Disney came out with Cinderella, which turned out to be a hit. He was working on live action stuff. And he turned down a TV deal, smartly waiting for the right one to come along.
TV was slowly being a player in the cartoon world. There still weren’t any deals involving the major Hollywood cartoon studios to put old shorts on the tube yet, but Bray Studios was advertising its silent cartoons to any interested TV stations (and had been since 1949). Primitive made-for-TV animation was just about here. Jay Ward was readying Crusader Rabbit, NBC Comics was about to debut and, on live TV in Chicago, Sam Singer was using two drawings, each in front of a different camera, cutting from camera to camera, and calling it animation. His ultra-cheapness would soon be known in Hollywood when he produced Bucky and Pepito cartoons.
Here are some squibs from Variety for the first six months of the year. We’ve skipped weekly stories announcing Cinderella’s take and a pile of non-animated Disney pieces (and there were plenty). You’ll notice all kinds of announcements from Fred Quimby about MGM cartoons you’ve never heard of. That’s because Quimby or his PR staff made them up. “Cheesecake Cat” and “Atom and Eve” were never planned. A few shorts went through title changes—“There Auto Be a Law” became “Car of Tomorrow.” “Cat of Tomorrow” turned into, I think “Push-Button Kitty,” the final cartoon featuring Lillian Randolph as the maid. “Love in Gloom” was ultimately named “Casanova Cat,” and if Jerry Mann cut dialogue (see story below), it was never used.
January 3, 1950
January 4, 1950
METRO will make its first cartoon with a Hollywood studio background in "Cheesecake Cat," which Fred Quimby will produce. Cartoon department, which has several hundred shorts to its credit, has touched every form of amusement for story backdrop except a studio. Metro lot, however, won't be used for a subject; it will be a glorified movie factory, with emphasis placed on music.
January 5, 1950
Fred Quimby, head of Metro's shorts production, submits that the forthcoming "Tom and Jerry" cartoons might be classed as "Good Clean Fun." The titles are "Mouse Mops Up," "Spick and Span," "The Big Sweep," "The Clean Years."
Schlesinger Left 904G
Estate of $904,000 was left by Leon Schlesinger, it was disclosed yesterday by his widow, Bernice, in superior court. She filed a petition for letters of administration over the property as the veteran cartoon producer left no will.
January 6, 1950
J. T. Ward, president of Television Arts Productions of Berkeley, arrives in Hollywood today for conferences with Jerry Fairbanks. Ward's firm is doing the animation for the producer's "Crusader Rabbit" video film series.
EIGHT TOP FOREIGN VOICES SOUGHT FOR CINDERELLA
Disney has instructed Jack Cutting, head of foreign dubbing who headquarters in Paris, to round up talent in Sweden, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Holland and Spain. Cutting will then go to each of those countries to do the dubbing of the film in the language of the country. A Portuguese dubbing will be made in Brazil.
It is expected that the buying of the talent of the various countries and dubbing it in these nations will whip up considerable interest in addition to getting the film more playing time in each country.
At present Disney has men investigating the feasibility of doing a Japanese dubbing, to be made in Tokyo, and a Hindustani version, which would be made in Bombay.
It is likely that foreign prints for showings abroad will be turned out by Technicolor labs in England.
RKO and Disney haven't set any opening date on "Cinderella" in the U. S. as yet.
January 10, 1950
MGM musical director Johnny Green has assigned Scott Bradley, who has scored Metro cartoons for many years, to clef the music for Red Skelton feature, "The Yellow Cab Man."
Metro Shorts Release
Fred Quimby head of Metro shorts department, announced the release of five subjects for January. They include the cartoons "Little Quacker" and "Saturday Evening Puss," the Pete Smith specialties "Pest Control" and "Crashing the Movies" and the FitzPatrick traveltalk, "Land of Tradition."
January 17, 1950
Metro Ski Short
"I’ll be Skiing You" announced by Fred Quimby of Metro as the latest in the cartoon series covering sports subjects.
