Saturday, 25 June 2016
Cartoons of 1956, Part 1
Finally, TV stations had some real top A-list cartoon characters on their airwaves. Countless numbers of children enthusiastically tuned in day after day to see these great cartoons that became part of the popular culture, far more so than they ever did by being seen in theatres, thanks to the power of television. Some of these kids were curious about the cartoons and grew up to collect them (on film reels), research them and write books and fanzines about them. These pioneer animation historians are directly responsible for sparking the uncovering of a huge and now-ubiquitous raft of information that fans today take for granted, and assume was always common knowledge. The explosion of the internet in the 1990s, first through newsgroups, then web sites, then social media, spread that information even further (and resulted in misinformation from zealous fans who prefer anecdotes and speculation to factual investigation). It was these classic cartoons leased by AAP, more than any others in my estimation, which sparked the love of animation for so many people today.
It’s a little thorny trying to manoeuvre through the thickets of the corporate landscape, with mergers, deals, shell companies are so on, but to put it simply, Eliot Hyman started AAP before 1950 and merged it into a company called Motion Pictures for Television run by Matty Fox. Hyman re-established it as an independent in 1954 and began buying broadcast rights to old film libraries. Hyman convinced a company run by Lou Chesler called PRM, Inc. to fund his attempts to buy several cartoon libraries. Lehman Bros. got involved in the money end; the Wall Street banking company knew old cartoons were a blue-chip investment because TV stations couldn’t spend money fast enough to buy them and start counting the profits. Ironically, all this came at a time when releasing the cartoons in theatres, their original purpose, was increasingly less financially viable for the film studios.
Let’s peer through Variety for the first half of 1956 and see what it reported about cartoons. Walt Disney continued to influence the industry. The success of his Disneyland on ABC had other networks looking for copycat programmes. CBS created a new prime-time show featuring its Terrytoons and plotted another with the critically-acclaimed cartoons from UPA. MGM increased its cartoon staff but would suddenly announce at year’s end that everyone was being let go. At Terrytoons, a new man was brought in who wanted to update the studio’s repetitious output—Gene Deitch. And there were labour issues as well, as two unions represented animation workers.
January 3, 1956
Close Deal for TV Sale Of 1,600 Old Paramount Shorts for $3,000,000
Pix, made and released through September, 1950, include the "Betty Boop" series, "Little Lulu," George Pal's "Puppetoons," Robert Benchley comedies, travelogs, Grantland Rice sports subjects, and musical shorts featuring George Jessel, Bing Crosby, Eddie Cantor, Ethel Merman, Burns & Allen, Ginger Rogers, Lillian Roth, Duke Ellington, etc.
Entire library, in addition to English, has sound tracks in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Japanese and Portuguese. A. W. Schwalberg represented UM&M prexy Charles Amory in negotiating the agreement with Par prexy Barney Balaban.
January 4, 1956
Indie Screen Cartoonists Guild yesterday finally struck TV Spots, a member-firm of the Commercial Film Producers Assn., organization of telecommercial makers, in an effort to break producer ranks on issue of individual-vs.-group bar-gaining. SCG wants individual bargaining; producers want industry-wide talks.
Fortnight ago, TV Spots was served strike notice, later rescinded. However, last week, firm again was notified of union's intention to strike. Efforts of William Walsh, legal rep of CFPA, to obtain temporary strike restraining injunction from L.A. Superior Judge John J. Ford, proved fruitless. Judge Ford set further hearings for next Monday on another injunction against SCG strike.
TV Spots yesterday remained adamant in refusing to bargain individually. CFPA spokesman repeated offer to negotiate on group basis, adding that the assn. has an increased wage proposal as a token of good faith, should the union reopen talks. Meanwhile, CFPA met last night to consider further action of group in present situation.
Union membership is slated to meet tomorrow night, to discuss possible extension of strike to other CFPA member-outfits. SCG spokesman claimed difficulty in maintaining picket line during present cartooning personnel short-age, with other firms hiring strikers off the line.
January 5, 1956
Walter Lantz has named "Legend of Rock-A-Bye Point" as his Oscar entry in cartoon competish.
January 6, 1956
Reps of Screen Cartoonists Guild and of struck TV Spots, Inc. will meet today in office of Federal Conciliator Jules Nadoff in attempt to settle strike of guild against the telecommercial makers.
Robert Wickersham, prez of TV Spots, has flown in from firm's NY headquarters, presumably to participate in talks.
While increases in minimum rates and a health-welfare fund are part of demands, main issue between the indie union and the commercial producers is that of individual-vs.-employer group bargaining. TV Spots, as approximately 16 other spot producers, are members of Commercial Film Producers Assn.
January 10, 1956
Walter Lantz heads committee appointed by the Animated Film Producers Assn. to work with Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in selecting 100 top cartoon characters which will be part of the sidewalk decorations in city's $1,500,000 glamorization project.
Committeemen include Hal Elias, Metro; John Burton, Warners; Les Kaufman, UPA; and Harry Titel, Disney. Eligibility rules stipulate restriction of cartoon characters to those "whose achievements have played an important part in the historical development of the entertainment industry."
January 11, 1956
Increased Smallfry Shows on TV Hurting Exhibs' Weekend Matinees
Saturday matinee kiddie shows, long a traditional and successful offering of smalltown and neighborhood film theatres, is becoming a victim of television. Exhibs have noted a marked decline in attendance and since the lure for the smallfry audience usually has been the concentration on cartoon subjects, exhibitors tend to blame the kiddie boxoffice drop on the availability of the animated films on video.
Several of the major companies as well as individual cartoon producers — notably Walt Disney and Terrytoons — have unloaded large batches of their animated subjects to tv. In addition, Disney, Terrytoons, and United Productions of America have been making special animated films for the networks. CBS recently purchased all the assets of Paul Terry's Terrytoons, taking over 100% of the stock of the company together with its more than 1,100 cartoons and merchandising rights to the Terrytoon characters. Deal is seen as marking the end of Terrytoon's distribution arrangement with 20th-Fox, an agreement that has been in effect for 25 years.
The acquisition by television of the cartoons previously released exclusively to theatres plus the networks own activity in the animation field has set up a potent competitor for the theatres. Exhibitors complain that every late afternoon video show aimed at the smallfry is filled with the type of material that was previously exclusively in the domain of theatres. If children can get this type of entertainment at home, say exhibitors, why should parents bother to send them to theatres? They place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the distribution companies whom they charge with being shortsighted in not trying to build up future theatre audiences.
"If the film companies continue to provide television with children's programs," said one theatre owner, "many of the children will never see the inside of a theatre.
Saturday matinee kiddie shows have been traditional with smalltown theatres, but if the film companies and cartoon producers continue to unload their cartoons to television, we'll have to discontinue them."
UPA has entered "Magoo Makes News," CinemaScope cartoon, as company's entrant for nomination in the cartoon division of upcoming Academy Award sweepstakes, proxy Stephen Bosustow disclosed yesterday, upon his return from a 10day NY trip.
