Saturday, 24 October 2015

Cartoons of 1949, Part 2

Disney dominated the animation news in the second half of 1949, although he was moving away from it. Variety noted his first “all-flesh” movie was being shot overseas.

Let’s peer through the pages of the trade paper for cartoon news. Notable is the first mention of Mr. Magoo, a couple of blurbs about MGM voice artists who were not credited on screen, and a pile of MGM titles that, apparently, were for publicity purposes only and never in production. And the sad news was reported that Leon Schlesinger had died. Schlesinger’s place in animation history shouldn’t be underestimated. He hired some great people and stayed out of their way while they forged ahead with a new type of animated comedy. Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and Frank Tashlin became directors while he was running the show, Carl Stalling, Mel Blanc and Treg Brown were hired, and so were Mike Maltese and Warren Foster.

And speaking of producers, a Mr. Ward put out an ad in Variety for staffers. I think you know who he was. Another bankroller who hired great people and let them create (his sense of humour was more off-beat than the vaudevillian Schlesinger).

We’ve included reviews of two Italian animated films. And UPA and Impossible Pictures announced feature films which were never made. In fact, Len Levinson’s impossible never made another short; the four limited animated cartoons he produced for Republic had already been released. 1949 also marked the first of the John Sutherland cartoons released by MGM (“Meet King Joe”), doing away with a need for a third unit, and the last of the Columbias made by the studio’s cartoon division.

July 5, 1949
New York, July 4. — Warner Brothers Service Corporation has been set up here to license byproducts of Warner cartoons, including “Bugs Bunny,” “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies.” Ben Wirth is president and Harold Rodner will assist him.
Characters available for licensing to commercial manufacturers include “Buggs,” “Tweetie Pie” the canary, “Porky Pig,” “Daffy Duck,” “Elmer,” “Sniffles” and “Beaky.”

July 9, 1949
U. S. Public Health Service is highly pleased with "So Much for So Little," the single reel public health animated cartoon made for it by Warner Bros. at cost. Film has just been played off in the DC area and WB is about to launch it nationally in its theatres.

July 14, 1949
NOW IT'S documentary cartoons—no kiddin'. Three of Metro's "Tom and Jerry" series will get the super-realistic treatment. "White House Mouse" will be backgrounded by shots of Washington, D. C, and by United Nations meetings at Lake Success, "Hollywood Bowl Cat" by the Bowl, and "Texas Tom" by Dallas. In each case studio artists will reconstruct the real thing in cartoon form. Release from UN had to be secured for "Mouse."

July 15, 1949
Arrangements have been made by Metro cartoon producer Fred Quimby for an Australian edition of the "Tom and Jerry" comic book.

July 20, 1949
Leo Again Combines Action and Cartoon
Fred Quimby, MGM cartoon producer, will launch Oct. 1 the Technicolor cartoon, "Autogra-fiends," second cartoon in company's history to combine live action with drawings. "Tom and Jerry" will be seen getting autographs of various MGM stars. The previous live-action cartoon was "Senor Droopy," in which Lina Romay was used.

July 25, 1949
Ad-exploitation budget of $200,000 has been set for "Cinderella," Walt Disney's first all-cartoon picture in seven years. Tab was set up after week of confabs here last week between Roy Disney and Walt Disney's eastern sales and ad-publicity reps. NY group, including Leo Samuels, Irving Ludwig, Charles Levy and C. J. Roche company veepee Dane Robinson, headed back east over weekend. Film is slated for release during Christmas holidays.

July 26, 1949
MGM Cartoons Being Promoted by GF
The MGM cartoon department, headed by Fred C. Quimby, yesterday made a cooperative ad deal with General Foods, which will issue "flip books" in which the cartoon characters "Tom and Jerry," "Barney the Bear," and "Droopy the Hound" will appear. Series will be distributed with Grape Nuts Flakes.

July 28, 1949
United Productions of America will film five cartoon commercials for Ford Motor Company.

Walt Disney has ordered full speed ahead on all production. Animation department has been put on six day week to complete Disney's first all-cartoon feature pic in seven years, "Cinderella," in time for Christmas release. Disney is supervising shooting of all-flesh pic, "Treasure Island" in England. "Alice In Wonderland," already in early production stages here, is due for step-up.
My trans-Atlantic telephone Disney yesterday told studio execs, "The business recession is over. Box-office is on the upswing and will continue to climb. It's up to us to give 'em the best we can and let 'em know we got it."
In line with stepped up production plans Disney instructed all-out ad and publicity campaigns on pix ready for release. Vern Caldwell, public relation chieftain at studio, headed for NY yesterday for home-office talks with RKO execs on "Ichabod and Mr. Toad" on which campaign is already set, and to set-up ad campaign on forthcoming "Cinderella." Although spokesman was loath to state how much would he expended on ad budgets on pix from here on in, he did reveal that money spent would be in excess of that poured into "So Dear To My Heart." It is understood that coin spent on latter hit $500,000 mark.
Treasure Island," has been making side trips to Scotland, Northern England, Ireland and France. In Ireland it is reported that he’s been getting backgrounds for his yarn of Eire's "Little People," temporarily titled, "Three Wishes." In other countries he's been lining up locales for further pix to be made on his true to life series of featurettes.
Producer also gave orders for prep work to be stepped up on three other feature length yarns being developed and have them ready for him to make decision on which to put before cameras first on his return here Sept. 1. Three being readied for Disney's decision are "Peter Pan," 'Hiawatha" and "Woodcutter's House." Story crew currently on "Alice In Wonderland," all-cartoon feature, is being transferred over to "Peter Pan.
Disney plans to make one full-length all-cartoon feature per year from now on. His last, prior to "Cinderella," was "Bambi" which was completed in 1942. During war years, Disney's staff of artists was so depleted that he turned to combination flesh-cartoon features.
Spokesman also revealed that Disney is about ready to spring a new type of short subject on market to augment his program of 18 he makes for RKO release. He refused to reveal further information other than to state that Disney had been working on project for matter of two years.
Roy Disney, studio exec, is leaving for NY Monday to go over complete Disney production plans with RKO prexy Ned Depinet and sales chief Robert Mochrie. Walt Disney will stop over in New York on his return from England to hold additional confabs before coming on to the Coast.

August 4, 1949
Hitched at the "Wee Kirk of the Heather," Las Vegas, Shirley Blough and William Weber of the MGM cartoon studio.

August 5, 1949
John Brown, radio "trick voice" man, will present three different characters in the new MGM Technicolor cartoon, "Symphony in Slang." He will voice-impersonate Daniel Webster, a ghost, and "Just Plain Joe." Brown does vocal tricks on the "Ozzie and Harriet," "My Friend, Irma" and "Broadway" air shows.

August 10, 1949
Baby Sitter Cartoon
Fred Quimby, Metro cartoon producer, has scheduled, "Take a Litter Darling," as a Tom and Jerry subject to start September 1st. Cartoon will deal with "baby sitting" profession.

RKO Showing Pair
RKO has announced trade showing dates on two independent releases. Samuel Goldwyn's “Roseanna McCoy” will be shown in all exchange centers Aug. 18. Walt Disney's Technicolored feature cartoon, "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad," will be shown Aug. 22.