January 18, 1950
Disney Big Biz Abroad Shown In Annual Report
Big business traditionally corralled by Walt Disney Productions overseas—a far greater proportion than that of other American distribs—showed up sharply in the company's annual financial report for 1949. Disney outfit aired an operating loss of $93,899 for the year ended Oct. 1, against a red-ink total of $39,038 in '48. At the same time, blocked overseas currencies of $450,000 did not play a part in the report because of new bookkeeping practices aimed at crediting only actual dollar remittances.
Gross income came to $5,685,055 during the 12 months against $4,949,744 in the preceding semester. Of this, $2,916,887 was derived from feature pix; $1,478,202 from shorts; and $1,289,966 from comic strips, licensing cartoon characters, commercial tieins and other deals. In the expense side of the ledger, amortization of features showed a sharp rise to $3,176,679 from $2,188,041 in the preceding year. Other items were roughly comparable with the prior stretch, shorts coming to $894,379, administrative expenses to $898,936; other items brought the total to $5,778,954.
January 19, 1950
LEON SCHLESINGER’S FRENCH COLLECTION TO BE SHOWN
Collection of valuable old films produced in France from 1903 to 1908 and valued at between $150,000 and $200,000 was turned over to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences yesterday by Mrs. Leon Schlesinger, widow of the Warner Brothers cartoon producer. It's the most important collection of rare motion pictures turned over to the Acad to date.
Cache consists of 45 of the late George Melies' productions. A French magician who converted his talents to the making of motion pictures at the turn of the century, Melies was the first man who ever attempted to tell a story with cameras. He resorted to trick effects to aid in the narration of his fanciful plots.
January 27, 1950
January 31, 1950
Quimby Okes Cat
Fred Quimby has okayed the preliminary black-and-white test shooting on Metro's "Flying Cat." Cartoon goes to the inking department tomorrow.
February 2, 1950
Gil Warren, KFWB news commentator, signed to narrate new MGM technicolor cartoon, "You Auto Be In Pictures."
February 8, 1950
Comic books based on Metro's "Tom and Jerry" cartoon characters, will be printed by the Whitman Publication Co. for distribution in India, Brazil and Sweden.
Daiei studio has announced a recent deal with Walt Disney for Jap distribution of Disney cartoon books, dolls, and similar items. Studio is angling for Disney films when private importation is resumed.
February 9, 1950
Larynxing for Leo
Lillian Randolph, vet radio actress, has been inked by Metro to put voice to cartoon maid in Tom and Jerry series of cartoons.
DISNEY VOTES DIV; RE-ELECTS ALL OFFICERS
Walt Disney Productions has declared its regular quarterly dividend of 37 1-2 cents per share on its 6 percent cumulative convertible preferred stock. Divvy is payable April 1 to holders of record March 18.
February 15, 1950
THE FIELD FOR 22ND OSCAR DERBY RACE
SHORT SUBJECTS (Cartoon)
“Canary Row,” Warner Bros.; Edward Selzer, producer.
“Magic Fluke,” United Productions of America, Columbia.
“For Scent-Imental Reasons,” Warner Bros.; Edward Selzer, producer.
“Hatch Up Your Troubles,” Metro; Fred Quimby, producer.
“Toy Tinkers,” Walt Disney, RKO; Walt Disney, producer.
February 17, 1950
LANTZ TO SURVEY EUROPE AS SITE
Walter Lantz leaves March 17 for Europe, to investigate possibilities of cartoon production abroad. Producer has temporarily ceased producing cartoons for United Artists, Because of high costs.
Producer asserts cartoon costs have zoomed so high that it is impossible to continue activities here. Cartoon artists, granted a 26 percent pay boost two years ago, now seek a 15 percent pay uppance. The cartoons bring little more now from exhibs than years before costs went up, claims Lantz who says while cartoon costs have increased 168 percent during recent years, rentals have gone up only 14 percent during corresponding period.
Abroad, Lantz will survey animators and cartoon production facilities touring England, France, Switzerland and Italy. In each country, he will visit both UA and Universal exchanges, since his cartoons are being released by both companies.