For Academy's documentary short subjects category, cartoonery has entered "The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy," dealing with the life of the French painter.
While in the east, Bosustow huddled with Don McCormick, UPA veepee in charge of eastern operations, and Columbia execs on sales plans for UPA's new release, "Gerald McBoing Boing On the Planet Moo." Emest Scanlon, UPA veepee-business manager, who accompanied Bosustow to NY, remains until next week for sessions with CBSTV execs on UPA's upcoming weekly half-hour tv show, to start in September.
"Lady and the Tramp," first feature-length cartoon in CinemaScope, and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," adaptation of the Jules Verne classic, are figuring importantly in Walt Disney Productions' upbeat economics.
The independent outfit this week reported a profit of $1,352,516, or $2.02 a common share, for year ended last Oct. 1. This compared with $733,852, equal to $1.12 a share, for the preceding year.
"Tramp" held up firm through its domestic playoff, drawing an estimated $6,500,000 in domestic revenue through Buena Vista, Disney's distribution subsidiary. A taller grosser was "20,000 Leagues," with domestic income of about $8,000,000. Latter was unusually expensive, however, with negative costs of around $5,000,000.
From all indications over the past four weeks, what with the consummation of the RKO pix-to-tv deal, the decision by Columbia to release 104 features to video, the wrapup of the David O. Selznick feature deal, the sale by Paul Terry of his Terrytoons animation outfit and its backlog to CBS, the sale of the Paramount shorts for video and the placement by 20th-Fox of its short subject library on the video block, it looks like 1956 will go down as the year the dam broke on Hollywood's vaults. [snip]
During 1955, RKO released 740 films, Columbia 104, Selznick 11, Rank 165, while together Columbia and Universal released some 192 westerns. Upcoming are IFE deals for 10 pix, plus a Universal deal for eight. In the short subject field, Paramount released 1,600, with another 135 cartoons still on the block; RKO released 1,000 and Fox is offering 600. Moreover, prior to 1955, Warners had released 191 cartoons, Universal 179 and Columbia 156. The Terrytoons deal will make available to CBS nearly 1,100 cartoon subjects.
WABD, DuMont's N. Y. tv station, is going to shed its existing daytime program setup sometime in early February for a weekday policy of using the same feature film three times a day from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. All the live stanzas in the sked during that time will be axed or moved to other hours, with possibly the exceptions of some intermittent five-minute newscasts. [snip]
Since WABD just took over about 600 Paramount cartoons from UM&M, another move, toward the middle of February, will be to insert them in a 6 to 6:30 kidstrip and continuing as now, with [host Sandy] Becker picking up at 6:30 in "Looney Tunes."
January 17, 1956
Membership of Screen Cartoonists Guild and Commercial Film Producers Assn. held separate meetings last night, as picketing of CFPA firms by SCG spread to four new firms in the morning. No further meetings are presently slated between the two groups, locked in dispute on issue of individual-vs.-assn.-wide bargaining.
Meanwhile, National Assn. of Broadcast Employees and Technicians notified Indie SCG they would support strike and union also reported Teamsters were observing picket lines. Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 841, IATSE, NY, also notified membership to support action of SCG by refusing to work on cartoons sent from Coast.
Officers of guild will meet with National Labor Relations Board Examiner Norman H. Greer today to discuss alleged unfair labor practices of CFPA in locking out employees.
January 18, 1956
Despite the purchase of Paul Terry's Terrytoon setup by the Columbia Broadcasting System 20th-Fox will continue to release the cartoons theatrically, making it the first known instance of a major film company releasing product turned out by a tv-owned outfit.
"We have a contract with Terrytoon and it continues for another two years," Spyros P. Skouras, 20th-Fox prez, said last week. "We expect to continue releasing the shorts." Terrytoon studios in New Rochelle will keep turning out the regular quota of cartoons for the theatres. Following playoff, the shorts will go on the air. Col also acquired the considerable Terrytoon library running into many hundreds of shorts.
Two member-firms of Commercial Film Producers Assn., Graphic Films and Cascade Productions, yesterday pulled out of the assn. in the current hassle with the indie Screen Cartoonists Guild, reducing membership to 15 teleblurb makers. Meanwhile, SCG yesterday revealed that Storyboard, Inc., another firm which pulled out of CFPA during early stages of bargaining, had inked a Guild contract in NY.
Assn. attorney Bill Walsh yesterday stated he felt "there is a basis for further discussion with the Guild" on position taken by SCG at membership meet two nights ago. At that time, Guildsmen instructed exec board to bargain with producers in future on three points, among which was that Guild would not require producers to prejudice pending case before National Labor Relations Board. NLRB case is on issue of individual-vs.-assn. wide bargaining, main point of difference between union and producers.
Other Guild instructions were that officers were to continue to fight for single-unit bargaining and that officers should file further unfair charges against producers with NLRB, charging existence of a "blacklist" of picketing employes.
At same SCG meet, John Laird, repping National Assn. of Broadcast Employes and Technicians, notified Guild that NABET workers at Ray Patin Productions had voted to observe Cartoonist picket lines there. In return, SCG voted not to settle with Patin unless NABET workers are hired back at the same time; and to extend all financial support possible to film handlers, since they are not eligible for unemployment compensation.
January 19, 1956
Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839, IATSE, are skedded to submit their major demands for wages, hours and conditions in their proposed new contract to the Cartoon Producers Assn. today, after having submitted certain proposals Jan. 13.
Cartoonists currently have a four-year pact with producers of theatrical cartoons, with a two-year provision, as of Jan. 15, 1956, for the reopening of discussions on a new contract. Producers in question include Metro, Warners, Walt Disney, Walter Lantz and UPA Pictures. Parties in question have no connection with the currently bickering Screen Cartoonists Guild and Commercial Film Producers Assn.
New contract is for the period starting March 17, 1956, and ending March 16, 1957, as proposed by the cartoonists.
Pay demands generally are for an uppance of around 50%, slightly more in some employment classifications and less in others. In eight categories, present pay scale and approximate asking scale in the new pact are as follows:
Animators, $144.38 (present), $206.42 (asked); assistant animators, $94.08, $189.33; breakdown artists, $67.28, $119.88; inbetweeners, $69.50, $106.54; layout, $144.38, $206.42; story men, $144.38, $206.42; painters, $64, $99.20; inkers, $67, $103.20. Don Hillary, business rep, will head cartoonists' negotiating committee, while Bonar Dyer will chairman negotiations for the producers.
January 25, 1956
Pickup in the overseas market for cartoon sales during the past year is cuing Walter Lantz to make use of foreign locales for at least one-third of his 1956 program of 13 shorts. World gross for his product, released through UI, rose from a former 15% total to 25% in 1955, according to producer yesterday. Lantz' yearly distribution slate calls for 13 new films and six reissues.
Current year's program calls for six "Woody Woodpecker" cartoons, three "Chilly Willy" subjects, two "Maggie and Sam" and pair of musicals. Reissues are selected from cartoons five years old or more.
