a few blocks after he took a flash picture of her.
Mr. Terry recalls with pleasure the time he shared a studio at 50th Street in New York City with Robert Ripley of “Believe It Or Not” fame. His greatest problem in the past was the tremendous amount of talent stolen from him. As soon as he trained a good animator, someone would come along and “raid” him. This left him with his cigar pointing downwards, “a sure sign of trouble” as far as his employes were concerned. The cigar served as a barometer for his moods.
One of his particular brainstorms Mr. Terry claims was stolen from him by contemporary humorists, was the saying . . . “When I feel like exercising
I lay down ‘til the feeling wears off.”
This was factualized by his staff who always saw him rush into his office in the morning and quickly close the door behind him. He would impress upon them the idea of an idea in evolution while, in reality, he claims originality with the psychiatrist’s couch . . . napping for hours on end in his office.
Mr. Terry produced about 52 cartoons a year and possibly produced more pictures on film than any other man in the country. He worked his studio a seven-day week simply by not worrying about daylight.
He shut the drapes on his windows and infrequently worked around the clock.
Mr. Terry’s talent came naturally — his mother was an accomplished sculptress, his brother was an artist and he had two sisters who enjoyed working on silver and sculpting.
The cartoonist lost his wife, Erma Heimlich Terry, last Jan. 7, ending 45 years of marriage.
Mrs. Terry was originally an artist employed by Paul Terry’s brother, John.
She quit and went to work for the man who was to become her husband and, according to Mr.
She quit and went to work for her.
The 1929 stock market crash found him in the middle of a party he had been throwing. Mr. Terry said nothing to his guests who continued to dance. He later took a walk along the Hudson River line in the Bronx and threw his last dime away in order “to start from scratch.”
He came to 115 Beech Ave., Larchmont, in 1925, and later set up a studio at 271 North Ave. in New Rochelle. In 1947 he moved to 38 Center Ave. in New Rochelle, the old Knights of Columbus building which is now the Terrytoon Division of CBS, to whom he sold out 12 years ago.
Mr. Terry holds membership in the Hook and Ladder Co. of the Larchmont Fire Department and often produces shows for senior citizens’ groups. He serves on the board of trustees at the Industrial Arts School in New York City.
Off on a five-week motor trip to California with his lifetime friend, Bill Hillicher, Mr. Terry is taking the jaunt for a change of pace and to “get the hell out of here.”

Friday, 27 June 2014

Music For Cat and Monkey

Corporate symbols don’t turn animals into musical instruments. It’s fortunate, then, that Mickey Mouse wasn’t a corporate symbol yet when he did it back in the 1920s.

Here he is in “Jungle Rhythm.” It’s a typical 1929 cartoon—lots of dancing and noise to the beat of the music. A leopard is minding its own business when Mickey grabs him, hooks up his whiskers and starts playing a public domain tune on him like a harp.



Mickey bashed out “Turkey in the Straw” on various animals in “Steamboat Willie” a year earlier. He does it again here, pounding on heads like drums, pulling tails and clunking on a cow skeleton (in the jungle?) like it’s a xylophone.



Next he shoves in the stomachs of innocent tigers to get them to yowl “Yankee Doodle.”



Finally, he hops over to a lion and finishes “Yankee Doodle” by stretching the animal’s tongue and using it as a Jew’s harp.



The jungle throng generally likes the performance (in reused animation). Even the palm tree applauds.



Much like live action films of the late ‘20s, Disney’s cartoons soon evolved past this kind of non-plot. But these kinds of cartoons are fun to watch in little batches.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Day-Night Fight

How did the Jay Ward production crew fill seven seconds of screen time with just six drawings? Let Mr. Peabody provide the answer.

During the climax, if you want to call it that, of “The First Indian-Head Nickel,” engraver Talbot Heffelfinger fights a bear. The fight consists of three drawings of clouds, stars and fists, shots over and over again (two frames per drawing). They’re used over two background drawings, one depicting day, and the other night. The camera simply fades one background over the other, making day become night and night become day. Peabody and Sherman are on a separate cel that simply stays put.3 + 2 + 1 = 6 drawings.



By the way, “Improbable History” is putting it mildly. The Peabody cartoons are based on historical figures—but not this one. The Indian Head nickel was designed by James Earle Fraser and not by some guy named Heffelfinger. And it was done after the turn of the century, not 1869 like in the cartoon. We await a huge outcry on the internet about the lack of factuality just like that which greeted the Disney-P.L. Travers movie.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Enough of the Hi-Ho

Louis Nye was among many actors who learned there was a big difference between the way your career was affected by television than it was by radio. In radio, you could be versatile, playing comedy and drama without anyone really noticing. In television, the viewer could see you and henceforth would only accept you in the kind of role they saw. Television equalled typecasting. It was the price of fame. And if you had a character that caught on with the public, especially one with a catchphrase, you were forced to ride it out until you, through no fault of your own, wore out your welcome.

Nye was one of those radio actors who got huge exposure only after Steve Allen hired him as a sketch player and then found the audience decided to adopt him as his characterisation of the Madison Avenue phoney, Gordon Hathaway. It finally got to where Nye refused to do Hathaway in his nightclub act in the ‘60s in an attempt to escape the role, one of many in Nye’s repertoire, though paying patrons no doubt anxiously awaited witnessing him say “Hi-Ho, Steverino” in the flesh.

Syndicated entertainment columnists gave Nye a fair bit of attention in the late ‘50s and through the ‘60s; at least, I found more interviews with Nye than I thought I would. Here’s one from the National Enterprise Association dated July 26, 1957 that gives readers some background about his career.