February 20, 1950
WARNERS SKEDS 44 SHORTS, TILT OF 2 OVER ‘49
Warners will boost its short subjects program to new high for 1950-61 season. Lineup will include 44 shorts, as against last year's output of 42, and 30 cartoons, same number as previous year.
February 22, 1950
LANTZ CHARACTERS WILL CAPER IN ‘MOON’ SEQUENCE
Lantz and Pal are also talking deal to team up in other productions. Former would provide animated sequences for live-action films to be produced by Pal. Deal is separate from Lantz's other cartoon activities.
Briefs From the Lots
Fred Quimby is keeping his cartoon program up to date with "The Cat's Flying Saucer."
PADDY THE PELICAN
With Ray Sauber, Charles Cavallo, Helen York
Producer-director: Ed Skotch
Writer: Jack Payne
15 Mins., Mon.-Fri., 6:45 p.m.
Combining the current video puppet fad with the time-tested comedy cartoon, this 15-minute kiddie show in its 6:45 p.m. slot should send the youngsters off to bed or to their homework chattering happily about their new friend, Paddy the Pelican.
Paddy, the puppet character created by Sam Singer, wisely accepts his fate of being dangled on the end of a string. He doesn't dance around the stage in a pretense of freedom he doesn't possess . Instead, he narrates a kiddie story, sharing the camera with a series of cartoons which supply the visual line of the tale.
The cartoon sequence, sketches of animal characters drawn by Singer, are noW and then given an appearance of animation by alternate use of two cameras focused on slightly different sketches. Paddy's voice and the voices of the cartoon characters are ablv done by Ray Sauber. The story line iskept within the kiddies' range and is effectively underscored by Charles Cavallo's electric organ. Dave.
Cookham Dean Studios Closing; Auction Stock
London, Feb. 14.
Cookham Dean studios, where the J. Arthur Rank group has been filming its Technicolor cartoons during the past few years, are closing and the contents being offered for sale by auction.
Winding up of the studio doesn't necessarily mean the end of the series, it's explained, and they may be resumed elsewhere.
February 23, 1950
'Cinderella' in Comics
King features will peddle series of 16 Sunday comic pages on "Cinderella" starting March 5. It's first new Disney comic in three years.
March 7, 1950
Walter Lantz Leaving For Europe Friday
Walter Lantz leaves Friday for three-month stay in Europe, where he’ll investigate possibilities of cartoon production with frozen coin. While abroad, producer also will look for suitable pictures for possible outright purchase. Choice, if any, will be predicated on subjects which Lantz can build up by addition of some of his own cartoon characters.
March 8, 1950
Rank Reversing; Will Stick to Cartoon Field
Washington, March 7.
The J. Arthur Rank Organization has reversed its previous position and will continue to produce cartoon films. About two months back, it had planned to get out of the animated cartoon field.
"The Rank Organization," according to the motion picture-photographic branch of the U. S. Dept. of Commerce, "now states that they are not terminating contracts with manufacturers who make products using the David Hand cartoon characters, but are in fact negotiating new contracts with manufacturers of other products which make use of these characters."
Animated Cartoon Series For Kiddie Consumption
Charles J. Basch's Television Screen Productions is producing a series of five-minute animated cartoons designed for kiddie consumption. Strips, labeled "Jim and Judy in Teleland," will run three-and-one-half-minutes, leaving the remaining time for commercials.
Four shows have already been completed, with a total of 13 episodes scheduled to be wrapped up by May.
March 10, 1950
DISNEY COMICS TEACH JAP KIDS AMERICANO
General MacArthur has sanctioned deal for Walt Disney whereby Japanese children will learn English language and American customs from Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and other Disney cartoon stars. It'll be done via comic book route. Test run of six books has been made. Comics carry balloon copy in Japanese and English translation underneath. Japanese report read: "Books sold like hot doggies."