Refusal of Film Experts To Move East for TV Poses Producer Problem
Reluctance of Hollywood talent to leave their swimming pools for television work in New York is also being felt by indie TV film producers working in the east. According to Lars Calonius, prez of the recently formed Archer Productions, the best film cameramen, technicians, animators, etc., are on the Coast but all the top ad agencies, and thus TV business, is in the east. And, because the film experts cannot be lured east by even top salary offers, the producers have run up against quite a problem.
Archer recently finished a set of animated cartoons spots for Chevrolet dealers and a series of live commercials for Chevy's central office, which are to be integrated into all TV shows sponsored by Chevy through the Campbell-Ewald agency. Animation staffers have all had considerable experience with Walt Disney studios, with Calonius himself having worked for Disney since 1935, along with Hal Ambro, also an Archer staffer. Others on the staff include writer Carl Fallberg and Tom Craven, formerly an exec with Universal and United World Films.
Outfit is now conducting color tests on animated characters and backgrounds over TV monitors to determine color values best suited for transmission, pending the arrival of color video. In addition to contracts for a series of filmed commercials for top clients next season, Archer will also work on dramatic films.

August 15, 1949
New Col Cartoon Deal
United Productions of America, indie cartoon unit, has inked a new release contract with Columbia. Renewal of the 1948-49 pact calls for another four shorts for Col's 1949-50 releasing schedule, of which two are completed. "Mister Magoo," new UPA cartoon character, is first in new group turned out by Ed Gershman and Stephen Bosustow.

‘Casey Jones’ First Of New Disney Series Of Cartoons
Walt Disney has set up a new series of one-reel cartoons. Technicolor shorts will be tagged "Walt Disney's Sketch Book" series and will embrace the kind of folklore, fantasies, classics and originals not adaptable to feature length production. None of the standard Disney characters, such as "Mickey Mouse," "Donald Duck," "Pluto" and "Goofy," will appear in them.
Series will contribute four annual items to Disney's output of features, shorts and "True Life Adventure" shorts and will be released, like the others, through RKO. They will have no fixed format except the design of the title. Producer has amassed a score of yarns from which to select his first annual quartet, slated for release on the 1949-50 program.
Series will be initiated with 'The Brave Engineer," story of "Casey Jones." This is one of three subjects already well along in animation and ready for scoring. Others of the first group are Ellis Parker Butler's "Pigs Is Pigs" and Frank Owen's "The Midget Moose." Also on the agenda are several Sam Taylor stories; an English fantasy, "Claudius the Bee"; "The Magic Bed Knob," and "Casey's Daughter."
To get the series rolling, 12 character animators and two effects animators have moved over from Disney's feature department to supplement the regular shorts personnel which will operate in three director units with four animators each. Comedy and music will he stressed in majority of the shorts and screen and radio names will do the narration.

9 Tom and Jerry Scripts Completed
Fred Quimby, head of Metro cartoon department, has completed scripts for all nine Tom and Jerry reels on 1949-50 program, which officially tees off Sept. 1. This is first time producer has been so far ahead, with three of one-reelers already in work and several more slated for starting next month.

House of Today?
GAGS that sprouted in the minds of MGM cartoon experts have come home to roost. "House of Tomorrow," current MGM cartoon, features over twenty labor-saving gadgets, intended originally just for laughs." But certain manufacturers have taken the cartoon seriously and letters have been received asking for blueprints of two of the gadgets shown, a device to separate seeds from oranges without squirting, and an automatic sandwich maker which, feeding in loaves of bread, gobs of butter, and ends of meat, ends as finished sandwiches.

August 16, 1949
Jerry Mason [Mann] has concluded voice-dubbing for "Slicked Up Pup," MGM cartoon, and last night left town to join troupe of "Oklahoma," now touring Wyoming.

August 17, 1949
Art Babbitt yesterday was named a director at United Productions of America, cartoon outfit that releases through Columbia.

August 18, 1949
Disney Turning To Video As Ballyhoo For Two Features
Walt Disney will go all-out in a saturation television-trailer campaign on his two cartoon features, "Ichabod and Mr. Toad" and "Cinderella." Studio will make 20 seconds, 30 seconds and full minute video trailers for use on all stations in key cities throughout the U. S. It'll mark first time that Disney has used video medium. Spokesman stated that Disney now feels that television has reached stage where it's one of the most important sales mediums.
Disney arrives in New York from England on the Queen Elizabeth today. He will immediately go into huddles with Disney prexy, Roy O. Disney, and RKO execs, Ned Depinet and Robert Mochrie. Quartet will map promotion and ad expenditures on three pictures, the two cartoon features plus the all-flesh pic, "Treasure Island" which is currently shooting in England with Byron Haskins directing. Although no figure has been definitely set it is known that the publicity and advertising expenditures on trio of films will he close to $3,000,000.
"Ichabod and Mr. Toad" will be released during October and studio is going all-out in getting video trailers through the labs in order to meet release dates. At present the studio is working full days, five nights and Saturdays each week to get "Cinderella" ready as Disney's Christmas release. General release will follow early next year.
Also to be discussed during the New York sessions is tremendous preem plan that Disney has decided on for his "Treasure Island." Film will be given a simultaneous world-wide showing in all English speaking countries next fall. Showings will be held in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland and other British territories plus key cities throughout the U. S. on same day with possible international radio hook-up tied in on affair. Disney freres will remain in NY for several days before heading for the Coast.

August 19, 1949
New York, Aug. 18.—Walt Disney will turn out one cartoon feature and from 20 to 24 shorts annually. Disney revealed his plans on arrival from London on the Queen Elizabeth today. He also revealed that the program may be supplemented with an additional film a year, for the next four years, which would be made in England. Producer currently has four subjects under consideration for British production.
Disney has been in England supervising production of his live action film, "Treasure Island," which won't be finished till third week of October. Producer revealed that "Treasure" is budgeted at $1,700,000 but he expects to bring it in slightly under budget. Film is jointly financed by Disney and RKO. Disney stated that while most of money being used was frozen coin, there were also a good many American dollars being used.
Among subjects Disney is considering for production in England are "Take Three Wishes" and an original by Lawrence Watkins. First will go next June if Disney decides to go ahead with British production. The Watkins tale is a live action yarn while "Wishes" is a combination live action-cartoon vehicle. If Disney decides to put latter in work, cartoons will be done here with life action being shot in Ireland and England.
Disney will return to the Coast Aug. 29 for six-week stay before returning to England for a final check on "Treasure Island."

European Audiences Strong for Cartoons
New York, Aug. 18.—European audiences still are very enthusiastic fans of American color cartoons, William Weiss, Terry-Toons veepee, declared today, upon his return from six-week business-pleasure junket on continent. Although company, which releases through 20th-Fox, has some frozen funds abroad, it doesn't plan on making any shorts overseas at this time. New season's production schedule calls for some 20 shorts, about same number as last semester.