Madison Avenue Laughing Boy
By DICK KLEINER

NEW YORK —(NEA)—Critics frequently charge that television doesn't breed its own stars. But nobody can deny that it develops amazingly talented "second bananas" — men like Sid Caesar's Carl Reiner and Jackie Gleason's Art Carney.
And now you can add Steve Allen's Louis Nye. His most frequent character — the Madison Avenue laughing boy Gordon Hathaway — is a small gem. And Nye does so many other characters on the Allen show, many of them under heavy makeup, that chances are you don't recognize him half the time he's on.
This, of course, is a tribute to his own acting skill. Reiner is always Reiner and even Carney is easily spotted. But Louis Nye's face and voice and even his carriage change with each of his portrayals. He is, first and foremost, a highly talented actor.
This comedy streak in him is a late-flowering facet of the man. He was, for many years, a radio actor. He called himself "an emotional juvenile," and generally played highly-charged roles. He was also a competent "double," a radio term meaning that he could and did play two parts on the same show.
Felt He Was Funny
"All this time," he says. "I had a feeling, inside, that I was funny. To myself, thought that I was a funny guy. So what I'd do would be to play benefits. I'd do monologs, whatever came into my head.
"One time, I did one of these monologs and a Broadway columnist was there. He wrote me up for a whole column. I was so scared somebody would offer me a job as comedian that I ran home and hid." Nye, during this period, had no confidence in himself as a funny man. There was something inside him, wanting to come out, but he would have died of fright on a nightclub floor. It's a strange situation, one he won't go into very deeply, but one that is happily over.
"Now," he says, "I could do a nightclub. But there's no longer the great need there once was. Before, I wanted to, but I couldn't. Absolutely could not face it."
Changed in Army
What changed him, more than anything else, was the Army. He began to do little things in the recreation hall at Camp Crowder, Mo. He did sad monologs and funny monologs and patriotic monologs. (At one time, he had a partner for some of these—Carl Reiner.)
He came out and went into Broadway shows, like "Inside U.S.A." and the sensational flop, "Flahooley." And then he began to do some TV work. About five years ago, he worked an ABC-TV show called "Talk Of The Town." At the same time, Steve Allen was doing the old amateur songwriter show, "Songs For Sale."
Allen and Nye exchanged fan letters. Then they met on an elevator and Steve said, "You'll be hearing from me." As soon as Allen got his "Tonight" show, he kept his word. He and Nye have been working together, off and on, ever since.
Nye comes from Hartford, Conn., where, as a kid, he says he had to play a part.
Skinny and Weak
"You know how kids are," he says. "Every kid has a certain role in life to play. There's the tough kid and the cry-baby kid and the best ball-player kid. I was kind of skinny and weak and I didn't have a part. So I began to do imitations of the neighbors and then I had a part—the funny kid." At 18, he was working on a Hartford radio station for $2.50 a broadcast. He's been working pretty steadily since then.
All these years, he's been observing people. He has a great gift for mimicry. With a gesture, a facial expression, a tone of voice, he can capture a personality type. His Gordon Hathaway is that sort of characterization; it is nothing like Nye himself.
They're Opposites
Where Hathaway is hail-fellow-well-met, Nye is quiet. Hathaway has a ridiculous expression, Nye is serious. Hathaway thinks of himself as quite a wit, Nye seldom says anything funny. Hathaway is dapper dresser, Nye is a sober dresser. They are opposites, in every sense.
Nye is married to Anita Leonard, the songwriter who composed "Sunday Kind of Love" and the hit, "Graduation Ring." They have a 3 1/2-year-old son. While Nye leads a comfortable life, he admits to the urge to have his own show, "provided I find something that I would fit into." Meanwhile, he goes on with Steve Allen. The strange thing is that there is no contract. He waits until Allen calls him, otherwise he doesn't go on (and doesn't get paid). The best second banana currently working, in other words, is up for grabs.


For a while, it looked like Nye could be a first banana. Interstate TV signed him in September 1957 for a series called “Fancy Dan.” Shooting was supposed to begin the following January. Whether a pilot was ever made is unclear. Nye eventually abandoned the project and stuck with Allen and the typecasting Hathaway brought him. Eventually, like other stars in the same predicament, Nye accepted the fact people loved his character like an old friend. So after being banished for part of the mid-‘60s, Gordon Hathaway began to periodically appear on television again.

Hathaway wasn’t Nye’s only problem. Here are some of his travails which probably weren’t funny at the time but are pretty easy to imagine just from the description. This is from the Long Island Star Journal of August 25, 1964.

Louis Nye’s Fans Aren’t So Funny
By BOB ELLISON
(Special to Star-Journal)
Comedians, like most of their jokes, seem to be in public domain. For some unfathomable reason, people often take liberties with comics that only friends and family would put up with. Frequently, fans miss the thin line between admiration and abuse.
For some, it is even difficult to greet a funnyman with a simple "Hello." More often than not, the fan opens with a challenge, thus: "Say something funny!"
• • •
"WHY?" retorts Jack E. Leonard. "So you can repeat it!"
"Actually, though," said Louis Nye, "Those aren’t the worse kind of fans." Nye, who rose to fame doing the Gordon Hathaway character on Steve Allen’s old Sunday night TV show, should know. Recently, Louis took time out from his busy schedule to discuss fun and games with fans.
• • •
"COMEDIANS," he said, "are always running into guys who wanna stop them on the street and tell you a joke. Just last week it happened again. I thanked him for his joke and excused myself.
"He followed me right along anyway, all the way to the end of the block, 10 jokes later. And the jokes—" Louis shook his head sadly. "How did you get away from him?" someone asked.
• • •
"CAB," he said. "Hail a cab. Sometimes you’re just going a block, or two, so you ride around until it’s safe to get out."
But there are times when a cab can’t be hailed.
"Not long ago," Louis continued, "a guy breaks into my dressing room to tell me how much he likes me. I said, ‘Thank you, it’s been great meeting you,’ and I shook his hand.
• • •
"FINALLY, I had to go on, so I locked up the dressing room. He went out into the club to find his table and, of course, his seat had been taken. I go on now and while I’m trying to do my act, he’s yelling at the head waiter that he wants to sit down. It goes like that for half of my act.
"Another time," Nye went on, "a fellow stops me on the street. He wants to tell me some jokes. I said, ‘please, sir, I just want to walk by myself.’ But you can’t tell them that. He says, ‘Oh-h-h! If it wasn’t for people like me . . . It’s people like me, we made you a star!’ "He was yelling now and he started to run after me. There were two women passing by then, and one of them said to the other, ‘There’s Louis Nye.’ So I tipped my hat to them. The guy is running. Now they turn around and start following me.
• • •
"ONE of the women says, ‘I’ll bet you miss New York.’ Then the other one says, ‘I’ll bet you miss the good restaurants.’ They were very pleasant, very casual.
"And the whole time this guy is swearing at me, a crowd is gathering and they’re completely oblivious to it. Martial law is about to be declared, and they’re not even aware of it."
"Louis," someone said, "how’d you resolve the situation?"
"Cab," he said. "I got a cab."


Much was made of Betty White’s career revival in her late 80s, but doing it before her was Louis Nye. He reached a whole new generation of TV fans who wouldn’t know Sonny Drysdale from Don Drysdale when he appeared on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” while he was in his late 80s. Nye died at the age of 92 in 2005. By then, he had long hung up his hi-ho.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Smearing Bugs Exit

No, the gremlin isn’t stretching Bugs Bunny’s body beyond recognition. It’s, I suspect, Virgil Ross animating the rabbit in “Falling Hare.”



Rod Scribner and Bob McKimson were the only animators who got their names in the credit rotation in the Bob Clampett unit at the time. Bill Melendez once told how this was the first cartoon where he worked as a full animator.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Map of the Wolf

Tex Avery and background artist Johnny Johnsen supply maps to help us follow the wolf's escape from Droopy in “Dumb-Hounded” (1943).