As result of runoff test, a monthly comic will be issued by Japan International Publishing Company. Also deal is ready for inking whereby Heath readers, illustrated by Disney, will be used in Japanese schools. Many American schools use this reader as text book.
An interesting fact about comic book is that it has glossary in back of each book which translates American slang phrases into Japanese.
Deal got under way when Disney signed licensing agreement giving M. Nagata of Daiei Moon Picture Corporation rights to handle licensing of Disney products in Japan. Success of publishing venture has led to MacArthur okaying full licensing deal for Disney.
Disney originally entered into agreement to make his characters known to younger generation of Japs before making arrangements for his cartoons to play that country. He figures now that hell have ready made audiences when his license to sell pix in Japan goes through.
March 14, 1950
PAR SCHEDULES 23 FILMS FOR 1950 RELEASE
HEAVY SHORT SUBJECT
In short subject line, studio's 1950-51 release slate, beginning Oct. 1, calls for 52 one-reelers and six two-reelers to go out. Figure includes eight Popeye cartoons, four Popeye reissues, 10 Noveltoon Technicolor cartoons, six Screen Song Technicolor cartoons, six Casper Technicolor cartoons, six Pacemakers and 12 Grantland Rice Sportlights.
March 24, 1950
Short subjects (cartoon)—"For Scent-Imental Reasons." (Warners)
Most distinctive documentary short—"So Much for So Little" (tie). (Warners)
March 27, 1950
King's Men Quartet has been inked by Metro to dub voices of the four singing cats in new Tom and Jerry cartoon, "Sleepy Tom Cat."
March 28, 1950
Disney Buys 480 Color Prints For Cinderella' Saturation
Playdates lined up include 120 in the NY area and 65 Coast dates; also a heavy play during period on Interstate circuit. While Easter "push" is slanted at drawing the kids during Easter school vacation, Disney execs point out that attendance in spots where film has already opened, including here and NY, is running from 68 to 70 percent adult. Film has racked top biz in NY where its winding its fifth week and is doing this town's top biz since it opened Saturday.
LOCAL FILM BIZ DOMINATED BY ‘CINDERELLA’
The big noise on the first-run scene this week is "Cinderella." Playing the RKO Hillstreet and Pantages Theatres, picture should take down estimated $54,000, biggest for this unit in months and way ahead of anything else currently screening. First two days went slightly over $23,500.
April 4, 1950
‘Cinderella’ Sparks ‘Snow White’ Reissue; Latter's $8,000,000 Gross
Business being racked up by "Cinderella" has Disneyites and RKO prepping to reissue "Snow White" next Christmas. Pic has been re-released only once, in 1944, which will mean the passage of seven years before it makes the rounds again.
Disney sales chief William B. Levy figures the birth rate since that time has averaged about 3,000,000 annually, which would provide a brand new audience of about 20,000,000 kids for the film.
"Snow White," the highest-grossing cartoon to date, took in $4,000,000 domestically on its first time out. In a reprise immediately after the original release it garnered about $200,000 more. The 1914 reissue added another $1,600,000, to provide a total of almost $6,000,000. Foreign revenue has accounted for another $2,000,000.
While it is actually too early to make any wide comparison between "Cinderella" and "Snow White," former is running somewhat ahead of its predecessor on the first round. That's partially due to the difference in admission prices between 1937 and the present. Second highest Disney grosser, "Song of the South," took in $3,600,000 domestically.
April 7, 1950
JOHN SUTHERLAND ANIMATING SPOT SHOTS FOR TEEVEE
John Sutherland productions is making heavy plunge into production of minute-spot animation briefies for television use, as well as one-minute commercials for regular theatrical display. During past six weeks, company has made these film spots for five different companies, both in form of series and singletons. Just completed are six for General Electric, five for Rubin J. Donnelly Co., of Chicago, six for Beechnut, three for DeSoto and one for United Fruit. In past, Sutherland has turned out excess of 26 for latter company. Unit also is about to go on one-reel animated cartoon for Swift & Co., for institutional exhibition, and another short for Harding College. This will be sixth one-reeler to be made for Harding.