August 24, 1949
Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
RKO release of Walt Disney production. Narration by Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore, Pat O'Malley, John Ployardt, Colin Campbell, Campbell Grant, Claude Allister, The Rhythmaires. Story, Erdman Penner, Winston Hilber, Joe Rinaldi, Ted Sears, Homer Brightman, Harry Reeves; based on Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and Kenneth Grahame's "Wind in the Willows"; songs. Don Raye, Gene De Paul; musical direction, Oliver Wallace; production supervisor, Ben Sharpsteen; directors. Jack Kinney, Clyde Geronimi, James Algar; photographed in Technicolor. Tradeshown N. Y., Aug. 19, '49. Running time, 68 MINS.
"The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad" ranks among the best full-length cartoons turned out by the Walt Disney studios. Cutting away from the limitations imposed by the usage of live actors in several of his recent efforts, Disney once again is banking on that wit, inventiveness and whimsical imagination that marked his early successes. This offering will pay off handsomely in all situations.
Split into equal halves, film is based on two popular books, Kenneth Grahame's English classic, "The Wind in the Willows," and Washington Irvine's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." They are handled in widely differing, but equally effective styles. The Grahame yarn has a subtle, satirical edge on its comedy which will limit its appreciation to adult audiences. The Irving legend, however, is treated with splashes of color and broad strokes of humor and violence that will appeal in a fundamental way to all age groups. Together they comprise a solid package of varied entertainment.
Initial section of the film is devoted the adventures of Mr. Toad, an aristocratic amphibian with playboy tendencies. The toad is a superlatively clever creature of the drawing-boards. He is a member of the leisure class, cultured, archly self-confident, and bored with life except for his mania for autos and airplane's. When he gets pinched on a stolen car rap, the toad acts as his own counsel and, through the cartoon's power of parody, exposes the prosecution's legal cliches with insouciant nonchalance. It's the high point of the film.
The dialog and narration are impeccably tailored to match the animation. Basil Rathbone, handling the biggest assignment, Eric Blore and the other voices impart to the script that proper British toniness and dry humor which will undoubtedly pass over the heads of the youngsters. But even in this section, the kids will get a kick out of the personifications of the various animal characters, including a stiff-collared Mr. Rat, an easy-going Mr. Pig and a gang of weasel hoodlums.
The second half of the film is dominated by Bing Crosby's soundtrack personality. In this hoked-up version of the Sleepy Hollow legend, Crosby handles all the narration, plays all the characters and neatly renders a couple of spook-tunes with the Rhythmaires accompanying. While this cartoon lacks the class of "Mr. Toad," it is still first-rate and will probably be the pic's major b.o. draw, chiefly because of Crosby. Also, the story is more familiar and the caricature of that fabulous and frightened schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, is drawn in a more immediately recognizable comic vein. The sequence in which Ichabod meets the Headless Horseman in the forest, incidentally, matches anything Disney has ever done in the way of terrifying the younger set.
The tinting of both yarns is skillfully keyed to the tone of each yarn. While "Mr. Toad" is drawn in soft pastels, the Ichabod yarn is swept by full, contrasty colors. In both cases, it pars Disney's standard for excellence. Herm.

Disney Setting Up Own Music Firm
Walt Disney will launch his own music publishing business next month to promote songs from cartoons made by his Hollywood studios. New venture will be titled Walt Disney Songs, Inc., and will go into operation with the score of "Cinderella," written by Mack David, Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman.
Disney intends a fullscale operation, the setup coming under the supervision of Fred Raphael, Disney's music division head. There will be offices in New York, Chicago and Hollywood, Jack Spina, now on the Coast in a huddle with Raphael, covering the eastern end.
Disney has always farmed out scores from his films, but is apparently dissatisfied with results to date. Of all the Disney works, outstanding are the tunes from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," copyrights of which are held by Irving Berlin, Inc., which exploited them. Another outstanding copyright from Disney's cartoons is "The Big Bad Wolf." Morris Music currently has the score from Disney's "Ichabod and the Turtle," for the reason that Bing Crosby, whose voice did the tunes for the sound track, had first call on the publishing rights. And he placed them with Morris.

Marvin Miller inked to narrate series of Ford commercial Alms for tele being produced by United Productions of America.

August 29, 1949
Experienced artists and story writers for a television animated cartoon series. Employment in San Francisco. Call Mr. Ward CRestview 4-5291

Walt Disney checked in from England yesterday, after three months abroad supervising "Treasure Island," to report he'll make another frozen-pound picture there next year. Larry Watkin is writing the original, which will star Bobby Driscoll. A third property, "Three Wishes," which will be part-live action, part-cartoon, is also up for production in Ireland. Live sector will be shot there and the cartoons at producer's Burbank studio.
Disney will return to England in October, after he gives final okay on "Cinderella" and checks progress of "Alice In Wonderland" here. Byron Haskin, who is directing "Island," expects to complete camera work in October. Editing and scoring of the picture will be done at Denham. Perce Pearce, Disney producer, will remain in England until this job is complete.
Disney has had his production staff on a six-day-and-night schedule rushing "Cinderella" for holiday trade. This will give him three features in release this year, greatest in history of his studio. While here producer will also decide on his next all-cartoon picture to follow "Alice." This will be either "Hiawatha" or "Peter Pan."

August 31, 1949
T. J. Ward, president of Television Arts Productions of Berkeley, flies here today for conferences with Jerry Fairbanks. Ward's company is doing the animation for the producer's "Crusader Rabbit" television film series.

September 7, 1949
Hollywood, Sept. 6.
Jerry Fairbanks goes into production with "Crusader Rabbit" television series this week. "Rabbit" is an animated series designed as a five-minute, five-a-week layout. Fairbanks will can a 13-week group of 65 pix.
Animation is being done by Television Arts Productions of Berkeley. Dubbing, narration, editing and scoring will be handled at Fairbanks' plant.

September 13, 1949
Desires model men, layout men, story sketch men. Must be able to handle modern conventionalized form. CR. 55221—Mr. Curry.

September 28, 1949
I Fratelli Dinamite
(The Dynamite Brothers)
Venice, Sept. 10.
Pagot Film (Milan) production. Art direction, Nino Pagot; animation, Toni Pagot; technical direction, Paolo Gaudenzi; music, Giuseppe Piazzi. Previewed at Film Festival, Venice; running time, 85 MINS.
"I Fratelli Dinamite," first feature-length color cartoon to be completed in Italy, gets its authors off to a good start in the field. Pic is sure to please moppets at home, and adults will get their share of enjoyment as well. Abroad its chances are limited by its field itself, plus a length which might create problems in placing.
Comparisons with Walt Disney full-length productions being inevitable, it can be said that the Italian product comes off well enough considering the high standards set by its predecessors. Fully their equal in cartoon animation, film suffers in matter of songs, gags and creation of characters. Story tells the adventures of three brothers at school, on a desert island, as musicians at a concert, at Venice in carnival time, etc. Moral expounded by pic and illustrated by various episodes is that there can be no complete happiness without good. Long Venetian sequence, delightful and imaginative, winds up the picture and is by far the best thing in it. Hawk.

La Rosa Di Bagdad
(The Rose of Bagdad)
Venice, Sept. 10.
UA release of IMA Film (Milan) production. Directed by Anton Gina Domeneghini. Screenplay, E. D'Angelo and Lucio de Caro, from story by A. G. Domeneghini; sets, Libico Maraja; music, Riccardo Pick Mangiagalli; camera (Technicolor) Cesare Pelazari; editor, Lucio de Caro. Previewed at Film Festival, Venice. Running time, 80 MINS.
This second feature-length effort of the budding Italian cartoon industry is a skillful job which will please its share of customers in the moppet class. Its quiet charm and humor, plus a beautiful musical score and songs, will find it supporters among grownups too. Wicked sultans, lovely princesses, handsome princes, magic lamps and rings, are all combined in this Arabian-nightish tale.
Top quality animation and excellently painted sets which get full values out of the Technicolor camera, combined with a refreshing use of conventional film techniques (varied camera angles, closeups, etc.), and an original musical score by the late Riccardo Pick Mangiagalli which makes pleasant listening, give "La Rosa di Bagdad" good selling points. Word-of-mouth might help pave a way towards a wider distribution than the pic might normally enjoy. Hawk.

