Saturday 22 December 2012

Christmas Cartoon Trade Ads

The Film Daily is giving cartoon fans an early Christmas gift. Real early. Like late ‘20s, early ‘30s early.

Here are some beautifully-drawn ads from the trade paper going back more than 80 years. You can click on any of them to enlarge them.

Before we get to them, let’s pass on a couple of promo cartoons for The Film Daily Christmas Fund from 1929. The first one stars Krazy Kat, produced by the Mintz studio in New York. There’s no signature on the drawing. The second one is really cool, as Bill Nolan has drawn a caricature of himself along with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, whose career in 1929 had taken him to the Walter Lantz studio after employment stops with Walt Disney and Mintz. Nolan, by the way, had drawn the Krazy cartoons in the mid-20s.

Now, the great ads. The first is for a Harman-Ising cartoon from 1935 and next to it is a Disney ad from 1932.
Below it is a Columbia ad for a three-strip Technicolor cartoon, except the ad itself is mainly in two colours, red and green. It’s from 1935. Next to it is a 1932 ad that might as well be for a cartoon called “Marketing Mickey.” It’s not only pushing the mouse, but bragging about the stuff he sells.
Who doesn’t love a Van Beuren cartoon? “Silvery Moon”, on the bottom left, was released in 1933. And to the right is an ad for a Terry-Toon from 1932. If only Terry’s cartoons looked as good as the ad.

Want to see the Van Beuren short? It was released to television in the early ‘50s as “Candy Town” by Official Films, which sheared off the opening titles (and changed the name for some unknown reason). Van Beuren was certainly consistent. The two cats skip around like the studio’s Tom and Jerry.


  1. Great post. I love these trade ads. More please!

    They weren't only in The Film Daily, but in all the trades, including Variety, Box Office, Hollywood Reporter, Motion Picture Herald and others... and they did them to promote cartoons the rest of the year as well!

    On a related note, I saw a series of unique ads 25 years ago that haven't been reprinted since. They were in bound volumes of Paramount World (Paramount's exhibitor magazine - like MGM's Lion's Roar) at the Performance Arts Public Library at Lincoln Center in New York. In each issue (of the volume I saw, these were mid-1930s issues) were specially drawn Fleischer studio "gags" to promote either Betty Boop or Popeye (one of them every other issue). I plan to go back to the library within the next year... but feel free to beat me to it. As I recall them, they were great, drawn by the studio animators - and must be made publicly available!

  2. Hey Yowp, great post and especially thanks for suppling a large scan of that wonderful Nolan drawing. Bill looks like a tall guy in the photos I've seen, wonder why he drew himself so short and dumpy looking?

  3. I guess because he thought it was funny, Charlie. Or maybe he grew quickly after 1929!