Rising costs are responsible for added negative costs, Lantz said. His average short now costs $3,000 more to bring in than one year ago, producer pointed out, adding that it requires from four to five years to recoup negative cost.
In a pitch to reduce this long period of time, and thus make greater funds available for his program, Lantz is sending out Budd Rogers, his sales rep in NY, on a swing through New England. Purpose of trip is to huddle with heads of chains and discuss the situation, in a try for higher revenue. Rental level of cartoon bookings has remained static for years, Lantz declares, and has not risen with features.
KTLA, Paramount-owned channel here, has acquired 450 old Paramount shorts and cartoons from UM&M TV Corp., which recently bought the shorts and cartoons backlog of Paramount for tv distribution. Same package was acquired by WABD, DuMont station in NY, as well as the DuMont channel in Washington.
Klaus Landsberg, KTLA v.p.-general manager, disclosing the acquisition yesterday, reveals much of the product is in color. Station is going on a daily color sked. Among acquisition are 42 of George Pal's "Puppetoons"; 88 Betty Boop cartoons; 101 Bouncing Ball cartoons.
First of 26 half-hour color animated cartoon telepix have been delivered to CBS-TV by UPA Productions, Inc., under terms of contract made last August. Two more vidpix will be ready on Feb. 15 and remaining segments will be de-livered at two-week intervals thereafter, according to UPA proxy Stephen Bosustow.
At present, over 60% of UPA Burbank staff is assigned to CBS programs, with NY staff to start work shortly.
Guild Films set its "Looney Tunes" cartoon series in an additional 15 markets during the past week. Keys include New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Duluth, Madison, Cedar Rapids, Huntington, Rockford and Cheyenne. "Looney Tunes" series comprises 191 Warner Bros. cartoons.
Cartoons are now sold in 110 markets.
Latest telefilm distribution company to go publicly-owned, UM&M TV Corp., is still in the process of rounding up underwriters to join the syndicate headed by Hirsch & Co., which will float the company's $4,000,000 issue. Once the entire syndicate is finalized, a prospectus will be filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission for issuance of 500,000 shares of UM&M common at an offering price of $8 a share, it's been learned.
Marketing of the issue will be pegged largely on the acquisition of the'1,600 Paramount short subjects plus 179 Universal cartoons and 1,000 RKO shorts for which UM&M prez Charles Amory is negotiating with Matty Fox, whose Motion Pictures for Television controls the former and C&C Television the latter. [snip]
Final figure which Paramount will be paid for the short library is expected to be $2,500,000, instead of the $3,000,000-plus originally estimated. UM&M has already started peddling the Par library on a three-year library basis and has already made deals in Tacoma and Denver for the entire package. Company intends to sell the entire 1,600-subject library as a package, without splitting off the cartoons from the live-action features. Its estimate on the gross for the first three years is $7,500,000, this apart from the anticipated gross on the RKO and Universal shorts and its other program properties.
January 27, 1956
Total of 10 directors have been assigned 15 cartoon-segments for UPA Pictures' upcoming weekly half-hour program for CBS. All will work under supervision of Robert Cannon. Others, according to studio, will be assigned next week for show that starts in September.
Osmond Evans draws three, "The Average Giraffe," "Pee Wee the Kiwi Bird" and "Follow Me"; with each of following a pair, John Whitney, "The Lion Hunt," "Aquarium"; Lew Keller, "Miserable Pack of Wolves," "Merry Go Round in the Jungle"; Aurie Battaglia, "The Persistent Mr. Fulton," "Etiquette." Gerald Ray will do "The Importance of We and Me," and co-direct "Dusty Of the Circus" with Alan Zaslove.
Singles include Ernest Pintoff, "Fight On For Old"; Rudy Larriva, "ABC's"; Fred Crippen, "The Unenchanted Princess"; Gilbert Turner, "Mr. Buzzard."
January 31, 1956
Walt Disney is setting up an annual $8,000,000 budget for the production of four live-action theatrical features. Thus, in addition to continuing to turn out an unabated flow of cartoon and documentary features, Disney now is approximating the status of a major producer-distributor on his own.
February 1, 1956
First contingent of the 1,100 Paul Terry cartoons taken over by CBS Inc. in the web's buyout of Terrytoons Inc. have been handed over to CBS Television Film Sales, the network's syndication subsid. Package comprises 104 subjects originally shown on a network basis on the erstwhile General Mills-sponsored " Barker Bill Show," which Terry produced, for the network. Web is busy clearing the other cartoons for eventual release through Film Sales, although a bundle will go for the network's "Captain Kangaroo" segment.
Film Sales will peddle the package in two ways, both as a library in which the stations can use the cartoons freely over a specified period, and as the original 15-minute "Barker Bill" program, the latter way eliminating any need for the station to use a live emcee. Film Sales this week finalized its first sale on the group, selling the library to CMQ-TV in Cuba.
February 2, 1956
In what appears a landslide move to settle with indie Screen Cartoonists Guild, two teleblurberies inked contracts with union yesterday and three more are expected to sign during coming week. Penning pacts were Playhouse Pictures and Sherman Glass Productions, with Cascade Productions slated to sign Monday, and Animation, Inc. and Telemation, Inc. sometime during week.
Another firm, Storyboard, Inc., which signed contract with union earlier, agreed to minor changes in wording yesterday to bring its pact in agreement with others, and resigned.
Meanwhile, five member-firms of Commercial Film Producers Assn., which SCG are picketing, meet this morning with Federal Mediator Jules Medoff in an attempt to settle key dispute with TV Spots, Inc. At start of dispute, the five were reported to put out between 50% to 60% of all tele-commercial footage made in Hollywood. However indications are that other firms are now picking up the biz.
Of firms signing with SCG, Playhouse, Animation and Telemation remain members of CFPA, but have withdrawn from group negotiations of the assn.
February 8, 1956
The WB deal is reputed to be an outright sale of the negatives, giving the company a huge capital gain.
Hymen's Associated Artists Productions originally bid for the RKO backlog, later bowed out and the RKO pix were sold to a syndicate headed by Matty Fox for $15,200,000. That deal involved RKO's entire backlog, consisting of 750 pix. Hyman also originally bought the Pine-Thomas pix for tv, but later was forced to withdraw when AFM prexy James C. Petrillo inexplicably nixed the use of soundtracks.
ABC and its film syndication division also was bidding for the WB pix, but Hyman offered a higher price, it's understood.
United Productions of America, the cartoon company, racked up a gross of $1,137,313 for the 1955 fiscal year, reaping a net earning of $14.46 per share.
The company also completed the purchase of all its preferred stock which was called in last year. The board of directors declared a $1 per share dividend on common stock, payable Feb. 1.
Al Hodge is making another comeback as "Captain Video," this time as emcee of "C.V. and his Cartoon Rangers," a WABD Monday-through-Friday half-hour utilizing the Paramount shorts recently bought by the station.