In addition to its own production, which includes live-action filming as well as animated subjects, studio is becoming active again as rental lot. Lippert productions currently is filming a Don Barry western, and Phil Krasne late next week will move onto stage for several "Cisco Kid" video films.
Sammy Fain and Paul Webster have completed the score for "My L. A." Pair start work immediately on "Peter Pan" for Walt Disney.
Quimby Slates Three
Fred Quimby, MGM cartoon producer, has scheduled "Ventriloquist Cat," "The Cuckoo Clock" and "Safety Second" for May, June and July releases, respectively.
April 12, 1950
Disney Reluctant About TV But May Drag In 'Reluctant Dragon' Plan
Walt Disney, who has repeatedly refused to sell his theatrical product to tele, is reportedly working on a new, cheaper process for making cartoons for TV. It is understood to be an adaptation of the combination live action and story board technique which he introduced in "The Reluctant Dragon" in 1941.
Disney, like other producers, has been wary about making his films available to tele because of the bitter squawks from exhibs. These howls could considerably trim his rentals during a period in which TV is not yet ready to compensate for the decline.
Cartoon producer, however, feels that the day of color video will open that field to him on a profitable basis, although his emphasis will continue on films made exclusively for theatre showing. It is understood that because of Disney's interest in the color aspects of TV, his forces were more than casually concerned with RCA's announcement last week of a new color tube which appears certain to bring tinting much closer.
"Reluctant Dragon" technique with which Disney is said to be experimenting as a comparatively low-cost means of entry to video does not offer the full advantages of his normal cartoon action. The 1941 picture employed Robert Benchley as a narrator who told the story of "The Reluctant Dragon" by means of cartooned stills much of the way. Only in spots did the stills go into action.
Technique was suggested by Disney's own method of laying out the plot of his pix. That's by "story boards' hung on a wall. Each board contains the key scene from a sequence and, by following them along, the entire pattern of the story is revealed.
Big By-Product Take On 'Cinderella' Tieups
Curiously, Disney is not profiting by the sale of much of the merchandise, despite his extensive licensing" department. Since the "Cinderella" theme itself is naturally in the public domain, there have been many objects, such as small glass slippers, which have been made without Disney licensing and on which he can't claim infringement.
There are also, however, a great many items which have been licensed and which will add tremendously to the cartoon-maker's income from the pic. Among the big-sellers at the Mayfair were RCA-Victor albums of the music at $2.50 per copy, Simon & Schuster "Cindy" books from 25c to $1.50, jewelry, balloons, novelties of all kinds and specially – packaged candy.
Potential Fans, Too
With an eye on moppet "Cinderella" fans as the theatregoers of the future, RKO prez Ned E. Depinet ordered particular care taken in choice of the feature to be dualled in New York this week with the Disney cartoon. As a result, "Savage Splendor," a 55-minute animal pic in color, got the secondary slot.
Depinet said yesterday (Tuesday) that he felt the great kid reaction to the dual bill made such attention to choice of supporting product an important plus-quality for the industry's future. "Cindy" and "Splendor" are playing about 170 Easter Week engagements in the New York metropolitan area.
April 18, 1950
Pinto Colvig Will Bark for Metro
Pinto Colvig, who does the voice of Bozo the clown on Capitol Records, yesterday was signed by Metro cartoon producer Fred Quimby to imitate "The Seal," new character in Metro's "Tom and Jerry" series. Colvig, before clicking on Cap wax, was a story constructionist in the Metro cartoonery under Quimby.
April 24, 1950
NY Cartoonists Guild Bars Non-Union Work
New York, April 23. — Screen Cartoonists Guild here has served notice that members will not be permitted to work for a non-union studio. Ruling is aimed at "the fly-by-night" newcomer who might cash in on the TV boom in the animation industry at the expense of established studios. Animated cartoons are one of the most popular commercials on video.