September 29, 1949
Williams Joins Metro
Roy Williams, story director at Walt Disney studio for 18 years, has been added to the story staff of Metro's cartoon department.

October 11, 1949
Roy and Walt Disney plane to England late this week. Roy, will likely leave a day or two before Walt who is remaining behind to give final okay on animation for "Cinderella."
Roy Disney will make a survey of the entire European situation both financial and sales-wise while abroad. Walt is going for two week stay to wind his "Treasure Island" which has been lensing in England under the supervision of Perce Pearce. "Treasure" will be edited and scored in Britain before being returned here for release early next fall by RKO which jointly is producing film with Disney.
Disney freres are pushing "Cinderella" through animation and expect to have negatives in Technicolor labs before end of Oct. RKO sales force is trying to wan-gel several pre-release dates for Aim to hit before the first of the year in order to qualify it for Academy Awards. Film will go into general release early in 1950.
Before leaving for England Disney will launch "Alice In Wonderland" into active production.

October 25, 1949
Classical music will get a break in two Tom and Jerry cartoons being readied at MGM. "The Cat Concerto" will feature Hungarian Rhapsody and "Hollywood Bowl Cat" will revolve around Die Fledermaus.

November 2, 1949
That Mule Again
Walt Disney has set the machinery for the production of a cartoon which will be titled "Mule Train." Frankie Laine has been set to warble title tune. Disney's music firm is the publisher of "Train." An entire sequence in Republic's "Singing Guns" is also devoted to the song.

November 16, 1949
Campbell Airshow to Intro Disney's 'Cinderella' Score
Deal has been concluded under which the Andrews Sisters and other names on the Campbell Soup-"Club 15" broadcast will introduce the score of Walt Disney's "Cinderella" cartoon. Initial playing of the music on the air will cover Dec. 5 and 6, the Andrews trio and Dick Haymes doing three tunes the first night and Haymes. Evelyn Knight and the Modernaires doing three the second.
"Cinderella" score is by Jerry Livingston, Mack David and Al Hoffman.

November 22, 1949
AP Gets Tom & Jerry
Metro has completed arrangements with the Associated Press for syndication nationally of a Tom and Jerry comic strip, featuring top-ranking cartoon stars. The Tom and Jerry comic strip will appear in newspapers around the first of the year.

November 25, 1949
Xmas Demand for MGM's 'Little Orphan'
Every Metro exchange in the U. S. and Canada reports that every available print of Leo's 1947-48 "Oscar" winning cartoon, "The Little Orphan" has been booked over upcoming holiday weekend. Although released one year ago on Thanksgiving, the "turkey day" short is still one of Metro's hottest-selling numbers.

November 28, 1949
United Productions of America will open offices in NY this week. Edward L. Gershmann, veepee and business manager, will head the expansion operation.

December 2, 1949
‘Woody’ in ‘Moon’
George Pal and Walter Lantz are working out deal for latter t« make "Woody Woodpecker" cartoon sequence for Pal's current "Destination Moon." It will be only animation in picture, balance of Technicolor film being live action.

December 6, 1949
Metro Will Exhibit Cartoon Making Tricks
Exhibit displaying all phases of cartoon production will be sent out to theatres throughout the country by Metro next year. It debuts in the lobby of Loew’s State, NY, on Jan. 1. Layout is based on "Casanova Cat," unreleased "Tom and Jerry"' short It starts from idea inception of the drawing board and winds with finished product. It will be routed through schools after its theatre tour.

December 9, 1949
Geer as ‘Crockett’
United Production of America, indie cartoon outfit, has signed Will Geer to act in and narrate "The Davey Crockett Legend," feature-length cartoon. Geer will be the only live actor used.

December 13, 1949
Feature Cartoon—Technicolor
RKO release of a Walt Disney production. Production supervision, Ben Sharpsteen. Directors, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi. Story, William Peed, Ted Sears, Homer Brightman, Kenneth Anderson, Erdman Penner, Winston Hibler, Harry Reeves, Joe Rinaldi. Based on original classic by Charles Perrault. Special processes, Ub Iwerks. Sound director, C. O. Slyfield. Sound recording, Harold J. Steck. Robert O. Cook. Editor, Donald Halliday, Music editor, Al Teeter. Musical direction. Oliver Wallace, Paul Smith. Songs. Mack David. Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman. Orchestration, Joseph Dubin. Voices, Ilene Woods. Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Claire DuBrey. Helene Stanley, Luis Van Rooten. Don Barclay, Rhoda Williams, James MacDonald. William Phipps, Lucille Bliss. Color and styling. Mary Blair, Claude Coats, John Hench, Don Da Gradi. Layout, Mac Stewart, Tom Codrick, Lance Nolley. Don Griffith, A. Kendall O'Connor, Hugh Hennesy. Charles Philippi, Thor Putnam. Background, Brice Mack, Ralph Hulett, Dick Anthony, Art Riley, Ray Huffine, Merle Cox, Thelma Witmer. Directing animators, Eric Larson, Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas. John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, Ward Kimball, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis. Les Clark, Norm Ferguson. Character animators, Don Lusk. Hugh Fraser, Fred Moore, Judge Whitaker, Marvin Woodward, George Nicholas, Phil Duncan, Hal King, Harvey Toombs, Cliff Nordberg, Hal Ambro, Ken O'Brien. Effects animators, George Rowley, Josh Meador, Jack Boyd.
TRADESHOWN at RKO Studios, Hollywood, Calif. Dec. 9, 1949. Running time. 74 MINS.
"Cinderella" is one of Walt Disney's top achievements as an animated story-spinner. He catches the warm and simple charm of the Charles Perrault classic so effectively and with such easy presentation that film truly is a delight, a cinch to please audiences of all ages.
Here is told the fairy tale of the ages, one of childhood's greatest favorites, Cinderella and her glass slipper. It is the storv of the little slavey and her mean stepmother and stepsisters, who heap work and abuse upon her and try to make life unbearable for her. Imbedded in the narration is the spirit of faith which is Cinderella's, which goes through to every spectator.
As usual with Disney cartoons, there is the preponderance of action by small animal characters, in this instance two tiny mice, Jaq and Gus, who help Cinderella through her trials. Pair are two of cutest and most distinctive characters ever created by Disney. There are other mice, too, and birds which come continually to her aid. One of the principal characters is Lucifer, the unfriendly cat, enemy of the little mice who are Cinderella's friends.
Everv moment is memorable in this all-animated feature, turned out in lush tints and with a wealth of values which will pay off handsomely at boxoffice. It is cartoon showmanship par excellence, calculated to engage the imagination as few other cartoon features of the past, as fine an example of animated picture-making as screen yet has seen. Technically, it is superb, and audiences, regardless of class, will find it spell-binding.
Element of suspense is splendidly brought out, as king's messenger bearing the glass slipper comes to Cinderella's house, seeking the maiden who dropped it the night before in the palace. The mice come to heroine's rescue when her stepmother locks her in her room, so she won't be able to try on the slipper. Sequence is unusually well done, as mice sneak key out of stepmother's pocket and try to carry it up the long flights of stairs.
Disney rates a terrific hand for the artistry with which he has handled his subject. His animal creations are irresistable, and spectator will glimpse Cinderella and her plight, up there on the screen as he might dream the legend, as no other producer could offer. Entire work is a masterpiece of animation, a fantasy of humor and magic.
Ilene Woods' voice is that of Cinderella, hitting the exact key required, and Eleanor Audley is heard as stepmother. Rhoda Williams and Lucille Bliss the two stepsisters, Verna Felton the fairy godmother.
Six song numbers by Mack David, Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman attract, and Ub Iwerks is credited with special processes. Ben Sharpsteen supervised production, and Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske and Clyde Geronimi directed. Art work by huge staff of artists is outstanding and magnificent on every score.