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Carnegie Hall in Bloom

During the last 20-or-so years of his life, Jack Benny turned years of jokes about his bad violin playing and turned them into box office gold with charity concerts for dozens of symphony orchestras and their venues.

Benny’s parents hoped when he was a boy, he would develop into a concert violinist. But the young Benny Kubelsky wasn’t interested in the practice required. He could play well enough for a vaudeville act when he got into show business, but the violin became a prop when he turned to comedy. And it became part of his radio persona in the ‘30s, with his cast members, guest stars and other comedians ragging him for his (deliberate) bad playing.

His fame—or infamy, perhaps—when it came to his musicianship was put to good use for the first time when he played on the hallowed stage of Carnegie Hall in 1943. The plot of his radio show of January 17, 1943, revolved around his coming performance. It was his first charity benefit; one for the Infantile Paralysis Fund.

Jack wrote about it, somewhat in character (he takes a shot at Fred Allen), in a column published by the Niagara Falls Gazette on July 10, 1943, some months after it took place.

Guest Column: Jack Benny’s Musical Debut
Hello, Folks! This is Jack Benny writing. It seems a little peculiar to face the grinning keys of a typewriter instead of a cold, impersonal microphone, and, besides, I'm tired as I’ve been up all day. Well, anyway . . .
I’d like to tell you about something that happened to me in New York—something few people believe even if I insist on telling about it at every opportunity. (Often making my own openings.)
I played the violin in Carnegie Hall!
A certain alleged comedian, and others of his ilk, have made a good many disparaging remarks about my ability to bring anything but discontent to a violin. I want you to know I studied this belabored instrument for many years and during my first nine years in vaudeville made a good coffee-and-doughnut living with no other medium than this same bit of glued wood and hank of horse hair. But so much for my early Baliban & Katz background.
While in New York during my recent tour of the army camps in the East I was invited to appear at Carnegie Hall along with several other artists to play at the President’s Birthday concert for the benefit of the Infantile Paralysis Fund. The date was January 17, 1943, and there was one evening that had the New York music critics hanging on the ropes.
Deems Taylor was master of ceremonies for the evening and did a very decent job of introducing Isaac Stern, Jan Peerce, Jarmilo Novotna, Oscar Levant, Gladys Swarthout and did an awfully good job of announcing the intermission.
Needless to say, by this time I had tuned my fiddle to within an inch of its life and had read the program a dozen times to reassure myself that it really did say (and here I am quoting so help me!): “Concert debut of Jack Benny, accompanied by Oscar Levant.” Intermission was over, and Isaac Stern came back for a couple of numbers and a fellow named Ezio Pinza sang three songs and then he and Gladys Swarthout did a duet and then there was a great hush in this tremendous hall. Even with all those thousands of people you could hear a pin drop—in fact I heard two drop—and Deems stepped out and said, “Here it is.”
Never have I been more graceful as I glided across the well-worn boards of that hallowed edifice and nodded before the tremendous ovation accorded me. About that time Oscar Levant came skulking out from the wings and seated himself at the grand piano, forget something and went back and brought out a cymbal which he placed beside the piano. Cool, poised and perspiring slightly. I awaited the first crashing chord which was to make history at Waukeegan, Illinois.
Suddenly like a tiger Levant leaped at the piano (a bit of a show-off, Oscar) and started the introduction to my solo. After some ten minutes of this sort of thing I look inquiringly over my shoulder in time to see him smack the cymbal a nasty blow and decided to await my turn. In a moment it was there, my cue, and I was in the groove. With only the slightest rasp as my bow touched the strings, I went firmly and serenely into that old familiar classic—“Love in Bloom.”

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Cartoons of 1944, Part 2

The animation industry, in 1944, was looking to the future, but the various studios couldn’t seem to agree on what the future was.

Disney was mixing live action and animation in features. So, naturally, Hugh Harman wanted to do the same thing with a process he called Animaction. Interestingly, Harman doesn’t appear to have patented it, but he did have a patent on a bicycle with Charles McGirl, his studio’s one-time manager. George Pal was stop-moving flexible characters to great success, so John Sutherland and Larry Morey set up a studio to, basically, do the same thing. They managed to sell their “Daffy Ditties” to United Artists, which hadn’t really been in the animation business since Walt Disney took his cartoons to RKO in 1937. Walter Lantz experimented with plastics. A chap named Robert Place came up with a predecessor to xerography.

But none of this means anything unless you have good stories and characters. And Warner Bros. was about to create a whole pile of new ones. The sadistic version of Tweety made his debut in the second half of 1944. Other characters would follow. Conversely, Famous Studios came up with Gabriel Churchkitten. Gabriel what?

1944 was also the year of talk about television animation. We’ve touched on it here on the blog before. While still at Warners, Bob Clampett got involved with Michael Patrick Cunnings in setting up a TV cartoon studio by September (perhaps as part of his “Tele-Tales” fairy tale show he announced the previous month). It doesn’t appear to have gone anywhere; television was still feeling its way around. Leave it to Paul Terry to talk about animation’s future on the small screen. After all, he later sold his studio to a TV network, not fully realising how valuable his old, B-Grade cartoons were.

Clampett wasn’t the only Warners director hunting around for work. Daily Variety reported on August 31st that Morey and Sutherland had signed Frank Tashlin as supervising director for the “Daffy Ditties.” Tashlin left Warner Bros. Cartoons less than two months after the company took over the studio from Leon Schlesinger.

July 10, 1944
Phil M. Daly column, New York
Dave Laurie, formerly with Walt Disney, has succeeded Lou Moss as head of Walt Lantz's editing dept ..... Moss goes back to the feature editing field.

July 11, 1944
Disney's "Football" Reel Going to Troops First
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—American service men will have first look at Walt Disney's “How to Play Football,” which will inaugurate the new season of Disney shorts with the greatest campaign given an entertainment single []der in years.
Although the National release date has been set for Sept. 15 by RKO Radio, 90 prints of the Disney subject which stars Goofy and is claimed even funnier than "How to Play Baseball," will be distributed through service mediums by the latter part of this month. RKO Radio is campaigning now to have 200 day and date showings of "How to Play Football," and already more than 100 first-runs have been set for the RKO circuit.

July 12, 1944
15 More Pix for UA Plus Color Cartoons
Acquisition of a series of Technicolor cartoons and the approval of releasing deals which will give United Artists 15 additional pictures, some of which have been mentioned as probable releases, were voted yesterday by the board of directors, Edward Raftery, president, announced....
The cartoon series will be the product of Plastic Products, Inc. A long-term deal has been agreed upon here for the delivery of four Technicolor subjects a year. The new cartoon company is headed by John Sutherland, formerly with Walt Disney. Title of the first film is "The Cross-eyed Bull."