February 9, 1956
Robert Dranko will direct UPA's "12 Days of Christmas," half-hour cartoon for CBS-TV, working with Robert Cannon, supervising director. He also was handed reins on "Old MacDonald Had a Farm."
Other director assignments on animated shorts include John Whitney, on "The Haunted Night," "Wounded Bird," "Blues Pattern," "The Performing Painter"; T. Hee, "Happy Columbus Day," "The Trial of Belle Starr."
Bonnie Baker sings "I'm Chilly Willy the Penguin" for the Walter Lantz cartoon "Hold That Rock," first of the shorts to follow a new policy of singing main titles.
February 13, 1956
Also inked over weekend was Cascade Productions, which was not involved in dispute. Meanwhile, no negotiations are slated with TV Spots, Inc. and Swift-Chaplin Productions, last remaining holdouts in the producer ranks. TV Spots, against which original cartoonists strike was called last month, is reportedly refusing retroactive pay bid. Holding up Swift-Chaplin settlement is same issue, plus additional demand by firm that union forego "creative rights" provision for two years. This would eliminate unionists from additional pay for cartoon material used in other than tele-blurbs, a demand which SCG is vigorously refusing.
Union spokesman also disclosed that SCG is withdrawing unfair labor practices charges with National Labor Relations Board against all vidcommercial makers, except TV Spots and Swift-Chaplin.
February 20, 1956
BEST CARTOON (1,000 feet or less)
"Good Will to Men," Metro. Fred Quimby, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Producers.
"The Legend of Rock-A-Bye Point," Walter Lantz Production, UI. Walter Lantz, Producer.
"No Hunting," Walt Disney Production, RKO Release. Walt Disney, Producer.
"Speedy Gonzales," Warner Bros. Edward Selzer, Producer.
NBC-TV, on a cultural kick, is making a deal with Igor Stravinsky for a cartooned treatment of his ballet, "Petrouchka."
Originally staged in 1912 as a 38-minute routine, it will be trimmed and modernized to 12 minutes with the composer rearranging the composition and score.
It falls in line with NBC's plan, according to Fred Wile, Coast tv program veepee for the network, who closed the Stravinsky deal, to adapt for tv folk and fairy tales long in popular favor. Among others being studied are "Who Killed Cock Robin?" with Jack Webb as narrator; "Cinderella," with Martha Raye, and other works of Stravinsky. They will be done both live and with animation.
Still undetermined is how the classical vignettes will be used. Likely that three or four will be strung together as a Christmas feature. Elliott Lewis, NBC creative producer, and Fenton Coe, manager of NBC's film production here, have been assigned to the Stravinsky ballet.
February 29, 1956
Finalize $21,000,000 WB Backlog Sale of 1,000 Features to Hyman
The $21,000,000 . purchase of roughly 1,000 features and several hundred shorts from Warner Bros. was inked yesterday (Tues.) by a combine led by Eliot Hyman, it is reported. PRM Inc. (the old Pressed Metals), headed by Lou Chesler and backed, by several millions in cash reserve, is providing a great share of the financing to acquire the pix for video, and if s possible that Hyman will be set up in a new tv distribution company under the Canadian PRM's banner to handle sales.
If Hyman assumes command of a PRM tv company, it will closely parallel Matty Fox's helming of C&C Television Inc. C&C Super supplied cash to Fox when he purchased his 740 pix from RKO and Tom O'Neil.
Hyman and co. are presenting WB with $16,006,000 in cash, the rest ta be paid in deferred amounts coming from the sale of the backlog ta television. Stock of Chester's PRM has jumped several points on the American Exchange board since wind of the deal got out. Chesler is also involved with chemical researching and several mining companies, it's understood. Though the point was not clarified, Lehman Bros., the brokerage house, is in on the WB negotiations too. Reports range from giving Lehman a third equity in the deal to having just handled the negotiations between WB and Hyman.
Hyman has purchased the entire pre-‘48 film catalog outright from WB, with one proviso. The Hollywood major is reported withholding foreign theatrical rights to a group of the 1,000 pix. Included in the short subjects batch will be the "Merrie Melody" cartoons and some Bobby Jones golf 20-minuters (which might be made into a half hour series with the golf star fronting newly-filmed portions). There are several full-length "Rin Tin Tin" talkies in the full-length group, as well.
It's not believed that Hyman will attempt, as is Fox, to sell the entire feature film bundle at once. He intends, it's said, to cut the features into several smaller packages determined by age, quality and, perhaps, picture types (westerns, musicals, dramas, etc.).
CBS Television Film Sales started to move last week on its new Terrytoons acquisition of 156 of the animated shorts, setting the package in seven markets in its first week of sale. What made the sales all the more satisfying to the CBS subsid was that while 104 of the cartoons had been selected, it had not been sure of the makeup of the additional 52 cartoons added to the package a couple of weeks back.
Seven markets are Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Nashville, Birmingham, Binghamton, Scranton and Altoona.
Cinema-Vue becomes the most recent distrib to jump on the Anzac tv bandwagon via sale to TCN, Sydney, and HSV-TV, Melbourne, of 200 cartoons and 39 hour-long "Wrestling From Hollywood" pix.
March 7, 1956
Walter Harrison Smith Productions Inc. has been chartered to conduct a cartoon films business in New York, with capital stock of 200 shares, no par value. Directors are: Walter H. Smith, Elena Turner Smith and Tom Farrell, and attorneys Brekley, Piatt, Gilchrist & Walker.
March 8, 1956
Animated cartoon studio also will be opened to service England and the continent both with theatrical short subjects and teleblurbs, for which a managing director will be selected abroad. In addition to supervising actual production, he will select story and music material, handle sales and public relations activities and be in charge of UPA music and merchandising operations in Europe.
The two UPA officers, while abroad, will likewise attend the annual Cannes Film Festival, for which the UPA short, "Gerald McBoing-Boing on the Planet Moo," has been chosen by Motion Picture Export Assn. as an entry.
March 16, 1956
What the Redskins, the British and the rivermen couldn’t do has been done by Walt Disney. Davy Crockett has had it.
In the production schedule of ABC-TV "Disneyland" and "Mickey Mouse Club" for the 1956-'57 season, the noted frontiersman who captured the imagination of America's moppets is conspicuous by his absence.
Disney again will supply ABC with 126 hours of film during the upcoming season—26 hours of “Disneyland” and 100 “Club” hours. [snip]
Of 15 hour-length "Disneylands" currently in production, seven will consist of entirely new material. [snip]
Cartoon characters intro'd briefly during past sessions, such as "Homo Sapiens" and the "Cyrano" of "Man And the Moon," are to be highlighted next season as well, in hour-long original animated segments. [snip]
Original cartooning for "Club" will fall into "Jiminy Cricket" quarter-hours, with segments on "Safety," "Book Club," "The Nature of Things" and "You." Also planned are original animated strips on educational subjects, such as an original series on the U.S. Constitution.
March 21, 1956
Articles of incorporation have been filed in Sacramento for Clampettoon Commercials, Inc. Firm, which will produce live action, cartoon and puppet video blurbs, is headed by Bob Clampett.