December 15, 1949
United Productions of America has been set to roll a series of TV film commercials for Pond's tissues.

December 21, 1949
Chappell Completes Setup for Disney's London Music Co.
London, Dec. 20.
Chappell, Ltd., has completed an arrangement under which it will set up a music publishing house here for Walt Disney. Final papers covering the arrangement were signed last week, and the establishment of a separate organization with its own promotion staff has begun. New firm is to be called Walt Disney Music Co., Ltd.
Final signing of the agreement was done in New York, between Lee Eastman, Disney's attorney, and Chappell reps there. Deal will begin with the pop, "Mule Train," and follow with Disney's "Cinderella" cartoon score. A Disney firm will also be set up in France.

December 27, 1949
Funeral services for Leon Schlesinger will be held at 1 p.m. today at the Temple Israel, 7300 Hollywood Blvd. Rabbi Max Nussbaum will officiate. Following services the body will be entombed in Beth Olam Mausoleum.
Schlesinger died Sunday at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. The 66-year-old veteran cartoon producer had been hospitalized for the past 11 weeks.
A native of Philadelphia, Schlesinger launched his career at the age of 14. Starting out as an usher he rapidly advanced to various positions of authority in the legit theatre. He played minor roles on the stage.
Schlesinger's entry into the film business was via the salesman route. He concentrated on foreign pix. This led to a partnership with Hugh Harmon and Rudolph Ising in production of two series of cartoons, "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" early in 1930. He bought out his partners in 1934 and continued the production of the two series until July 1, 1944, when he sold out to Warner Brothers. For the following five years he served as general manager of Warners by-products. He resigned last June 30 to retire.
During period Schlesinger headed his cartoon company he also served as head of Pacific Title Card Co., and turned out cartoon sequences for feature films through that company. He did cartoon inserts for "The Big Broadcast of 1938" and "Love Thy Neighbor."
Throughout his lifetime Schlesinger was active in numerous charitable organizations. He was one of the heaviest contributors to Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. He was active in the Temple Israel and was its first president. He aided in raising the building fund.

George Pal, who last week wound up "Destination Moon," his second live-action feature, has launched preparations on three properties for future production. First to go probably will be "Tom Thumb," combo animation-live actioner on which producer already has spent over $100,000.
Pal put animation sequences, comprising about 20% of film, into work some time ago, but halted it due to lack of financing. Producer now has lined up full backing for picture and is ready to go.
He is also readying "When Worlds Collide," novel by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer, which he took over from Paramount several months ago. Cecil B. DeMille planned to make picture under tag of "The End of the World," in 1935, but abandoned project due to technical work involved. Pal's staff, experts along this line, will handle this, with plenty of trick stuff skedded for film.
Third property being readied is "Capital Punishment," dealing with controversial subject, which Jimmy O'Hanlon is scripting.

Impossible Plans to Do Feature in Feb.
Impossible Pictures, cartoon outfit, will put its first feature-length project to work in February. Picture, "Mann Hunter, World's Greatest Detective," will be budgeted at between $750,000 and $1,000,000. Leonard Levinson, who'll produce, goes to NY Jan. 6 to finalize financing details. No release has been set. Company last year released three cartoons shorts through Republic.


July 2, 1949
Bubble Bee RKO (Walt Disney Productions) 7 Mins.
Good. Somewhat lacking in novel gags but still funny enough to go over, especially with children. Pluto, the dog, tries to burglarize a bubble gum machine but a bee beats him to it. Pluto then robs the bee's nest and the bee comes after him. Both get thoroughly stuck up with the gum while blowing bubbles all over the place.

The Stowaways
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Good. Those merry mischief makers. Heckle and Jeckle, the Talking Magpies, are intrigued by an advertisement which states that tourists are invited to visit Africa by air. They brazenly board a huge flying boat but are promptly ejected by the captain, a dog who resents stowaways. They then enter the ship through a gasoline hose and cause commotion in the ship's diner. They finally reach Africa but land in a cannibal's pot.

The Bee-Deviled Bruin
9 Mins Warner Bros. (Merrie Melody) 7 Mins.
Fair. A mildly amusing cartoon about three bears who try to get honey from a bee hive. Of course they have to find out about bees the hard-bitten way. Each attempt to bring home the honey is bungled and Junior Bear always manages to mess things up.

July 9, 1949
Meet King Joe
MGM (Technicolor Cartoon) 9 Mins.
Very good. One of the finest and most entertaining cartoons which will bring home to every American the fact that our standard of living is the highest in the world. "King Joe" is the American working man who gets higher pay, works shorter hours and has more comforts than the wealthy class of most other nations. While it sticks to the facts via charts and percentages, it presents these facts in a novel and amusing fashion.

The House of Tomorrow
MGM (Technicolor Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. An hilarious and completely original cartoon which gives Technicolor glimpses of what tomorrow's living holds. All the latest gadgets are burlesqued and even the ordinary working man seems destined to get unlimited comforts—if he can stand the strain.

July 23, 1949
Sea Salts
RKO (Disney Cartoon) 8 Mins.
Good. An excellent cartoon told in flashback fashion, like so many romantic feature films. Two old cronies, Captain Duck and Bottle Beetle, reminisce about the days when they were young men shipwrecked on a desert isle. The gags center about the duck's attempts to get food away from the beetle. The windup shows the old duck still up to his old tricks.

The Lion Hunt
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Fair. Heckle and Jeckle, the Talking Magpies, are often annoying but always funny. This time they set out for Africa to capture a lion for the zoo. As Heckle puts it; "Things happen fast in a cartoon," and the balmy birds carry on a terrific game of wits with the conceited lion. The latter almost falls for the line about getting a movie contract for Hollywood jungle films.

Curtain Razor
Warner Bros. (Merrie Melody) 7 Mins.
Good. This time Porky Pig is a theatrical agent who holds auditions for vaudeville acts. He has to see everything from performing pigeons to a tap dancing octopus. One overzealous performer keeps trying to mooch ahead of his turn by insisting that his is the most terrific act of the century. When his turn finally does come, it goes off with a tremendous bang.

July 30, 1949
A Cold Romance
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Fair. Another adventure of Mighty Mouse which is more fantastic than laugh-provoking and will prove more entertaining to the kiddies than their elders. Up in the frozen north. Mighty Mouse is engaged in a terrific duel with villainous Oil Can Harry, a treacherous cat. Lovable Little Nell, the girl mouse, is captured by Harry but the Tarzanic Mouse finally rescues her.

The Kitten Sitter
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Fair. Fido's mistress decides that the dog should be given the job of kitten sitting while she is away from the house. The mentally backward canine is no match for the mischievous kittens who tease him and finally land him into the clutches of a dogcatcher. They then feel sorry for him and resourcefully effect his rescue. But Fido now seems doomed to a regular job of kitten sitting.

Flop Goes the Weasel
Warner Bros. (Blue Ribbon Hit Parade) 7 Mins.
Very good. The so-called Wily Weasel is flabbergasted when an egg he has stolen from a barnyard hen for his meal suddenly hatches out a small chick. The chick mistakes the weasel for its mother and the rodent is forced to play the game. He tries, without success, to lure the chick into the roasting pan.