July 13, 1944
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• Walt Lantz will up the number of "Woody Woodpecker" Cartunes for Universal from four to seven.

July 14, 1944
Robert Place Patents Cartoon Copying Device
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—Patent No. 2,351,634 has been granted by the U. S. Patent Office to Robert Place on a method of producing animated cartoons for motion pictures.
One of the problems in the production of cartoons is inaccuracy of reproduction which comes from tracing drawings onto cells by hand. While original drawings are made by highly experienced artists, much of their fine work is lost by other artists in tracing and inking onto cells which finally are photographed against backgrounds.
The photographic device, according to its inventor, will make flawless copies of the original in any desired combination of colors or lines and will eliminate tedious step of manually operating pressure plates and matching individual cells with registration pegs. A somewhat similar process was used by Walt Disney in "Snow White" but certain variations claimed by the patentee are held to be new in the industry.

Between Five and Seven Shorts for UA Annually
The recently formed Morey & Sutherland Productions, Inc., will produce between five and seven Technicolor short subjects yearly for United Artists release, the deal being for a three-year period, John Sutherland, vice-president, said yesterday. Animated plastic figures will be featured in the subjects which will be highlighted by music.
First subject, "The Cross-Eyed Bear," is completed, while the second, "Private Pinky and the Flying Jeep," goes into work shortly. Each will cost approximately $25,000 to produce.
Backers of the project are John Landis, Chicago industrialist, and Milton Getz. Both Sutherland and Morey formerly were with Walt Disney.

July 18, 1944
Count Cutelli Stricken
Seattle—Count Gaetano Mazzaglia Cutelli, who supplied the vocal sound effects for film cartoons, died from a heart attack on Sunday while waiting for a train for Vancouver.

July 19, 1944
AAF MOST ACTIVE COAST PRODUCER
First Motion Picture Unit Turns Out More Films
Maj. Rudolph Ising's animation section is now one of the busiest on the lot, with former Hollywood cartoon studio artists recently completing the Army's first all-color all-animated cartoon and several more planned. The first illustrates over 100 lessons in camouflage.

July 24, 1944
Lavin Joins Disney to Handle Live Talent
Jack Lavin, for a number of years the manager of Paul Whiteman, has joined the staff of the Walt Disney Studios, it was learned Friday at the local Disney offices. Lavin will handle live talent for the organization and also will negotiate with music publishers. He will heaquarter here.

July 25, 1944
Phil M. Daly column, New York
• Squawks from PTA and other child welfare groups following release of "The Spooks Will Get You" have led Walt Lantz to rule out stories and sequences dealing with spooks, haunted houses, etc., for future Cartunes.

July 26, 1944
Hand Leaves Disney; May Produce for Rank
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—David Hand, supervising director of Walt Disney Productions, has resigned and has opened negotiations with J. Arthur Rank to establish his own unit in England to make live action and animated feature cartoons. Hand, who was with Disney 14 years, directed and animated the Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony series and served as supervising director on a number of Disney features.

Escapism, Comedy for RKO
Short subjects totalling 171 are on the schedule, including...the Walt Disney cartoons... Walt Disney's feature presentation will be "The Three Caballeros," a Technicolor production itntroducing human and cartoon characters in a Latin American story.

August 4, 1944
11 September Releases Sets Vitaphone Record
An all-time record for number of short subject releases in a single month wili be set by Warner Bros, in September, first month of the 1944-45 season, with a total of 11 Vitaphone subjects, it is announced by Norman H. Moray, short subject sales manager....
Cartoons include "Goldilock's Jivin Bears," "Let It Be Me," "Plane Daffy," "Lost and Foundling," "Booby Hatched" and "September in the Rain," all in Technicolor.

Fairbanks Signs Lilly
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Jerry Fairbanks of Scientific Films has just signed Lou Lilly, animated cartoon expert, to a long-term contract as production manager for the Paramount-released short series "Speaking of Animals."

August 7, 1944
Phil M. Daly column
• A Paramount color cartoon was the first movie to be shown in four years in the newly liberated area of France, according to a letter from Capt. Charles Schwarz to Bob Denton of Paramount News ..... He didn't mention the title except to say that it was a high spot of the program on Bastille Day.

August 9, 1944
"Warner Cartoons" New Name For Shorts Series
Starting with the 1944-45 releasing schedule next month, all Warner animated comedies formerly known as "Merrie Melodies" and "Looney Tunes" will be called "Warner Bros. Cartoons," it is announced by Norman H. Moray, short subject sales manager.
Change follows the recent taking over of cartoon production activities from Leon Schlesinger, who sold out because of ill health. These shorts will hereafter be made by a new Warner unit set up at the Burbank Studio by Jack L. Warner, executive producer.

August 11, 1944
To Dub in German "Saludos Amigos"
"SALUDOS AMIGOS," already dubbed in French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Swedish, is to be readied in the German language. This is the first Disney picture since "Snow White," to contain German narration, and is to be followed by a Teutonic version of "Fantasia," for the post-war European market.

August 17, 1944
To See Pix to Teach Reading

AI stock to Inspect Them on Mexican Trip
Washington Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Washington—Francis Alstock, motion picture chief for CIAA, leaves for the Coast today and then goes on to Mexico to experiment with the newest thing in pictures—films made by Walt Disney to teach reading. Scored in Spanish, they will be tried out in the Guadalajara area, in an experiment in which the Mexican Ministry of Information is co-operating. At present there are only four shorts which will be shown together with CIAA health films to audiences of children and adults to determine their value. They will be tried on rural groups, then on city dwellers, and finally on mixed groups.
Alstock emphasized that, while he is highly hopeful of the value of the pictures, which would open new vistas to the industry, he will not be able to make any definite comments until after the experiments are completed. Films are not used in American schools to teach reading but if the Mexican experiment works, he said there would probable be a considerable future for such pictures in this country. The animated cartoons feature Mickey Mouse.

August 23, 1944
Disney Adds Cuban Feature
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Adding a Cuban Technicolor production, tentatively titled "Carnival" to his producing schedule, Walt Disney expects to leave for Havana sometime in September. Group of artists and writers will precede. Disney yesterday accepted an invitation of President Batista to be his guest while in Cuba. Mrs. Disney will accompany. Cuban Government will co-op with Disney in the production.

August 28, 1944
"Evangeline" via Harman
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Longfellow's "Evangeline," is to be brought to the post-war screen by Hugh Harman Productions as a Technicolor spectacle, budgeted at approximately $l,000,000. Harman's patented “animaction” process will be used in the filming with the title role to be portrayed by a "name" star.