As prexy of new company, Clampett says he will utilize his present production facilities and make use of hundreds of characters he has already created, but his "Time for Beany" characters will not be used in the commercials.
Three "Beany" staff members, Don Messick, Walker Edmiston and Bill Oberlin, will be stockholders and veepees of firm. Attorney John B. Jacobs will be business manager, Chris Hayward sales head.
Before Clampett started the "Beany" video show, he was head of a unit at Warner Brothers, where he made "Bugs Bunny," "Porky Pig" and other theatrical cartoon series.
Parker Fennelly, Jerome Cowan, Cliff Hall and Howard Smith did voice parts for Transfilm's "Calling All Salesmen" color cartoon for Life mag being shown to a agencies, product salesmen and sales managers showing relationship of sales to national advertising. Frank Cordell penned the score .
March 22, 1956
Short Subjects (Cartoon)
"SPEEDY GONZALES," Warners Cartoon Division. Edward Selzer, Producer.
The Oscar for Film Editing, won by Charles Nelson and William A. Lyon for "Picnic," had a novel introduction via a cartoon of Mr. Magoo bumbling off a plane in midair with a brief case belonging to a Price, Waterhouse rep, then dropping on stage for [host Jerry] Lewis to make the announcement.
March 28, 1956
Character will make a pitch for forest fire prevention and conservation in animated short.
Walt Disney has hired Carlos Arruza, Mexico's top matador, as technical adviser on a new bullfight cartoon.
April 9, 1956
New contract calling for animator scale of $200 weekly and $150 a week for assistants has been negotiated by Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 889, IATSE, with Studio Arts Services, video outfit. Scales are the highest in the industry, according to Don Hillary, Local 889 business agent.
Ticket covers approximately 10 animators and assistants. Base rates in independent cartoon contracts usually range from $125 to $185, while prevailing cartoonist minimums are $96 and $150, according to the Local.
April 10, 1956
Gene Del Val inked by Metro for vocal role in upcoming Tom & Jerry Cartoon.
April 11, 1956
United Productions of America is launching a British company to produce telefilm commercials for English video and to handle distribution of UPA theatrical product throughout the continent. It's also highly probable that the animation firm will also seek to produce entertainment film for tv and theatres in England, using English production and performing talent.
UPA prexy Stephen Bosustow expects to have the British UPA Ltd. producing by next fall. In the meantime, the U. S. company has formulated the price structure for the half-hour series it plans this year in connection with CBS-TV, and it has plotted a fair idea of the program's format.
UPA, under a seven-year production contract with the tv web, is asking a net of $1,688,000 from sponsors for the '56-'57 season, meaning that each of the 52 half-hour all-cartoon stanzas planned will bring the producer $31,500. Columbia will take its 50% of the deal out of the net profit, after production is deducted.
Bosustow said that the CBS-anchored skein, 13 of which well be ready by Sept. 1, will Contain two six to seven-minute portions and three three-minute shorts in every half-hour stanza, and he hoped to clear up rights with Columbia Pictures on use of UPA's Gerald McBoing-Boing character as "emcee" of the show. One of the six-minute insertions will be one of UPA's old Columbia theatrical pix, and the three-minuters will consist of short yarns or animations to song. He and network execs, expect to go airwise by October, with a 7:30 p.m. berth as the tentative show time. The night for the "cartoon variety" showcasing was not specified.
UPA, which will continue producing "Mr. Magoo" shorts for Columbia Pictures for theatrical use, is forming an English operation with English personnel. There is a possibility, apart from straight British-made entertainment and commercial films, that UPA will integrate its foreign product with its U. S.-made stuff for consumption on both sides of the ocean. The British unit, Bosustow said, will parallel the makeup of the N. Y. production arm of UPA.
Having paid Col Pictures $200,000 for tv leasing rights, UPA will turn all of its product over to tv except for the "Mr. Magoo" cartoons.
Company is developing several new cartoon characters for the show. UPA will make 26, or perhaps 39, tv half-hours for network sponsorship, and then integrate some of the material from these initial shows with the remaining 13 or 26 films of the semester.
April 13, 1956
You gotta be versatile when you sign at Metro: Perry Sheehan and Dick Anderson supplied the voices for "The Vanishing Duck," a Tom and Jerry cartoon.
April 18, 1956
'Popeyes' To AAP For $1,800,000
The Paramount-King Features "Popeye" cartoon library has at long last been sold, with Associated Artists Productions picking them up for a reported $1,800,000. Library, which Paramount and King Features have been offering to various distribs for over a year now (at a higher asking price), comprises 234 cartoons, 168 of which are in color. AAP general sales manager Bob Rich said that no marketing plans have been formulated for the cartoons, but that meeting in N. Y. next week would work out a sales formula. In all likelihood, the "Popeyes" will be combined with the Warner Bros, cartoons, of which there are over 300, most of them also in color. In addition, plans will be worked" out for also of some 1,800 short subjects also acquired from Warners.
Matty Fox and his C&C Television Corp. are virtually off the hook on their $15,200,000 investment in the RKO feature library. Although Fox is keeping the entire situation under wraps and won't comment either on his sales progress or on merger negotiations with Associated Artists Corp. and its Warner Bros, library. VARIETY has unearthed the following: [snip]
AAP's deal for the Warner pix is not closed yet, and the studio has an escape clause in its deal with AAP and PRM Inc. to the effect that if it does not get a direct ruling from the Treasury Dept. on whether the transaction is a capital gains deal by the end of June, it can withdraw from the deal and the entire transaction be entirely called off. It's said that AAP approached Fox, having in mind a takeover of the RKO library, so that it would have product should Warners be unable to get a tax ruling and decide to pull out.
KTTV (TV) here has bought L.A. rights to 156 Terrytoon cartoons for station's kiddie shows. (Details aren't available, but similar purchases in past have run $800 per cartoon, with station buying print for unlimited runs. If pattern was followed, deal set the L.A. Times station back over $125,000).
The Paul Terry Cartoons were recentlv acquired for tv sale by CBS-TV Film Sales Inc. KTTV Film director Dick Woollen repped station in dealings: Coast sales topper Tom Moore, CBS Film.
May 2, 1956
WOR-TV, the General Teleradio Indie in N.Y., made its first major cartoon investment this week with the purchase of the CBS Television Film Sales library of 156 Terrytoon cartoons. Station, long a heavy feature film buyer, is said to have paid over $100,000 for the library. Cartoons will start in the fall, time slot not decided.
Sale to WOR-TV brings the Terrytoons gross up to $600,000 in just three weeks. In that time, since the CBS syndication subsid latched onto the properties, it has sold 28 stations. Group is only a small part of the entire Terrytoon library of 1,100 subjects acquired from Paul Terry by the network in a $5,000,000 a couple of months ago.
May 10, 1956
New York, May 9—RKO will handle the release of four new Walt Disney features and accompanying short subjects in Latin America, the Far East (excluding Japan), Australasia and Switzerland, Walter Branson, RKO global distribution veepee, and Leo Samuels, Disney rep, disclosed today in a joint statement. Distrib also will take over world-wide release of 18 one-reel Disney cartoon reissues.