Henhouse Henery
Warner Bros. (Merrie Melody) 7 Mins.
Very good. There are plenty of laughs in this short about Henery Hawk and his efforts to capture a fresh rooster. The rooster makes a fool of Henery until the little hawk gets some very good advice from a dog. Henery then traps the rooster.

Long-Haired Hare
Warner Bros. (Bugs Bunny Special) 7 Mins.
Very good. Bugs Bunny delivers his full quota of wisecracks and plays a number of amusing practical jokes on an opera singer who tries to discourage Bugs from singing. After the opera singer wraps a harp around Bugs' neck, the brash bunny declares war, and the opera singer is sorry he started.

August 6, 1949
A Balmy Swami
Paramount (Popeye Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. A vaudeville show hypnotist turns out to be Bluto, Popeye's arch enemy. He puts Olive Oyl in a trance during which she walks the girders of a huge building under construction. Popeye frantically tries to rescue her while brawling with Bluto. A mouthful of the usual green stuff enables him to overcome the villain and preserve Olive for another humorous incident in the series.

Farm Foolery
Paramount (Screen Song) 8 Mins.
Fair. Harvest time on a farm run by animals can be quite pleasant as shown in the film. All the animals pitch in to help harvest the crops. There is also a community sing with "Shine On, Harvest Moon" as the featured song.

Our Funny Finny Friends
Paramount (Screen Song) 7 Mins.
Good. A pleasant Technicolor fantasy about fish. The cartoon shows the electric eels with bulbs on their tails, oysters with strings of pearls, and gold fish depositing gold in a fish bank. It is climaxed with the old popular song "Three Little Fishes," which is presented as a community sing number.

Tar With a Star
Paramount (Popeye Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Fair. Popeye takes a job as a sheriff in a lawless western community. All of the preceding sheriffs had been killed by outlaws, but Popeye thinks he can handle the situation. Aided by his fists and a can of spinach, Popeye cleans up the town and tames the toughest two-gun men.

Knights Must Fall
Warner Bros. (Bugs Bunny Special) 7 Mins.
Good. Bugs Bunny trades blows with a knight in armor at a jousting tournament. After taking the worst kind of punishment during the first half of the fight, Bugs uses 20th Century technique to reduce the Knight to a pile of used metal.

August 13, 1949
Grape Nutty
Columbia (Color Rhapsody) 6 Mins.
Good. An entertaining and brief Technicolor cartoon. The old fable of Who Gets the Last Grape again rears its ugly head as the Pox and Crow meet and try to out-do each other. The bumps and bruises they give each other make for plenty of laughs.

Bowery Bugs
Warner Bros. (Bugs Bunny Special) 7 Mins.
Good. Steve Brody, who is having a terrible run of luck, decides that what he needs is a good luck charm, a rabbit's foot. He picks Bugs Bunny as the donor of the good luck charm. Of course Bugs wants none of this and gives Brody more bad luck than he ever had before. Brody finally jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge in despair.

September 3, 1949
Columbia (Color Rhapsody) 6 Mins.
Good. An amusing situation develops when a dog enters a home where a kitten is the reigning pet. The kitten is willing to accept the dog until it suddenly realizes what could happen when the dog grows up, and the film shows just that. In the end, the kitten evicts the puppy. In Technicolor.

Silly Hillbilly
Paramount (Popeye Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Fair. Popeye tames a mountain of brawny hillbillies who try to come between him and Olive Oyl. Even though Popeye is a city slicker, he still packs a wallop that has the kick of a mule. The short is in Technicolor.

The Big Flame Up
Paramount (Screen Song) 7 Mins.
Poor. This short gives the impression that fires are amusing. In reaching for laughs the scriptwriters turned out a story that should never have been put on film. The redeeming feature is the good choral treatment of the old tune, "A Hot Time in the Old Town."

Dizzy Acrobat
Univ.-Int'l (Walt Lantz Cartune) 7 Mins.
Good. Woody Woodpecker tries to crash the gate at the circus, a cop chases him and the two of them dash in and out of animals' cages, across the high wire and down chutes, with disastrous consequences to the cop. While this doesn't have too much in the way of clever gags, it is so well drawn and, fast-moving that it should please, especially the children.

September 17, 1949
Bad or Putty-Tat
Warner Bros. (Merrie Melody) 7 Mins.
Fair. This illustrates that silliness isn't always humor. Tweetie-Pie lives in a birdhouse protected by barbed wire from Sylvester, the cat. The latter resorts to various devices to make a mouthful of the bird, such as sawing down the birdhouse and making a model of a female bird. Children may like it.

The Gray Hounded Hare
Warner Bros. (Bugs Bunny Special) 7 Mins.
Good. Real imagination and humor. Bugs visits a dog track, gets infatuated with the electrical rabbit and decides to save her from the pursuing canines. He either knocks out or outruns the pack, finally catches up with the rabbit and kisses her. A violent short circuit makes Bugs the center of an electrical display.

Often an Orphan
Warner Bros. (Merrie Melody) 7 Mins.
Good. Charlie Dog needs a home and tries to sell himself to farmer Porky Pig but isn't very good at it, being> evicted repeatedly. Finally, Porky tries a stunt that had been worked on Charlie before—taking him off for a picnic and then abandoning him—but this time Charlie drives off, leaving Porky by the roadside.

October 1, 1949
The Cat and the Mermouse
MOM (Tom and Jerry Cartoon) 8 Mins.
Very good. This Technicolor short has real imagination behind its gags and was perfectly put together by Director Fred Quimby. Tom and Jerry go underwater to continue their feud, with Jerry disguising himself as a mermaid. Various denizens of the deep, including a swordfish and octopus, give both characters plenty of trouble but are outfoxed in ingenious and amusing ways.

Little Rural Riding Hood
MGM (Technicolor Cartoon) 6 Mins.
Good. No particularly novel gags dress up this farce of a country wolf visiting his city cousin at a night club and the city wolf returning the visit in the country, but some of the dialog is uproariously funny. This occurs when the supercilious city guy advises his bumpkin relative on how to behave in polite society. Not only the lines but the intonations are extremely good.

October 8, 1949
The Ski's the Limit
Paramount (Screen Songs) 8 Mins.
Good. Polacolor is used for this tuneful cartoon torn- of Switzerland. The spectator gets a fast view of such Swiss institutions as cheese-making, skiing and mountain climbing and then the bouncing ball guides the song-minded along the verses of "I Miss My Swiss," popular hit of a few years back.

The Catnip Gang
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Good. Like a cartoon serial in Technicolor, this tells of a fierce battle between the forces of law and order, represented by dog police, and a gang of villainous cats. The felines capture the mice who are dancing in a rodent night club but, eventually Mighty Mouse descends from the sky and vanquishes the ferocious cats. The kiddies will get a kick out of this.

The Covered Pushcart
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Good. Sourpuss and Gandy are touring the west in a trailer with many gadgets when a wild Indian appears. Unused to pushbuttons, he experiments with them with amusing results. Various machines belabor him and the washing machine gives him an enforced and unhappy bath. When he drives his hatchet into electrical equipment, an explosion blows him skyward. In Technicolor.