August 29, 1944
Landis Backs Plastic Co.
Chicago — John Landis, Chicago financier, has a substantial interest in the Plastic Company of Hollywood which plans a series of three dimension cartoons reportedly for United Artists release. Edward Sutherland and Will Mori are said to be in line to handle production with the initial subject to be "Cross-Eyed Bull." Landis is making his headquarters on the Coast.

Lantz to Enter Commercial Field After the War
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walter Lantz, cartoon producer, will enter the field of commercial pictures after the war. He has several deals to produce for leading manufacturing companies pending, and plans to go to New York late next month to conclude these arrangements.
In entering the commercial field, Lantz will utilize the experience he has acquired while producing subjects for the Navy, including the use of his new transparent-plastics process known as plastograph.

August 31, 1944
Hand To Do Jowett Story In England
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—David Hand, formerly supervising director for Walt Disney, announces he has cleared with British heirs of Benjamin Jowett, English scholar and educator, for complete rights to Jowett's unpublished story, "The Kiss of Death" written in 1881. Hand plans to film this story in England as a feature production before establishing organization to produce animated subjects for the J. Arthur Rank interests. Jowett's story is based on life of Judas Maccabeus, Jewish warrior who florished in the Second Century.

September 5, 1944
Polio Spread Leads to Det. Kid Fend-off
Detroit — Detroit theaters have agreed to drop all special inducements for children in an endeavour to discourage juvenile attendance as the polio situation reaches near epidemic proportion here. This applies specifically to children's matinees, special cartoon parties, extra pictures on matinees, special western bookings and serials. Houses are dropping serials even though playing them regularly each week. Bookers are rearranging schedules to accommodate lost program time with exchanges and booking offices, overloaded in handling necessary readjustments, pulling serials, etc., out of shipments.
Decision has been reached by leading exhibitor representatives in response to pleas of the board of health which warned of the extreme gravity of the local situation. Youngsters are not banned from attendance, but discouraged by lack of usual special attractions angled to them. Arrangement is expected to last until the epidemic clears away.

September 13, 1944
Lantz Borrows Help Under CPA System
West Coast Bur. THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Taking advantage of the Cartoon Producers' Association plan for greater intra - industry cooperation, Walt Lantz has borrowed five employes from competitive studios to work on "Enemy Bacteria," feature which Lantz is producing for the Navy in association with Universal. Under the plan, members of the CPA will undertake to employ animators and other cartoon specialized persons on layoff from other studios during slow periods.

September 14, 1944
"That's My Baby!" with Richard Arlen, Ellen Drew.
Republic 68 mins.
CREDITS: Associate Producer, Dave Fleischer.

September 19, 1944
Phil M. Daly column
• Now it's "all-star" casts for cartoons, too .... Credit the stunt to Walt Lantz who will use an array of his series characters in "Poet and Peasant".

September 20, 1944
Famous Studios Enlarges Its Cartoon Activities
An expansion of activities at Famous Studios was indicated yesterday by Sam Buchwald, general manager, in connection with the program of 24 Technicolor cartoons for Paramount's 1944-45 shorts program.
A new director, Latimer Tytla [sic], and a new story man, Isadore Klein, have been signed to augment the staff. Both of these men formerly were with the Walt Disney organization. They will concentrate on the development of new characters and story ideas for the new program.
This applies particularly to the Noveltoon series, Buchwald said. Noveltoons are an open series which permits experimentation, and an effort will be made to build up certain outstanding characters. Important in this category is the new character Gabriel Churchkitten. Screen songs also are being stressed in the series. One of these is "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again," which will be released as "When G.I. Johnny Comes Home."
Another old favorite will be "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," with special lyrics by Mack David, creator of "Love, Love, Love."

September 25, 1944
Black Market On Duck Inflames Walt Disney
West Coast Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Disney was irate here when apprised of use of his character, Donald Duck, in films made and released in Argentina which show U. S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull in quacking debate with Donald. Disney declared that his studio is taking immediate steps to prevent any further infringement on his Donald Duck character, and has advised Hull of this action.

September 29, 1944
Harman Plans Animation Pic to be Made in Dijon
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Hugh Harman has announced that his French representative, Marcelle Fabian, is now in Dijon and as soon as conditions warrant will make arrangements with the proper French authorities for the production in Dijon of a Harman “animation” production for worldwide distribution.
Harman and his general manager, E.A. Shafer, expect to leave for Paris as soon as arrangements can be completed with the State Department.

October 2, 1944
Aussies Bid Disney To Produce Cartoon
Canberra, Australia (By Cable)—Walt Disney has been invited to visit this country to investigate possibility of using aboriginal subjects in an animated cartoon film with an Australian theme. The invitation is an official one, extended by the Government, it is announced by A. A. Calwell, Australian Information Minister.

October 6, 1944
Mexican News Writer Hits Language Reels
Mexico City (By Air Mail) — Carlos de Negri, newspaper writer whose daily column is one of the most influential organs of public opinion in this country, has called on the Mexican Ministry of Public Education to make it clear to all the Latin-American countries that Mexico had no hand in the making of the first four cf a projected series of educational cartoons produced in Hollywood by the Disney Studios. De Negri praised the color and appealing drawings in the reels but held that the subjects, designed to teach Spanish, are full of "technical and pedagogic deficiencies." Films are said to have been supervised by three Mexican professors.

October 18, 1944
"Daffy Dittys" as UA Series
John Sutherland and Larry Morey have decided upon the name of "Daffy Dittys" for their new Technicolor animated cartoon series for UA release.

October 31, 1944
Phil M. Daly column
Walt Lantz has finished his 16th Technicolor two-reeler for the Navy on the Universal lot.

November 6, 1944
Chaplin's "Dictator" and 10 Disney Pix for France
Cabled reports that "The Great Dictator" and Disney cartoons were conspicuously missing from the screens in liberated France, in spite of requests from the Allied Information Service, brought an answer from OWI authorities here yesterday.
"Prints are being made on the Charles Chaplin film, in compliance with the request, and 10 Disney subjects have just been made available for French distribution," it was said.

November 10, 1944
Animation Application to Tele, Terry SMPE Topic
Possible applications of animation to television will highlight the featured address by Paul Terry, originator and producer of Terry-Toons, at the SMPE's Atlantic Coast Section meeting in the Hotel Pennsylvania, Nov. 15. His subject will be "Animated Cartoons, — Past, Present and Future."
Meeting's agenda calls for the showing of a motion picture to start the session at 7:30 p.m., and films will also illustrate the Terry talk.

November 20, 1944
Walt Disney Loses Second Move for Meyerberg Retrial
A second move for a new trial by Walt Disney in connection with the suit brought by Michael Meyerberg was denied Friday by Supreme Court Judge Lloyd Church. After granting Disney his motion for re-argument on newly discovered evidence, the judge adhered to his original decision which denied Disney his motion for a new trial.
Action by Meyerberg involved services rendered in refinancing of Disney's firm which resulted in the underwriting of 150,000 shares of 6 per cent preferred stock in Disney Productions having a par value of 53.700,000. Meyerberg was awarded $40,000.