April 25, 1950
Screen Cartoonists Tell NLRB 5 Studios Here Are ‘Unfair’
Unfair labor practices complaint will be filed with National Labor Relations Board this week by Screen Cartoonists, Local 862, against five cartoon studios—Walter Disney, Metro, Warners, Walter Lantz and George Pal. Milton Tyre, attorney, and William Littlejohn, business agent for organization, are propping charges, following vote of SC membership to prefer complaint.
Decision to file with NLRB was reached after current negotiations with studios bogged down, and producers last week rejected demand for 10 percent increase for all minimums. Original SC demand asked for 16 percent across the board and all contract minimums, with no one to receive uppance of less than $10.00 per week. In case of reissues, members asked 20 percent of gross as their share. These demands later were modified to 10 percent, after negotiations indicated that producers might go for this latter figure.
April 27, 1950
Walt Disney is building a cartoon idea around "Johannesburg," new tune by Tony Martin, Herb Magdison and Ben Oakland.
May 3, 1950
DISNEY OFFERED $1,000,000 TO SELL 350 OLD CARTOONS FOR TELEVISING
Walt Disney has received numerous offers for television rights on the more than 350 one-reel cartoons reposing in his vaults. Group includes subjects in the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Silly Symphony series. The shorts sought were all made prior to March, 1946, and hence under American Federation of Musicians' contracts can be sold freely for televising. One big national advertiser has offered $1,000,000 for TV rights to the product. When bid was turned down, the contact asked that a price be set by Disney.
The nix is predicated on two factors. Firstly, Disney feels he should protect the exhibitors now buying and playing his new product against any possibility of TV competition with his cartoons. Producer also figures that the tele situation is still in a state of flux, and he will not make a move in that direction until the industry is stabilized so film producers can get the proper perspective on relation of TV and theatrical films.
Disney's position on video is the same as his stand against making his old cartoons available for 16m libraries. Six or eight black-and-white subjects, made 20 years ago, were given a trial in the 16m field more than a decade ago, but subsequently withdrawn from circulation. Producer, however, has made short clips of 50 and 100 feet of discards available for the eight m "toy movie" market.
May 5, 1950
Walt Disney's "Toy Shop," production number that closes first half, is without doubt season's most glittering spectacle. Disney, [John] Harris, Chester Hale, Rosemary Stewart, Robert Dench and Co. have hit an imaginative jackpot. In this pot-pourri of Mickey and Minnie, Pluto and Donald Duck, Pinocchio, Dumbo and other cartoon characters, Miss [Eileen] Seigh shines with [Bobby] Specht a dashing toy-maker.
May 10, 1950
Fred Quimby, producer of Metro cartoons, will launch a series of "Sleep" subjects as a result of audience reception of "Sleepy Time Tom." Two new subjects now being prepped are "Cat Napping" and "Good Yawning, Tom."
May 11, 1950
CARTOONIST GUILD MULLS STRIKE IN WAGE-HIKE FIGHT
Membership of the Screen Cartoonists Guild, at a meeting late Tuesday night, voted unanimously to instruct the executive board to call a special membership meeting if by May 17 the Guild's last wage increase demand has not been agreed upon.
Membership has indicated that If a second meeting is necessary it will empower the exec board to call a work stoppage or strike in any or all classifications of work at any studio engaged in current negotiations.
Guild has been in negotiations with Animated Cartoon Producers Association; MGM, Warner Bros., Walt Disney, Walter Lantz and George Pal since last November. Guild is asking a $10 increase in all minimums.
May 18, 1950
DISNEY IN BLACK; 75G 6-MO. NET
Walt Disney Productions went from a six-month 1949 loss to a net profit of $75,906 for the first half of company's 1960 fiscal year. During the period company had a total income of $2,261,444, as compared to $2,746,251 for the corresponding period last year. Net profit is equal to 10 cents a share on 662,840 common shares outstanding. During the first six months of 1949, company had a loss of $29,245.
In a report to stockholders, Paul L. Pease, treasurer, said the "outlook for the fiscal year, ending Sept. 30, 1950, has been materially improved by the boxoffice showing of 'Cinderella.' The prospect now is for a modest net profit for 1960, compared with a net loss of $98,899 in 1949."