Hula Hula Land
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Good. Those mischievous birds, Heckle and Jeckle, the talking magpies, cause considerable merriment by their antics on an Hawaiian island. They are drifting blithely along on a raft when they decide to land and start a concession for hot dogs on the beach. Their first customer is a dumb dog but a tough canine decides to drive them out. There is a dogs versus magpies fight until the latter get their just desserts.

Dough for the Do-Do
Warner Bros. (Merrie Melody) 7 Mins.
Very good. A fanciful and amusing cartoon with excellent art work. It tells the story of Porky Pig and his search in Africa for the Dodo bird, worth billions of dollars, because it is so rare. Porky runs into a topsy-turvy world, inhabited by crackpots. He gets the bird after a screwball chase.

The Windblown Hare
Warner Bros. (Bugs Bunny Special) 7 Mins.
Very good. Three little pigs sell Bugs Bunny straw and wood houses after they read that the wolf will be able to blow them down. They move into a brick house. When the wolf wrecks the straw and wood houses, Bugs plots revenge. He helps the wolf destroy the brick house.

October 15, 1949
Doggone Tired
MGM (Cartoon) 8 Mins.
Good. Lots of clever ideas and animation in this amusing cartoon. Knowing that there's a rabbit to be caught in the morning, the hunter sends his dog to bed early to get a good night's sleep. But the rabbit is no dummy and decides to keep the dog awake all night. He thinks up a score of ingenious ways of annoying the dog, who is a wreck and too tired to go hunting when the sun comes up.

Heavenly Puss
MGM (Tom & Jerry Cartoon) 8 Mins.
Good. An original and amusing cartoon in this Technicolor series. Tom, the cat, dreams that he has died and can't get into Heaven unless he gets Jerry, the mouse, to sign a document of forgiveness for harassing him through life. Tom's efforts are hilarious but the stubborn little rodent resists all Tom's overtures of friendship and the fires of Lucifer seem near as the short ends.

Goofy Gymnastics
RKO (Walt Disney Cartoon) 6 Mins.
Good. An amusing, kidding treatment of persons who buy equipment for developing non-existent muscles. Here, in Technicolor, the character succeeds only in getting all wound up in one of those hand and arm exercisers and flying out the window and back again with a crash. He also tries weightlifting with disastrous results. Well drawn and good, light fun.

A Truckload of Trouble
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Good. A cat, dog and bird hitchhike on a moving van driven by a tough bulldog, are discovered and are put to work emptying the contents of a house. All items including trunks, vases and mooseheads get the gag treatment. They fail to do the job within the time limit and get into plenty of trouble. The best gag is taking down a moosehead and pulling a whole animal out of the wall.

The Loan Stranger
Univ.-Int'l (Lantz Cartune) 7 Mins.
Good. The dizzy little bird, Woody Woodpecker, again gets into trouble and garners a few laughs. This time he wrecks his car in front of the Sympathy Loan Co., run by a fox who demands payment in 30 days. Fox later arrives to collect but Woody plays dead and the animal relents and cancels the contract—just before the bird comes back to life.

Dancing Shoes
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Good. This has imagination and action. Heckle and Jeckle, the talking magpies, are pitchmen in a plush hotel, hawking mechanical shoes which do all the walking for the wearer. One shoe awakens the hotel detective, a tough old dog, and the chase begins with the dick taking plenty of punishment. In the end, the magpies flee, pursued by their own shoes. In Technicolor.

October 29, 1949
Love That Pup
MGM (Tom & Jerry Cartoon) 8 Mins.
Good. Very amusing Technicolor short. Butch, the bulldog, has a son that is the apple of his eye. Jerry, the scheming mouse, entangles Tom, the cat, with the pup with disastrous results to Tom. Every time Tom thinks he has Jerry cornered. It turns out to be the pup, who is rescued by the raging parent.

MGM (Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. Droopy joins a bunch of hounds whose British keeper has promised them a steak for every fox they catch. One after another fails, with the fox proving too crafty for them, until Droopy gets a bright idea. He promises the foxes a steak apiece and rounds up enough to surround a huge banquet table.

Honey Harvester
RKO (Disney Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. Donald Duck is back in an amusing cartoon about a pestiferous little bee which stores his honey in the grill part of Donald's car radiator. Donald succeeds in finding out about the hidden honey and steals it and jars it. But the bee puts up a wild chase and Donald is forced to put up the white flag.

The Lyin Lion
20th-Fox (Terrytoons) 7 Mins.
Good. Looey, the Great, an old trouper of a lion who performs a balancing act in the circus, is a mild-mannered animal with a voice like Bert Lahr. Looey, who is considered a "has-been" by the ringmaster, is demoted to the position of clown but he secretly practices a daring new feat—a high-wire bicycle act. He sneaks in to the ring and performs his act to great applause, but the envious ringmaster plays a wicked trick on the lion. It has an imaginative ending for a cartoon.

Horton Hatches the Egg
Warner Bros. 10 Mins. (Blue Ribbon Hit Parade)
Good. A re-release of one of the best of Technicolor cartoons. The mina bird gets tired of sitting on her egg and asks Horton, the elephant, to take her place. The loyal elephant won't leave the egg and is captured by hunters who place him in a circus. When the egg finally hatches, a baby elephant comes out.

Mouse Mazurka
Warner Bros. (Merrie Melody) 7 Mins.
Good. A novel setting for a mouse cartoon. To the wild strains of gypsy music, Mischa, the Slobovian mouse, dances for his life to elude his mortal enemy, the cat. Mischa gets mixed up with some nitroglycerine and the result makes for a highly explosive ending.

November 5, 1949
Jerry's Diary
MGM (Tom & Jerry Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. Tom hears a radio broadcast urging kindness to animals and plans to change his attitude toward Jerry until he finds the mouse's diary. This records the number of times Jerry has put it over on the cat, and flashbacks show just how he succeeded. Good, fast fun in Technicolor.

Sufferin’ Cats
MGM (Gold Medal Reprint) 8 Mins.
Very good. A re-release of one of the outstanding Tom and Jerry Technicolor cartoons. The meddlesome little Jerry Mouse is harassed by the watchful Tom Cat as usual and the feud continues until a neighboring alley cat gets into the fray—with resultant havoc.

Wags to Riches
MGM (Cartoon) 8 Mins.
Good. An excellent cartoon about the opposing dogs, Droopy, a little poodle, and Butch, a ferocious bulldog. Droopy stands to inherit lots of money from his farmer master—if he lives long enough to enjoy it. But Butch, next in line for the inheritance, sets out to make Droopy's life a short and merry one.

Campus Capers
Paramount (Noveltoon) 7 Mins.
Good. A novel cartoon about gridiron tactics among the rodents. Harbard and Quinceton, two old and bitter rivals, put on a gag-filled contest which includes more football tricks than Red Grange ever thought of. Interspersed with the action is a screwy college song.

Hot Air Aces
Paramount (Popeye Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. Popeye and Bluto are adversaries in a big airplane race around the world with Olive Oyl on the cheering sidelines. The vile Bluto tries every means to wreck Popeye's plane and he finally flings the little sailor to the bottom of the ocean. But there Popeye finds an unopened case of spinach and he manages to win the race and Olive as well.

Leprechaun's Gold
Paramount (Noveltoon) 10 Mins.
Good. An Imaginative screen cartoon in Technicolor dealing with the wee people of Ireland. The busy band of Leprechauns is hard at work washing its gold, an annual ceremony. When a young Leprechaun steals the gold to pay a cruel landlord who is about to evict a widow, the other men are devastated. However, Leprechaun's gold never stays with him that steals and it is returned for the amusing finale.