November 30, 1944
Lantz Plans Mexican Survey
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood—Walt Lantz will leave Hollywood Dec. 15 for Mexico City to survey possibilities of producing Cartunes there with an eye towards the Latin-American market.

December 6, 1944
Back in Civvies
TOM CODRICK, animation director, formerly with Walt Disney Productions in Burbank, released from Marine Corp.

December 8, 1944
Lantz Announces New "Humanettes" Cartunes
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — Development of a cartune production technique called "Humanettes," a process in which miniature figures of human beings are employed and plans for making a series of four-reel featurettes introducing the system was announced by Producer Walt Lantz.
The process was developed by Lantz and Edward Nassour, Los Angeles manufacturer, who are organizing Lantz-Nassour Humanettes, Inc., which will control patents on the process.

World Peace Short Via Disney for OWI
Washington Bur., THE FILM DAILY
Washington—Negotiations are under way for the production of a short on world peace methods by Walt Disney for the OWI, it was disclosed here by Taylor Mills, OWI pix chief. Mills said it is likely that the short will be a Technicolor cartoon, available in several languages for use by CIAA and OWI overseas as well as domestically.

Show "Caballeros" on Dec. 11
Walt Disney's newest Technicolor feature, "The Three Caballeros," will be trade screened nationally by RKO Radio on Dec. 11. New York City screening will be held in the Normandie at 10:30 a.m.

December 22, 1944
"Three Caballeros" in Debut
Mexico City — "The Three Caballeros," Walt Disney's new feature picture, had its world premiere here yesterday. The event was attended by high-ranking officials from a number of Latin-American countries.

December 26, 1944
Moore Talks Disney Deal
Garry Moore, co-star of the Moore-Durante airer and David O. Selznick contractee, is negotiating with Walt Disney for a series of cartoons based on Moore's air stories. Moore would make the adaptations and do the narrating.

December 29, 1944
"Three Caballeros" Setting Mexico City Record
West Coast Bureau of THE FILM DAILY
Hollywood — "The Three Caballeros," which had its world premiere at the Alameda Theater, Mexico City, Dec. 22, has broken all first four days' records for an American film in Mexico City, according to Roy Disney, vice-president of Walt Disney Studios, who returned here by air.

REVIEWS

July 5, 1944
"Russian Rhapsody" (Merrie Melodies)
Warner 7 mins. Entertaining
This Technicolor cartoon produced by Leon Schlesinger is a bit out of the ordinary. We see Adolf Hitler flying to Moscow to bomb the city himself. Harassing him all the way is a group of gremlins who do their stuff to the tune of Russian music. They soon make a shambles of the plane—and Hitler. Hitler's discomfiture will give audiences a real boot.

"Tangled Travels" (Phantasies)
Columbia 7 mins. Punny
Hopping around the U. S. with stills of geographical landmarks as backgrounds for the animation, we encounter the babbling mouths of babbling brooks; palm trees taking the shape of human palms; Mrs. Mason and Mrs. Dixon greeting each other over a clothes line; two Southern gentlemen trying to buy you-all a drink in the bayous of Florida; etc., but the best laugh is reserved for the end where the producer shoots the director of the film after screening it in the projection room.

"The Disillusioned Bluebird" (Color Rhapsody)
Columbia 7 mins. Colorful
Outstanding for its color and the Calypso music sung by the familiar voice of Sir Lancelot this one starts with a tough looking bluebird getting caught in an air raid. He hitches a ride on a cannon shell and lands on some distant isle where Calypso Joe, with choral support, gets off a set of verses to dissuade the bird from being disillusioned with the modern world.

July 7, 1944
"Sadie Hawkins Day" (Li'l Abner Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Okay
Color helps put this popular cartoon comic strip across, although Daisy Mae could do with more careful study and animation to par her newspaper portrayals. Sadie Hawkins Day in Dawgpatch is the time when any girl can marry the boy she catches in a race. Daisy Mae tries several stunts to trap our hero but Mammy Yokum always beats her to the punch with some smart angle, thereby saving Li'l Abner for the next episode in this new series.

July 12, 1944
"The Anvil Chorus" (Popeye E3—4)
Paramount 7 mins. Funny
Challenging each other's strength, Bluto and Popeye engage in a series of clever stunts for their latest Technicolor effort. While on shore leave they pass blacksmith's shop where Olive Oyl, the owner, is attempting to lift a very heavy sledge hammer. Both seize the opportunity of illustrating their dexterity in lifting weights, bending hot iron into horse shoes and rims for wagon wheels, etc. In the end Olive Oyl chooses Popeye for her lover while Bluto gets the job of running the shop.

"Lulu in Hollywood" (D-3—4)
Paramount 8 min. Amusing
Satirizing star buildup in Hollywood, this Technicolor cartoon features an amusing sequence wherein poker-faced Lulu is given a series of directions in a screen test which burlesques a popular Russia director and his voice.
She registers the same expression for every type of emotion requested to which the director gives shouts of appreciation and "bravos" for her genius.
Of course her lollypop is important in all of the action; and for the fadeout the director gives her a fatherly kiss, at the World Premiere of her picture, with the "pop" sticking to his mouth and his mustache stuck to her upper lip.

July 12, 1944
"Brother Brat" (Looney Tunes)
Warner 7 mins. Laugh-Loaded
Here we have a Leon Schlesinger cartoon in Technicolor that is good for many laughs. The main characters are Porky Pig and a brat left in his care by the child's mother, a worker in an aircraft plant. The kid makes life hell for Porky. How the latter welcomes the mother's return.

"Springtime for Pluto" (Walt Disney)
RKO 7 mins. Quite Amusing
A very amusing satire on spring is offered by Walt Disney in this Technicolor cartoon starring Pluto. The dog is awakened by the strains of the flute of the spirit of Spring. The scenes that follow show him responding properly to the call of the vernal season. All goes along nicely until certain incidents that befall Pluto cause him to change his mind about the wonders of the Springtime. In animation and execution the short is aces.

August 4, 1944
“Hare Force”
Warner 7 mins. A Howl
Bugs Bunny is up to more of his old tricks in this swell Leon Schlesinger cartoon in Technicolor. The long-eared hero's antics will have no end of laughter from old and young alike. The hilarity gets [] when Bugs is taken in by an old maid, who thereby saves him from death in a snowstorm. There ensues a terrific feud between the hare and a pet dog owned by the old maid. Before it's all over Bugs has the old maid to contend with, and he comes out the winner.

