Sunday, 25 September 2016

Silent Cartoon Alert

What a joy it is to watch a silent film masterpiece, accompanied by a well-skilled musician in the pit. Someone playing old Sam Fox sheet music cues on an upright piano is just fine. That includes silent cartoons, too. If you’re in the New York City area at the end of the month, you’ll have a chance to view some, thanks to the New Yorker who knows silent cartoons best.

Animation Nights New York is marking its one-year anniversary with a two-day festival of films culled from its showings over the past year. There’s an incredibly varied array of independent animation and panels; a lot of work has been put into this event. But as this blog deals with old theatrical cartoons, we note there’s an opportunity to see some silent animation.
Tommy José Stathes' Cartoons On Film provides a fun and historical 16mm film program of rare prints from the Stathes Collection. In recognition of ANNY's presence at the South Street Seaport, this Cartoons On Film program of animation from the 1910s through the 1930s incorporates a nautical theme and features live musical accompaniment from The Queen's Cartoonists for select silent-era shorts!
Whether the Felix the Cat cartoon to the right (Two-Lip Time, 1926) will be part of the programme, I don’t know, but it’s the first silent cartoon with a nautical theme I thought of.

It’s a shame the world isn’t populated with Tommy Statheses (duplicates made in an animated machine by Koko the clown, perhaps) who can park themselves in cities around the world and give shows like this. However, there is only one, and he is restricted to New York City, so if you’re nearby, take the time to see his animated revue. Tom’s show is September 29th, 8pm, at the Main Venue, Conference Room 1.

You can find out more about AMMY’s eclectic programme at their web site or on this web page.


  1. Saw a Felix cartoon last night Felix Rings the Ringer) at the Essanay Studio Museum in Niles (Fremont) California last night. They do showings of silent (and, occasionally, classic talking) motion pictures every Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. They usually precede these features with a cartoon (Felix is just one character they cover).

    1. That's great to hear, Hep. There hasn't been a show of old animation where I am for I don't know how many years. I caught a curated show maybe 30 years ago.