Cow Cow Boogie
Univ.-Int'l (Lantz Cartune) 7 Mins.
Good. Plenty of melody and jive in this new release. The well-known song, "Cow Cow Boogie," is effectively used in boogie rhythm to get the cowboys and cattle of the Lazy "S" Ranch working.

Dizzy Kitty
Univ-Int'l (Lantz Cartune) 7 Mins.
Very good. A hilarious cartoon featuring Andy Panda. Andy's pop grooms an alley cat for the animal show. When he tries bathing the puss, he runs into a riot of claws, fur and water but the cat never even gets splashed. The puss finally hides in the water spout and then heads for the swimming pool. A rubber horse enters the fun and the finale is a cat-yowling mixup.

Each Dawn I Crow
Warner Bros. (Technicolor Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. John the rooster thinks that Farmer Fudd is planning to make a Sunday dinner of him. John spends the entire day trying to liquidate Fudd, only to learn that the farmer wants to chop down a tree. But in the end, the tree falls on the rooster and Fudd has chicken for Sunday.

Fast and Furry-Ous
Warner Bros. (Merrie Melody) 7 Mins.
Good. There are lots of chuckles in this short about a speedy desert road runner (a bird) and a hungry coyote. The coyote devises dozens of ways to trip the road runner, but the bird is too smart and too fast to be caught.

Warner Bros. (Technicolor Special) 7 Mins.
Very good. As usual there are plenty of laughs in Bugs Bunny's antics. This time he winds up at the South Pole instead of Miami, where he was planning to spend his vacation. He gets involved in an argument between an Eskimo and little penguin and spends six months at the Pole.

November 19, 1949
All in a Nutshell
RKO (Disney Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. The two merry chipmunks. Chip and Dale, are amusing characters in a novel Disney Technicolor cartoon. They are busy storing nuts in a hollow tree while an enemy chipmunk makes nutbutter at a roadside stand. The enemy steals their store of nuts but Chip and Dale break into his roadside factory and make off with his store of nutbutter.

Happy Landing
20th-Fox. (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Fair. Heckle and Jeckle, the talking magpies, are not as amusing as in previous adventures. Equipped with a suitcase full of neckties, the duo finally sell a luminous tie to a slow-witted lion who runs a gas station. They later take over and try to overhaul the autogyro belonging to a pugnacious dog. The poor lion gets locked up in the fuselage and the plane crashes. But his necktie saves him in the end.

Mrs. Jones' Rest Farm
20th-Fox (Terrytoon) 7 Mins.
Good. The silly-looking lion character with a tired voice like Bert Lahr is an appealing cartoon creation. This time the lion drives up to a rest farm hoping for some peace and quiet. A goat who gets drunk eating beer cans pesters the poor lion and then ethereal elephants rim rampant through the dark corridors. He is finally forced to flee the "rest farm" to get some rest.

December 3, 1949
Barking Dogs Don't Fite
Paramount (Popeye Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Fair. The Popeye cartoons have lost some of their originality and humor through sameness and repetition of the spinach gag. This time Popeye is taking Olive Oyl's French poodle for a stroll when they meet Bluto and his pug-ugly bulldog. The dogs start a battle but this is soon eclipsed by a fight between Popeye and Bluto. Again spinach saves the day for Popeye.

Tennis Racquet
RKO (Disney Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. A novel cartoon in Technicolor in which all the characters are modeled after Goofy, the tired long-eared dog. All the while Big Ben, an offensive type tennis player, and Little Joe, the defensive type, are playing a match game, a gardener goes about his business caring for the courts. The game increases in tempo but the unconcerned dog goes about trimming the court and finally carries away the trophy with the two exhausted players in it.

December 24, 1949
Tennis Chumps
MGM (Tom and Jerry Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. This Technicolor subject ranks with the best in the series. Tom, Jerry and Spike the alley cat get involved in a wacky tennis match that shows all the rules broken and, finally, bombs used for balls. In the end, the mouse gets pressed into service as a ball but manages to get the best of the situation. The net result is hilarity.

The Greener Yard
RKO (Disney Cartoon) 7 Mins.
Good. One of the best of all the Disney shorts. A young beetle plans to leave his dad, who lives among litter in a vacant lot, for the greener pastures of Donald Duck's vegetable garden next door. The old beetle tells his story to dissuade the youngster. Once upon a time he went there only to be attacked by Donald and pursued by chickens and birds, barely escaping with his life. The youngster decides to stay.


  1. Evidently the writer didn't have a chance to preview "All in a Nutshell." There is no "enemy chipmunk" in the cartoon. Chip 'n' Dale are antagonists to Donald Duck.

    Imagine a time when the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote were not household words.

    Interesting to note the number of re-issues. The Popeye series appears to be settling into a formula pattern. UPA is on the horizon.

    Lots about Disney's "Cinderella" and "Ichabod/Mr. Toad". Disney seemed to be getting eclipsed in recent years, now the studio seems like it's going full steam ahead. Interesting to note the description of what would turn out to be "Darby O'Gill and the Little People." At this juncture, live action appears to be almost a daring new direction for Disney to take.

    The reviewers seem to use the phrase "children may like it" as a way of saying a cartoon isn't very good.

    Overall, there's sort of a twilight feeling about the cartoon industry. Knowing what we know in hindsight regarding the fate of theatrical cartoons in the 50's, the handwriting seems to be on the wall.

    1. Overall, there's sort of a twilight feeling about the cartoon industry. Knowing what we know in hindsight regarding the fate of theatrical cartoons in the 50's, the handwriting seems to be on the wall."

      Sure was, even if it took a few more years for TV to finally grab hold of the American public.

  2. Noticed a mention of "The Rose of Baghdad" and "The Dynamite Brothers". Both are interesting entries in the history of Italian cinema for both having been done in tandem within the city of Milan, let alone both also vying for the title of the first animated Technicolor features produced in Italy.

    Not sure if Il Fatelli Dinamite ever saw an English release outside its home country, but La Rosa di Bagdad was dubbed into English sometime in the 1950's for the British market, featuring a young Julie Andrews as the voice of the princess (and what was later re-titled for the American release as "The Singing Princess"). It also saw a US release during the 1960's but unfortunately came under scrutiny and censorship over the depiction of the young male protagonist who is put under a spell that turned him black for much of the picture. These scenes often made use of optical zooms, repeated footage from other sequence of the film, reversing animation and other incomprehensible editing that would've make it past the gate these days. It's kinda sad really but I suppose this movie was asking for it.

    The Dynamite Brothers:
    The Rose of Baghdad:

  3. Walt Disney saw television as a valuable marketing tool (unlike other Hollywood studios, who declared for the most part, "Help stamp out T.V.!!!!"). This, of course, led to his first TV special {promoting "Alice In Wonderland"}, "One Hour In Wonderland", on Christmas Day 1950, over NBC.

  4. * You can see those Grape Nuts MGM flip books HERE.

    * "The Magic Bed Knob" eventually became Bedknobs and Broomsticks twenty-two years later.

    * For those interested, Turner Classic Movies will be airing The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad this coming Wednesday the 28th. One of Disney's most underrated animated features, in my opinion.

    * Re: 9/3/49 review of "The Big Flame Up" - apparently, even back then we had humorless watchdog-types chastising our cartoons.

  5. The little penguin from Fridged Hare was also in Bah Humduck as asteet begger Bugs put some coins in his little tin cup