August 7, 1944
"Fish Fry" (Walter Lantz Cartune)
Universal 7 mins. Very Amusing
Clever situation well animated, against a pleasing Technicolor background, points this up as one of the better Andy Panda cartoons. Andy buys a pet goldfish which looks mighty appetizing to a tom-cat. The fish does some very funny bits in eluding the cat until the cat is finally thwarted by the bulldog owner of the pet shop.

August 15, 1944
"Plastics Inventor" (Walt Disney)
RKO 7 mins. Excellent
This latest Donald Duck rates as one of the best of the series. It has a peppy musical background, glorious color, and, above all, belly-laugh comedy situations. Donald follows the instructions coming through his radio on the art of making an airplane out of plastic materials. On his first flight he runs into a rain storm just as the radio announcer warns that the plane is a fair weather contraption and will melt in water. Taking on a variety of shapes, the plane plummets to earth in the form of a parachute. Donald finally turns a hose on the plastic radio, melting the set and the voice of the announcer at the same time.

August 23, 1944
"Jasper Goes Hunting" (Madcap Models)
Paramount 7 1/2 mins. Up to Standard
George Pal has delivered another of his creations worthy of note. Again Technicolor has been put to stunning use in telling the story of Jasper and the Scarecrow. This time the Scarecrow, to prevent Jasper from using a gun on him as a chicken thief, takes it from him as he regales the youngster with a tall story about his adventures as a hunter of big and ferocious game.

"Spinach Packin' Popeye"
Paramount 7 1/2 mins. A Few Laughs
Popeye, lying on a hospital bed, dreams that his gal friend, Olive, questions his physical prowess. To dispute her he shows her scenes from his past performances. She, however, is adamant, and he seems on the verge of losing her. He awakens to find that Olive still thinks he's the mightiest hombre in the world. The footage possesses a fair amount of laughs. It's in Technicolor.

August 28, 1944
"Lucky Lulu" (Little Lulu)
Paramount 7 1/2 mins. Amusing
Little Lulu's latest adventure is a very amusing one. This time the little miss gets into a mess of trouble in search of a horseshoe that she hopes will bring her a change of luck. (She's been getting too many spankings). The horseshoe surely brings her luck—all bad. At the end it's a spanking again. Children and parents will get an equal kick out of the Technicolor cartoon.

"Mr. Fore By Fore" (Phantasy Cartoon)
Columbia 7 mins. Silly
Here is a black and white cartoon whose principal actors are a silly looking golfer who sports a sillier set of golf clubs and a fiendish bull whose snorting endeavors are punctuated with comedy antics. The main theme has the bull trying to teach the golfer how to hit the ball without spoiling the turf.

"The Case of the Screaming Bishop"
Columbia 7 mins. Strictly Juvenile
Mild entertainment is purveyed by this animated cartoon. The action concerns the efforts of a detective and his aide to solve the theft of a dinosaur skeleton from a museum. The dick and his sidekick are patterned after Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Strictly juvenile in appeal.

September 22, 1944
"Big Heel-Watha"
M-G-M 8 Mins. Funny Stuff
An Indian chief offers his daughter in marriage to the brave who saves the tribe from a meat famine. How a dumb warrior goes about winning the prize in this Technicolor cartoon creates much fun.

"Jasper's Paradise" (George Pal Puppetoon)
Paramount 7 1/2 mins. Stunner
In his latest adventure Jasper dreams himself into a paradise composed of luscious pastry. When he partakes of a forbidden cherry at the Scarecrow's tempting the place falls asunder and Jasper and the Scarecrow flee for their lives. The Technicolor effects are stunning indeed in this fine little item.

"Goldilocks and the Jivin' Bears" (Merrie Melody)
Warners 7 mins. Fair Offering
In reel's purposely scrambled screenplay, which combines the yarns of Little Red Riding Hood with Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and the composite story told in comedy Negro dialect, there's plenty of action and some amusing moments. The Big Bad Wolf, when Red Riding Hood fails to put in an appearance, decides on devouring Goldilocks, but is thwarted by the Bears' arrival. Inducted into a jive session, the Wolf's tongue is soon hanging out from over-exertion.

September 25, 1944
"The Bodyguard"
M-G-M 8 Mins. Okay for Kids
There are a few laughs for the kids in this Technicolor cartoon about a mouse who gets a fierce bulldog to protect him against the machinations of a cat.

September 25, 1944
"Buckaroo Bugs"(Buggs Bunny Special)
Warners 7 mins. Good Comedy
Leon Schlesinger's madcap character, Bugs Bunny, is branded as an outlaw for his raids on gardens out in the Great Open Spaces of the West,—and a price is put on his head. To bring the carrot-munching tough guy to justice, Red Hot Ryder, a Brooklyn cowboy, rides forth, but it would have been better if he hadn't. Bugs gives him a terrific “going over,” landing Ryder and his horse in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Reel, which is in Technicolor, is right up to snuff with predecessors in this laugh series.

September 29, 1944
"Plane Daffy" (Looney Tunes)
Warners 7 mins. Will Get Laughs
Put this one down as amusing madness, with Daffy Duck volunteering to fly a secret message as result of the failure of his buddy Homer Pigeon to return to base. Homer, it is shown, is lured to the lair of Hadda Mari, deadly and beautiful Nazi spy. Daffy's heroic offer promises success, for he is a woman hater,—but unable to hate this one who is so magnetic that the sparks fly. It's zany, but will get laughs. And it's in Technicolor.

"Bear Raid Warden"
M-G-M 7 Mins. Entertaining
A bear finds his activities as an air-raid warden badly handicapped by the tricks of a firefly. The cartoon, filmed in Technicolor, has considerable entertainment value.

"Birdy and the Beast" (Merrie Melodies)
Warner 7 mins. Okay for Kids
Introduced herein is a little bird named Tweety. The Leon Schlesinger Technicolor cartoon deals with a cat's efforts to get its paws on the fledgling, which finally beats the villain with the help of a ferocious dog. Ideal for the kids.

"From Hand to Mouse" (Looney Tunes)
Warner 7 mins. Good
Here's a Leon Schlesinger Technicolor cartoon that will give the kids many laughs. The story is about a smart-alecky mouse who makes a chump of a dumb lion.

October 6, 1944
"Pitching Woo at the Zoo" (Popeye)
Paramount 7 Mins. Good Pitching
This is the best of the series since it went Technicolor. The reel has more than the usual number of laughs. Popeye is kept busy rescuing his Olive first from a wolfish animal keeper and then from a leopard's cage. The exhibitor will have no trouble with this one.