He pointed out that while "Cinderella" earnings over the long term should be substantial, the picture's profits during the last four and one-half months of the fiscal year "will probably be partially offset by the absorption of losses on three features released in 1948 and 1949."
Company applied $508,273 to debt reduction during the six months. Debts comprised notes payable of $824,904, long term serial loan of $142,379, principal amount of debentures purchased for retirement of $20,440, and $16,550 par value of preferred stock purchased in anticipation of sinking fund requirements. During the six-month period, income was credited with $300,000 of an amount set aside to provide for possible losses on inventories. Film rental income from features and shorts totalled $1,408,499, while income from Disney licenses reached $847,945. Costs and expenses of making the shorts and features was $1,514,127.
Report revealed that "Treasure Island," feature ready for release, used about 80 percent of its production cost in blocked sterling, and that company intends to use substantially all of its blocked coin in that manner. Feature slated for 1950 release is "Alice In Wonderland.
May 19, 1950
Cartoonists to Meet On Strike Vote
Exec board of Screen Cartoonists Union Local 862 has called special membership meeting next Thursday night at The Troupers for authorization of a strike against producers. Vote, if favorable, will give power to board to call a work stoppage or strike in any or all classifications in any studio. Issue is over a wage increase and new contract. Producers, it is stated, have offered to renew present contract for another two years.
May 24, 1950
May 25, 1950
CARTOONISTS TO SOLICIT STRIKE VOTE TONIGHT
Strike vote will be taken tonight at a special meeting of screen cartoonists against Walt Disney, Metro, Warners, George Pal, and Walter Lantz Studios. Session yesterday between reps of AFL union and Animated Cartoonists Producers Association on union demand for a $10 a week pay increase for all employes broke up without an agreement. Producers concerned have refused to make an offer, although meetings have been going on for the past six months.
Union states the last general wage hike for cartoonists was in 1946 after a two-day strike; and its craft did not secure benefits of an 11 percent raise general throughout the studios in 1947. Producers, on the other hand, claim that few—if any—recoup costs of cartoon shorts; revenue is dropping; and general conditions cannot justify any increase at this time. If a strike is voted tonight three hundred and fifty cartoonists will be affected.
Disney's Own 'Cinderella' Yarn: His Prospects Look Like Some Pumpkins
Walt Disney and his producing unit now stand ready to cash in the blue chips on a complete reversal of fortune dramatizing the now-you’re-down, then-you're-up convolutions of indie producers in the film biz. After suffering the red-ink woes for several years, Disney gave evidence of his better expectations this week when his company aired half-year profits of $75,905 against a loss of $29,245 for the same period last year.
Disney rally, of course, has been touched off by the tremendous grossing of his "Cinderella," currently in release. According to RKOers who are handling the pic, it will do a $5,000,000 domestic business. Besides that tidy chunk of coin, film is earmarked for tremendous profits overseas because of its universal appeal and the unvarying fact that the Disney signature has stronger pull abroad than in the U. S.
RKO also has ready for release "Treasure Island" which the cartoonist produced entirely in Britain. Disney owns 50% of the pic with RKO holding title to the balance. Film was made using 80% in blocked sterling, hence there has been very little dollar drain on the producer for the completed opus. It is expected that the pic will turn in a solid profit.
Producer also stands to gain some ready cash without amortization on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," first full-length pic ever made by Disney. Understood that Disney will reissue the film timed for the Christmas holidays. It will be the first time "Snow White" has hit the theatres in seven years.
Added financial development for the company is the fact that it is now exclusively handling the tremendous commercial tieups and licenses. In the past six months, income from that source reached $847,945. Previously, that end of activities was supervised by Kay Kamen, who was killed some six months ago in a plane crash. Kamen's deal with Disney called for an even split on profits. Following Kamen's death, Disney has merged the operation into his company with attendant increase in revenues.