May 15, 1956
Invitation To the Dance
METRO PRODUCTION (In three parts) AND RELEASE.
special cartoon effects, Irving C. Hies——Cartoon sequence by Fred Quimby, William Hanna, Joseph Barbera.
Final sequence is a combination of live action and animations, the cartoon sequences being provided by Fred Quimby, William Hanna and Joseph Barbara. Carol Haney is seen only briefly as Scheherazade in this number, titled "Sinbad the Sailor," which traces adventures of an American sailor who buys a magic lantern at an exotic bazaar. The genie in the person of moppet David Kasday guides the American tar through strange experiences. There are a number of sparkling dance routines as Kelly, the American sailor, terps with the cartoon characters, including dragons, a fairy princess, and menacing Arabian Night guards. Although the most creative of the three "Dance" sequences, "Sinbad" tends to be overlong.
May 16, 1956
20th-Fox yesterday (Tues.) joined the rapidly growing list of major studios unloading their pre-'48 features to television, consummating a $2,300,000 deal for 10-year lease of 52 top films to National Telefilm Associates. For NTA, a fast-rising telefilm distribution house, it was the second multi-million-dollar deal in the past five days, since it had shelled out close to $4,000,000 last Friday (11) in the purchase of UM&M TV Corp., along with rights to the Paramount shorts and Universal cartoons, in an outright buy-up of the company.
NTA's $4,000,000 Purchase Of UM & M; 1,450 Par Shorts, Etc.; Ups Gross Assets to $10,000,000
Vidfilms' era of mergers, absorptions and consolidations, which had appeared to have come to an end about a year ago, took on new life this week with the lock-stock-and-barrel purchase of UM&M TV Corp. by National Telefilm Associates. Purchase price was reported in the neighborhood of $4,000,000, with the pricetag reaching that high a figure largely because of the perpetual world rights involved in the 1,450 Paramount short subjects owned by UM&M.
The deal, which came on the eve of NTA's first annual stockholders meeting, brings NTA's gross assets to the $10,000,000 mark, this comprising monies receivable, unamortized film and rights and other assets. It adds nine more half-hour series to NTA's already-large catalog of syndicated programs, plus another three quarter-hour groups. Major interest, however, is the Par short library, acquired by UM&M last fall. Of the 1,450 shorts, about 500 are cartoons. Moreover, NTA gets distribution rights to another hot cartoon package, the 179 Walter Lantz cartoons produced originally for Universal.
With one of the more powerful feature film libraries already on hand, with a large if indifferent backlog of syndicated shows and now one of biggest shorts library in the business, NTA now ranks among the top companies in terms of product and potential. The Par cartoons include the "Betty Boop" series, "Little Lulu," George Pal’s "Puppetoons," the "Noveltoons," "Screen Songs," "Talkatoons," "Inkwell Imps," "Animal Antics" and the "Stone Age" series. Live-action shorts include a Robert Benchley series, a Grantland Rice "Sportscope" group and a Hedda Hopper series. NTA is readying a decision on the handling of world theatrical rights on these. Syndicated programs, to which NTA merely acquires distribution.
'CBS Cartoon Theatre' Vs. 'Disneyland' Case of Fighting Fire With Fire
With the Wednesday night "Brave Eagle" series having drawn a sponsorship blank throughout the year in CBS-TV's 7:30-8 kidstrip venture, the network is turning to cartoons as a more likely lure for sponsor interest. As of June 13, the network is installing "CBS Cartoon Theatre," comprising cartoons from the vast Paul Terry library which the web bought out recently, with Dick Van Dyke as the host.
Slotting, which is definite for the summer and is on the "hopeful" list for the fall, is a case of fighting fire with fire. 'Twasn't that "Brave Eagle" got an adverse reception, but that, it was opposite "Disneyland" that caused the client blank, so CBS is now going to compete on Disney's own terms, that is, with the animated stuff. Characters listed for the display are "Heckle & Jeckle," "Gandy Goose," "Sour Puss," "Dinky Duck" and "Little Roquefort." Dyke's role will be integrated so the emcee can appear to converse with the animated characters.
CBS-TV has a library of 1,100 cartoons from which to choose, less a group of 156 turned over to its CBS Television Film Sales subsid for station sales and those used on the Saturday morning "Mighty Mouse Playhouse." Network bought up all the assets of Terrytoons Inc. in a $5,000,000 deal this winter. New show will be produced by Michel M. Grilikhes, directed by Howard T. Magwood and scripted by Bill Gammie.
Short will be ready for release by Loew's International Christmas Week in all Spanish-speaking countries. English version won't be released until late 1957.
May 18, 1956
Fight between Indie Screen Cartoonists Guild and IATSE Motion Picture Cartoonists Local 839 looms larger, with SCG filing petitions with National Labor Relations Board for jurisdiction over cartoon employes of Warner Bros. and Walter Lantz Productions. SCG already has a petition before NLRB to rep UPA Pictures, Inc., employes, another IA stronghold, filed earlier this week.
Warners and Lantz employes initiated latest move by petitioning SCG to move in, it's understood. Some 60 workers are involved at Warners and 10 at Lantz.
Until recently, the IA cartoonists have generally held jurisdiction in entertainment cartoons, while SCG has had teleblurb field. However, new Guild move invades the entertainment field.
May 23, 1956
An order for a tv spot from the London Daily Mail gave UPA Pictures, Inc., Hollywood animation outfit, its entry into British tv, prexy Stephen Bosustow disclosed on his return from setting up London headquarters. Company estimates it will spend about $140,000 operating the British branch for the next year.
However, Bosustow said, the animation firm's survey of the British market indicate a hefty potential. UPA was given a greenlight by both the Ministry of Labor and the Board of Trade and approved by George Elvin of the British Association of Cine Technicians, presumption being, of course, that the UPA operation will bring additional employment for English artists.
Full production facilities for the British and other European sponsors will be completed by first of the year, Bosustow declared. Company also is now ready to undertake foreign orders, to be completed in UPA's N.Y. studio where the London plant won't be capable of undertaking the full task.
While it's UPA's plan to hire and train English artists in the UPA style of animation, company will immediately launch a rotating plan of sending its key personnel, from both its Burbank and N. Y. studios, to London. Plan is to select five or six key men at intervals, about every five to six months, for at least a six-month stay at company's London studio. Bosustow reported yesterday that official permission already has been secured in England for Americans to make the trip, possibly remaining up to at least a year.
In addition to its production facilities, UPA London plant also will serve as a center for all UPA's European operations, including the UPA Music Co. and merchandising activities. Equipment is now being lined up for immediate shipment.
UPA Pictures, Ltd., Bosustow said, already has been incorporated in England and has a five-man board, including three Britons. Prexy, also board chairman, and Scanlon, are the American members.
In a further expansion of its Burbank facilities, where UPA is headquartered here, company has bought a two-story apartment building across the street from its studio, for additional exec offices and drawing department.