"Abou Ben Boogie" (Walt Lantz Swing Symphony)
Universal 7 mins. For Jive Hounds
A fairly entertaining animated cartoon about a jiving fool doing his stuff with a half-draped cutie. The scene is Siam. The action is fast and furious. The short, which is in Technicolor, makes its appeal primarily to those with jittery feet.

October 20, 1944
"The Cross-Eyed Bull"
UA 10 mins. Excellent
As the first of a new Technicolor cartoon series known as "Daffy Dittys," produced by Larry Morey and John Sutherland, formerly with the Disney organization, this episode in dimensional animation emerges as a highly entertaining and clever subject. Not only is the color and lighting remarkable but the direction and animation is obviously progressive. The story deals with the determination of a cross-eyed bull to win the affections of a dow-eyed lovely by defeating a dangerous bull fighter.

October 30, 1944
"I'm Just Curious" (Little Lulu)
Paramount 7 mins. Cute Stuff
Cute perhaps best describes the latest of the series of Technicolor cartoons. Little Lulu attempts to prove that she's not mischievous at all but merely curious. The short offers many laughs. An asset is a catchy little tune called "I'm Just Curious" sung by the child.

October 31, 1944
"Lost and Foundling" (Merrie Melodies)
Warner 7 mins. A Scream
Audiences will be wowed by this Technicolor cartoon. The film tells the story of a chicken hawk brought up by Sniffles, a field mouse, in the belief the bird is a chicken. The fun stems from the discovery that chicken hawks eat field mice.

"Two-Gun Rusty" (George Pal Puppetoon)
Paramount 7 1/2 mins. Entertaining
The latest of the George Pal shorts has Rusty falling asleep and dreaming he is a two-gun western hero. The film, beautifully done in Technicolor, is an amusing take-off on the westerns.

"First Aiders" (Walt Disney)
RKO 7 mins. Diverting
Pluto is tantalizing by a mischievous kitten when Minnie Mouse, whom he is helping with her first-aid practice, leaves the two alone for a while. The hound tries to get back at the feline but is bested at every turn. Plenty of fun in this Technicolor cartoon.

"Booby Hatched" (Looney Tunes)
Warners 7 mins. Much Amusement
The amusing adventures of a chick that runs around with its body in the shell will be appreciated, especially by the young folk. The short, which is in Technicolor, has excellently produced.

December 6, 1944
"Old Grey Hare" (Bugs Bunny Special)
Warner 7 mins. Funfest
Bugs Bunny and Elmer continue their feuding in this corking Technicolor cartoon. This time we see them old and decrepit in the year 2,000 A.D. But even in the wisdom of old age Elmer is still unable to cope with the wily hare. The short is a succession of laughs. A howl.

"Sunday Go to Meetin' Time" (Blue Ribbon Hit Parade)
Warner 7 mins. Entertaining
A diverting fantasy that leans on music for "much of its appeal. It tells how a nightmarish dream in which he finds himself condemned to Hell throws the fear of God into a Negro lad who has been leading a life of sin. The Technicolor cartoon has been effectively produced.

December 7, 1944
"Puppet Love" (Popeye)
Paramount 7½ mins. Considerable Amusement
Popeye and Bluto the brute tangle again over Olive in the latest Technicolor release in the cartoon series. The rival employs a puppet in the likeness of our hero to get the latter in trouble with Olive. The short, which has many laughs, is one of the better Popeyes.

"How to Play Football" (Walt Disney)
RKO 8 Mins. A Touchdown
This take-off on the sport of football is an extremely hilarious cartoon done in Technicolor. All the various aspects of the game are given "the business." The star is that riotous character The Goof. His antics will bring a gale of laughter everywhere. A solid booking.

December 21, 1944
"Ski For Two" Universal 7 mins. Laughable
This brightly colored Woody Woodpecker cartoon has the wacky bird taking a trip to the Swiss Chard Lodge for a vacation. He meets Wally Walrus, the proprietor, who won't let him in without a reservation, despite the fact that there are no other customers in the place. In order to get some food Woody dresses as Santa Claus and Wally is temporarily fooled until he notices the calendar reading the middle of October.

"Porkuliar Piggy" (Li'l Abner)
Columbia 7 Mins. Won't Hog the Laughs
The latest of the Technicolor cartoon series hasn't much to offer in the way of laughs. Li'l Abner's antics are strictly for the admirers of the comic-strip character. The action revolves around Abner's attempt to keep a pet pig from being stolen, Our hero's behavior is ridiculous rather than funny.

"The Three Caballeros"
RKO-Disney 70 Mins.
LIVE ACTION AND ANIMATION COMBINED IN PIC THAT IS RIOT OF FUN AND COLOR.
Once more Walt Disney has worked his magic to make the exhibitor the gift of a delightful piece of entertainment. From a popular point of view his latest feature easily outranks his others, being a potpourri of fun and frolic.
The film, which combines live action and animation with remarkable results, allows the imagination to run riot, attaining flights of fancy that are amazing and fantastic. It moves at a dizzy pace in relating the adventures of three happy-go-lucky souls, Donald Duck, and two fine-feathered friends from Latin America, Joe Carioca and Panchito, a cowboy. Disney employs colors with a profusion and a madness that leaves one breathless. Some of the effects achieved in Technicolor are out of this world.
The production has no formal structure. This results in many surprises and many unexpected moments of hilarity. Not knowing what is coming next is what makes the film so intriguing and holds the attention so closely.
Disney's combinations of live action and animation are often startling. They rate the picture as a remarkable technical achievement. In these sequences Disney and his staff outdo themselves.
"The Three Caballeros," a worthy contribution to the good-neighbor policy, takes Donald on a visit to Mexico and Brazil, offering many interesting glimpses at the two countries, with beautiful girls galore appearing in some of the scenes. Donald picks up Joe Carioca and Panchito on the way, the three having a rollicking time.
Among those who are seen in the live action sequences are Aurora Miranda, Carmen Molina and Dora Luz.
The film makes generous use of music and dances of Mexico and Brazil.
CREDITS: Producer, Walt Disney; Production Supervision and Direction, Norman Ferguson; Production Manager, Dan Keefe; Sequence Direction, Clyde Ceronimi, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts: Story, Ernest Terrazzas, Ted Sears, bill Peed, Ralph Wright, Elmer Plummer, Homer Brightman, Roy Williams, William Cottrell, Del Connell, James Bodrero; Musical Direction, Charles Wolcott, Paul J. Smith, Edward Plumb; Lyrics, Ray Gilbert; Art Supervision, Mary Blair, Ken Anderson, Robert Cormack; Process Effects, UB Iwerks; Film Editor, Don Halliday; Sound, C. O. Slyfield; Live Action Sequences Photographed by Ray Rennahan; Art Direction, Richard F. Irvine; Choreography, Billy Daniels, Aloysio Oliveira, Carmelita Maracci.
DIRECTION the best.