Producer has also staged a rally on his shorts business. For a number of years, Disney took a beating on the revenues from briefies because of exhib resistance to any boost in rentals proportionate to the climb in production costs. Drive by RKO has about overcome that factor and Disney is currently in the black on his yearly program of 18 shorts.
Two more features are currently in preparation, "Alice in Wonderland" and "Peter Pan." While it is impossible to predict grossing potential in advance, producer has the advantage of operating at reduced costs through economy reforms. "Alice" will be released early next year.
Total gross for the six-month stretch ended March 31 came to $2,251,444, compared with $2,746,251 for the corresponding period last year. Net is equivalent to 10c per share on 652,840 shares outstanding. During the period, company applied $503,273 to debt reduction. Some $300,000 was set aside to provide for possible losses on inventories.
June 2, 1950
Just For Variety
London Hospital for Sick Children, to which James M. Barrie willed the play's royalties, gets $20,000 of the chunk Walt Disney paid Paramount for film rights to "Peter Pan".
June 6, 1950
On Quimby Slate
Fred Quimby has added "Putty Cat" to his 1950-51 MGM cartoon schedule, for release in September.
June 8, 1950
NBC has taken James Saphier's cartoon series for television. It's a telecomics package in which voices are dubbed to the characters.
June 20, 1950
Quimby Quills Queen
Lillian Randolph, who plays Madame Queen on the Amos ‘n’ Andy airshow, was inked by Metro yesterday for an off-screen role. She'll dub one of the featured character's voices in the Fred Quimby Cartoon, "Cat of Tomorrow."
On the Air Waves
Carnation has bought Jerry Fairbanks' cartoon series, "Crusader Rabbit," and will spot it on KNBH three times a week starting July 15. Other markets will be added later.
June 21, 1950
METRO CARTOON CHARACTERS will get a big promotional push at the World Boy Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge, Pa., the first week in July. Patrols from the Santa Monica Bay area will carry insignae of "Tom Cat," "Jerry Mouse," "Droopy the Dog" and "Barney the Bear." Deal was set up by Scoutmaster Reg Cochrane, who also is an MGM studio official, with cartoon producer Fred Quimby. Bay council will also erect an arch at Valley Forge with the Metro cartoon characters prominently displayed.
Kathryn Beaumont has signed term thespact with Walt Disney. Contract, which has $1,000 limit starting at $200 a week, was approved in superior court yesterday.
Metro plans release of two cartoons for July 4 bookings in the key runs, and has requested Technicolor to rush prints on "Yankee Doodle Mouse" and "Safety Second" for delivery to exchanges before that time.
June 22, 1950
Walter Lantz returns to his studio here July 5, following three month and one-half junket to Europe. Producer will then decide whether he will reactivate cartoon production, which has been virtually at a standstill during his absence. While abroad, Lantz is visiting United Artists and Universal exchanges in half a dozen countries, in connection with his cartoons.
June 23, 1950
MANPOWER LACK IN METRO CARTOONERY
Research men for Metro's cartoon department are busily pouring over the scores of notebooks covering research for studio's spectacle of two years ago, "The Three Musketeers." It's all for an upcoming Tom and Jerry short titled "The Two Musketeers." When checked last night, Producer Fred Quimby explained that title is not for economy reasons but stems from fact that the cartoon will have only two stars.
June 28, 1950
'Cartoon Comics' Set As NBC-TV Summer Series
"Cartoon Comics," series of semi-animated films revolving around a science-fiction motif, has been set by NBC-TV to take over the 5 to 5:15 p.m. cross-the-board slot. Kids' show is a Jimmy Saphier package.
Web is still undecided on how to fill the 5:15 to 5:30 period but will experiment this summer with a new program idea titled "Calling all Cowboys." Show will feature a series of westerns each broken into five 10-minute segments, which will be run one a day. Films will be preceded and followed by a cowboy authority, as yet unselected, who will tell the kids about Indian lore, horsemanship, etc. If the idea works out successfully during the summer, NBC plans to slot it on a permanent basis in the fall.