Project marks the second building purchased by UPA during past year, to accommodate growing personnel. In addition to its theatrical program and large amount of tv and commercial orders, UPA will launch a weekly half-hour CBS-TV program in September. The London plant also will handle some of the subjects for latter.
Further building program calls for erection of a multiple-story building either in Van Nuys or North Hollywood, to consolidate all departments under one roof. This gets under way around Jan. 1.
Cinema-Vue Corp. is readying an offbeat package in the syndication sweepstakes, an hour-long kiddie-slanted "variety" show with the tentative title of "Film Festival." The 52 shows in the package, soon to be released, would each Include a western, a cartoon and an animal subject.
All the films are at hand, via Cinema-Vue's program source, Cinepix Labs, arid the films are in the process of editing, with the westerns being cut down from feature pix and the cartoons to be selected from the "Whimseyland" package. Undecided yet is whether Cinema-Vue will shoot in a filmed host or leave the package as an open-ender for stations to supply a live local emcee.
Similar package of edited westerns, with Gabby Hayes shot in as host of the half-hours, scored a network, deal recently when Popsicle bought it from. UM&M (via MPTV, Eliot Hyman and Stone Associates) for a summer run on ABC-TV.
May 25, 1956
Excess of 50% of the segments which go to make up first year's 26 half-hour cartoon programs on UPA Pictures' weekly CBS-TV show, starting in October, have been canned, proxy Stephen Bosustow reported last night prior to planing east for confabs with network execs.
Total of 78 are now completed, with remaining 52 either nearing completion or in mid-production, he said. Segments consist of either three-minute vignettes or six-minute special features, with special animated-cartoon tie-ins to segue from one segment to another. UPA will deliver first 13 programs to CBS-TV In NY by Sept. 1, according to Bosustow, and second 13 by Jan. 1.
May 28, 1956
Lyn Murray has been inked by UPA Pictures as musical director, duties calling for him to compose original music, conduct and supervise general music operations for all company product. He also will make special assignments for scores to be written for UPA films for both theatrical release and for upcoming CBS-TV series.
May 30, 1956
Sealtest is known to be a hot client potential on the United Productions of America cartoon half-hour being offered by CBS-TV for the fall. But as much as the dairy wants the show, it might not be able to take it.
Network is purportedly ready to offer a half-hour anchorage Wednesday night opposite "Disneyland" via ABC-TV. However, Sealtest does not want to compete with "Disneyland" bankroller American Dairy Assn. Dairy, which intends maintaining its CBS-TV "Big Top" position next fall, is said to want a 30-minute opening for the UPA Gerald McBoing-Boing." et al., cartoon variety presentation either on Tuesday or Friday night.
June 4, 1956
MGM ADDING CARTOONERY MAN-POWER
According to Hal Elias, business manager of department, current demand for animated shorts both In domestic and foreign market, and the scarcity of trained men in this field, has cued the Culver lot to intensify its training program. This also includes a production upbeat to 16 cartoons per year. Previously, Metro turned out nine.
In the past nine months, 25 staffers have been added to Metro's cartoonery. In addition to Elias, department heads include William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, who write-direct-produce, and director Michael Lah.
Both Hanna and Barbera are also training their men in the makiny of cartoons especially for television. Pair claim, while there are no present plans for the filming of cartoons for tv, they are readying for any eventuality.
Average Metro cartoon, which runs around seven minutes, is budgeted at between $30,000 and $70,000. Most popular of the Metro cartoon series are "Tom and Jerry," "Droopy" and "Spike and Tyke."
June 6, 1956
Ted Cott, WABD-WTTG general manager, is dickering with Eliot Hyman on 337 Warner Bros, cartoons, it's understood. Hyman's "Popeyes" are expected to go to another N. Y. tv station.
Cartoonorama Service Inc. has been authorized to conduct a business as cartoon producers in New York via attorney Irving B. Cohen.
June 7, 1956
CBS-TV is virtually sold out for next season, it was disclosed yesterday by Hubbell Robinson, web program v.p. here from NY discussing details of the network's new "Playhouse 90" series and the "Ford Star Jubilee" spex for next season.
Robinson said the Paul Terry-produced "CBS Cartoon Theatre," which proems Wednesday, may continue through the regular season.
June 11, 1956
Robert Givens, formerly with UPA and Walt Disney, named art director at the animation studios of Fred A. Niles Films.
Video distrib officially reported sales on the Warner pre-1948 pix after he was informed that the motion picture major's bid for a capital gains decree was ruled on favorably by the Government Thursday [June 7].
When Hyman several weeks ago paid Warners $21,000,000 for the 754 old pictures, the finalization of the contract depended on the favorable Washington ruling on the tax-saving law. Though Hyman had been lining up station sales for the last month or more, he was evidently in no position to announce consummation of sales until the Feds passed on Warners one way or the other. It's believed all his station contracts carried the stipulation that in the event of an unfavorable Government ruling on capital gains for the $21,000,000, they would have to relinquish the pix to Hyman who in turn would give them back to Warners.
When WCBS-TV here reported it had inked for 152 of the pix at $1,250,000, Indication was that Hyman had wind of a favorable D.C. ruling. Of the 28 stations buying the vintage Warner product, it is understood that six inked for all 754, with the remainder taking one or more groups of 52 films.
June 13, 1956
Metro cartoon department is readying studio's first film planned for release in the foreign market before its domestic distribution. Switch in policy is due to fact that the overseas cartoon market is rapidly growing. When studio intro'd a Spanish mouse character some months back in a cartoon, there was an immediate demand for its repeat, hence the new "Mucho Mouse."
Short will be ready for release by Loew's International Christmas Week in Spain and all South American countries. English version won't hit here until late 1957.
Exclusive rights in the New York area to the "Popeye" package goes to indie WPIX under a deal consummated between the station and Associated Artists Productions.
The deal, involving 234 "Popeye" one-reel cartoons, was signed by Fred M. Thrower, veepee and general manager of WPIX, and Eliot Hyman, Associated Artists Productions prez. One-hundred-and-fourteen cartoons in the package are in color.
Although Thrower did not announce full plans for the new package, he indicated that the "Popeye" series would be given a play similar to that which the station gave the "Clubhouse Gang Comedies." The latter series copped a good rating time position. The premiere of the series, originally made for Paramonut Pictures, will be announced at a later date.
Screen Cartoonists, Local No. 841, IATSE, will vote on ratification of a new employment pact with commercial studios at a meet to be held tonight (Wednesday) in New York. Union's executive board has recommended acceptance of the two-year agreement, which was hammered out by the cartoonists' negotiating committee and the Animated Cartoon Producers Assn.
Terms of the contract, already approved at a special conclave, call for a raise in minimums as well as general increases. In addition, all employes on payroll as of June 1, 1956, are to get a 5% wage hike. New minimums are said to be almost identical to rates obtained by the Hollywood Screen Cartoonists Guild.
Proposed new minimums call for head animators to receive $190 weekly in contrast to the former $158. Other workers would draw proportionate boosts. Work week, incidentally, is 35 hours compared to Hollywood's 40 hours. Among studios affected by the new pact are Caravel, United Productions of America and Transfilm.
June 14, 1956
UPA Pictures this week hits an all-time high peak in production of tv spots. Company's Burbank studio is working on 23 animated cartoon commercials, its NY plant has 31 in work and 22 additional assignments are in discussion with ad agencies.
Record activity, according to proxy Stephen Bosustow, is due to the steadily-growing preference for animated spots over live-action commercials. "Spots that entertain, yet sell" guns this activity, Bosustow stated.
June 19, 1956
Indie Screen Cartoonist Guild entered the second round of its jurisdictional hassle with IATSE Motion Picture Cartoonists Local 839, over UPA Pictures, Warners and Walter Lantz employes, with an appeal to Washington headquarters of the National Labor Relations Board.
Local NLRB last week dismissed the SCG petition for recognition at the three plants, where the IA union currently reps cartooning employes. However, SCG indicated it would appeal the decision, which asked for single-unit instead of group bargaining. Local NLRB held that cartoon firms had a past history of group bargaining and disallowed the SCG petition.
June 20, 1956
New York, June 19. — Max Fleischer, vet cartoon producer, today blasted Paramount, DuMont Broadcasting Co. and others with a $2,750,000 suit because his old shorts are being televised "without proper credit and authority." NY Supreme Court Suit also seeks an injunction permanently restraining televising of any of his shorts.
Fleischer's "Superman" and "Betty Boop" shorts were sold by Paramount to UM&M Corp., whose assets subsequently were taken over by National Television Associates. His "Popeye" reelers were sold to Eliot Hyman.
Producer claims his pix cannot legally be telecast with commercial advertising and states he intends to prevent "improper exploitation of my reputation and films which I produced. In certain instances credits have been inserted which mislead the public by giving credit to people who never had anything to do with their production.
"I will not consent to being relegated to anonymity by allowing others to reap artistic prominence and financial reward of my lifetime of creative work in the motion picture field."
CBS CARTOON THEATRE
With Dick Van Dyke
Producer: Michel M. Grilikhes
Director: Howard T. Maywood
Writer: Bill Gammie
30 Mins., Wed., 7:30 p.m.
With Walt Disney obviously still a problem to CBS on Wednesday nights, Columbia decided on a try at fighting fire with fire. Having acquired 1,100 of Paul Terry's cartoons in its purchase of Terrytoons, Inc. last fall, the network decided to collect them into half-hour form with Dick Van Dyke, ex of the ex-"Morning" show, as host and integrator. Show, tabbed the "CBS Cartoon Theatre," was installed last week with the hope that it might latch onto a sponsor and become a regular entry for the fall, thus relieving the CBS program and sale boys of a major headache ("Brave Eagle" ran in the same time slot all last season as a sustainer). Well, the program boys and salesmen will just have to take another Bromo—"Cartoon Theatre" just doesn't have it.
But even assuming that there's better fare available in the huge library, the show's troubles aren't over by a long shot. Van Dyke integrates the sequences in an unusual manner—but it doesn't come off. He's filmed in front of a tv set, and converses with the animated characters as they appear on the screen. But both the dialog and the business are strained; Dyke looks and feels uncomfortable and rather silly. So it boils down to a question not only of content but of format, with an entire revamp in order, if "Cartoon Theatre" is to make it through the summer, let alone into the fall. Chan.
Associated Artists Productions has added four more station sales on the Warner Bros, features to the 28 disclosed last week. Distrib has also closed five sales on its cartoons.
Buying part of the 754 Warners were KOA-TV, Denver; KDWI, Tucson; WTVJ, Miami; KERO, Bakersfield. WPIX, N. Y., bought AAP's "Popeye's," and WBEN, Buffalo, bought the same package and WB's "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" as well. WABD, N. Y.; KTLA, L. A., and KOIN, Portland, bought only the WB cartoons.
June 25, 1956
Leo Salkin, vet film scripter, cartoonist and director, has been named managing director of UPA Pictures, Ltd., British offshoot of UPA here. Salkin, named to post over weekend by UPA prexy Stephen Bosustow, currently is here following a six-week visit to London. He'll leave for London next month to assume new duties.
Selection of UPA staff personnel, from both the Burbank and NY studios, to orient English artists in UPA cartoon style, will be made this week by Bosustow.
June 27, 1956
New cartoon series being created for CBS-TV by United Productions of America (UPA), may inherit the Saturday at 7 time spot held for more than six years by Gene Autry, who was recently cancelled by Wrigley's. Entire project hinges on discussions with Sealtest, which has expressed strong interest in the cartoon show but hasn't signed a deal yet. Should Sealtest buy the series (and coincidentally set its first nighttime video sponsorship), it would involve a shift of its Philadelphia-originating "Big Top" show from Saturday afternoons to Sundays to spread its billings over both days of the weekend rather than concentrating them on Saturdays. The UPA show, incidentally, is not to be confused with the Terrytoons segment owned and produced by CBS-TV. UPA, which produces the "Mr. Magoo" and "Gerald McBoing-Boing" characters and releases via Columbia Pictures theatrically, entered into a deal with CBS-TV less than a year ago to produce the half-hour series, with the pact just now bearing fruit.
"The Battle of Gettysburg," produced by Dore Schary, will be released by Metro in September as a special subject.
In addition to "Gettysburg," Metro will release 12 C'Scope cartoons in Technicolor for the season starting Sept. 1. These will be supplemented by 18 cartoon reissues and 104 issues of News of the Day.
DuMont's owned-operated WABD, N. Y., announced that it will swing regularly into roughly three hours a day of tint transmission by fall. Station just inked for "Judge Roy Bean" in color to put part of the plan into effect. Station is also going to convert three kiddie shows, which utilize cartoons in the main, to color as well. Station's new equipment for multichrome will be fully ready by Sept. 15.
The 39 "Beans," which have not appeared in N. Y., were bought from Peter Piech, who also sold WABD the Mickey Rooney vidpix half-hours that once appeared via NBC-TV. Both deals were signed last week.
Gene Deitch, one of the top animators in television and responsible among other things for the supervision on the first Piel's Beer "Bert & Harry" commercials, has joined CBS-TV as creative supervisor of the Terrytoons division. It's a new post, with Deitch as overall creative boss over the 1,100 cartoons in the operation plus expanding production at the Terrytoons plant.
Deitch moves over from the Robert Lawrence commercials outfit, which he joined early this year as creative supervisor. Before that he was supervising director of United Productions of America in N. Y., where he supervised the Piel's productions and other UPA output. Prior to that, he was with CBS on the Coast and also with UPA there, before coming east.
New post created for Deitch is in line with an expansion of the Terrytoons setup, which operates as a division of CBS Television Film Sales. Studio in New Rochelle is producing commercials for clients and agencies and is continuing its theatrical output for 20th-Fox release.